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

MLDP Recap: What Makes a Good Leader? with Professor 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 April 2nd, 2013, Professor Elizabeth Winslow ’83 spoke to the Rockefeller Center’s Management and Leadership Development Program. Professor Winslow is the Associate Director of the MBA Program and an adjunct assistant professor of business administration at the Tuck School of Business.

Entitled “What Makes a Good Leader? Vision, Confidence, Training, and Commitment,” Professor Winslow set out to explain the history of leadership theory. She started off her presentation by laying out three general principles of leadership that she would go on to elaborate upon and relate back to throughout the entire session. The first is that leadership can be taught and learned; it does not have to be something you either are or are not born with from the start. Second, critical thinking is the most important skill to have. She emphasized the importance of reflection, and encouraged us to do this through the session by having us talk about our own prior experiences and apply what she said to ourselves. Lastly, leadership is situational; you must change and adapt your style based on what’s happening. I found this to be a particularly interesting point, and one that she really spent quite a bit of time developing fully.

"The real benefits [of the presentation] came not so much from hearing about theories or even examples, however. Instead, the most important lesson is the reminder of the constant leadership and situational assessment processes that leaders should be engaged in," said MLDP participant John Howard ’15.

Professor Winslow spent part of the time discussing the reasons and theories behind these different principles, including the different types of leadership, ways leaders try to achieve their goals, and the importance of both group and dyadic (one-on-one) relationships. However, she really excelled at getting everyone involved first hand. She had us break out into smaller groups twice to apply the knowledge she was teaching us to our own situations and to other famous leaders. She also had us reflect on our responses with the group. This really helped me think about what she was teaching us in a constructive and applicable way. It also kept the session lively and engaging throughout the entire time

- Written by Jennifer Davidson ‘15, S13 MLDP Participant

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