The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Don't Go It Alone

Alison Fragale '97 explains to Rockefeller Leadership Fellows how a manager leads so that people "can draw their own diagram”.

Alisa White '17 describes how she learned how leaders can inspire people to come to their own understanding about how to do something.

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This past week, we were excited to have Alison Fragale, Dartmouth Class of 1997, join us at our Rockefeller Leadership Fellows (RLF) session. Alison’s session, entitled “Don’t go it alone: Effective delegation and empowerment for leaders”, engaged the fellows with a variety of effective learning experiences. First, Alison has the fellows dive into a group activity. Students were split into managers and production teams and were tasked with putting back together a square following a very specific plan that only the managers could see. The managers had to figure out how communicate effectively with the production team about how to build the shape before the “production” process of reassembling the figure could begin. As Alison explained after the activity, the job of a manager is to “get people to draw their own diagram” rather than just explain things to them. This lesson resonated with us and got us all thinking about how to inspire the people we lead to make their own understanding of how to do something.

Alison then skillfully tied this activity to a greater understanding of how to delegate tasks and be an effective manager of those tasks. Alison discussed the spiral of despair that ignored employees go through and how delegation is all about giving responsibility, authority, and accountability. Furthermore, understanding the EPO (Effort, Performance, Outcome) model and how to guide people from effort to performance to outcome is imperative to strong leadership.

Overall, Alison’s session was very meaningful and informative to the fellows. Her session made us reflect on what tasks we could delegate to members of the organizations we lead on campus. She inspired us to think about why people in the room are not volunteering to step up and to recognize that everyone who is not participating is doing so for different reasons. Furthermore, Alison was very candid about her career: from the difficulties of being the “bad guy” in consulting to fascinating study of organizational behavior and psychology. We thoroughly enjoyed Alison’s session and feel lucky to have had the chance to learn so much from her.

- Submitted by Alisa White '17, Rockefeller Leadership Fellow 

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