Category: Weekly Seminar Series
On Monday, April 30th, Fellows and coordinators gathered for the final meeting of the 2017–2018 Spring Seminar Series.
BU HHHP Director and Associate Director of Organizational Behavior Jack McCarthy delivered his final lecture on leadership development. He summarized the leadership lessons of the entire year and emphasized the changing nature of leadership. The Fellows practiced giving each other feedback during during their Admired Leaderships Capstone Projects, as well as what they thought they could improve. Dr. McCarthy reflected on the past seminars through out the year, reminding the Fellows of how far they have come. He also reminded Fellows of the two core capacities of leadership in the 21st century: Adaptability (flexibility and openness to change) and Identity (self awareness and presence).
With this year’s cohort just days away from their Commencement and subsequent return to their respective countries, Prof. McCarthy concluded his lecture with a clip from the 2002 film, The Emperor’s Club in which a private school teacher edifies his students on the meaning of the Latin phrase Finis origine pendet— “the end depends on the beginning”.
Following Prof. McCarthy’s lecture, Fellows and coordinators made declarative statements about their personal and/or professional goals going forward and the steps they will take towards becoming a better leader.
On Friday, April 27th, the Fellows gave team presentations on selected, admired leaders to an audience of their cohort and program coordinators. The Admired Leaders presentation event is the capstone session for the Fellows’ year-long leadership development seminar led by Dr. Jack McCarthy, HHHP Director and Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior.
The cohort has worked over the past few months on this project, which acted as a platform for them to demonstrate the lessons learned from Dr. McCarthy’s leadership seminars. Using the 360 degree leadership feedback from Dr. Chris Roland that the Fellows received earlier this year, the Fellows applied the fundamentals of Kouzes and Posner’s MICEE Model to their chosen leaders (Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, Encourage the Process).
Fellows presented on their admired leaders in teams, with each presentation running for 15 minutes. The chosen leaders were:
- Carmen Aristegui: Mexican journalist and anchorwoman. She is widely regarded as one of Mexico’s leading journalists and is best known for her critical investigations of the Mexican government.
- Elon Musk: South African-born American business magnate, investor, and engineer. He is the founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; and co-founder and CEO of Neuralink.
- Albert Einstein: German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science.
The Fellows related how their leader accomplishments can be applied to improve the difficulties in their own countries. They individually shared their strategies to achieve the goals they want to accomplish upon their return home. They discussed their own critical goals, their strengths and weaknesses, the steps they need to take to improve on their own leadership through the MICEE leadership theory.
On February 5th, Ms. Darby Hobbs, Lecturer in Strategy and Innovation at the Questrom School of Business stopped by the second seminar of the Spring semester to speak to the Fellows about a book she is currently writing on social impact and financial inclusion.
As a social innovator, educator, motivational speaker, change agent, marketing strategist and visionary, Professor Hobbs has participated in leading global platforms to educate and motivate senior managers in CSR/SRI/ESG and Impact Investing as well as branding, innovation and creative thinking. She is also an author in the area of business social responsibility and consumer sustainability value drivers. She is the CEO and founder of SOCIAL3 which cultivates the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Impact Investing and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) storylines and helps ensure that a firm’s vision and strategy align with its marketplace engagement.
Professor Hobbs spoke to Fellows about her background, research and upcoming book. There is a great potential for Fellows to contribute to Prof. Hobbs’s book on social impact and financial inclusion by writing articles, case studies or other project profiles. We are very excited by this possibly wonderful opportunity to collaborate with Prof. Hobbs on this very valuable project and we look forward to discussing the project with Professor Hobbs further.
On February 5th, the Fellows and coordinators gathered for a continuation of the series of Leadership and Professional Development workshops organized by HHHP Director and Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior Jack McCarthy. Adjunct Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior Dr. Tom Anastasi joined Dr. McCarthy again and led a workshop on networking, informational interviews, email correspondence and appropriate business etiquette in the U.S.
Professor Anastasi had the Fellows participate in an exercise on career values. Each Fellow was asked to organize a collection of cards with different values, from what they valued most to least in their careers. It was insightful and interesting to see how values varied. Some Fellows decided to keep the value cards for a week to see what new patterns emerge.
The Fellows were also introduced to a system called Questrom Connect, which allows for current BU students to connect with alumni around the world. The program is a fantastic resource for building networks. Each Fellow created a profile on the system which we hope Fellows can utilize beyond their fellowship year.
On November 11, we welcomed Stanley Z. Fisher, Professor Emeritus of Law, for a discussion on the “Innocence Revolution” in American Criminal Justice. Professor Fisher previously taught law in Ethiopia, and he came to Boston University in 1968. He has practiced in the Boston area as a juvenile defender, a prosecutor, and a public defender.
Professor Fisher described the “innocence revolution”, which refers to the use of advanced technology and DNA testing as evidence in criminal cases, sometimes to exonerate people already convicted and serving prison sentences. Much of the ensuing discussion focused on Fellows’ perceptions of the American criminal justice system and descriptions of criminal justice in their home countries.
Professor Fisher answered questions related to gun violence, school shootings, sexual assault, plea bargains, capital punishment, and police brutality, among other topics. It was a vibrant discussion.
Professor Fisher’s profile can be accessed here: https://www.bu.edu/law/faculty/profiles/bios/full-time/fisher_s.html
On Wednesday, November 4th, former U.S Ambassador and BU Professor Robert Loftis joined Humphrey Fellows for a lecture and discussion on U.S. foreign policy. Professor Loftis began by summarizing the history of America’s deep engagement with other countries, most of which has been focused on national security.
Ambassador Loftis also explained that, in all of its foreign policy decisions but especially in the Middle East, the U.S. has to navigate a complex web of contradictory interests, expectations, and possible consequences. No matter which path the U.S. takes, there will always be disapproval and a sense of betrayal on the part of one country or another. There is no single policy that can work for every situation, and policy often has to be made on a case-by-case basis.
Professor Loftis fears that the U.S. intervening again in the Middle East would have terrible consequences for both the U.S. and Middle Eastern countries. As an outsider, the U.S. can help by offering financial support, training, and other means of assistance—but that citizens and leaders in the Middle East should take the lead in resolving conflicts.
Ambassador Loftis also used a J-curve to illustrate the process a country undergoes when transforming itself into a democracy. Such countries first go through a period of instability as they try to figure out how to fit democracy to their traditional values. Countries with underlying values and systems favorable to democracy do not experience such severe instability as others, but all go through a period of struggle. Khaing, our Fellow from Myanmar, noted that this struggle is currently underway in her country.
For all of the Fellows, it was an engaging experience discussing foreign policy with a former U.S. Ambassador and distinguished BU professor.
On Wednesday, October 21st, Professor of Mass Communication John Carroll presented on the media’s role in U.S. presidential campaigns. Professor Carroll previously served as executive producer of news programs at WGBH-TV.He has also written extensively for The Boston Globe and Adweek magazine, and has been a regular commentator on WBUR-FM and National Public Radio.
Professor Carroll outlined the complex American electoral process, focusing especially on primaries and caucuses. He explained the “retail politics” that candidates practice in states with early caucuses and primaries such as Iowa and New Hampshire. The then focused his lectureon television and social media, emphasizing the growing role of social media in election coverage and its powerful impact on voters’ perceptions of candidates.
Professor Carroll cited American journalist AJ Liebling in explaining that the press’s function is to inform, but its role is to make money. This tension can be seen in the way that major media outlets tend to focus on top-polling and top-fundraising candidates. This creates a tiered system in which some candidates receive all the attention, and others hardly any. Many lower-tier candidates feel they have to make sensational statements in order togain the public’s attention.
The Fellows appreciated Professor Carroll’s clarification of the electoral process and his description of how both mainstream media and social media influence it.