RLF Reflection: Leading From Behind

On March 3, Mia Leko gave a presentation on how to be a leader when you are not a leader within the room. According to Mia, we learned the characteristics of good and bad leaders and everything in between. However, we neglected to reflect on how to demonstrate leadership when we are not in the position of leadership. She believes that as seniors at Dartmouth, we are at the top of the hierarchy learning to lead respective groups on campus, but next year we will enter the workforce. We will be junior analysts at the bottom of the hierarchy.

Nonetheless, Mark Sanborn once said, "leaders are everywhere – you don't need to have a title or a position to be a leader." A junior analyst demonstrates leadership by taking a little bit more on their plate helping associates and other seniors. We should continue to inspire others, be the first on board, raise the standards, be confident, and bring a positive attitude to the table. Going back from the top of the hierarchy back to the bottom, we should be wary of imposter syndrome: "a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success." Mia suggests that we should combat such feelings by building on our strengths, reminding ourselves how we got there, and forgetting about perfectionism.

Clay Scroggins reflects that "as [he] looks back over [his] first few jobs, the common theme that has run through every one of them is regret. [He] regrets the times [he] didn't speak up, waiting for someone to tell [him] what to do. Life teaches us that the authority to lead and the opportunity to lead are a package deal, but that's just not true." It is important to find an opportunity for leadership in every position, and when the opportunity is there, be courageous and be the leader that Dartmouth and Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program taught you to be.

-Written by Hwikeun Kim, Class of 2022 Rockefeller Leadership Fellow 

As Rockefeller Leadership Fellows, seniors gain a better understanding of the qualities and responsibilities expected of leaders. As Fellows take part in the workshops, discussions, and team-building exercises, they examine their skills, qualities, and attributes as leaders and analyze how these influence teamwork and achieving goals.