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

MLDP Recap: "Catalyze" Kick-Off Session with Darin Eich, PhD

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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.

"Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things." These were the words of Sadhana Hall, Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Center, which truly represented the focus of the the Management and Leadership Development Program's opening night. Beginning with the introduction of the MLDP staff, the first session moved into a simulation of the Kolb Cycle of Learning, a theory which begins with a concrete experience, followed by reflective observation, then abstract conceptualization, and finally continues through active experimentation before starting again with a concrete experience. We were placed into small groups which then followed this activity with a brief discussion of the five most important attributes of a leader.

Participants engage Darin Eich, PhD, in a presentation on "bursting through the paper" at MLDP's first spring session. Photo by Abigail Chen '17.

Shortly after this exercise, Darin Eich, PhD, was introduced. He began his presentation by collecting data on how many people in the room could sing, dance, or draw. Eich then compared the numbers he collected to a classroom of kindergarteners and found that somewhere along the way from kindergarten to college, the number of artists drastically decreased. He used this example to illustrate his idea of "burst through the paper." By this he meant that we need to allow ourselves to be innovative, and not allow our inhibitions to hold us back from doing what is necessary to lead.

MLDP participants meet one another for the first time through an activity designed to improve networking skills. Photo by Abigail Chen '17.

Being my first event with the Rockefeller Center, I was a bit nervous coming into the session. A new group with new people can be a daunting. In a very small amount of time, however, I was reassured by the contagious enthusiasm of my fellow MLDP participants! This first lesson was a great introduction to responsible leadership, and it helped me reflect upon my own thoughts about what ideal leadership is. The night ended with networking workshops before breaking into small groups, groups that we will be working with for the next few sessions.

-Written by Joshua Perez '17, Spring 2015 MLDP Participant

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