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

YALI at the Rockefeller Center: Leading High Performing Teams with Professor David Ager

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

Jamila Mayanja
2015 Dartmouth Mandela Washington Fellow
CEO, Smart Girls Uganda
Uganda

I am a girl who loves working on teams. I’m all about holding meetings to accomplish a project, but here’s what I don’t understand: Why is it that after I mobilize people to be part of a team to accomplish a project, there will practically be no one left by the end of the project, or I have ended up doing all the work?

Professor David Ager leads a session at the Rockefeller Center titled "Leading High Performing Teams: Collaboration and Cooperation Put to the Test." Photo by Emily Albrecht '16.

At the first session hosted by the Rockefeller Center last week, “Leading High Performing Teams: Collaboration and Cooperation Put to the Test,” led by Professor David Ager of Harvard University, we were set in groups and together we had to reach the summit of Mount Everest. During the group simulation, a team member, Kgomotso Mogapi told all of us her goals from the get go. Other team members followed suit. However, along the way we didn’t share a lot of further information with each other while climbing the mountain.

Photo by Emily Albrecht '16.

This reminded me of a time back at home when I wasn’t doing a lot with my team. This session taught me I need to make my goals and that of the project clear to the team and know team members’ goals as well. I need to encourage them to share information as we go along and also be able to take in feedback. This was an amazing session with David Ager that touched my soul – I am clearly going to do things differently when I am back home.

-Written by Jamila Mayanja, a 2015 Dartmouth Mandela Washington Fellow from Uganda. 

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