SSE STUDENTS INTEGRATE LEADERSHIP SKILLS WITH SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
Students enrolled in the MSc Business & Management Program at SSE learn skills of influence and persuasion as they raise funds for a non-profit organization.
"In this particular case, the students were asked to raise funds for the Swedish Red Cross’s Syria campaign based on the influence and persuasion literature the they recently learned", says Andrew Schenkel, Assistant Professor at the Department of Management and Organization and course director of Leading Change taught to students enrolled in the MBM program at the school. The purpose of the course is to prepare students for future leadership challenges through providing them with a broad and deep understanding of leadership and theory as well as skills such that they can meet future challenges.
Anders Danielsson, General Secretary of the Swedish Red Cross, was invited to SSE to review the campaigns the students had developed and to receive the funds that had been collected.
Over the past few weeks, the students have been working on the project in groups. Some groups aimed at a more personal approach, others tried to appeal to the inner choices of the “target person". Some chose a concise and straightforward presentation of facts, others offered candy. One group even created a campaign launched in social media.
Though the pitches vary greatly, recurring themes seem to be the weather, geographical location and timing. Key words such as children or Syria also seem to have had an impact and contributed to increase the proceeds.
At the beginning of the session, Andrew Schenkel addressed the class:
"You have all done a great job and I am incredibly proud to see how you have approached the task and thereby contributed to society."
After the presentations, Anders Danielsson, who has previously worked as Director General of the Swedish Migration Board (2012-2016), and as Director General, and Head of the Swedish Security Service (2007-2012), shared his thoughts on leadership, based on his wide experience from the public sector and from a non-profit organization.
“Basically and eventually it is based on the same rules”, according to Anders Danielsson “My leadership is based on values. You have to have common values within the organization. I am working for the free society and for democratic values. The mission is to protect our rights and our democracy whether I am a police commissioner or the Director General of an NGO.”
To the question "How are you as a leader?", raised by one of the students, Anders Danielsson answered: "Present, very present. Very clear. Rather fearless. I listen to what others have to say. Ultimately my main objective has always been to contribute to a better and safer world."
He ended his presentation by expressing his deepest gratitude to the students: "Thank you very much for your contribution. It means a lot, both for the Swedish Red Cross, but also for those who eventually will have the benefits of the money that you have raised. So once again, thank you on behalf of the Red Cross, The Swedish Red Cross, and on behalf of those who need it the most".