“Education is about bringing out the best in people,” said Alexandre Havard, who teaches a virtuous leadership class.
In his class students were going through a series of psychological tests to find out more about their personalities, as well as studying cases and having profound philosophical discussions.
“Leadership is transformational science, and my goal is to help students understand who they are, find their virtues, and develop their character,” so Havard. He differentiates between manipulation (“making people do things they otherwise don’t want”) and leadership, “Everyone can become a great leader if they are willing to develop their virtues over time.”
Only first-year master’s students are required to take classes during ISP. But many graduate students and even employees don’t miss the opportunity and reach great results.
“Before coming to Skoltech, I was presenting like a robot who spoke loud. I took different storytelling classes, and over the years I’ve gotten better,” said Javier Peñuela, a second-year PhD student in engineering systems. “Any work is useless if you can’t present it,” he explained his motivation to learn public speaking.
In a four-minute presentation during Ziad Barouni’s storytelling class Peñuela managed to charm the audience with a personal story and earn their laughs and applause. The instructor drew attention to the openness and vulnerability of the storyteller.