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Holding Court: Sadhana Warty Hall

Photo of Sadhana Warty Hall
Photo of Sadhana Warty Hall

In this week's edition, we speak with Sadhana Warty Hall, Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Center who oversees programs focusing on leadership, public policy and civil engagement. She's even gone as far as to co-author the book Teaching Leadership: Bridging Theory and Practice which strives to several aspects of teaching leadership and why it is important.

What is your book about?

This book illustrates how leadership can be taught and I recommend it for sceptics and believers. It shows how to bridge theory and practice in higher education settings. I am also learning that the content can be adapted, adopted, and adjusted for high school settings, for-profit, not-for-profit, and government institutions as well. Exciting. Leadership CAN be taught.

Where did you get your ideas for this book?

The idea for this book is best summarized from an account from the book. The idea grew from a conversation Alan Sturmer Executive Editor, Edward Elgar Publishing Inc., had with Joanne Ciulla, professor emerita, Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond. She who edits EE’s leadership series. Sturmer was looking to do a volume on Teaching Leadership. Ciulla suggested contacting my Gama Perruci, who asked whether I would co-author the book with him.

Ideas in this book are completely based on our experience related to teaching leadership in curricular and the co-curricular settings. It bridges theory with practice, it shares the idea of continuos quality improvement, and broader learning from concepts related to leadership education, training, and development.

What does research look like for you? What element of research could you not live without?

A quiet space, a fast laptop, and a process that helps to capture themes supporting an idea germinating in my mind.

What do you think the library of the future will look like?

Ability to read books online! Ability to gather as a learning community in a dedicated physical and online space.

What advice would you give to an aspiring scholar or writer?

Start with writing your key ideas down. Organize them. Look at gaps. See what research says about the ideas. If you are given a deadline and you think it is doable, I think you should double or triple the time you think it will take you to complete your project. Choose a co-author carefully. I was very lucky but I have heard it is hard to work on co-authored projects often.

And finally, what do you read for fun? Or, what would you be reading if you had more time?

I would be reading biographies and autobiographies of presidents and prime-ministers if I had more time. It is interesting to learn about the thought processes behind incidents have taken place.

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