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

YALI at The Rockefeller Center: Leading High Performance Teams with David Ager

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This is the fourth in an ongoing series of articles on the Rockefeller Center's participation in the Young African Leaders Initiative, or YALI.

This past week, Dartmouth's visiting YALI fellows continued their leadership program at The Rockefeller Center with an exhilarating, high-stakes journey in a session entitled “Leading High Performing Teams.” During this event with Harvard Business School’s David Ager, fellows prepared for and embarked on an expedition to the summit of Mount Everest through Harvard Business Publishing’s online simulation, a program geared toward inspiring an understanding of team building and team leadership. Broken into five groups and assigned to a specific role on the excursion, the fellows were challenged to reach the summit with their team while at the same time trying to balance their character's personal goals as well as the goals of that team. Through this experience, collaboration and cooperation were put to the test. In the end, some members succeeded in making the almost 30,000 foot ascent to the top of Everest and some members were left behind. Some teams successfully reached the team goals while others fell short. In each scenario, it was a valuable exercise for all involved.

Harvard Business School's David Ager leads a session on "Leading High Performing Teams"

Liginiku Millinga, a fellow from Tanzania hoping to tackle the challenge of implementing a sustainable clean water project in his country, found the exercise “extremely involving.” Some of Millinga’s main takeaways were the importance of balancing individual and group objectives in order to ensure personal and team success and the importance of sharing individual information and knowledge in order to build trust between team members and encourage team spirit. Above all, Millinga stressed that “It is very key to pay attention to the details.” This mentally and 'physically' taxing ascent to the summit of Everest highlighted some of the most important aspects of successfully working in a team and efficiently achieving goals together.

YALI fellows work together to summit a virtual Mount Everest
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences