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

YALI at the Rockefeller Center: Putting it All Together with Sadhana Hall and Vincent Mack

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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.

Sadhana Hall, Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Center, and Vincent Mack, Program Officer at the Rockefeller Center, led the final leadership component of the Center's visiting YALI fellows in a session entitled "Putting it All Together: Translating Theory to Practice." The fellows were encouraged to create Personal Leadership Development Plans throughout their six week learning experience that identified different aspects of being a leader and how these new ideas would impact their lives once they return to Africa.

This session began with group presentations that summarized the main takeaways from the leadership program. One group used lessons of storytelling from their first session to describe a man named Yali who came to Dartmouth and learned that leadership is being one with people and learning what drives them. This group acknowledged vulnerability and confidence as two attributes necessary to be a leader. Gregory Feris, who works in the tourism sector in Namibia, ended this group’s story with this quotation from Mother Theresa, “Yesterday has gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Other groups created videos or chants to reveal the lessons they learned. These group presentations were followed by individual presentations where fellows shared their personal journeys at Dartmouth College.

Self-awareness seemed to drive this reflection session as each fellow used the six weeks to reflect personally on his or her own strengths and weaknesses. They cited their favorite sessions and lessons including from all of the six sessions. EdwIne Neto, the founder of Eneto Architects in Sao Tome & Principe, revealed his new found self-awareness of his major weakness: strong communication. Anuarite Tuho, from Cote D’Ivoire, sang to the group that she is driven by music and has become self-aware. The six sessions provided by the Rockefeller Center seem to have inspired these fellows to continue to thrive as leaders. Regina Agyare, from Ghana, said during the session, “I have begun to see myself as the leader that I am.” Lydia Munika, from Kenya, summarized the fellows' experiences with, “I feel as though I have been drinking from the saucer because it is overflowing.”

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