I attended my second Atlas Corps Leadership Lab from Sep 18-22, 2017. The training was designed by Atlas Corps and Deloitte focused on enhancing our knowledge and skills in business chemistry, emotional intelligence, and social entrepreneurship to improve participants’ decision making and leadership skills.

I enjoyed most of the sessions and the best was the last day session by Prof. Sam Potolicchio, director of Global and Custom Education at Georgetown University‘s McCourt School of Public Policy Executive Education program. The training was very thought-provoking and engaging not only because of its intriguing content but also the remarkable ability of Prof. Sam to grab the attention of all participants. A sign of great teacher indeed. No wonder he was Princeton Review in 2012 named Potolicchio one of the “Best Professors in America”, the only professor chose from his field.

My learnings:

  • No pressure, no diamond. The only way to success is to work hard. We should always look for different opportunities to create impact.
  • Smallest things make the decision.
  • Big work must be accomplished first in the morning.
  • With too much choice, one becomes paralyzed.
  • Overcoming Cognitive deficit
  • How effective communication skills enhance leadership skills

The interesting part was to learn about cognitive deficit which is an inclusive term used to describe impairment in an individual’s mental processes that lead to the acquisition of information and knowledge, and drive how an individual understands and acts in the world. Prof Sam highlighted and explained the some of the points that can help us to overcome our cognitive deficit:

  1. Increase the amount of Serendipity; get out of customization.
  2. Understanding Flawsome rather than Awesome cause imperfection teaches you. Embrace your flaws, take a risk and get out of your comfort zone.
  3. Know your weaknesses. Always figure out how bad you are on a daily basis, reflect on it and work to improve on your weaknesses.

‘The art of Communication is the language of leadership.’

Powerful leaders have the impeccable ability to frame messages and interpret messages to the people, and people often judge leaders by how far they are able to communicate with them. Self-Awareness is very important for effective Communication. It is imperative that you must be aware of who you are, your motivations, emotions, beliefs and inner thoughts are as you communicate with others. Also, it was interesting to learn how intellectual people and leaders tend to slow down the pace of the communication.

Overcoming Skepticism (adversary) during a debate

Often leaders come triumph at public debates and some tips Prof. has shared to come out as a winner at debates are:

  • Restate their argument more lucidly, vividly and imaginatively
  • Acknowledge your opponent after restating
  • Find some areas of common agreement during the debate

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