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A Conversation with Dean of Harvard Business School Nitin Nohria Managing the Magic: Disney’s VP of Research Tom Ngo Wong Fu Productions’ Rise to National Acclaim An Interview with CEO of Procter & Gamble Bob McDonald Allen Counter & the Harvard Foundation

from SOLDIER to SURVIVOR An Interview with Former Child Soldier and Current Rap Artist & Activist Emmanuel Jal


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Contents 27

Leadership & Innovation Front and Center A Conversation with HBS Dean Nitin Nohria

FALL 2011



Editor’s Note

QUOTES 3 Defining Innovation Gabriel Lloyd AROUND CAMPUS 6 Pursuing Happiness Brianne Holland-Stergar 8

Trends in Leadership Kenny Lee

Leadership in Practice John Tan

24 Society & Values: The P&G Survival Kit Yoseph Ayele 27 Leadership and Innovation: Front and Center Kara Kubarych 31 Managing the Magic: Tom Ngo Driving Creativity at Disney Research Emily Harburg

10 Branching Out Brianna Beswick 12 Quality & Equality Amanda Rodrigues 14 Allen Counter & the Harvard Foundation Pooja Venkatraman

SKILLS 22 Passing the Baton Benjamin Brinkopf

34 Principled Pragmatism: Lessons in Activism from Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle David Grieder 38 Innovation A La Carte: Entrepreneurship in the Restaurant Industry Frank Maldonado 40 A Collegiette's Guide to Life Rachel Zsido 42 From Humble Beginnings: Wong Fu Productions' Journey to National Acclaim Karen Ding

44 Best Web Tools for Student Leaders Linxi Wu

37 Mastering the Group Dynamic Kavya Shankar




Leadership & Innovation...




Linxi Wu

The founder of Apple has arguably harnessed the power of innovation better than any other in our time. As is evident in the popularity of the intuitive MacBooks and iPads, Jobs drove Apple to wild successes by pushing beyond our expectations for personal electronics. He shows that a great leader—beyond having the skills to influence people—needs to be a visionary.


Jonathan Palmer


Vicky Venegas

The Leadership Magazine remains committed to its original mission of providing you with the inspiration to take initiative in pursuit of your passions, but this issue also aims to remind you that creativity cannot be separated from leadership. To this end, we have gathered insights on innovation from a myriad of world-class leaders. In the Features pieces, you will find Tom Ngo (Vice President of Research at Disney) talking about empowering team members to drive idea generation, Nitin Nohria (dean of Harvard Business School) introducing the idea behind the new Innovation Lab at the business school, and Wong Fu Productions (a YouTube phenomenon) discussing how they thrived apart from the mainstream. In the Around Campus articles, you will find stories about innovation on campus, including a piece on how HarvardFML, the Harvard Student Agencies' new SAT tutoring service, and the Social Innovation Collaboration got started. Finally, in the Skills section, you will find an article on how to drive brainstorming in your own meetings and another featuring some interesting tools designed to make leaders more efficient. We have learned a great deal in sharing these stories. We hope that you will find this issue to be an equally fulfilling and valuable experience.

Linxi Wu, Editor-in-Chief


Stephanie Grayson


Jia Jia Zhang


Andre Gonzalez


Yoseph Ayele, Brianna Beswick, Benjamin Brinkopf, Karen Ding, David Grieder, Stephanie Grayson, Emily Harburg, Brianne HollandStergar, Kara Kubarych, Kenny Lee, Gabriel Lloyd, Jenna Louie, Frank Maldonado, Keith Martinez, Eric Michel, Amanda Rodrigues, Kavya Shankar, John Tan, Victoria Venegas, Pooja Venkatraman, Linxi Wu, Rachel Zsido CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS

Julia Eger, Sarah Ngo, Preston So BUSINESS

Blake Elston, Pooja Venkatraman ADVISOR

David Ager / Harvard University Department of Sociology






“Innovation is a key part in keeping people motivated. At a place like Harvard, it's important to maintain traditions, but the ability to provide fresh energy to any group and adapt to new circumstances is a crucial part of being a successful leader.” COLLIN REES, ADAMS HOUSE COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR





“Innovation is more than just creativity; it also requires foresight. An innovator not only needs novel ideas but must also know how to transform them into positive and lasting change.” Hanny Rivera, Chairperson of the Cuban American Undergraduate Student Association

"I think that innovation is important… for the dynamic not to become stale. There are tried and tested methods of leadership…However, it is also often necessary to [be] open to doing things slightly differently, trying to get the best out of, in my case, my teammates…" Will Newell, Captain, Harvard Varsity Lightweight Rowing Team

“Student and faculty interest in innovation has taken off visibly in the past few years at Harvard... The rapid rise of technological innovation to prominence on campus is reflected in recent UC-sponsored efforts such as Hack Harvard and the I3 Challenge. But innovation at Harvard is going far beyond the confines of the Yard… as seen in services from NaviTOUR to INeedAPencil.” Senan Ebrahim, UC President

“Most of us come to Harvard…hoping to one day make a difference in the world…For many, it is doing the best we can at whatever it is that we end up doing… For others, it is blazing their own paths. It is this innovative brand of thinking…that has the potential for solving some of the world's biggest problems.” Bonnie Cao, UC Vice President







DEFINING YOUR VALUES Apple Inc. co-founder, Steve Jobs, once said that “the only thing that works is management by values.” With increasing transparency and access to information, it is more important than ever for groups to develop values so that individuals are able to stay motivated and work effectively. By focusing on values, companies are not solely focused on the revenue bottom-line. Instead, they strive to fulfill the beliefs of the company, whether that be donating to the community or supporting environmental sustainability. This spirit and commitment to corporate values creates a dynamic working atmosphere that can greatly increase the morale of its employees and customers. Lastly, whatever your leadership style may be, as long as respect is at the core of how you interact with others you will have a better chance of unifying an organization and leading it to success.

TAKING THE GLOBAL VIEW Television. Internet. Social media. These are the tools of information transfer that make this era unique. Being a leader has evolved in the “information-age;” leaders now have to accommodate wider audiences and navigate different platforms. In the past, the transfer of information across cultures was an arduous process. Now, with so many ways to reach people around the world, it is important for leaders to understand a global audience. For example, New Mexico State’s College of Business GLOBE project surveyed Chinese managers to determine which leadership characteristics the managers deemed as "ideal,” and they found traits such as avoiding risk taking and using indirect language and metaphors at the top of the list. Leadership traits differ by culture, but leaders can learn from these differences to conduct business in an increasingly globalized world. The traits listed above may not fit typical Western leadership styles, but, in order to lead successfully in a culturally diverse world, leaders should understand which traits resonate best with their audience. Taking the global view means adopting some foreign stances while maintaining fundamental leadership values. By making slight shifts to their leadership styles, global leaders will be able to harness the unique talents of the world’s people.

SERVING AND LEADING Being a servant and being a leader may seem to contradict, but according to Robert K. Greenleaf, these two terms are interlinked in many ways. In Greenleaf’s 1970 essay titled “The Servant as a Leader,” he describes the “servant leader” as having a natural tendency to serve first, and then lead. Dr. Kent M. Keith, CEO of the Greenleaf Center of Servant Leadership, adds that the servant leader should be able to bring out the best in others through coaching, mentoring, and inspiring people in their organization. Greenleaf proposed an idea where “the work exists for the person as much as the person exists for the work.” Servant leaders understand that once the members feel valued, they will work harder to support the group.






For most Harvard students, mornings typically begin with the unwelcome sound of an alarm sigQDOLQJWKHEHJLQQLQJRIDQRWKHUEXV\GD\÷OOHGZLWK class, meetings, rehearsal, and/or practice. Leslie Rith-Najarian ’12, founder of the Happiness Project, ZDVQRGLúHUHQWq)UHVKPDQIDOO,ZDVH[WUHPHO\ stressed out. You see everybody signing up for ten activities, so you sign up for ten activities simply EHFDXVHWKDWpVWKHWKLQJWRGR6XGGHQO\\RX÷QG yourself in this position where you have all this work and we ask ourselves ‘is this the only way?’”



HARVARD STUDENTS ARE NO STRANGERS to grueling schedules that leave little time for sleep, and students often find themselves surrounded by a culture that spares little time to unwind. Whether it be society’s high expectations for Harvard graduates or the simple fact that there are so many opportunities to take advantage of on campus, the bottom line remains that Harvard students leave little time for relaxation, resulting in an exhausted student body. Rith-Najarian decided it was time to take steps to alleviate the stress that permeates campus and recruited a number of like-minded individuals to start the Happiness Project, a new on-campus initiative that strives to reduce stress and promote well-being, on the third floor of the SOCH. Looking like every child’s dream play area, the HappyNest features a mini golf system, a Wii, an Xbox, Legos, a zen garden, Twister, Cranium, and variety of other fun



The opposite of play is not work, the opposite of play is depression.

activities to help the stressed out student. Rith-Najarian and her team’s idea seems simple enough. “The Happiness Project,” says founding member Jordan Ashwood ’13, “encourages students to take study breaks, sleep for 8-9 hours a night, and allow time to reflect and simply be present and relaxed.” In addition, they wanted to create a space on campus bereft of the stresses found in classrooms and libraries. So what do the members of the Happiness Project hope to accomplish? “The goal is not to make people inherently happy, but to make people happier,” Rith-Najarian said. “Our first goal is to get students to reconsider the necessity of stress and make happiness, not stress, the normal thing. It all starts with taking breaks and structuring work efficiently so that we have time to sleep and take time to have a little fun.”

Rith-Najarian is not alone in thinking that fun plays an important role in productivity. “Overall, the popular theory among experts is that play can be applied to all ages,” she says. “Google has a play center in the middle of their workplace because they find that it increases creative output and productivity.” She goes on to cite Stuart Brown’s book, Play, remarking, “the opposite of play is not work, the opposite of play is depression.” “Work and play shouldn’t be separated, those two are not mutually exclusive. Play engages a very different part of the brain than doing work does; it gives the rest of our mind time to recharge and ultimately increases our productivity,” Rith-Najarian said. So what factors will help visitors to the HappyNest learn to de-stress? According to Rith-Najarian, what makes the HappyNest unique is its experiential,

rather than solely educational, qualities. “The experience of coming to the space itself, and talking with a staffer while taking time for a play break shows you that this works. You’ll spend a half hour there, recharge, then leave and do your work and find that you’re more focused, more productive, and in a better mood because you took that break. It’s easier to convince someone that taking a break actually can increase productivity and make you feel better when they actually have the experience.” As for whether this approach will catch on, Rith-Najarian certainly hopes so, saying, “It can go from ‘I’ve got to do this, I’m going to be stressed’ to ‘I’m going to try to not be stressed, and it will be unusual when I have I feel like I can’t take a break or go to sleep at a reasonable hour.’ We can’t change our work environment, but what we can change is our perception of the world we see around us.” „





Leadership in Practice BY JOHN TAN

There are more than 400 undergraduate organizations on Harvard's campus, hosting thousands of events each semester. Four leaders from some of Harvard's most successful student groups share their best tips on preparing the organization to support massive projects. INTERVIEWED: Amy Chen (AC) Class of 2011 Co-President, Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business (HUWIB) Ricky Hanzich (RH) Class of 2011 Secretary-General, Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) Tessa Lyons (TL) Class of 2011 Co-President, Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business (HUWIB) Annie Ye (AY) Class of 2011, Chairwoman, Harvard Association for US-China Relations (HAUSCR)


A STRONG ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE was ranked by all of our leaders as the reason why their organizations are able to succeed. However, what exactly does a “strong” culture entail? How do you put those elements in place? RH: We relentlessly try to create a family culture in HNMUN. We hold office hours every week so people can get to know each other on a personal level. It is so vital that people know and can trust each other. We also try to make participation in HNMUN as fun as possible and not stressful at all. We have a number of higher-class special events (such as toasts) and try to make people feel special. Having a family culture in the back of people’s minds makes them realize that they are invested in the organization and have people who rely on them. AY: Veterans tell war stories of HAUSCR.


They exude the fun, hard work, passion and inspiration that this program has come out of. Not only do they have this repository of knowledge, they communicate it in an empathetic and emotional way. They come to love the people and the program, and that’s why they keep in touch. It’s the experience we have created for them; it’s opening their eyes and broadening their horizons. That motivates them to make the program even better. A key problem that student organizations face is building credibility with corporate sponsors, school administrators and potential speakers. Maintaining a consistent professional image could spell the difference between a significant donation and a constant struggle for funding. How do you build external credibility? AC: We always keep our promises; that is


a fundamental part of our vision. When we promise our sponsors something, they are going to get the highest quality. Every detail must be met. In addition, we always seek feedback from sponsors, enabling self-reflection and innovation. Having conversations with sponsors allows us to prove that we are as invested in the relationship as they are. TL: Whether in our e-mail correspondence or response times, we establish organizational standards and norms that we hope will enable us to attain a level of professionalism that is consistent with what you would find in the corporate world. If you get an e-mail from a sponsor, it doesn't matter if you were planning on going to dinner with friends, you send a response. Many organizations on campus struggle with keeping active and dedicated members. How do you cultivate active members and make them feel invested in the organization? TL: Unless people are passionate, they are not going to be producing their best work. I believe as a leader, you can always help people see elements of the project that they can be passionate about. It is important to know what is going on in a team member’s life and support them through their endeavors. This enables you to win

their respect and understand how to energize them in the work they are doing. AC: Everyone here is so qualified that you can’t just tell them to do something. For me, it is all about consensus-based relationships. You need to understand what each individual’s goals and needs are. Every individual is nuanced, and I learned to be sensitive to that. It is a support role at the end of the day. Learn as much from your constituents as they learn from you. Be open, trust each other, and know that you are resources for each other. Leaders set the pace of their organizations. There are undoubtedly numerous successful leadership styles. How do you lead? TL: Leadership is about being the one who is willing to sacrifice. To motivate yourself, you need to remind yourself about how much you deeply care about the mission of the organization. When you care so much and you are given a platform to protect that mission, you become willing to do anything to ensure that you are advancing the mission in the right way. All day, WIB was a priority. RH: I strive to know every aspect of the conference as much as possible. I ask my Secretariat to BCC me on e-mails so I am always in the loop on things and can deal


with crises effectively. Crisis situations always happen. It is all about how you respond to them. Constant communication and knowing the conference inside and out are really important. AY: It is important to ask the right questions. If you don’t ask the right questions, people can BS, and in the end, you find out that they did not go to the meeting or do the work. It is important to be on top of your game. People can say they’re working on this and this, but at the end of the semester, you find out that they’ve done nothing. The ideal is to have a Chair or CEO at every meeting. Then, the Chair and CEOs have their own meetings. Before every meeting, you need a clear agenda of what you are going to do. Think clearly about what you want to get out of it and who you want to do what. AY: Take some time out of the day to think about how what you’re doing links you back to the ultimate goal. Always remember what impact you want to make in the organization and where you want to lead it to. Even if that requires you to take time from the everyday schedule, it prevents you from going everywhere and wasting effort. You can never be complacent about what you’re doing. You always need to be moving, and you always need to be critical in the measures that you take. You have to devote your life to it. „





SOCIAL INNOVATION COLLABORATIVE & IGNITING INNOVATION SUMMIT Kara Kubarych, ‘13 Sociology concentrator Co-founder, SIC; Director of Marketing, Igniting Innovation Summit

Willa Zhou, ‘11 Sociology concentrator Co-founder, Social Innovation Collaborative; Executive Director, Igniting Innovation Summit Conference

Branching Out Starting New Organizations at Harvard BY BRIANNA BESWICK

IT TAKES A LOT OF WORK to start a club, or to create a conference. Kara Kubarych, ’13, and Willa Zhou, ’11, have done both. Kubarych and Zhou have a lot in common. They’re both west-coasters (Kubarych hailing from California, Zhou from Seattle), they both love to stay fit with yoga and Zumba, and they are both dedicated to increasing social entrepreneurship on campus. Zhou’s interest in helping young entrepreneurs prompted a five-month long process of planning, coordinating, and realizing the first annual Igniting Innovation Summit Conference, held on campus last fall. “I had met so many amazing people who were dedicated to social entrepreneurship and I wanted to bring them all to the same place at the same time so they could meet each other,” explains Zhou. Spurred in part by a smaller conference held at Columbia University, Zhou describes the conference as seeking to “educate, engage, and inspire participants” in “how to use their passions and skills to create positive social change and make a great living at the same time.” The conference was a resounding success with over 200




participants, 15 speakers, 15 workshops, and continued networking. “With so much recent interest and movement in the world of social entrepreneurship, we felt that a collaborative club could serve as a valuable organization for students to keep the energy and ideas of the Summit alive,” says Kubarych, Director of Marketing for the conference. The Social Innovation Collaborative was the eventual result. Kubarych has lofty goals for the fledgling club, hoping that by the time she graduates, it will not only be a sustainable organization with a large membership base, but also “an incubator for catalyzing students’ passion and ideas into action. “If you have a vision, try to make it happen,” says Zhou. “It's such a privilege we have as students to be able to try whatever we want.” HARVARDFML Alisha Ramos, ‘12 Sociology concentrator Founder, Harvard FML

Whether you embarrassed yourself in the dining hall, failed a midterm, or have the roommate from hell, HarvardFML is there for you – thanks to Alisha Ramos, ’12. “The story of how HarvardFML got started is a little underwhelming,” recalls Alisha Ramos, a senior sociology concentrator in Leverett. It all started the summer after her freshman year, when she had some extra time on her hands. After browsing on sites like the then newly released Tumblr. com, a microblogging website, Ramos discovered how easy it was to create a web space allowing readers to submit original content for review and publication. Inspired, she decided to create something similar for the Harvard community.

“After some brainstorming, I picked a phrase that was said again and again by Harvard students: ‘F*** my life.’ It was always, ‘FML, I have to write two papers by tomorrow’ or ‘FML I have to pull an all-nighter tonight,’” she recounts. So Ramos created the website, slapped a ‘Made by the Voice’ header at the top (she had just become president of The Harvard Voice,) and HarvardFML was born. She quickly learned what the phrase “going viral” meant. Within a week, the website had hundreds of FML submissions pouring in from students. Moderating the posts became a hectic ordeal in itself. Luckily, The Voice team rallied and the staff took ownership of FML, pitching in when things got tough. “By October 2009, we had something like 6,000 people coming to visit the website every day. I would sit in a class in the Science Center and see a bunch of screens pulled up to HarvardFML,” Ramos remembers. What is it like for her now? “Reverend Jon Page eventually did a sermon centered around HarvardFML at Memorial Church. Newsweek mentioned it in an article. It was a completely surreal experience, but it was totally thrilling knowing that so many people had their eyes on something I made,” she says. After seeing what her impulsive summer creation has turned into, Ramos has some parting words of advice: “If you have an idea, don’t wait around – just do it! An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” HARVARD STUDENT AGENCIES TUTORING Lauren Xie, ‘13 Environmental Science and Public Policy Concentrator Manager HSA Tutoring

Harvard Student Agencies initiated a one-on-one SAT tutoring services this


It was totally thrilling knowing that so many people had their eyes on something I made. past February. Leading this implementation was Lauren Xie, ’13. “When I was first introduced to [a group SAT course offered by HSA,] I was amazed [by] the impact that a Harvard student could have on collegebound high school students, not just in terms of SAT prep, but also as a role model and a mentor.” This experience led Xie to build the concept of one-onone SAT tutoring by Harvard students. Xie, a junior in Dunster, cites her own high school desire for a student’s perspective to guide in the college search and application process as an inspiration for the program. She felt oneon-one relationships could help high school increase their SAT scores and also receive advice about the important life decisions ahead of them. However, implementing a new idea isn’t always the hardest part of starting a new venture. “The biggest hurdle,” Xie says, “has been finding a way to effectively market our service.” The best marketing strategy so far has actually also been the simplest – word of mouth. Xie admits that marketing private tutoring has been difficult, and is currently recruiting through a personal approach by partnering with local schools to reach students. In the long term, Xie hopes to reach national, and even international, communities through an SAT online course as well as a few SAT iPhone applications. For those interested in creating a Harvard startup, Xie has some advice: have a concrete implementation plan, create a detailed timeline for completion, and consult with many different people along the way. And her most important piece of advice? “Thoroughly research your competitors before you start!”„






You see them buzzing all around campus with their shoes clicking furiously, laptop tucked under their arms as they call their next appointment while running to get lunch on-the-go. These are the Queen Bees that Harvard is so famous for nurturing: motivated young women who are ready to take the world by storm. These women are the success stories; the role models that other women look to when pursuing their dream careers. They are also the leaders that break the gender mold and allow younger generations to transcend statistics on inequality. Unconsciously though, could these women actually be contributing to the problem of gender discrimination? 12





Advice for Harvard's Queen Bees STATISTICS STILL SHOW that on the whole, the positions available to women are not as prestigious as those more commonly held by men and that women are paid less than their male co-workers for the same job and level of education. It is logical to think that men are the reason women remain a minority as the heads of companies, however, other factors within the gender divide must be considered. Influenced by the competitive nature of the corporate and political world, women often degrade other women in an effort to stand out amongst the crowd. Some do this subtly, others sneakily, but most often, they do so unintentionally. This strategy seems like the quickest way to a promotion for women competing for limited opportunities, but such a malicious environment isolates co-workers and sets an example for others to follow in the negativity. Men may find it acceptable to mirror the attitudes that women display toward one another and thus, the women themselves can set into motion the very environment of degradation that they are fighting against. Noelia Rodriguez is a woman who has succeeded in many a male dominated field. With positions and credential that include serving as former Press Secretary for First Lady Laura Bush, former director of Communications at the White House, Chief of Staff and director of External Affairs for the Broad Foundation, deputy Mayor to the former mayor of Los Angeles, Richard Riordan, Vice President

of Corporate Communications for Univision Communications, and the current Forum director of the Kennedy Institute of Politics, Rodriguez exemplifies the vast potential there is for female success in the business world. Starting her career in a time when women rarely moved past secretarial duties, Rodriguez has transcended the stereotype and held her own against a society that was geared toward female failure. What is your assessment of women’s place in the business world today? Where should we focus on making improvements next?” NR: I do believe that there is still a divide in the way that women are accepted in the business world. There is a false sense of complacency nowadays because so many women are succeeding. However, one must remember quality versus quantity. The important thing is not simply having a surplus of women in the workforce, but having women who are qualified to compete and who have the opportunities that men have to advance. I read recently that women are often promoted based on their performance; men are promoted based on their potential. That’s not a level playing field. It is often difficult not to play into the competition. Do you have any advice for women coming into these environments? NR: The strongest attitude that women should have in the workplace

is not an overly competitive or malicious ideal but a supportive environment for others to thrive in. At times, we tend to compare ourselves to those who we feel threaten us or may impede our advancement when really, being confident in yourself, being supportive of others – women and men, especially the up and comers, and getting the job done are the best ways to advance our positions as leaders. The most rewarding experiences I have had in the workplace have come in cooperative and nurturing environments. If women want to be considered equals, it is necessary for them to transcend the “Queen Bee” syndrome and support, mentor and embrace the contributions of other women.” What advice can you give to women trying to succeed as leaders today? NR: First, you have to believe in yourself. If you don’t first then no one else will later. Do what you do well and take pride in your own self-image. One of the most important things I have learned is respect for others and learning to see things through the eyes of other people. In situations where you’re negotiating or looking for common ground, it’s essential to compromise, and that’s best learned when we consider others’ viewpoints. Your attitude will make all the difference in the way that you view yourself, the way others view you, and the way that you are treated. Being an effective leader is key; being an effective leader who happens to be a woman is a bonus. „





Allen Counter and the


The Harvard Foundation, founded in 1981, began with an impulse to solve a common problem in an uncommon way. Recounting the story of the Foundation’s formation, Dr. Allen Counter, the Foundation’s director, recalls that as the campus was becoming more racially integrated in the 1980’s, it was not always easy for Harvard to adjust to the growing diversity. After considering various solutions, the committee decided not to go the way of universities such as Yale, which had built UDFHVSHFL÷FFHQWHUVWR ease tensions. Instead, they committed themselves to creating something unique in the Harvard experience, something “built on a foundation of hope,” Dr. Counter remembers Reverend Gomes saying. And thus, the Harvard Foundation was born.





THE FOUNDATION’S MISSION, “to improve relations among racial and ethnic groups within the University and to enhance the quality of our common life,” is an ambitious one, and it translates into a wide variety of activities. Today, the Foundation funds and helps organize over 100 projects every semester (more than 130 this past spring), from awards to conferences to film screenings to its annual blockbuster dance festival, Cultural Rhythms. Even a brief look at the Foundation’s biannual newsletter reveals a dazzlingly star-studded calendar. “This should be a bigger picture, I don’t know why we got him so little,” Dr. Counter remarked as he looked at a picture of Kofi Annan’s visit on the cover of the Fall 1998 newsletter. “Well, I guess we had to make room for Nelson Mandela and [Nobel Peace Prize winner] Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta.” INTERNALIZING THE MISSION That accomplishing any aim requires teamwork is of course a given. Dr. Counter himself acknowledged it: “What is leadership? It's coming together with good people, coming together with good ideas, sharing ideas, and getting people to join you in pursuing them.” The key, however, is that the Foundation strives not only to bring its message to the rest of the world but also to make that message part of the very structure and fabric of the organization. Every year, twenty undergraduate interns sit on the Foundation’s Student Advisory Committee, helping the Foundation work with student groups to create and host events. There is only one rule: “you cannot work on your own ethnic group’s activities.” By encouraging interns to commit to the Foundation’s mission on a personal level as well as a professional one, the Foundation fosters in its members a deep, uniquely inspirational connection to the Foundation’s ideology. And when the mission personal, there is no limit to the students’ dedication. When Dr. Counter was in New Orleans after Katrina, for example, he spent days bringing supplies and medicine to a Vietnamese church struggling to house over 500 displaced families without Red Cross or FEMA support. As he was leaving, the church’s priest asked if he might also be able to help with the church’s electricity bill since its power would soon be turned off. “So I said sure, I'd be glad to help you out,” Dr. Counter

(Left) Speaking at the unveiling a portrait from Harvard Foundation's Portraiture Project. The goal of the project is to recognize the diversity of individuals who have contributed to Harvard for 25 years or more. Since the start of the project, the Foundation has added eleven new portraits, including that of Kiyo Morimoto, Rulan Pian, and Chester Pierce , (Top Right) Visiting President Nelson Mandela at his home in South Africa. (Middle Right) Congratulating President Barack Obama in Oslo, Norway at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. (Bottom Right) Presenting Shakira with the Harvard Foundation Artist of the Year Award.





recalled, “I thought he meant $100 or $200 or even $500… And I said, ‘What is the bill?’ He said, ‘It's $11,245.’ I said, ‘Well, I certainly don't have that.’” Dr. Counter made a call, however, to a former Foundation intern, Sean Thomas Brady, now working for Credit Suisse. “…and I said, ‘Sean, is there any way you could help me help them? …Maybe you could help me raise some money for the church's electricity.’ Now I'll never forget this. Sean said, ‘Dr. Counter, don't worry, you tell them that he'll have the $11,245 today, and we’ll take care of the electricity for the church for the rest of the year.’ Can you imagine? To me, that is symbolic of the Foundation and the students we have.” SENSITIVITY TO SYMBOLS Groups like the Foundation that set out to alter a mindset or promote a certain worldview often attempt to do so by providing information and promoting dialogue through speakers, panelists, and round-tables. Such events can be highly effective, of course, but the danger exists that only those already interested in the group’s mission will attend. In endeavoring to affect even those who don’t go to the Foundation’s myriad events, the group’s sensitivity to symbols has opened unexpected pathways. One result of their creative thinking is the Foundation’s Portraiture Project. After noting that the vast majority



of the portraits hung in Harvard buildings depict white males, the Foundation set out to make Harvard buildings more reflective of the institution’s growing diversity by recognizing and honoring a new, more inclusive group of faculty and administrators. “What greater evidence of appreciation can you have,” Dr. Counter asked, “than having a portrait of the people who served Harvard for many years with distinction on the wall?” The goal of the project is “not to make a spectacle” but rather simply to showcase the diverse group of people who have served Harvard through the years by making them visible to students on a daily basis. “Part of leadership,” Dr. Counter reflected, “is looking at your environment and thinking, what can you do to improve it and improve the quality of lives within that environment.” It was by thinking in terms of environments and symbolic representations of diversity that the Foundation was able to make such a unique and lasting contribution to Harvard’s intercultural relations. BALANCE AND UNDERSTANDING One of the challenges the Foundation faced in its early years was the tension between new minority groups on campus and the Harvard Crimson, which “became, year after year…a place where students could go to vent their



racism.” The problem was not only that discriminatory views were so loudly broadcasted to undergraduates but that “my white friends and colleagues couldn't really understand the impact of racial hurt and humiliation,” Dr. Counter remembered, “…Many of the them [the students at the Crimson] were by all objective measures, racist, but my white colleagues would see them as nice kids doing naughty things.” Rather than becoming frustrated or radicalizing, the Foundation’s method was and still is to work to bring opposing groups together with a balanced perspective. When the issue of the Crimson’s views resurfaced as Asian students became more prominent on campus, the Foundation hosted a panel about racial sensitivity and free speech in order to create a dialogue between the two groups. The Foundation has created similar events with other deeply contentious groups, bringing together white and black South Africans for a day-long conference in the Kennedy School during Apartheid and, more recently, fostering communication between members of a studentrun Christian conservative group who wanted to bring speakers to campus that other groups felt were too offensive. “The challenge,” Dr. Counter remarked, “…is to show the students that this agency serves their interests but in a way that enlightens and enables and does not condemn.” Although difficult, the Foundation’s striving and success in this respect has been key to the accomplishment of its mission overall. These three aspects of the Foundation’s approach to its work go a long way towards explaining the organization’s unique vibrancy and success. “I think we have an obligation to serve humankind,” Dr. Counter remarked as he reflected on his time spent working for the Foundation, “without bias, with tolerance and understanding and with a commitment to making the world better through enlightenment.” It is not only his own commitment but also the commitment the Foundation inspires in its members, the creative and sensitive approach it takes toward bettering Harvard, and its efforts to foster an environment of understanding rather than strife that have allowed it to accomplish so much. Its mission is not easy, and the way has not always been smooth, but nevertheless, Dr. Counter has no shortage of optimism: “I'm so hopeful. I'm hopeful that my three daughters will have a world that's so much better.” „

(Top Left) Sharing a laugh with students after the unveiling of the portraits from Harvard Foundation's Portraiture Project (Top Right) Delivering school desks to children in the Ecuadorean rain forest in the village of Pichiyacu de los Negros on the Rio Cayapas (Middle right) Conducting blood tests on lead exposed Andean children (Middle Right) Posing with a preserved polar bear during his arctic exploration (Bottom Right) Standing aboard a US aircraft carrier.








An Interview with Rap Artist & Activist Emmanuel Jal




GUESS you could say I’m an unusual type of


Indeed, you could characterize much of Emmanuel Jal’s life as “unusual.” From child soldier and refugee to human rights activist and international hip-hop sensation, Jal has taken his diversity of experience and used it as a platform from which to influence audiences worldwide. But it has been a journey. Born in Southern Sudan, as a young child Jal grew up in the throes of the Second Sudanese Civil War. Soon after the conflict began, Jal’s mother was killed by government loyalists and his father left to join the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). Like so many children at the time, Jal found himself alone and defenseless in a land ravaged by genocide and war. Quickly recruited by the SPLA, it wasn’t until several violent years of indoctrination and combat had passed that Jal decided to run away and embark on a new journey. This course would lead the young Jal to British aid worker, Emma McCune, whose intervention, work and influence would inspire the then 11-year-old Jal to work, study, move forward, and eventually devote his life to helping others overcome similar hardships. In the years since, Jal has begun a new battle – one of

empowerment against the oppressive forces that robbed him of his childhood and the life he once knew. "I'm a war child / I believe I've survived for a reason / To tell my story, to touch lives,” he sings in his hit single, “War Child.” Embracing music as a platform, Jal has used powerful lyrics and the stage to reach the masses and ultimately make a difference. “Money does not motivate me. What does is the thought of making a difference and making a change.” What, in your opinion, are the qualities of a good leader? EJ: A leader is passionate, someone who is able to inspire other individuals to a common goal. In a leader others can find constant motivation ad the drive to always do more. When I think of a leader, I think of someone who is willing to die for his people, someone who is selfless. Anybody can be a leader, all it takes is for somebody to take that first step and lead the way. Of the many, was there one particular formative experience during your childhood that has proven to be most influential in your development as a leader? EJ: When I was young, I lost everything. My mother died in the war, and to be honest I don’t even know how. The war tore my family apart, as wars so often do. So I’ve been on my own since I was seven, and endured terrible experiences that FALL 2011 HARVARD UNDERGRADUATE LEADERSHIP MAGAZINE




include everything I owned disappearing. But when I look back, and see all that I have lost, I also recognize that I am still alive, and how lucky that makes me. Because I have survived, I can use my story to inspire and teach others, and make the most of the experiences that brought me here. Rap is often associated with promoting violence. Why music and why rap? EJ: I guess you can call me an accidental rapper; I sort of fell into it. For me, it’s a therapy, a painkiller; it’s what gets me through the day. I have come to use it as a tool to communicate, and while it brings me much happiness it is also the way I get my message across. People often want to pass on a good message, but they find it difficult. For example, rappers and the music industry have found that sex and violence sell. Young people just like to go opposite ways from what parents and the rest of the world tells them. That’s fun for them, but there isn’t enough of a balance there. Sure, hip-hop is a form of entertainment, but music has the power to influence you. Music is different from a movie – it becomes a part of your subconscious. It’s very influential, and the type of music you listen to can tell you about the kind of person you are. For me, that is how I have been able to reach people and spread my message. You represent the quintessential success story, the ideal. However, yours is not a common one, and there are so many more children who are lost to the horrors of child slavery (such as “the lost boys”). In your experience, what do you feel to be the most effective sort of intervention in the fight against child slavery and what must be done moving forward? EJ: First, you need to raise awareness. Believe it or not, raising awareness helps big time and actually makes a difference. Putting them in the spotlight gets people embarrassed, and often that is what inspires a change. That is why you need good governments that respect and care for their people. Wherever there is poverty, there will be conflicts, and wherever there are conflicts, human rights will be abused. Wars are fought over resources, and that is why I believe in transparency, with governments that are able to manage the resources well. In Africa, Mexico and other places of conflict in the world, there is no transparency, and so it is that much more important that we are able to raise awareness however possible. Please tell us about your work founding Gua Africa, and its relationship to your 'Lose to Win' campaign. EJ: I started Gua to help kids. Gua is an organization that seeks to build schools for former child soldiers to help rebuild their lives. I believe education will free this world, and that if everyone has access to education and can read and write, then there will be peace. Education can help a person



fend for themselves and offers the skills essential to survival. For example, because of my education, I understood that my situation was not because of Arabs, Muslims, or any one group. It was an economy that was hurting and causing the damage. You see, economies, not people, are the roots of every conflict that we see. For some reason it brings out the animal instinct in us. When you are hungry, you can even steel from your mother. When one is desperate, anything can happen. Poverty can pressure us to do so many things, as can the fear of losing what you have. That is why Gua is so important. Lose to Win is the idea that encourages individuals to lose for the greater good, starting with themselves and then moving on to help their communities and then the world. For me, Lose to Win came into play when I wanted to found a school. With AIDS and poverty crippling so many societies, spreading education is that much more important. So I decided to give up of myself to help win for others. I decided to eat one meal a day until we had raised enough money to build a school. It took 362 days, but we did it. And this also taught me a lesson to not give up, even when things don’t go as smoothly or exactly as planned. You need to be able to ask yourself, what are you willing to lose, to give up to make a difference and save a life. Gua Africa is the center force for that, giving opportunities, education, etc. What has been your greatest accomplishment? What are the most important lessons you’ve learned? EJ: I’m not really sure that I’ve accomplished much. I just do what I always do and say, “Let me do it – whatever it is – and I do my best. But I also prefer to accept the fact that I can either lose or win. And most importantly, when it doesn’t


"Lose to Win" is the idea that encourages individuals to lose for the greater good, starting with themselves and then moving on to help their communities and then the world.

Sudan in Numbers

30 The number of years Sudan, the

largest country in Africa, has been at war within itself since gaining its independence 40 years ago.

20% The percentage of former

child soldiers in Sudan who have completed primary school.

33 The number of secondary level

schools in the whole of Southern Sudan, a region of some 640,000 sq. km (247,000 sq. miles) – that is 2.5x bigger than the UK!

$220,000 The amount

of money Emmanuel Jal has raised through his 661-day “Lose To Win” fast to go toward improving and extending primary school facilities in southern Sudan.

work, I keep trying. And if it busts, I accept the result and take responsibility, and clean my hands and learn. I don’t let it take over. I use the energy I have and use my resources to move forward. Nothing has changed for me. I’m still a soldier, but now fighting a different war. I’m fighting to do good with my words and with my mike. You have fought for many causes in your life. What have you learned about the most effective way to rally people behind a cause?

EJ: You have to be passionate, sure and look for people who care. The people on your team will make or break your efforts. I believe that 99% of every human being is good, awesome even. But what we need to explore more is that 1% that is extraordinary. So go out there and find people. Don’t judge, because sometimes we will label a person as bad, when in reality maybe they have just found a way to fend for themselves in a different way. It’s all about communication. We need it to understand why people are the way they are. So more than anything, you need to look for people who care about your cause and find the right people to support you. That makes all the difference. What leaders do you look to for inspiration? Whom do you admire? EJ: Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and Jesus. Listening to Tupak and Bob Marley’s music. When Americans elected


Barrack Obama, a black man, to be president in the White House that was built by slaves, that gave so much hope and was very deep. There are so many horrors that plague our world. As someone who's lived the horrors of a serious problem facing the world, how do you inspire action in a world that is prone to complacency? EJ: You always need to remember that young people have the power to correct past mistakes and shape the future. But to do so, it is so important that we begin now – no time is better. This goes for so many things. Go out, do something. Volunteer, do research, whatever it is, just go out and do something with your time. We have the technology, we have the resources, all we need is the will to go out and make that difference. What does the future hold for Emmanuel Jal? EJ: Well again, my focus is education. I want to build more schools, maybe even a few libraries. I have a new album coming out this fall, and I’m planning on touring 200 schools. I want to spread my message to young people, and raise emotional intelligence. In inspiring the students, I hope to see full schools coming together. As for the long term future, in 15 years I’ll probably still be doing the same thing. More Lose to Win, more music, and who knows? Hopefully I’ll be married with kids… maybe I’ll even have a belly. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see! „

LEARN MORE! Films: War Child; God Grew Tired of Us; Lost Boys of Sudan

TED Talks: Emmanuel Jal

Books: Lost Boys of Sudan; What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng





PASSING THE BATON Making Successful Transitions in Organizations BY BENJAMIN BRINKOPF

EVERY HARVARD STUDENT SEES IT HAPPEN: popular on-campus clubs fall apart because new and old leadership fail to plan for their organizations’ futures. Transitioning is one of the most important and difficult tasks a leader can undertake, and yet the easiest to ignore in the middle of seemingly more urgent work. Here are some tips to make your transition a successful one. ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN Founder of the popular On Harvard Time comedy show, Derek Flanzraich ’10, urges incoming leaders to develop and follow a transition plan from day one. “You need to think about everything you do from the very beginning and consider how to make it sustainable. Realize that every decision that you make—from recruiting to throwing events—will have an impact on how the organization will transition.” In addition, Flanzraich recommends identifying budding leaders in your group early on, and then ensuring that time is invested in cultivating their talent and commitment to prepare them to lead by the time elections roll around. Create a binder or communal Internet space listing the organization’s common practices, group contacts, financial information, event checklists, e-mail templates, etc. It is easy to get behind on these activities amidst rigorous academic demands, but codifying such processes early—talking


about critical events, setting future goals and assigning tasks—will, according to Flanzraich, prevent the group from perennially “reinventing the wheel” and provide a more stable transition process. TIMELINES, TIMELINES, TIMELINES To avoid much of the messiness of transitions, Jonathan Doochin ’04-05, co-founder of The Leadership Institute at Harvard College (LIHC), recommends that each group adopts strict timelines that pin specific dates on particular events. “It is important that both the outgoing and incoming leaders know who will be in power and when, and creating timelines forces individuals to have conversations that facilitate successful transitions.” Timelines can do more than just begin the transition conversation; they can create accountability in action. Doochin especially recommends timelines that list specific dates of events, approximate durations and those responsible for each piece. DON’T DISAPPEAR While many new leaders have goals of their own, it is important to remember that former leaders can be a group’s biggest assets. Predecessors have institutional memory and an experience-based knack for knowing what works well and what doesn’t. Moreover, this knowledge


cannot be fully passed on during a twoweek or month-long window. Flanzraich still participates in On Harvard Time and Harvard Undergraduate Television (HUTV), serving as a mentor to the groups’ new leaders. “You shouldn’t leave just because you’re no longer the leader. As long as you enjoy providing value to current members, find a way to stay involved and contribute.” But sticking around without a defined purpose can present difficulties. Former leaders can create tension by overstepping boundaries and be poor role models for rising stars within the group. Incoming and outgoing leadership teams should communicate honestly on how best they can help each other and the organization in the new administration. WHAT NEXT? After the transition formally ends, new and former leaders can feel lost or confused about where to go next. David Ager, professor of one of Harvard’s most popular and highest-rated courses “Leadership and Organizations,” has this advice for outgoing leaders: “after committing so much time and passion to your cause, find new ways to give back. If you were in an education organization, volunteer at a public school or create a new organization. It is best to seek out new opportunities instead of waiting for them to knock at your door.” And thus the transition process begins anew. „



“The UC has incredibly high turnover each year, so institutional memory is a big problem for us, to the point where we had no idea what Councils just three or four years ago had been doing. To allow us to learn from our history, we created a UC Wiki using Google Sites, with the idea of posting info about all of our projects from here out. It took a while to get everyone to use it, but once that happened it's made transitioning new officers and members much easier.” Eric Hysen, UC Vice-President (2009-2010)

“To transition the new Executive Board each year, the Pre-Medical Society relies on outgoing board members meeting individually with newly elected board members to communicate the responsibilities of each position, useful systems already in place, and an overarching vision for the future of the organization. Ultimately, even with these transition meetings, it is still challenging for individual officers to assume their responsibilities without feeling uncertain and even a bit lost at first. But, by encouraging different board members to work together on their projects, we are able to build confidence as well as a spirit of cooperation-- a spirit that is becoming ever more necessary in the medical profession.” David Wang, Harvard Premedical Society President

“We were able to transition more smoothly into our new roles because of a transition period where we were able to work alongside our predecessors. We also met individually with each of our new board members to collect their thoughts going forward and determine the new initiatives we wanted to take as an organization.” Melody Hu & Kevin Lee, Chinese Students Association Co-Presidents

"The most helpful part of our leadership transition was having at least one semester of overlap in the tenure of generations on our exec board. Having each generation serve alongside their predecessors and the next generation maintains a wealth of experience on our executive board that allows us to confront obstacles and act on opportunities much better than if each new generation started afresh." Kelly McPherson & Chris Wood, Harvard-Radcliffe Christian Fellowship Co-Presidents

“One thing I did that helped to ease my transition was reaching out to past presidents of Kuumba for counsel and support. I sent them an e-mail detailing my vision (including my execution plan) for Kuumba during my term as president, and I asked them for criticism and advice -- their feedback contained a lot of institutional memory, which proved to be invaluable for me and the rest of the executive committee.” Matthew Mmopi, Kuumba President





Society and Values: The

Survival Kit


After 29 years of working within Procter & Gamble (P&G), Bob McDonald rose through the ranks WREHFRPH&KLHI([HFXWLYH2ûFHU and President of Procter & Gamble in June 2009, and Chairman of the Board in January 2010. McDonald graduated from West Point in the top 2% of his class with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering in 1975. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and served as a Captain for 5 years, before starting with P&G in 1980. He spent the next decade leading P&G’s businesses in Asia, eventually serving as Chief Operating 2ûFHUEHIRUHWUDQVLWLRQLQJWRKLV current position. The head of the consumer goods giant sat down with the Leadership Magazine to discuss the key to sustaining a billion-dollar brand in a socially conscious and responsible manner.





When Bob McDonald, the current CEO of Proctor and Gamble, PDNHVGHFLVLRQVWKHáUVWIDFWRUKHFRQVLGHUVLV+RZGR, make sure that this company is around for another 174 years?"



year 1955 remain on the list today. P&G is one of these companies.

AN AMERICAN LEGACY P&G was founded in 1837 during a time when the United States was close to bankruptcy. From its humble beginning as a soap and candle company, P&G has become an $80 billion retail giant that sells products to 4.6 billion people worldwide. So the question is, what has enabled the company to last – and even thrive – for so long? According to McDonald, the P&G leadership values longterm sustainability of the company more so than many of its competitors. When McDonald makes decisions, rather than jumping to ‘What is most profitable,’ the first factor P&G’s CEO considers is, “How do I make sure that this company stays around for another 174 years?� To McDonald, sustaining a company requires more than simply delivering outstanding financial returns. In the mind of P&G’s leadership – both past and present - the mega-company’s survival lies in the value it adds to society.

PROFITS VS. SOCIAL GOALS The stated P&G purpose is to “...provide branded products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world’s consumers.� In action, this means the company strives to be a highly profitable business that also impacts lives in a positive way. Globally, businesses grapple with the tension between a pure profit goal and a socially charged aspirations. Traditionally, achieving these two goals in the private sector has been considered a zero-sum game. According to McDonald, however, the company’s success lies on the degree to which bettering lives is integrated with the business. “We profit by touching and improving lives,� explained McDonald, “We do not touch and improve lives so that we may profit.� It may not be novel to hear such words from a major Fortune 500 company, but the link between profitability and social value is gaining notice. In January 2011 Michael Porter, Bishop Lawrence University Professor at the Harvard Business School and a leading authority on strategy and competitiveness, and Mark Kramer, co-founder of FSG Social Impact Advisors

Bob McDonald speaking to Harvard students about his leadership philosophy. During the presentation, he offered his personal email address to the students, welcoming requests for help in deciding on their own values for leadership.





P&G oversees brands and products that some would not expect to link to the company. From Gucci fragrances to Tide detergents to Prilosec tablets, its products can be found in the hubs of Ethiopia to laundry rooms at Harvard. Everyday, P&G employees are trying to improve their products to better the lives of their customers. It's this priority that has made P&G one of the most ubiquitous brands in the world.

and former venture capitalist, wrote an influential Harvard Business Review article called “The Big Idea: Creating Shared Value” about this very issue. In their work, Porter and Kramer assert that the purpose of corporations must be redefined, and that activities that make them appear responsible are not sufficient in guaranteeing long-term success. The two authors argue that, for businesses to survive today, they must work to create economic value in a way that also adds value to society. P&G is moving towards the worthy goal that Porter and Kramer describe, and prides itself in actively working to address society’s challenges. For example, P&G is working to eradicate Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) from the

planet by 2013. Today, about 175,000 mothers and babies die every year because of MNT, a curable disease. Through its ‘1 Pack = 1 Life-Saving Vaccine’ campaign, P&G donates a vaccine for every pack of Pampers® it sells. With annual Pampers® sales of about $10 billion, P&G has donated over 200 million tetanus vaccines to women and children around the globe and eliminated this disease from 10 different countries thus far. But is it philanthropy or good business? McDonald sees it as good business that is inextricably tied to P&G’s purpose. For him, serving society is the company’s way of remaining relevant and strong in the retail industry. AN ANCHOR FROM THE PAST

LEADERSHIP VALUES Bob McDonald's 10 Leadership Values 1. Living a life driven by purpose is more meaningful and rewarding than meandering through life without direction. 2. Everyone wants to succeed, and success is contagious. 3. Putting people in the right jobs is one of the most important jobs of the leader. 4. Character is the most important trait of a leader. 5. Diverse groups of people are more innovative than homogenous groups.


6. Ineffective systems and cultures are bigger barriers to achievement than the talents of people. 7. Some people in the organization will not make it on the journey. 8. Organizations must renew themselves. 9. Recruiting is a top priority. 10. The true test of the leader is the performance of the organization when he or she is absent or after he or she departs.


Businesses can often cite values and principles that they believe represent their people and their work, but few can call themselves value-based organizations that truly live out their founding principles in everyday operations as P&G does. McDonald finds that leading a company based on values gives the organization a strong grounding in the midst of an everchanging world. He claims that over the years, while P&G and its environment have changed significantly, its values have endured. For example, one of the stated P&G values is to ensure its own staff leads the company and has ownership over its long-term success. The company has had 12 Chief Executive Officers since its founding, all promoted from within the company. P&G was also one of the first in the United States to pioneer a profitsharing model with its staff and continues to uphold this commitment today. Such values have persisted over the years while the economy, the size of P&G, and its market have changed significantly. According to McDonald, “P&G’s sustainability efforts go hand in hand with [its] values.” By building a business that has continuously invested in society and by operating it based on strong principles, P&G has survived and flourished during the past 174 years. But more importantly, moving forward, P&G wants to grow. One of its immediate goals is to touch over 6 billion lives in the coming decades. McDonald’s answer to the challenge: “Create loyalty, create a bond with people and they will not forget.” „



Leadership and ,QQRYDWLRQ


A Conversation with the Dean of Harvard Business School


Before becoming the tenth dean of Harvard Business School (HBS) on July 1, 2010, Nitin Nohria devoted much of his career to the study of leadership. He most recently served as co-chair of the Leadership Initiative at HBS and authored Handbook of Leadership Theory and Practice, which joins Nohria’s 15 others written on the subject of leadership. Dean Nohria recently interviewed with the Leadership Magazine to discuss these initiatives and how HBS is innovating itself to continue producing the great ideas and leaders of the 21st century.







Nitin Nohria has brought written conversations about leadership to life. Remaining loyal to the established case method, Nohria also supported an expanded curricular vision to include what is broadly being referred to as the “field method.” Coming this fall, the field method will complement the case method with an additional emphasis on hands-on team projects meant to mimic real business scenarios. At the core of this transformation is a renewed emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship. While HBS made its name as the premier gateway to the world of finance and consulting in the 20th century, the school has embraced a post-recession movement in these two fields, which Nohria plans to see burgeon at HBS for a new century of inventive business leadership. With the crosscampus Harvard Innovation Lab opening this fall and a host of cross-registered courses in entrepreneurship and innovation proposed, efforts to break the silos of the University are stronger than ever. If you were a student today, why would you want to pursue a future in business? NN: I can think of no sphere of human activity in which business doesn’t have a vital role to play. Think of anything that is of any significance: health care, climate change, new technology, old technology, the media; business influences all of these fields.


I grew up seeing first hand this extraordinary influence that business can have on the development of societies. My father used to run an electrical equipment company, and I saw that by virtue of his company going into places that had nothing, homes got electrified. Towns got built because a factory created jobs, the factory created suppliers, and those suppliers caused other factories to come. Once there was enough density, schools could be built, and communities were created. In a very visceral sense, I have seen the extraordinary possibility that business has to create prosperity in society. What role does leadership play in fostering the unique business organization that you speak of? NN: The heart of business is to bring people together to collectively create what no one person could by him or herself. Leadership is the vital force that makes that possible. Since business is about getting people to collectively work together, a good leader fosters the creativity and passion of people in an organization that allows them to derive purpose and value in their work. But the work also has to be coordinated. There’s a slightly less romantic but equally important side of leadership, which some people like to call management. I don’t find that distinction always very helpful because a leader who inspires people but then doesn’t know how to bring the work together in a way that is


productive and efficient isn’t a particularly effective leader. These two parts, which involve both setting a direction that excites and inspires people, and also finding a way of making sure the work gets done—and it gets done in the best way possible—are the two twin sides that good leaders must be attentive to. News has been circulating about changes in the curriculum at HBS to produce business leaders of both competence and character. Can you talk about these changes and the motivation for them? NN: We’ve always understood that leadership in business requires people to develop some sense of mastery of the functions of business, which you might think of as business intelligence, beyond general intelligence. But in addition, we also know that leadership is about emotional intelligence. It’s about making sure that you can work with other people, that you have a sense of how you are perceived by others and how you perceive others. It’s about the capacity to read a room, the capacity to not just make a decision but to work with others to help bring that decision to reality. We think we can do better preparing our students in that way, which is the motivation what we’re broadly calling the “field method” to complement the case method. The goal of the field method is to enhance people’s capacity to work in teams in a range of situations to prepare students for real organizational life. The third type of intelligence we believe


business leaders really need, especially in today’s world, is what we are calling contextual intelligence. Students need to learn to think critically about whether an idea is going to work in every context, or how it might need to be adapted to respond to unique contextual contingencies. While we recognize that we can’t possibly train people in every part of the world, we’re trying to create as broad of an understanding as we can by integrating more case studies on global organizations. To really immerse students in contextual challenge, we’re launching a new requirement that all HBS students travel aboard during summer or winter to experience another country firsthand. While we recognize the limitations of a short experience abroad, we hope that the experience will create contextual humility and greater awareness.


Harvard Business School Innovation Lab BY JENNA LOUIE The Harvard Business School’s Innovation Lab, or I-Lab, is envisioned as a space for collaborative efforts between students, entrepreneurs, local businesses, and Harvard affiliates. Located in Allston, it will feature a coffee shop, 24/7 creative spaces, lectures, and presentations utilizing Harvard’s diverse resources. HBS hopes that the building will foster a greater spirit of entrepreneurism within the student body. “[By] bringing them together in an environment that stimulates the sharing of ingenuity, knowledge, and skills,” as HBS Professor Peter Tufano said, “innovation and creativity could flourish.” By pushing the boundaries of what a typical academic setting should look like and putting innovation to work, HBS’s vision will give students and community leaders the opportunity to interact and learn from the right people, overcome challenges, and turn their ideas into reality.

You’ve talked about curricular innovation and adaptation for leadership in a globalized world. What new opportunities are there for entrepreneurial students to innovate and why is innovation important for students to pursue? NN: My fascination with innovation and entrepreneurship goes back to my dissertation at MIT and the work of MIT professors Ed Roberts and Howard Stevenson, two pioneers of this field, as well as Joseph Schumpeter, a great Harvard economist whom I studied. Schumpeter had this view that much of innovation is creative combinations of existing things. I think that we have at Harvard this





If you are looking for a way to make an LPSDFWRQWKHZRUOGWKDWFDQEHPDJQL÷HG many fold, there is no other instrument like the business organization.

intellectual endeavors it engages in. For us, it’s a great trade because it’s an opportunity for our faculty to meet some amazingly talented students and give them a taste of business research projects. People know that you can go work in a lab somewhere at Harvard, but why shouldn’t HBS be another lab in which you can work? There are also a couple of ideas for undergraduate courses being proposed. The risk is in getting too far ahead of ourselves. We want to make sure that these collaborations end up truly being winwin situations, but I am very optimistic about the path we are on. Finally, what advice would you give to an undergraduate today with an innovative idea who’s interested in business?

amazing possibility for innovation because we have the little pieces—the Schumpeterian pieces, if you will. What we don’t have is enough opportunities for people to meet together for these kinds of spontaneous, creative combinations to occur. The goal is for the Harvard Innovation Lab to be a physical place for students from across the University to connect. Most innovative ideas come to life when a particular person’s inspiration meets other people who know how to make it happen, and that’s what we hope the Harvard Innovation Lab will do. Second, we recognize that innovation and entrepreneurship are of academic interest to many, many students. Therefore we also imagine an interesting mix of courses related to innovation to be offered through the Harvard Innovation Lab. Finally, we are well aware that budding


entrepreneurs benefit from the advice of others. Finding better ways of connecting students with alumni networks, such as HBS’ Entrepreneurs in Residence program, is one addition that we are confident will benefit students. In your discussion of the Innovation Lab, collaboration is a salient theme. How does collaboration manifest itself in new opportunities between Harvard College and Harvard Business School? NN: I think there are many opportunities for us to do more with the undergraduates. The challenge has been to find the best points of leverage that have dual benefits. For example, we just launched a program called PRIMO for undergraduate work at HBS during the summer. It’s an opportunity for students to do research with business school faculty members, and begin to learn more about what a business school faculty does and the


NN: The important thing for people who have a great idea is to have the courage to test that idea out with other people and be playful with it. In some ways, I know movies like “The Social Network” and others may cause people to say, “If I have an idea then the best thing to do is just hide and make sure nobody else sees it.” But if you do in fact do that, nothing might ever be created. You then become the best keeper of an idea that leads to nothing. I would encourage anybody who is thinking about an idea to find ways of reaching out, talking to people you trust, and finding other people who can help you develop your idea into something larger. Even Mark Zuckerberg, for all the worries people may have about him, needed lots of other people to make his idea come alive and see it to fruition. As he’s built out his firm, he has had to bring in people like Sheryl Sandberg, an MBA from Harvard Business School, to be his COO, because she brings a sort of management capability that is highly valued. I would just say that if you have a great idea, [HBS] is an amazing place to find other people who can help you make that idea better and convert that idea into something that is bigger than yourself. So reach out. „




Managing an innovative organization is no simple task. Leaders in this position face the challenge of maximizing creativity, while also achieving results for the RUJDQL]DWLRQ7RRPXFKøH[LELOLW\ may allow a team to wander from their critical path, yet too much handholding can stunt innovative growth. Tom Ngo knows this space. As a Vice President of Disney Research, Ngo’s job is to inspire his team to produce innovative research that addresses the broader needs of the Walt Disney Company’s diverse businesses.

Tom Ngo Driving Creativity at Disney Research


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Research is fundamentally XQSUHGLFWDEOHZHFDQ WOHJLVODWH a result or a timeline, or work becomes very conservative.

BACKGROUND Disney Research was launched in 2008 as a network of research laboratories that serve all business units of the Walt Disney Company. What started as a team of 2 workers in 2008 has matured into an organization with over 100 people working on over 250 projects for Disney. The scientists at Disney Research come from multiple disciplines, each chosen for his or her potential to create new possibilities for Disney magic. The teams’ projects range from creating robots, to capturing detailed scans of actors’ faces, to motivating guests to make environmentally sound choices. In 2009, Ngo was asked to join the Disney Research team by fellow Vice President, Joe Marks, to help manage the growing organization. Ngo’s background was in early-stage businesses and research. Prior to working with Disney Research, Ngo worked for 8 years as the Chief Technology Officer at NextPage, which sells enterprise software for information governance, and with the Interval Research Corporation, an entrepreneurial research facility funded by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen.

critically about the connections between project goals and company-wide objectives. Ngo says, “As leaders, we’re most effective when we channel the energy of creative people to care deeply about the needs of the larger organization and focus the available resources.” Following this leadership philosophy, Ngo also works to set high-level objectives for his team, rather than setting specific goals. As he says, “I believe in educating the team about the types of accomplishments that would constitute wins for the team and for the company. Then I hold up a mirror in which the team can see its progress clearly. In more operational roles that I've held in the past, it's been important to be more prescriptive; but in research, this is the only way to go. Research is fundamentally unpredictable: we can't legislate a result or a timeline, or work becomes very conservative." Through facilitating such a perspective and attitude toward work, Ngo creates a community of people who are able to collaborate. Members of the team are encouraged to make the best use of other’s expertise and creativity while minimizing concerns over assignment of credit. This collaborative spirit has been crucial to making Disney Research so successful.

GRANTING OWNERSHIP TO THE INNOVATORS PROVIDING OPEN COMMUNICATION AND FEEDBACK At Disney Research, Ngo empowers his team members to take ownership for their work. Trusting in those he leads, Ngo does more listening than talking. As he says, “I believe very strongly that the role of the leader is to pose challenges, to guide and channel discussion to what’s useful, but never to dominate.” At work, Ngo positions himself as a mentor and a guide, giving responsibility, while also being present to work alongside the workers. He says, “As a leader of individuals, as much as possible, I should give jobs and not tasks... it should be much more about giving responsibility and then saying ‘You have the responsibility to make this happen. I’m here to help you.’” By avoiding micromanagement, Ngo empowers his team to take creative license in their work. BUILDING COMMUNITY THROUGH SHARED PURPOSE Working in a project-based environment like that of Disney Research, Ngo inspires by understanding both the unpredictability of research and the objectives of the Walt Disney Company at large. Ngo encourages those he leads to think



Ngo’s open leadership style breaks down common workplace barriers. This is most evident in his office, which has no desk to separate him from others. Instead, there are only a few chairs, a couch, and a large whiteboard on the wall that people use throughout the day to brainstorm. As Ngo says, “I try to create an environment in which people feel no pressure regarding status or authority that hinder communication. My goal when people come into my office is for them to see me as a friend who’s there to help them.” When making decisions with his team, Ngo works to depoliticize a situation, pin down facts, and remove personal biases. As he says “In a very political environment, people naturally color the facts, making it really hard to figure out what is going on. My experience has been that these decisions go much quicker if I can get people to agree as much as possible on what's objectively true, then isolate the judgment calls.” Ngo draws on the different beliefs and mindsets of his team to foster creativity. He even pushes his team to be open about points of disagreement—a practice many leaders don’t allow.





This lab is co-located with Carnegie Mellon University. It conducts research in robotics, motion capture, and radio. Pittsburgh researchers are currently executing projects inspired by ESPN, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, etc.

The Zürich lab is perfectly placed for easy access to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich, whose formidable faculty in engineering includes 21 Nobel Laureates. This lab is influencing video of the future, computational cinematography, human and facial animation, and capture technologies.

IMAGINEERING RESEARCH GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA This lab focuses primarily on the needs of the organization that designs and builds Disney theme parks and other entertainment venues. One portion of the research agenda covers related entertainment technologies, the other addresses human-computer interaction (HCI), social psychology, and environmental science.

DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS RESEARCH - SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH This research team creates cuttingedge video games based on Disney's original properties. On the authoring side, the goal is to reduce constraints on game designers. On the end-user side, the goal is to achieve real-time performance in areas such as indirect lighting, physical simulation, and character locomotion.

As a result, people feel comfortable being frank. As Ngo says, “People can sugarcoat what they say, skewing it to what they think the leader wants to hear. I'm extremely grateful when someone brings information to me in private, even if it's painful. I strive to maintain a climate in which people feel safe doing that.” By leading in this way, Ngo is trying to avoid Irving Janis’ theory of ‘groupthink’ in which people try to minimize conflict in a group by simply agreeing or following the leader. Instead, he fosters an environment where people maximize communication, feedback, and diversity of input—something that ultimately makes Disney Research world-class at innovation.

WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS RESEARCH – BURBANK, CALIFORNIA The research agenda here enhances the creative vision of the artists who make the magic come alive on the big screen. With research in both 2D and 3D, WDAS addresses modeling through animation, physical simulation, rendering, etc. PIXAR RESEARCH GROUP – EMERYVILLE, CALIFORNIA For many years, this group has contributed directly to Pixar's critically acclaimed movies and shorts. Once focused purely on computer graphics, Pixar has diversified into multi-touch and tangible user interfaces, computational cinematography, and robotics.

DEVELOPING THE LEADERSHIP OF OTHERS Ngo does not build dependency in the people he manages at Disney, but instead actively works to develop their leadership. His style mirrors what scholar James MacGregor Burns coined as ‘transformational leadership,’ in which “leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality [so that] power bases are linked not as counterweights but as mutual support for common purpose.” Everyday, he is transforming his followers into collaborative leaders. And that is where the magic comes from. „


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Wayne Pacelle, author of the book The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them, currently serves as the president and chief H[HFXWLYHRûFHURIWKH Humane Society for the United States (HSUS), the nation’s largest animal rights organization. During his term, Pacelle has greatly expanded WKHVL]HDQGLQøXHQFH of his organization by responding to modern sensibilities and negotiating with tact.





Principled Pragmatism: Lessons in Activism from Wayne Pacelle BY DAVID GRIEDER



Humane Society has grown to include 11 million constituents and multi-million dollar holdings – a sturdy platform from which to operate, to say the least. Gradual structural reform, he states, is a “tremendously successful pathway for reform.” Pacelle demonstrates innovation not only in his progressive expansion of the Humane Society’s size and scope, but also in his tempered but forceful approach to a topic that is ordinarily disregarded as the cause of zealots with misplaced priorities. Pacelle models considerate activism and serves as an example of how taking a step back and addressing the practical concerns of an audience is sometimes the best way to shake things up. Consequently, Pacelle moderates his passions with recognition of society’s current dependence on the use of animals, while directing the Humane Society to operate with a “principled pragmatism” that is both sensitive to people’s experiences and beliefs, but also disagreeable to maintaining the status quo while better options clearly exist. How have your experiences developed your leadership style and outlook? Has your strategy changed in response to new leadership roles? WP: At HSUS, we exhibit a principled pragmatism. We understand that hunting, animal agriculture, animal testing, and other uses of animals are part of our economy and culture. All of this reminds me that we have to be open to the possibility

I want to strike the balance between tolerance and impatience: I want to exhibit tolerance for people and the attitudes they exhibit, but I also am impatient for change. of change, and also open to dealing with people who have had different experiences and belief systems than I do. I want to strike the balance between tolerance and impatience; I want to exhibit tolerance for people and the attitudes they exhibit, but I also am impatient for change, since animals are suffering right now in so many settings. It’s striking that proper balance that is a daily challenge for me. What difficulties have you encountered in promoting Humane Society efforts before the government and public and how have you addressed them? WP: Most people in America agree that animals should be treated kindly and they oppose cruelty. But the difficulty and the challenges come in application – in a world where animal use is intertwined with daily life and the workings of the economy. We want people to reconcile their basic beliefs and attitudes with their daily lives and the things they do. We find that animal-use interest groups, such as the NRA, American Farm Bureau, and even groups like the American Veterinary Medical Association, are often impediments to change. They throw up roadblocks, and often want to retain the status quo, even when cruelty is plain and alternatives to animal use or mistreatment

are evident. What has influenced your concern for animals and why devote yourself to their welfare? WP: Animals have always tugged at my pant leg. From my youngest years, I’ve always felt a kinship with other animals. I always had a sense that we had a responsibility to other creatures. Perhaps because animals are so vulnerable, and the exploitation is so severe, I’ve always wanted to do something about it. I have never wanted to be a bystander to any form of injustice or cruelty, and that includes the mistreatment of animals. Given that some Humane Society initiatives such as the promotion of cage-free farming may not agree with your beliefs as a vegan, at what point are you willing to compromise your personal convictions for the benefit of effecting more immediate change? WP: HSUS is a big-tent organization, and I am very comfortable having people with a variety of dietary preferences as part of the cause. In fact, the vast majority of HSUS’s members and supporters are not vegetarians or vegans, and they are entirely welcome within our ranks. We do encourage everyone to be a conscious consumer





I’ve challenged every citizen to do better when it comes to animal cruelty. The choices each of us make in our daily lives have enormous implications for animals. though, and that includes urging them to think about their food choices and the consequences that these choices have for animals. There are 10 billion animals raised and killed for food in America every year, and the choices we make have consequences. The key for me is not that people reach a very specific place when it comes to diet, but that all people associated with us are moving in the right direction. What unconventional devices have you implemented in furthering your goals, and how did they work? WP: I have always believed that opposition to cruelty is a mainstream sensibility. I’ve always addressed the problem from



that framework. Before I got involved, animal advocates rarely used the initiative process as a tool for change. I’ve run about 30 ballot measures during my career, including measures to outlaw cockfighting, puppy mills, canned hunts, factory farming, the use of steel-jawed leghold traps, and other abuses, and it’s been a tremendously successful pathway for reform. I’ve also pushed state and federal lawmakers and corporations to promote change, and we’ve had a great record of success, but also much frustration with the pace of progress, too. And I’ve challenged every citizen to do better when it comes to animal cruelty. The choices each of us makes in our daily lives have enormous implications for animals. „



Mastering the Group Dynamic BY KAVYA SHANKAR MEETINGS ARE AT THE CORE of our daily routines. Managers will spend over one-half of their working life attending, conducting, preparing for, and following up on meetings. Think about the number of meetings you personally attend every week as well as the number of meetings you organize. In fact, over 17 million meetings take place every day in the United States alone. Almost one-third of all meetings are considered unnecessary by the people who attend them. Here are some tips to keep you in the two-thirds territory: 1. KEEP GROUP POLARIZATION IN MIND. There is a tendency for individuals to gravitate towards the opinion of the facilitator or the opinions of the loudest members. As a facilitator you should send out the agenda ahead of time and specify the discussion points so that meeting participants are prepared with ideas and feedback ahead of time. This way, their ideas will serve as a buffer against group persuasion. As a facilitator, try to balance discussion so that people on both sides have the opportunity to speak and try to give people as much information as possible to make an informed decision. 2. CREATE AN INNOVATIVE AND SPECIFIC PROCESS FOR BRAINSTORMING. Give time at the beginning of the brainstorm for participants to simply

shout out all the ideas that come to their head without filtering for quality. Then, go back through the ideas and determine which are of quality. After this step, work on refining multiple ideas until it’s clear what idea the group is in favor of. 3. ACHIEVE THE WORK-FUN BALANCE. It’s important to ensure that work gets done, but small talk is needed too. The best way to deal with the small talk is to set aside time at the beginning of the meeting for people to talk about their lives. When a random topic comes up during a meeting, let them know that you’re sorry to interrupt, but that you have to keep the meeting going for the sake of time. If you have time, bring it up at the end of the meeting after all business is finished. 4. AIM FOR A SATISFIED GROUP CONSENSUS. Majority doesn’t always rule, especially if the minority feels angry about the decision made and thus doesn’t want to fully contribute towards the success of the project. Group consensus doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone agrees with the decision made, but that all members of the group understand the decision, support the decision, and are willing to work towards the success of the project. Make sure every participant knows that his or her opinion matters and will be incorporated as much as possible into the final product.

5. ENSURE SHARED RESPONSIBILITY. People are more supportive and cooperative when they feel invested in the decision that is made. Don’t just delegate tasks based on your own discretion; instead, work with your teammates to distribute tasks based on interests and skills. Work on incorporating a part of everyone’s idea into the final product in order to ensure personal investment in the project. 6. KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM POSTMEETING. Send out minutes directly after a meeting. However, know that people tend to skip the recap. Thus, in the body of an email, be sure to include next steps or action items coming out of the meeting, specifying who is in charge and what the deadline is. Support your teammates offline by shooting the emails reminding them of their deadlines, providing ideas, and offering any assistance that you can. Start off the meeting with check-in on responsibilities to ensure that everyone is on the right page. 7. REVIEW, REFLECT, AND REVISE! Be sure to consider the positives and the areas of improvement coming out of each meeting. Don’t only rely on your own ideas about the success of the meeting; ask your meeting participants for feedback as well! Consider taking the last two minutes of the meeting to facilitate a “pluses and deltas” reflective end.





Innovation A La Carte BY FRANK MALDONADO



it’s delicious! That something is innovative leadership in favorite local eateries. Building on the recent culinary excitement of Professors David Weitz and Michael Brenner’s revolutionary and nationally acclaimed mega-course, “The Science of Cooking,” the Leadership Institute invited local culinary movers and shakers to share their hard-earned lessons on leadership in one of business’s most competitive markets. In a sector where first year bankruptcy rates are historically close to 90 percent, these entrepreneurs have had to adjust to the changing economic climate, anticipate new ways to interact with clients, and tackle the question of how to lead a fast-paced business in the competitive restaurant industry. Here are snippets of some of the best advice they have to offer. Keep the Dream Alive

Nobody said it was going to be easy. And in fact, these entrepreneurs know all too well that it is usually anything but: JP: In life we are taking chances all the time. What you are doing is taking bigger chances and larger risks in hopes of getting a larger payoff… There is a lot of hard work involved, and in opening a restaurant; there is a long period before there is any payoff. It’s About the Customers Given the large investment made in personal business ventures, sustaining a business requires both leveraging new social networking marketing and an ability to learn from competitors: JW: The most important thing to maintaining a business is not whether you like it or not, but whether your customers like it… You have to keep trying things that work. We went from a place with no waiting room to a place with a large waiting area and state-of-the-art gym, and yet, the

revenue remained the same. You just have to keep trying. Fearlessness, Naïveté and Filling the Niche Sometimes it’s important not to beat around the bush: “There is another word for fearlessness – it is naïveté," says Joanne Chang. As a Harvard College graduate with a degree in Applied Mathematics, Chang took a surprising turn from the Monitor Group to open Flour Bakery. Mapping out the worst-case scenario allowed Chang to visualize how to run her industry and overcome the fear of failure. Chang is also proactive and willing to adapt to the changing culture of the times. At first opposed to the concept of social networking on Facebook, Chang now consistently updates her restaurant’s friends with new recipes and deals on slower nights. Without constantly checking Yelp reviews or leveraging trends in eco-awareness and sustainability, a business can easily fall out of favor with clientele. Nonetheless, in the new interconnected world, these entrepreneurs can meet the growing

MEET THE CHEFS Jerome Picca, owner of Small Plates and head chef in Harvard’s Adam’s House; Steve “Nookie” Postal, Head Cook for the Boston Red Sox; Matthew Wallace (MW), co-founder of local favorite, Berryline; Joanne Chang (JC), owner of Flour Bakery; Jesse Winder (JW), founder of Boston’s first Karma Yoga Studio and Café (not pictured).






trepreneurship in the Restaurant Industry challenges of rising capital costs, more dynamic customers, and stiffer competition. JC: [Adaptation] is out of necessity to make yourself more attractive to your costumers… What allowed me to be fearless is that I didn’t view it as a long-term thing. Knowing that I had another option [at Monitor], I always had a fallback. Cultivate Leadership and You Will Reap the Benefits Good leaders benefit from better mentors. Working with college students and executives on a daily basis, Berryline’s Matt Wallace has seen and experienced the value of pointing out flaws in a constructive fashion firsthand. After all, students and executives alike can foster the skills that ultimately define an ability to lead. It is strong leadership that is the foundation of any successful venture. Additionally, Wallace advises that pragmatic planning and picking a business model that fills a void in the current business landscape allows

students to leverage risks and maximize returns: MW: “There are a lot of people who come in with a lot of promise, but don’t fulfill their potentials. Planning is key.” Innovation Driving the Business Steve “Nookie” Postal’s experience with the Red Sox illustrates the way in which the restaurant industry follows new trends in customer concerns. Baseball fans would be glad to know that Fenway is one of the largest buyers of local food in Boston, using all premium foods from vendors. This policy has always been popular with more affluent fans and is now driven by a larger emphasis on sustainability. Now, Nookie and team are working on an application for the iPhone to allow hungry fans to order food to be delivered straight to their seats: SP: [In the restaurant world], what leadership really means is anticipating new trends in consumption and responses by competitors. „






Meet Her Campus, “A Collegiette’s Guide to Life" and the two year-old brainchild of three “collegiettes,” Stephanie Kaplan, Annie Wang, & Windsor Hanger, that has since morphed into an established publication with a readership that spans 150 colleges nationwide.

DURING THEIR TENURE AT HARVARD, Her Campus founders and recent undergraduates, Windsor Hanger ’10, Stephanie Kaplan ’10, and Annie Wang ’11, saw the need for a student forum through which aspiring journalists could practice, explore and pursue their writing at the undergraduate level. Recognizing this untapped niche – one that would not be filled by the preexisting studentrun publications on campus – Windsor, Stephanie, and Annie decided to create such opportunities for themselves. And so the three women asked themselves, “What if we built up a platform for students so that they could start their own publications on campus, but we brought all of them together under the same umbrella?” The most popular magazine among undergraduates, Cosmopolitan, primarily focused on sex. The median age of readers for most magazines was 30-34, while magazines intended to target a younger crowd, such as Seventeen, had a median reader age of fifteen. There was simply not much available that was specifically written to address the needs of current college students. The Her Campus founders recognized this gap, and were determined


to fill it with “content specifically for the needs of those [students].” “We also wanted a platform for student journalists to really get their work out there, published, and recognized; we wanted to help them get a leg up in preparation for getting journalism jobs after graduation,” explained Hanger in a recent interview. After winning Harvard College’s business plan competition, the “I3 Innovation Challenge,” in May of 2009, the founders and early staff set a goal and worked tirelessly towards a September launch of the online publication. However, little did they know just how quickly their nascent venture would exceed even their own expectations. In short order, Her Campus’ rapid growth and expansion inspired the founders to increase their initial goal of establishing chapters at 25 schools to 75 schools. “Instead of looking at [your goals] as insurmountable tasks with no way of getting there, think about it in a broad sense; I will get there. The real question is how can I do it,” said Hanger. “I think the key to getting off the ground


so swiftly was to build a ton of content before we launched the online magazine. When people visited the website, they did not see five or so articles thrown together hastily; they saw a very well-established site with around 50 articles to read.” The founders’ present goal is to establish branches in 500 colleges by the end of 2011. But how did the team actually go about this expansion? They did so by making the most of their resources. First, Windsor sent personal emails to high school and college friends, asking them if they had any interest in starting chapters on their own campuses. Hanger notes the common misconception that reaching out to friends and other such personal contacts is a sign of lack of professionalism or is otherwise inappropriate. “We weren’t asking them to throw money at us, we were offering up an opportunity for those interested in writing,” she explained. And indeed, students everywhere were interested in what Her Campus had to offer. Written for undergraduates, by undergraduates, Her Campus excels in



(Left to Right) Annie Wang, Stephanie Kaplan, and Windsor Hanger have been named Inc. Magazine's "30 Under 30 Coolest Young Entrepreneurs," Glamour Magazine's "20 Amazing Young Women," and The Boston Globe's "25 Most Stylish Bostonians."

If you want to do something, do it-- especially when you are a student surrounded by these amazing resources. Even if it ends up being something you do not pursue after graduation, you still learn! providing relevant and relatable content to its readers. “They are the pulse of campus, and it brings a remarkable level of authenticity. We are not some giant company forcing an idea upon our readers; our writers can speak on an intimate level,” said Hanger. One lesson Hanger emphasizes is never to underestimate the power of student initiative. “A lot of people in the professional workforce don’t think that undergraduates are capable yet. It’s as if, until you have that college degree, you’re not a real adult able to accomplish adult-cut tasks. Just because you’re not 21 yet does not mean you are not capable, intelligent, or motivated. Her Campus aims to empower journalists – we trust you, and we know you can do an amazing job.” Her Campus, for example, began as a smallerscale, undergraduate endeavor, and now boasts a staff of over 1,700 students nationwide. The Her Campus team has also found it extremely useful to explore the Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network. “If a person is truly interested in starting a business, there are tons of entrepreneurship and networking events held in Boston – Tech Cocktail, Boston Innovation, Boston WomenPreneurs… they throw happy hours, meet and greets, etc. Whether

you already have an idea or not, you will meet interesting people and form connections.” A trend that Hanger calls particular attention to is the tendency for people to concentrate excessively on their immediate goals when attending networking sessions, or even just meeting up with someone. After introductions and initial evaluations, very often students dismiss individuals for their perceived utility, or lack thereof. “We must get over this. Just because a person does not work in the industry you wish to go into or doesn’t attend a school you consider top-notch, does not mean he or she doesn’t have something exceptional to offer. We are missing out on opportunities to extend our network,” Hanger emphasized. “When building your network, your mindset should not be limited to, ‘who is helpful to me right now?’ Instead, consider that you are potentially forming a relationship with a person who, in a time of need, will be willing to step up.” Further, when asked to comment on the most significant differences between student leadership to that of the corporate variety, Hanger emphasized the importance of personal, emotional bonds in student leadership. “A huge part of leadership is making sure to maintain

that drive and passion essential to the task at hand. You must help others feel connected to the project with positive feelings. Frankly, if something makes people happy, they will stay passionate and continue to work their hardest,” she said. Thus far, writers for the online magazine have been offered internships and jobs with many leading magazines and publications, including Seventeen, Glamour, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, The Washington Post, Reader's Digest, Us magazine, and Star magazine. Her Campus has started content partnerships with various large names that range from SELF magazine to The Huffington Post, and established marketing partnerships with numerous well-known brands, such as Juicy Couture and Pinkberry. The New York Times, The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, Fox25 News, ABC News Now, and many others have featured the website on several occasions. The three co-founders have been recognized in Inc. magazine's "30 Under 30 Coolest Young Entrepreneurs, " Glamour magazine's "20 Amazing Young Women," and The Boston Globe's "25 Most Stylish Bostonians." In response to questioning Her Campus’ incredible acclaim thus far, Hanger simply offers this advice: “If you want to do something, do it – especially when you are a student surrounded by these amazing resources. It’s unbelievable how much you gain when starting a company, a nonprofit, or even just a super small outof-you-dorm project. Even if it ends up being something you do not pursue after graduation, you still learn!”„





From Humble Beginnings: BY KAREN DING

Somewhere between the cat videos and pop song parodies, YouTube has become a hub of serious content creation. At the vanguard of this movement is Wong Fu Productions (WFP), a small but dynamic independent production company founded by Ted Fu, Philip Wang, and Wesley Chan. From humble beginnings as enthusiastic students to major game-changers in new media, WFP is an example of what hard work, passion, and creativity can accomplish. When you first started out with Wong Fu Productions, right out of college, how much of a plan did you really have for the company? PW: When we graduated, we barely had a plan. All we had planned was to go on our first tour with a movie we made during our final year of college. This tour brought us to about 30 schools around the country. It was the first time we saw our fans face-to-face, and we realized that Wong Fu Productions was truly something special, and that we had to keep it going. So we kept making Wong Fu videos for the fans, but behind the scenes, we were doing freelance work, shooting videos for small television stations and businesses—even weddings. We did these projects just to keep WFP going. Were there moments of doubt? How did


you overcome them? PW: There were always moments of doubt. The first two years after graduation, we were constantly asking ourselves, “Where can we take this, where is this going?” But the fans and supporters were there for us; they kept us going. The demand for our work kept growing, and new and exciting projects kept coming to the table. We overcame our doubts by working harder and harder. We didn’t wait for things to happen to us, or for our “big break” to come. We went out and created projects and goals for ourselves to accomplish on our own. To what extent do you think passion figures into your ability to innovate and your general success? PW: It figures in 100%. Without passion, we would not make our work our lives.


We lose sleep, we rarely turn off work mode; we sacrificed security and stability to make WFP possible. If we didn’t really care about it, WFP would never be what it is right now. You’ve said before that you never set out to be “Asian American role models,” but that you certainly take it seriously. What does being Asian American filmmakers mean to you? PW: It means that we have a lot of people to make proud. Even though it’s not what we set out to be, it’s something that we won’t avoid or toss aside. We’re glad people can look to us as inspirations or “pioneers,” but we also hope people can be patient with us, and understand that it’s a very complicated business. We always keep in mind our roles to the Asian American community and will do everything we can



Wong Fu Productions’ Journey to National Acclaim

YOUTUBE HALL OF FAME Chances are you’ve seen one of Wong Fu Productions’ videos. Here’s a countdown of their most recognizable works: (1) Yellow Fever (2006) “Yellow Fever” was WFP’s first video to go viral. Made while they were still seniors in college, millions have watched this 15 minute comedy short about “white guys getting Asian girls.” (2) The One Days: HK (2008) This series exemplifies some of WFP’s more serious fare. Shot in one day over the course of two summers spent in Hong Kong, each film tells a story of ordinary people at a moment in life. (3) Wong Fu Weekends (2010 – now) In early 2010, WFP started a weekly video blog series. Featuring anything from office tours to silly antics, the series averages about 300,000 views per video, making it one of YouTube’s most-watched blogs. (4) Alyssa Bernal’s “Cali, Cali, Cali” (2010) Last fall, Wong Fu Productions produced Alyssa Bernal’s “Cali Cali Cali” for a major label (Interscope). Their video is featured on VEVO, and had approximately 2.5 million views at press time. (5) Agents of Secret Stuff (2010) A joint project with Ryan Higa (owner of YouTube’s most subscribed channel), Agents of Secret Stuff has been viewed over 10 million times in under 6 months. This medium-length film was the first of its kind to be uploaded on YouTube.

realistically do to bring equality to the mainstream media. In the past, you’ve spoken about the fact the entertainment industry doesn’t view YouTube content as legitimate. Can you describe what you mean and how that affects your work? PW: Luckily, things are definitely changing. We make a conscious decision not to bend too much to fit what we think the mainstream wants and to keep our integrity. We make and do what we want, and luckily, the fans like it. It’s spreading. We believe that mainstream media will eventually have no choice but to notice. What are the biggest pressures that you face as entrepreneurs, both personally and professionally?

PW: Personally, I feel the biggest pressure comes from the expectations that people have for us. People define success differently. If we don’t accomplish a certain milestone, I wonder if people will think we “failed.” The more people there are watching, the more people that could potentially see us fail! That’s always looming over me. Staying relevant is another huge pressure that we never wanted. YouTube, for example, is a big popularity contest that we never signed up for. What is your greatest professional regret?

Right now, WFP is at a really exciting time of transition and growth. How do you think through scaling and growing what you have at WFP? PW: WFP is like five different businesses all under one roof, and only run by three guys. We’re beginning to get help from good friends who have believed in us for a long time, and it will definitely help us become even more productive. There are so many things WFP wants to do with our brand and art. With more people helping, we’re excited that we can share and do even more. Lastly, who or what inspires you?

PW: I don’t have one yet. I don’t think we’ve had any missed opportunities or horrible decisions that I wish we could take back. Everything happens for a reason and has lead to something positive.

PW: Our fans, and other talented peers. Living. Friends. Family. Cliché, but totally true. „





The 6 Best Web Tools for Student Leaders BY LINXI WU


Organizations often need to share files in such a way as to give multiple people access. After Google eliminated the uploading feature in Google Groups, Dropbox stood out as the best alternative. Whether it is collaborating on a paper or a magazine, Dropbox is the most convenient sharing application around. The best feature is that Dropbox becomes a folder on the hard-drive so that it functions just like a regular folder in the disk. Users simply need to drag files into the folder, and the application will sync all folders in the link automatically.



Needing to start a publicity campaign for a start-up or just thinking about starting a newsletter for a group? For groups without the design power to create professionally designed emails, check out Mail Chimp. At its basic level, this application provides templates and customizing options for the perfect newsletter theme and layout. After an admittedly steep learning curve, users will be able to utilize it to brand Twitter feeds and push for Facebook likes as a part of a publicity drive for any venture they might be involved in.

A quick alternative to Doodle, Congregar allows people to find the best days for a meetup. It is not meant to be used to pick times as it does not allow for time slots. However, if the question at hand are the days people are free for lunch at noon or what Thursday of the month is best for a 7pm conference call, Congregar can save all the time it takes Doodle users to create the hour time slots. The option to mark a day as “not ideal, but okay,” rather than a pure “yes” or “no” is nice touch as well to maximize happiness in event scheduling.



PowerPoints move in a predictable slide to slide order. What if it were possible to zoom into headlines to make a point? What if presentations allowed for information to slide in and out to provide extra emphasis? Prezi is a presentation web application that allows for this freedom. With this tool, anyone can add an animation element to their presentations. Granted, it can be overly complicated for certain purposes, but if you are looking to grab attention or entertain your audience for a special occasion, Prezi is the way to go.

Every now and then the typical email service’s capacity for file transfers becomes a frustrating obstacle to work with. When thumb-drives are not an option because of distance, Sendoid is the next best option. Private and direct, Sendoid utilizes P2P sharing technology and does not need to limit the file size for the transfer and continues to be a free service. What could be better?

4. Mind Meister, in a nutshell, is a dynamic, online white board for brainstorming. You can collaborate with others using this tool to “mind map.” Many people are entangled with linear thinking, but brainstorm with this web tool can simulate reality more closely by allowing users to place clusters of ideas side by side in a graphic representations. It will spur creativity and it can be a lot of fun to try!




Harvard College’s   Premier  Student   Leadership     Organization

HARVARD UNDERGRADUATE   LEADERSHIP  MAGAZINE   The  Harvard  Undergraduate  Leadership   Magazine  empowers  students  to  examine  leadership  through  a  broad  array  of   perspectives,  and  in  doing  so,  construct   their  own  definitions  of  leadership.  Features   include  interviews  with  veteran  leaders  and   articles  on  developing  specific  leadership   skills.  It  has  circulation  at  Harvard  College,   Harvard  Business  School,  and  across  several   other  Ivy  League  universities.  Thousands   of  copies  have  been  distributed  at  Harvard   and  beyond.  

EXTERNAL RELATIONS   The  External  Relations  (ER)  committee   connects  LIHC  with  the  outside  world  and   builds  resources  to  fulfill  the  LIHC  mission.   ER  is  engaged  in  fundraising,  organizing   internal  leadership  trainings  for  LIHC   members,  and  developing  partnerships  with   organizations  at  Harvard  and  beyond.  One   of  these  organizations  is  the  Ivy  Council,   a  consortium  of  student  governments   and  distinguished  student  groups  from   all  eight  Ivy  League  universities.

THE PRESIDENTS’  FORUM   The  Presidents’  Forum  (TPF)  aims  to   promote  collaboration  and  channels  of   communication  between  student  leaders   on  campus.  It  facilitates  top-down  leadership  development  by  bringing  together   the  presidents,  editors,  and  captains  of   Harvard’s  student  organizations  and  sports   teams.  TPF  hosts  intimate  discussion  forums  on  topics  most  relevant  to  presidents.   Past  themes  include  women’s  leadership,   sports  leadership,  developing  mentorship   programs,  and  leadership  in  science.  

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT   INITIATIVE   The  Leadership  Development  Initiative   (LDI)  works  to  equip  Harvard  students  with   the  skills  and  principles  necessary  to  practice  leadership  in  the  world.  Through  handson  training  as  well  as  lectures  and  panels   featuring  some  of  society’s  most  esteemed   leaders,  students  are  given  opportunities  to   prepare  for  future  leadership  roles.  Training   topics  include:  negotiation,  public  speaking,   leadership  presence,  motivating  a  team,   and  more.

SOCIAL OUTREACH   The  Social  Outreach  (SO)  committee  aims   to  empower  middle  school  students  with   the  values,  skills  and  inner  confidence  to  be   leaders  and  to  accomplish  positive  change   in  their  schools,  communities  and  the  world.   Members  of  Social  Outreach  teach  a  10week  leadership  curriculum,  entitled  “Yes   We  Can  Lead”  to  sixth  grade  minority  students  in  partnership  with  Citizen  Schools.  


To develop  world-class  leaders  at  Harvard  University  and  promulgate     leadership  excellence  throughout  the  world.


Jon Chase, Kane Hsieh, Heidi Lim, Kevin Lin, Stephanie Mitchell, Jonathan Palmer, Alex Wild.



Special thanks to the Flora Foundation, Anand Venkatesan, Peter of leadership     LIHC   is  devoted   to  fFamily ostering   awareness,   skills,   and  values   Chen, Angela Zhang, Heidi Lim, Kevin Lee,BKane Hsieh, Ethan Waxman, programs     among   Harvard   undergraduates.   y  providing   skill-building   Jonathan Newmark, Joe Molimock, Chris Liberge, Liz Ahern, Alexa Rahand  and channels   for   collaboration   between   student   man, the entire Leadership Institute Executive Board. leaders,  LIHC  aims  to    

inspire and  empower  students  to  fulfill  their  leadership  potential  at     Harvard,  in  their  communities,  and  in  the  world.

Harvard Leadership Magazine - Issue 4  

The 4th issue of the Harvard Leadership Magazine

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