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New group of Leader to Leader Fellows named

Twenty-one high- and mid-level MIT administrators have been named Leader to Leader (L2L) Fellows for 2002-03.

The program, created last year, is based on a Sloan School of Management model that stresses the three Cs (catalyzing action, contingent on context, and change signature). The goal is to build MIT's internal leadership capabilities through workshops, presentations and conversations.

"Through last year's pilot program of L2L, we learned how important it is for leaders to create an individual development plan," said Margaret Ann Gray, director of organization and employee development for Human Resources, who coordinates the program. "That will be one of the first steps for this year's class. These plans become the foundation of the L2L initiative and incorporate ways for the Fellows to receive feedback and reflect on their strengths as well as their opportunities for growth."

The Fellows attended an orientation session Nov. 13-14 at Endicott House. Professor Paul E. Gray of electrical engineering, who was MIT's president from 1980-1990, spoke to the Fellows on the second day, offering these thoughts on leadership:

"The problem in any leadership job is how to distinguish what is important strategically for the long term when you're all the while distracted by the day-to-day problems and emergencies. If you don't make time to work on the strategic issues, it's to the detriment of the institution."

Discussing leadership in higher education, Gray noted that "universities, as a class, are for the most part led by people who have had no formal training as leaders. They have come up through the faculty ranks. This means that, as far as the managerial world goes, these institutions are being led by amateurs who are learning on the job. What makes such leadership possible is that along the way you get some very good mentoring, which helps develop the necessary skills." He said his own mentors included his thesis advisor, the late Professor Thomas F. Jones Jr. (who went on to become president of the University of South Carolina), and Jerome B. Wiesner, who preceded Gray as president of MIT.

The Fellows will meet eight more times from January to November 2003. Sessions will be held at the Faculty Club, the Professional Learning Center, a student residence hall, Lincoln Laboratory and the Museum of Science.

Other presenters will include President Charles M. Vest, Chancellor Phillip L. Clay, Provost Robert A. Brown, Executive Vice President John R. Curry, Lincoln Laboratory Director David L. Briggs, eight deans and four members of the Sloan School faculty.

L2L Fellows for 2002-03

Barbara Baker , associate dean and department head in Student Life Programs; Laura Capone , assistant dean and director of organizational performance in the Division of Student Life; Samuel Crooks , associate director and administrative officer in the Microsystems Technology Lab; John DiFava , Chief of MIT Police Department; Brian Donahue , assistant director of Human Resources at Lincoln Lab; Patrick Dreher , associate director of the Lab for Nuclear Science; Patricia Greer , associate director of the Office of Sponsored Programs; Annette Jacobs , executive director of MIT Medical; Marc Jones , assistant dean of the School of Science; William Kettyle , medical director of MIT Medical; Phillip Long , senior strategist for the Academic Computing Enterprise in Information Systems; Ceasar McDowell , associate professor of the practice of community development in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and director of the Center for Reflective Community Practice; Karen Nilsson , director of housing in the Office of the Dean for Student Life; Beth Ogar , director of finance and administration in Resource Development; Marianna Pierce , director of labor and employee relations in Human Resources; Diane Shea , director of Procurement; Marilyn Smith , special project director in the Office of the Vice President for Research; Brian Tavares , financial administrator in the Office of the Dean for Engineering; William VanSchalkwyk , director of environment, health and safety programs in the Environmental Programs Office; Jane White , group leader for learning and web services in Financial System Services; Lisa Zurk , an assistant group leader at Lincoln Lab.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 20, 2002.

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