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

MLDP Recap: “Understanding Your Strengths in the Context of Management and Leadership” with Dr. Gama Perruci

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Dr. Gama Perruci lead student discussion on leadership through case studies. Photo by Hung Nguyen '18.

For the third week of MLDP, we welcomed Dr. Gama Perruci, a renowned expert in leadership, for a session entitled “Understanding Your Strengths in the Context of Management and Leadership.” Dr. Perruci opened his presentation with a discussion of the distinction between management and leadership, and why each is important in a work environment. After providing a basic overview of the differences between the two concepts, Dr. Perruci transitioned to a more personalized activity.
Before beginning the session, all participants had taken an online “Strengths Test” that scored each student on 34 different strengths, indicating their preferred ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. To help reinforce the concepts he earlier introduced, Dr. Perruci asked participants to associate the various strengths highlighted in the test with either management or leadership. After students took a stab at dividing the strengths, Dr. Perruci revealed the correct categorizations.

Next, Dr. Perruci distributed case studies in management and leadership to the four groups. Each case presented a unique dilemma in which the leader in question would need various traits from both the management and leadership spheres to face the tasks ahead. For each case, the groups identified the “leadership moment,” the strengths that the leaders would need to address their challenges, as well as how their own group, with its respective strengths and weaknesses, would fare in the case.

MLDP participants identified "leadership moments" in each case study. Photo by Hung Nguyen '18.

 Many students found Dr. Perruci’s presentation to be informative and useful in facing their own personal leadership challenges, and thought that the examples provided were engaging and meaningfully related to current issues in the real world. Elisabeth Pillsbury ’18 commented that, “It was very effective and relevant to learn about different Management and Leadership qualities in the context of current events such as the Refugee Crisis and the Volkswagen Scandal.” Another student, who wished not to be identified, remarked, “I never realized that there was a clear divide between management and leadership, but even more importantly, I learned that it takes both to accomplish your goals." Another student from the second session echoed both of these sentiments, saying that, “Understanding the dichotomy between management and leadership is critical to deal with both everyday problems and large scale ones. This session gave us the tools to deal with many issues."
-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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