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

MLDP Recap: Students Explore Meaning and Significance of Leadership with Betsy Winslow '83

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Read a student's account of our most recent session in our Management Leadership and Development program below. For more information, about MLDP, click here.

On Tuesday September 18, Betsy Winslow ’83, Associate Director of the MBA Program at the Tuck School of Business and Adjunct Associate Professor of Business Administration, graciously lectured as a guest speaker to the students of the Management and Leadership Development Program. The session, entitled “What Makes a Good Leader?” explored the meaning and significance of leadership, as well as the skills required to lead effectively.

Winslow began the session by asking students to list traits that they associated with excellent leadership. Answers included communication skills, morality, and “grace under pressure.” Students were then asked to list examples of people they thought to be good leaders. Responses varied widely. Among those named were the Buddha, Joan of Arc, and Derek Jeter. Finally, students were asked to recall and discuss an instance in which they considered themselves to have exercised good leadership skills.

Having brought students’ views of leadership under examination, Winslow proceeded to postulate that a good leader demonstrates excellence in four areas: personal excellence, situational mastery, managing and developing people, and achieving outcomes. Heavily emphasized topics included self-assessment as a means of self-improvement and the importance of utilizing different leadership approaches for different situations.

It is this last point that resonated the most with me. Leaders, whether they are exhibiting directive or supportive behavior, are only as good as their ability to assess and adapt to their environment. This is of particular importance in a world in which individuals are expected to hold multiple jobs in a wide range of professions.

-- Rocio C. Labrador ’15

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