Alumni Stories: Mark ’12

Posted by on Feb 8, 2013 in ComLead, Organizational Leadership

Alumni Stories: Mark ’12

Mark, Class of 2012, joined Harvard Law School as Assistant Director of the Annual Fund. In his new role in Boston, he helps “facilitate the connection between individuals and their passions using the school as the lens.” Mark says, “Leadership, in my current, role is more about letting others set the destination and simply guiding them or plotting the course of how they can get there.” Often this looks like “leadership from the back,” a concept the ComLead explores from multiple angles.

Mark’s experiences speak to a new perspective on leadership that is emerging in organizations today. The world is faced with more complex, intercultural challenges than ever before. Our old model of leadership – focusing on a “hero” who can swoop in, restructure processes and direct people – hasn’t been able to meet these challenges.

Effective leaders today have to step down from the pedestal. Instead, the engage with those around them, encouraging teammates from behind rather than pulling them forward. We see this kind of leadership in the likes of Barack Obama (think 2008 campaign), “crowd funding” platforms and Kid President. We see it in our everyday lives too, in the form of mentors, coaches and friends who empower and advise us.

Mark’s role at Harvard calls him to lead others in identifying and achieving their goals. Leadership and change are concepts that have stuck with him from the Communication & Leadership program. He says “I learned that if you wanted someone to own their decisions and make an impactful, long lasting change, they have to lead the way – though a little push here or there to keep them on track can do wonders.”

Mark developed some of these creative leadership skills through the Communication & Leadership program, and honed them outside the classroom on service trips to the Ukraine and Haiti with his father. You can learn even more about today’s leadership skills at our latest event in the Leadership Lecture Series!

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