Weekly Seminar Series: What It Takes to be a Leader

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November 5th, 2013

Dr. John McCarthy, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Boston University, visited the Fellows for the second time this semester to present the second of his three-part series on leadership. Today’s seminar touched on changes in technology affecting leadership approaches, and also focused on what attributes a person needs in order to be a great leader. He explained that becoming a great leader involves, among other things, making good decisions using limited knowledge and under time pressure. He identified perseverance as more important than charisma, skill, talent, and other characteristics that are often invoked to describe great leadership. Arguing that anyone can lead regardless of personality characteristics, McCarthy identified two meta competencies guaranteed to improve one’s leading abilities: adaptability and self-understanding. Referencing media programs such as I Love Lucy and YouTube’s viral video, “Charlie Bit Me,” McCarthy’s seminar was engaging to all of the Fellows.