Rockefeller Center deputy director co-authors book
On July 27, 2018, Sadhana Hall, deputy director of the Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, and Gama Perruci, professor of leadership studies at Marietta College published the book “Teaching Leadership: Bridging Theory and Practice.” Since its publication, the book has topped the Amazon New Releases chart in Social Studies Teaching Materials and currently ranks at number three on the list.
The book focuses on the idea of whether leadership can be taught, said Perruci. He said that the book gives educators — or anyone interested in leadership development — useful resources that apply to both the theory and practice of leadership development.
“There’s always been this debate about whether leadership can be taught,” Hall said. “This has been a debate in the field of leadership for quite a while, and through mine and Gama’s experience in the field, we strongly believe that it can be taught.”
The idea for the book began when the executive editor at Edward Elgar Publishing reached out to Perruci and asked him about writing a book about teaching. Perruci, who also serves as the Dean of the Bernard P. McDonough Center for Leadership and Business at Marietta, then recruited Hall to serve as a co-writer on the project because he wanted to add another “leadership program to the book so it would add more depth for the readers.”
“The leadership programming initiatives at Dartmouth are of really high quality, so that was really a big plus for the book — to highlight two programs that I think are doing very interesting work,” Perruci said.
Perruci said that his experience working with Hall was “delightful” and that she was a “great co-author.” He added that working with a co-author gave him an opportunity to work with somebody who would explore and share ideas at a deep level. Hall echoed Perruci’s sentiment, remarking that although co-authoring a book presents its own set of unique challenges, it was an “absolute pleasure” to work with Perruci.
“He is not only thoughtful, but also extremely supportive,” Hall said. “He really gets the Rockefeller Center program, so it makes it very easy to translate the theoretical side of what he is focusing on and connect it to the experiential side of learning about leadership, learning about yourself, learning how you work within teams and organizations to achieve societal good.”
Hall said that there were three conceptual approaches to teaching leadership: studying leadership, building competency and focusing on leadership development. She added that the book framed the teaching of leadership through four levels of analysis: the individual, the team or community, the organizational level and the global level. Hall added that the combination of all of these elements is key to the teaching of leadership.
Perruci said that the introduction of the book tells readers to “feel free to adopt and adjust” the book’s teachings to their own unique situation. Hall concurred, noting that adopting the teachings of the book to suit the reader’s own situation is a necessity, as it is impossible to replicate anything from one environment to another.
“We really hope that they will find [the book] stimulating, while also giving them great ideas for their own programs and their own initiatives,” Perruci said.