TOMODACHI Alumni Learn How to Discover their Own Leadership Style
On April 23 and 24, 2016, 21 high school and university students participated in the TOMODACHI Alumni Learning Journey Program held in Tokyo. Students gathered at the Wilson Learning Center to identify and develop their leadership style and in the long term apply it within their own communities. This alumni-led program was developed and implemented by Mio Yamamoto, alumna of the TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program and adapted World in Tohoku (WIT)’s model of building capacity of social entrepreneurs and leaders from diverse fields to create long-term social impact in the society.
The first day kicked off with a group discussion of each individual’s objectives for the two-day program and a role model for leadership. The group sharing around this topic allowed participants to practice their skills around non-judgmental listening, empathetic listening and active listening. The program then shifted to presentations by three honorable guest speakers: Erika Ogawa, CEO of Guinness World Records Japan; Janelle Sasaki, Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Ernst & Young; and Charles McJilton, Founder of Second Harvest Japan. Each guest speaker was invited to talk about their journey up until now and how they have experienced and understood the concept of leadership throughout. Day one of the program concluded with participants engaging in a hear-coaching session where participants paired off to talk about a leadership experience they had in the past and the challenges that came with that particular experience.
On day two of the program, participants envisioned their future and how their unique leadership style is a strong asset in building the future they aspire. They discussed the idea of Distributed Leadership, which divides leadership into four styles: visioning, relating, inventing, and sense-making, was introduced to the group. During their group activity, the participants learned to leverage each individual’s strengths and different leadership styles. The last activity of the program enabled the participants to reflect on their vision, emotions, and changes that are going to happen to their lives.
One of the TOMODACHI alumni stated, “I tried to post my reflection from this program onto Facebook, but I couldn’t. So much learning and my thoughts are still scattered. I want to keep thinking through and develop my own leadership style.”
This alumni workshop was made possible by the generous support of The Prudential Foundation, which sponsors the TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program.