Training for a New Generation of Leaders: MLD-322 The Art and Adventures of Public Leadership with David Gergen

Having spent an extraordinary lifetime advising and observing top leaders in politics, diplomacy, the military, business, higher education, and philanthropy, Public Service Professor of Public Leadership David Gergen is uniquely positioned to guide Harvard students aspiring to the highest levels of leadership.

Watch: David Gergen on what is necessary for leadership. CBS Sunday Morning profile video. May 2022 (Click to view)

In his course MLD-322 The Art and Adventures of Public Leadership, Gergen aims to help prepare rising members of a new generation for lives of service and public leadership. In an intimate seminar setting – smaller than past enrollments of this course – Gergen and students will explore together some of the key questions that confront those who seek to make a difference in an increasingly turbulent world.

Questions explored range from the personal to the political.  For instance, as you leave the Kennedy School and build a career, what are the personal qualities, values, and skills that one needs have or develop to lead successfully? When and how can one successfully jump into the public arena and still manage a balanced life at home? When facing a serious setback – a “crucible moment,” as Gergen calls them — how do you, as a young leader, find the resilience to recover and push yourself forward?  When is it the right time for you to enter the public arena? How do you find your voice and mobilize others? How do you build and nurture a strong team? How do you build and sustain a social movement?

For answers, Gergen draws on life journeys of leaders from different points in history, seeking out parallels and differences that can help students in their own leadership development. The leaders studied reflect the diversity of those who have struggled to create a more just and open world. The coursework includes biographical readings, leadership literature, films, classroom discussions, and also guest appearances by a diverse set of leaders who have wisdom to impart.

Cover of "Hearts Touched with Fire" a book by David GergenThis past Spring Gergen published an inspiring playbook for emerging change-makers called Hearts Touched with Fire. In the book Gergen has collected many of the stories and lessons learned from his years closely studying leaders, and he issues a call to the younger generations around the world to step up and lead through the array of challenges we are facing today. Both Gergen’s new book, and his previously published classic Eyewitness to Power are excellent companion readings to MLD-322 and other leadership development courses at Harvard Kennedy School like the courses in adaptive leadership, moral leadership, public narrative, and, also, American presidential leadership.

MLD-322 will be offered at Harvard Kennedy School in the fall semester. If you have any questions about this course, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.

Female doctor attending to male patient

MLD-636: Managing Transformations in Healthcare with Thomas Glynn

Learning from practice is a hallmark of the Harvard Kennedy School, and our faculty includes numerous talented individuals who have spent significant portions of their careers in public service.  Perhaps the best example is adjunct lecturer Thomas Glynn.

Glynn’s long and distinguished career has spanned across the public-, private- and non-profit sectors, and covered an array of public policy domains, including public health, labor, transportation, and urban development. From 1983 to 1988 Glynn served as Deputy Commissioner of Public Welfare in Massachusetts which included oversight of the Commonwealth’s Medicaid program. From 1989 to 1991, Glynn was the General Manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority which includes subway, trolley, bus, paratransit and commuter rail services for Greater Boston. In 1991 the Mayor of Boston, Raymond Flynn, tapped Glynn to chair the Mayor’s Healthcare Commission with a focus on improving the performance of neighborhood health centers. Then, in 1993, Glynn was nominated by President Bill Clinton to be U.S.  Deputy Secretary of Labor. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent and served through April 15, 1996. HKS adjunct lecturer Tom Glynn

Subsequently, from 1996 to 2010 he served as COO of Partners Healthcare (now called “Mass General Brigham | Integrated Health Care System”), a network of Harvard hospitals, clinicians, and neighborhood health centers. Stepping down from Partners in 2010, Glynn joined the Harvard Kennedy School for the first time, teaching MLD-101, then the introductory public management course in the MPP core, and serving as the faculty chair of an executive program for new State Commissioners for Public Health.  Called into public service again, Glynn left HKS to serve from 2012-2018 as CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority which includes Boston’s Logan International Airport, four maritime businesses in the Port of Boston and significant real estate portfolios in the South Boston Seaport and East Boston Waterfront. In 2018 Glynn returned to Harvard, becoming Chief Executive Officer of the Harvard Allston Land Company, overseeing the University’s non-institutional development of its Enterprise Research Campus in Allston, MA. In Fall of 2019, Glynn stepped back into the HKS classroom as an adjunct lecturer teaching courses in on strategic management for public service organizations.  Glynn continues to serve on the Board of Directors of the Pine Street Inn, an agency that serves the homeless, the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Health Professions, and several other non-profit healthcare organizations.  For his exceptional service, Glynn was named a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Bringing his wealth of experience into his course MLD-636: Managing Transformations in Healthcare Glynn focuses on how to successfully manage transformations in the U.S. healthcare system. Transformations in healthcare include changing reimbursement models, initiatives to improve quality, and projects to redesign the care delivery system. Unsurprisingly, given his experience, this course will work across sectors – non-profit, private, and public sectors, including federal, state and local levels.  Using primarily the case-method pedagogy, this course will begin with a focus on diagnosing specific contextual, organizational, and cultural challenges faced by organizations delivering healthcare.  Then the course will turn to management tools that can transform the healthcare delivery system. These tools include: 1) managing silos, 2) enhancing the role of clinicians, 3) goal setting and monitoring, and 4) public health campaigns. Glynn also plans to bring into his class several distinguished guest lecturers who are in the heart of current practice.

MLD-636 will be offered at Harvard Kennedy School in the fall semester. If you have any questions about this course, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.

MLD-208 Moral Practice for Public Leadership with Chris Robichaud

For Chris Robichaud, HKS Senior Lecturer in Ethics and Public Policy, it’s not enough to teach interesting ethical principles: “I want students to see ethics all around them, not just as something we talk about in a classroom.” With HKS students aspiring to a wide variety of leadership positions, Robichaud’s new course, MLD-208: Moral Practice for Public Leadership explores how moral practice can inform, complement, and most importantly improve all sorts of good public leadership. This new course does not simply offer another theory of leadership—“moral leadership”—but instead Robichaud aims to foster “moral practice,” specifically, a set of exercises, activities, and methods, to teach students to cultivate their moral perception, moral imagination, and moral character, all of which are directed towards improved moral action in the public sphere.

Students will come away with insight into their own ethos, strategies on how to continue to develop it (a lifelong pursuit), and models on how to have it deeply inform their own public leadership practice.

Students in MLD-208 will explore cross-cultural philosophical traditions, ancient as well as contemporary, to learn about this conception of ethics, understood not merely as a set of intellectual doctrines—not merely as a kind of thinking or reasoning—but as an entire ethos—as a way of life. As a bonus, students will come to learn how several of the most popular notions in leadership studies—purpose, character, authenticity, happiness and more—have their roots in philosophy, roots worth examining. MLD-208 is therefore a valuable complement to other HKS leadership courses, such as MLD-201, -202, -204, -215, -340, 355 and -617M.

Chris Robichaud pointing and smiling against a purple background with a diagram behind him
Sr. Lecturer Chris Robichaud

Robichaud who also serves as the Director of Pedagogical Innovation at Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard is consistently one of the school’s most pedagogically innovative instructors. His focus ever since arriving at Harvard has been on developing ways to teach ethics to students through active experiences. “There’s a stickiness that comes out of ethical simulations; students remember the kind of learning they have around them,” he says. Recent HKS alums will always remember the “Zombie Apocalypse” exercise that Robichaud created and fielded during the school’s student orientation.

For more on Robichaud’s pedagogy, including a brief preview and discussion of the Zombie Apocalypse simulation, view his SXSW EDU 2021 conversation “Why Teach Students About Zombies & Superheroes”

See also Robichaud’s 2020 article with Tomer J. Perry in Journal of Political Science Education “Teaching Ethics Using Simulations: Active Learning Exercises in Political Theory” (Vol.16; No.2): 225-242.

In addition, says Robichaud, “I’ve tried to take popular entertainment, with a focus on scary movies and superheroes (things I love), and show that you really can extract some interesting lessons in moral philosophy and ethics from that entertainment.”   See, for example, this discussion with Robichaud courtesy of WIRED magazine, titled “Harvard Professor Explains What the Avengers Can Teach Us About Philosophy.” 

In keeping to form, MLD-208 will employ a variety of tools to accomplish its learning goals, from the “usual suspects”—cases, simulations, film and other forms of fiction—to new experiential exercises. Students will come away with insight into their own ethos, strategies on how to continue to develop it (a lifelong pursuit), and models on how to have it deeply inform their own public leadership practice.

MLD-208 will be offered in the fall semester at the Harvard Kennedy School. For questions about these courses, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.

Fundamental Negotiation Training at HKS: MLD-215 with Rob Wilkinson and MLD-223 with Kessely Hong

Among the signature curriculum of the Harvard Kennedy School, negotiation training has always stood out as among the most popular due to its practicality and necessity across all sectors and policy domains. Founded by one of the luminaries of negotiation science, Howard Raiffa, HKS faculty have always been at the forefront of negotiation research and training. Furthermore, we recognize negotiation skills are a critical contributor to effective leadership of organizations, campaigns, and social movements of all types.

With the two introductory negotiation courses outside the MPP core, MLD-215 Negotiation and Leadership: Essential Theory and Practice for Enhancing Your Personal Effectiveness with Robert Wilkinson and MLD-223 Negotiating Across Differences with Kessely Hong students can learn the fundamental, time-tested frameworks of negotiation analysis. Both courses introduce the core concepts of distributive bargaining, value creation, stakeholder analysis, trust-building, barriers to agreement, and strategic approaches to negotiation.

Portrait photo of Robert Wilkinson, Lecturer in Public Policy and Leadership
Robert Wilkinson, Lecturer in Public Policy and Leadership

MLD-215 (Wilkinson) will provide students with the fundamental principles, theory and practice of the field of negotiation, but MLD-215 is especially distinctive in blending leadership and negotiation principles in a single course. The curriculum will balance theory and practice, and draws on the classic literature, as well as more recent work. Students will learn using the case study method, active simulations, group work and lectures to bring the conceptual material to life, as well as to build students’ personal negotiation and leadership skills. Drawing on his extensive experience as a practitioner in the field, Wilkinson will emphasize bringing in international examples and cases throughout the course, to provide both domestic and global perspectives on negotiation and leadership.

 

 

Kessely Hong smiling and teaching students in a Harvard classroom
Senior Lecturer Kessely Hong

MLD-223 (Hong) offers more complex, multiple-stakeholder cases and simulations, some of which include salient cultural or power differences and multi-party dynamics. Students are challenged to navigate differences in expectations, attitudes toward risk, culture, power, status, and partisan perceptions. In Hong’s course, students read and analyze a variety of very rich real-world cases, in which interpretations of the protagonists’ actions provide illuminating insights into similar spectrum of dynamics (personal, psychological, political, cultural, etc.) at play in negotiations over public policy.

 

 

Both MLD-215 and MLD-223 serve as pre-requisites for MLD-280M Advanced Workshop in Multiparty Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, the January-term course, taught by Brian Mandell, Mohamed Kamal Senior Lecturer in Negotiation and Public Policy.  Students wanting to additional venues to study, research, and design new ways of negotiation practice will be interested in exploring the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Collaboratory. Established and directed by Brian Mandell, the NCRC develops ways to connect students of negotiation with practitioners on the frontlines and faculty leading cutting-edge research. They seek to advance the field of experiential learning and motivate innovations in teaching advanced negotiation in simulated environments. In addition, NCRC faculty affiliates within the Center for Public Leadership engage in the interdisciplinary study of developments and trends at the intersection of negotiation and leadership.

MLD-215 and MLD-223 are offered at Harvard Kennedy School in Fall semester. MLD-215 will also be offered in spring semester. MLD-280M is offered in January term. If you have any questions about these courses, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.