The challenges confronting the world today are legion. With the fall of communism and the emergence of capitalism in every corner of the world, we now struggle with the inequities wrought by economic globalization. In our rush to communicate more cheaply and frequently in a networked world, we discover that our real communities are in decline. Just as the possibility of a new golden age of enlightened democratic leadership seems within our grasp, we are visited by the horrors of ethnic conflict and the specter of terrorism.
In response to these challenges, the cry for effective public leadership grows increasingly urgent. Yet confidence in our leaders has eroded at all levels. The National Leadership Index 2005 shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe our nation is facing a crisis in leadership. The Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government seeks to remedy this situation by promoting excellence in leadership education, research, and practice. Established in 2000 through a generous grant from the Wexner Foundation, the Center, under the leadership of David R. Gergen and Betsy Meyers, serves people in government, nonprofits, and business through cutting-edge teaching and hands-on training in practical leadership skills.
We attract the best students and teach them well. For nearly 400 years, the world’s sharpest minds have chosen Harvard because of its resources, convening power, and proven record of excellence in research and teaching. From future kings and prime ministers to grassroots activists, hundreds of the most passionate public leaders pass through the Center’s doors each year. This great assembly gives us an unmatched pool of talent from which to develop the next generation of leaders.
In five short years, our cocurricular offerings have helped leadership become the most popular area of concentration within the Kennedy School. We have laid the foundation for an ambitious research agenda, collaborated with Harvard’s law, business, and medical schools to strengthen leadership across disciplines, and developed high-profile partnerships that have raised awareness of the need to improve the quality of public leadership.
The Center for Public Leadership helps leaders personally and professionally. Because leadership requires more than traditional academic coursework, we supplement the University’s curriculum by convening outstanding practitioners to offer their insights on real-world challenges. We also sponsor seminars that help students better understand their strengths and weaknesses and gain an appreciation for how they can work more effectively in teams, with other units in their organizations, as well as with outside groups.
Join us as we create our future. Our steady progress in making strong intellectual contributions to the field of leadership studies, providing cocurricular programming for students and fellows, and raising the general awareness of the importance of public leadership have brought us to an inflection point. In order to sustain this momentum, we need to add faculty positions, augment our research agenda, and build a larger portfolio of leadership-development offerings. We invite you to join us as we seek to take the Center to the next level of impact and influence.____________________________________________________________________________________________
Schedule of events: May 11, 2006
|8:30 - 9:00am ||OPENING REMARKS|
Betsy Myers, Ronald Heifetz, and David Gergen
|9:30 - 10:30am ||CONVERSATION 1: How should leaders learn from crucible experiences? |
Failure and crisis can result in what Warren Bennis calls an “intense, transformational experience” that offers lasting lessons for leadership. Why is it that some leaders learn from crucible experiences and others don’t? How are we changed, and what makes for a transformative learning experience? Join with prominent leaders who will share their own transformation stories and with distinguished scholars who will talk about the life experiences that teach us to lead.
|10:45 - 11:00am ||SEVEN HABITS OF WARREN BENNIS|
Presented by Stephen R. Covey, Author, FranklinCovey Co.
|11:00 - 12:30pm ||CONVERSATION 2: How should judgment and emotion affect leaders’ decision making? |
On the one hand, leadership is a cognitive skill. Individuals who demonstrate high-level conceptual thinking, keen insight, and cool decisiveness are able to see what the situation requires and make great things happen. But on the other hand, leadership is an emotional skill. Individuals must be able to read others, articulate compelling purposes in ways that connect to others, and manage their own internal states in order to bring about change. Can both these arguments be true? If so, how should a leader’s emotions impact his or her judgment? And how should judgment affect a leader’s emotions? Engage with academic experts and practicing leaders in exploring the roles of cool cognition and warm emotion in the work of leading.
|12:30 - 2:00pm ||LUNCH SPEAKERS |
|2:00 - 3:30pm ||CONVERSATION 3: How should we prepare leaders for a changing world? |
Government, nonprofits, military, business, religion: in the new millennium, these arenas offer significant challenges for leaders—as well as opportunities to learn how to lead. Teachers, practitioners, and scholars who are deeply involved in the development of our next generation of leaders will discuss the best ways to meet these challenges and opportunities.
|3:30 - 4:00pm ||CLOSING THOUGHTS|
David Gergen and Betsy Myers with Warren Bennis