D-LAB Session 3: Leadership with Others

This ongoing series shares the experiences of participants and facilitators in D-LAB (Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors), a student-facilitated program designed for first-year students to discover the relationship between leadership and personal values.



D-LAB lead student facilitator Austin Boral '16. Photo by May Nguyen '18.

D-LAB's third session, Leadership with Others, discussed the influence that others have on our leadership. Lead facilitator Austin Boral '16 initiated discussion with the group at large through the quotation "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with" from entrepreneur Jim Rohn. Participants had varying reactions to this quotation. Some participants thought it was accurate while others thought that they had things in common with the five people they spend the most time with, but would not go so far as to say that they are the average of them. This is because they value their individuality away from their friends.





Jess Lu, Class of 2018 D-LAB participant. Photo by May Nguyen '18.

The rest of the evening’s discussion took place in the smaller break-out groups. The facilitators kicked things off by asking each of us to answer the question, "If you were running for president, who would you choose as your vice president, and why?" This hypothetical question produced a great deal of critical discussion. Participants came up with a lot of creative answers to this question, all of which were focused on the outcome of good partnership and leadership. For example, one participant chose Hermione Granger, from the Harry Potter series, because of her problem solving skills and strong work ethic. Another participant chose her father, because she knew he is someone that she trusts and would work well with, and more importantly, someone who she knows will have the best intentions doing the job.





Class of 2018 D-LAB participants Reilly McInerney and Amber Webb. Photo by May Nguyen '18.

From there, discussion focused on exploring the ideas of intent and impact, action and reaction. Prior to Monday night’s session, D-LAB participants had been asked to "describe a moment when your values came into direct conflict with another individual" and submit their answers anonymously. The facilitators then chose eight examples from these real-life situations for the groups to discuss. All the examples demonstrated a clear conflict in values, and it was obvious that some of the situations were very difficult to be in. Participants were then asked to think of a time when their intent was different from their actions. Participants came up with some fantastic examples, which produced really interesting discussion. By the end of the evening, participants realized the importance of the impact of their actions. When making decisions it is not enough to just have good intentions but also to weigh the consequences of our actions.

-Written by Niamé Daffé '18, D-LAB Participant