President of Harvad. Leadership by walking around


Gracias a un colega de la UPF leo esta entrevista a la Presidente de Harvard que no tiene desperdicio, ha sido publicada el 1 de novimebre en NewYork Times. Os reproduzco algunos pasajes y os recomiendo su lectura.

Q. What are the most important leadership lessons you’ve learned?
A. I think the most important leadership lessons I’ve learned have to do with understanding the context in which you are leading. Universities are places with enormously distributed authority and many different sorts of constituencies, all of whom have a stake in that institution. You’re always interacting with them, learning from them and directing your energies toward helping to pull and push them in the direction you wish to move.
Q. How do you do that?
A. I spend a huge amount of time reaching out to people, meeting with people, trying to move around the campus, either literally or digitally, and with alumni networks all over the world, so that I can connect. Leadership by walking around — that’s not just a space anymore, that’s a digital space, it’s virtual space. So an enormous amount of my job is listening to people, trying to understand where they are, how they see the world so that I can understand how to mobilize their understanding of themselves in service of the institutional priorities.

Q. What’s your best career advice?
A. I never planned my career. I never planned to be president of Harvard. People would have thought I was crazy, probably, at the age of 8 or 10 or 20, if I had said that. So what I would say to people planning their careers is to be ready to improvise. Be ready to follow up on opportunities as they unfold. Be ready to jump in directions you never thought you were going to jump if that is what unfolds before you. Watch for the opportunities.

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