Fall 2017 MLDP Students Reflect on Leading Through Change at the Hanover Coop

Management Leadership Development Program (MLDP) offers students the unique opportunity to reflect on their definition of a leader and build essential skills to be a more effective leader. An integral part of this program is the off-campus visit. Through this visit, students meet with leaders within the Upper Valley community and learn about other aspects of leadership.

In September, MLDP Fall 2017 students visited the Hanover Coop to see leadership in action. After touring the site and exploring the various components of successfully running a grocery chain, students sat down to talk with Jacob Vincent, Director of Merchandising, as well as other managers within the organization. Vincent discussed his path that led him to the role as a Director for the Hanover Coop, remarking that he did not expect to be working at the Coop. However, he truly enjoys coming in each day to work with such a dedicated team.

Vincent also emphasized the importance of being present in the moment and knowing one’s own team. Reflecting on her experience during an off-campus visit to the Hanover Coop, Sarishka Desai ’20, remarked, "Leadership is not always (and should not always) be top-down. Sometimes leading by example can produce the best results."

This theme of ensuring the success of one’s team also resonated with Malets Monthe ’20 who captured one of Vincent’s lesson with the pithy mantra: “As a leader, try thinking of yourself last.”

As Vincent continued, change tends to be difficult on every team because it challenges the existing dynamics and puts stress on all members as they try to adjust to the new circumstances. Specifically, Vincent discussed the recent changes the Hanover Coop has undergone and how he helped his team adapt. As Sunny Singh ’20 remarked essential leadership skills include, “Reminding team members of the bigger picture as a leader and ensuring that they feel taken care of and heard—lead as a servant.” Taylor Mauney ’20 further emphasized, “Be the leader you want to follow.”

Learning more about how people approach and conceptualize leadership allowed MLDP Fall 2017 students to reflect on their own experiences and further refine their definition of a leader. As Alexandrea Keith ’20 commented after this visit, one key aspect remained apparent, “Trust is essential in a leader.”

Written by Alexandrea Keith '20, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Communications