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

MLDP Recap: "Being an Effective Team Player" with Steven Spaulding

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Students participate in an activity demonstrating the need for effective leadership. Photo by Hung Nguyen '18.

For this week’s session, MLDP welcomed Steven Spaulding, the Assistant Athletic Director for Leadership at Dartmouth Peak Performance. Steven led our most interactive activity yet, taking participants outside the Rockefeller Center for a group exercise that helped show students how to put leadership skills into practice.

Mr. Spaulding kicked off the session with a brief overview of how leaders develop, and what qualities successful teams must possess to achieve their goals efficiently and effectively.

Afterwards, all participants were split into two teams, with each team further divided into three sub-teams. One sub-team was blindfolded, another was told they could not speak, and the last sub-team was able to both see and talk to each other. Everyone was led outside the building to a nearby lawn. All sub-teams were placed in circles apart from each other and given instructions on what they had to do to complete the activity in 30 minutes. The sub-team able to use all of their senses was instructed to construct and light a fire, but needed to coordinate the other two impaired sub-teams to bring the fire-building materials over to their circle. Unfortunately, neither team was able to successfully light a fire, but there were plenty of laughs had along the way.

Students coordinate with each other to light a fire. Photo by Hung Nguyen '18.

Students praised the session for its emphasis on interactivity, and felt that the activity successfully demonstrated the way in which leaders need to behave and act to help achieve their team’s goals. Xanthe Kraft ’16 commented on how the exercise clearly showed how leaders must be disciplined: “Today’s session was really effective in reimagining discipline as a positive (rather than restrictive) trait in a leader. Though I may have had that in the back of my mind, it is in the forefront now, and I feel more able to command my actions to produce tangible results."
-Written by Jasper Bingham '17, Student Program Assistant
This ongoing series explores sessions of the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) through participant narratives. MLDP is a one-term program designed to develop citizen leaders among sophomores, juniors, and seniors at Dartmouth College. Led by expert guest speakers each week, sessions employ experiential teaching techniques to engage students through hands-on learning of core management and leadership skills.

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