New Year, New Paths to Success

Student Organization Leaders Learn Skill Sets That Will Benefit Everyone At Webb

What does it take to succeed as a leader? Thirteen Student Organization officers found out when they returned to Webb a week before the official start of the new academic year to work together in Webb's leadership training week.
The program featured discussions on leadership styles and types, self-knowledge through the Meyers-Briggs inventory, and presentations by outside speakers, including "How to Run a Meeting," presented by George Munkenbeck, father of Alma Jacobson (Munkenbeck) '01 and Kate Munkenbeck '04. Robert Albright, who is helping Webb integrate leadership components into the core program and Winter Work term, presented interactive workshops on "Working in Teams". Steve Guglielmoni ‘12 reflects on one of the Leadership Week seminars led by Mr. Albright.

“The workshop consisted of an exercise meant to compare the effectiveness of problem solving on your own with that of a group of individuals. We were given a survival scenario – a hunting party trapped in a blizzard 55 kilometers from the nearest plowed road – and asked to rank the usefulness of 15 items that might be available in such a situation. First, each student made his or her own rankings, without input from any classmates. Next, we were divided into three groups of four or five students each, and asked to collaborate and determine a new set of rankings. Both of these lists were then graded against a rubric created with the help of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and The U.S. Air Force’s Cold Weather Survival Specialists. In each of the three cases, the theoretical ability of the students to survive as a group yielded a higher score than that produced by the individual students.

This exercise offered a large amount of insight into the way the student organization is run. Because it is impossible for any one student to know the best ways to represent the student body, we use group discussion and brainstorming to develop policies. This is only made easier by the small size and close-knit nature of the Webb community, and leads to the more effective and helpful student leaders.”

–Steve Guglielmoni '12