How Leaders Use Storytelling and Exemplify Integrity

This week, I had the privilege of introducing Sadhana Hall, the Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Center, at our Rocky Leadership Fellows session. During my introduction, I told my peers that not only is Sadhana very accomplished, but she is also one of the most open and genuine people I’ve encountered during my life. Sadhana welcomes people into the deepest parts of her own life so willingly that it’s easy to feel connected and cared for and to want to share everything on your mind, as well.

On Thursday, Sadhana exemplified this wonderful quality by sharing her story about her time as a health care relay. It was evident that Sadhana’s story was deeply personal and left a lasting impact on her. She proceeded to share that message with us via her incredible story—when we give someone our word, it means something. It was special to end our first session with Sadhana’s powerful story, as it served as a reminder of how instrumental it is to stay true to those around you. As current leaders on this campus and as future leaders who are about to enter the real world, we were also shown how important stories can be in conveying a message. Growing up in a world of big data, we tend to move towards numbers to prove a point rather than utilizing the narrative. Sadhana demonstrated how important it is to use stories, as well.

We ended Sadhana’s session with a partner activity where we were supposed to tell our partner something we knew would make them angry. Then, the other person was to respond in a kind, genuine way while still maintaining their viewpoint. This exercise is so crucial as leaders, future employees, and citizens who will engage with others. In such a short amount of time, Sadhana set the tone for the rest of our time in RLF and provided us with crucial messages and skills for the present and the future.

- Written by Abhilasha Gokulan, Class of 2018 Rockefeller Leadership Fellow

This is part of an ongoing series of student reflections about the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows (RLF) program.