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

RLF Recap: Decision Making in Leadership with Jay Davis '90

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On October 24th, Jay Davis ‘90, the current coordinator of FYSEP, SEAD, and several Tucker outreach programs at Dartmouth, spoke to the fellows about the different sides of leadership. He began by recounting his own experiences in the realm of education and coaching, pointing out the fact that we must adapt our styles of leadership to the followers at hand and evaluate what things really matter to you. Consequently, each fellow explained a leadership trait they valued, with responses ranging from humility to accountability to passion. Bad leadership can often become an impediment to the function of a team or organization, so the fellows were then asked to share examples of when leaders exhibited clashing personalities or ideals.
The second part of the session was devoted to a compass points personality activity. The model separates leadership into North - doers, South - supporters, West - planners, and East - thinkers. It was interesting to see how the fellows divided up into each of these four categories, as well as how we tended to unconsciously conform to prescribed definitions of each direction. It became apparent that North-type leaders were deemed the most difficult to work with, so keeping a balance of compass directions is key to group work. Finally, Jay Davis left us with the idea of being a hybrid of directions and being aware of when we can complement others with our strengths or shift our primary compass direction depending on what role is most needed in the team.

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