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


Leadership From Within: Part II

The second session of D-LAB was also the second part of Leadership From Within, where participants focused on their individual values and how they influenced everyday actions, leadership roles, and future goals.

Beginning with an icebreaker that asked participants to name their role model and what values they associated the role model with, students discussed various figures in their lives, including family members, celebrities, government officials, and historical figures. Values mentioned included the more abstract, such as integrity and courage, rather than the more tangible, such as health, appearance, or aesthetic.

Prior to the session, participants had been asked to choose ten most prioritized values and their ten least prioritized values from a sheet of forty characteristics and following the icebreaker, the conversation moved to a discussion of these choices and why students picked certain values. It was noted that knowing the specific “color” of one’s personality was an influence on choosing values, as well as that choosing negative values was more difficult than choosing positive ones.

Dream Teams versus Scream Teams

On January 26, 2016 Dartmouth ’99 Kate Hilton, Director at ReThink Health, facilitated a MLDP session on the conditions that enable ordinary teams or even “scream teams” to become “dream teams.”

According to Hilton, “dream teams” are teams where 1) everyone knows each other and their respective roles, 2) there is a collective shared purpose, and 3) there is an enabling structure which allows the team to function efficiently. The strongest teams have the strongest ties and these bonds can only be formed when all three of these components exist.

While the first two components were pretty easy to grasp, the third one of "having an enabling structure reinforced by team norms," was harder for some in the group to appreciate as vital to team success. Students said creating norms in a group dynamic was often awkward and unnecessary. However, Hilton noted how important having norms is, especially postgraduate in the workplace.  "Effective management is holding your team accountable to its goals, which can sometimes be the difference between keeping and loosing your job," said Hilton.

Formal and Informal Leadership

Rockefeller Leadership Fellows met with Dartmouth College's Head of Athletics, Harry Sheehy. Sheehy has had an incredible career in athletics and has brought mission driven innovation to Dartmouth College's athletic program. Sheehy played varsity basketball at Williams college and was a two-time All American, as well as captain his senior year. Later, Sheehy became coach of Williams’ Basketball team and ultimately became the Director of Athletics there. Under his leadership as Director, Williams won 17 Division III national team championships.

Being Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

On Monday, January 25, 2016, Dottie Morris, Ph.D., Chief Officer of Diversity and Multiculturalism at Keene State College, spoke with students about Cultural Fluency. Program participant, Arati Gangadharan, shares her reaction to the experience here.

Teaching Why Black Lives Matter

Racial tensions and violence in American society have reached the forefront of contemporary civil discourse. With incidents of violence such as the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, activist movements including Black Lives Matter have emerged to protest around the issues of racial inequality and police brutality in the United States. As activist groups like BLM have emerged on university campuses across the nation, it is important to engage as a community in discussion about racial issues and why they must be addressed.

On Tuesday, January 26, 2016, five members of Dartmouth’s faculty spoke to these issues in a panel discussion titled, “Teaching Why Black Lives Matter.” The panel focused on the issues that inflamed Ferguson, MO and stimulated a group of faculty to teach a course at Dartmouth about the facts associated with black lives mattering. The panel engaged the Dartmouth community at large in a discussion about racial violence and inequality, associated activist movements across the nation, and how these issues affect each one of us.

The panel was made up of the following faculty members:

Law Careers: Four Alumni Share Their Paths to Law

On January 24, 2016, the Rockefeller Center, Dartmouth Lwyers Association, and the Center for Professional Development co-sponsored “The Paths to Law Alumni Panel,” which featured Brian Martin ’06, Lavinia Weizel ’04, Janos Martin ’05, and Lindsay Zahradka ’07.

During the session, each lawyer had interesting answers to a variety of common questions from undergrads interested in law school.

Biggest common misconceptions or misunderstandings of a lawyer’s job:

The biggest misconception the panelists touched upon was the inaccurate portrayal of the day-to-day lives of lawyers. Lawyers’ lives are not Law & Order or How to Get Away With Murder.

In fact, Weizel noted that most of the time spent at work was research and reading. Since law is hierarchical, one may simply be researching for months before they ever have their first appearance in court. Even certain types of lawyers rarely go to the courtroom even after years of experience. Zahradka noted that in her field, Bankruptcy law, she almost always worked out deals over the phone.

Advice for getting in to law school:

Understanding Your Strengths as a Manager and Leader

On January 19, 2016, the Management and Leadership Development Program hosted Gama Perruci, Dean of the McDonough Leadership Center at Marietta College. Dr. Perruci talked to participants about different personality strengths and where each one fit on the management and leadership spectrum. He stressed the importance that all personality strengths are valuable at some point, and that the best teams have a combination. Great managers and leaders will align their strengths with the needs of the organization, so every team member can be the most effective version of themselves. 

A manager is a person responsible for planning and directing the work of a group of individuals, monitoring their work, and taking corrective action when necessary, while a leader is a person who has a vision, a drive and a commitment to achieve that vision, and the skills to make it happen.  Dr. Perruci's message noted that leadership and management are not exclusive roles, but rather fluid depending on the context of the situation. MLDP’s logo is derived from this very idea, "Do the right thing (leadership), and do it right (management).”

Lessons of Leadership with Phil Hanlon '77

On January 21st, President of the College Phil Hanlon '77 joined the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows meeting to lead a session on Lessons of Leadership.  The session took the format of a lecture, and President Hanlon presented to the fellows ten concrete lessons that he learned about leadership throughout his experiences working at institutions of higher education, both as a professor and an administrator.  The tips he gave, however, were meant to be generally applicable to all types of leadership positions. 

Some people would argue that the qualities that make a consummate leader are vision, charisma and ability to motivate.  However, Hanlon argued that those things mean nothing if a leader lacks the ability to plan, execute, and think strategically about his or her cause.  Thus his first lesson on leadership: “We select leaders who can think on their feet. We should select leaders who can think on their ass.”  That of the ‘spiritual’ leader may be the most appealing style, but CEOs are the leaders that actually get things done. 

Global Citizenship and What it Means to have an International Identity

Gama Perruci, Dean of the McDonough Leadership Center, Marietta College, facilitated a Rockefeller Global Leadership Program session on globalization. He began with a brief explanation on how the form of the modern nation has changed over time. Dr. Perruci then explained the three stages of globalization and how today, in the third stage of globalization, national borders have become permeable as individuals are becoming increasingly mobile while corporations compete for talent in the international realm.

Bonding and Bridging in Civil Society

The Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program had the privilege of welcoming one of the Rockefeller Center’s very own faculty members, Ron Shaiko, to its January 14, 2016 session. Professor Shaiko is a Senior Fellow and Associate Director of Curricular and Research Programs, and has been teaching at Dartmouth College for fifteen years. For this session, Professor Shaiko opened the floor with a discussion of how “bonding” and “bridging” operates in civil society. Whereas bonding social capital refers to the strong connections built within core, homogenous groups of people, bridging social capital refers to the connections built between these groups of people, forming a heterogeneous network of individuals.


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