A Closer Look at the April 2015 Immersion: Day Two

MHA@GW students are required to attend a total of four immersion experiences while enrolled in the program. Recently, the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University welcomed more than 20 new students to campus for an intensive, three-day course on leadership and ethics, led by Program Director Dr. Leonard Friedman and Professor Ricky Allen, MHSA, MDiv, FACHE.

Curious about previous immersions? Read more about our experiences in September 2014 and January 2015.

Navigating Professional Differences

What do different people need in a professional environment? How do certain personality types prefer to lead and, just as importantly, how do they prefer to be led? How can you influence your work environment in a way that supports productive collaboration among a variety of personality types? The Saturday morning session investigated the relationship between personality type and organizational effectiveness through continued analysis of students’ MBTI results. The discussion revolved around an interpretation of the MBTI advanced by psychologist David Keirsey, who asserted that types could be grouped into four temperaments: sensing/judging, sensing/perceiving, intuition/thinking, and intuition/feeling.


Students found that these combination groups can tell us a lot about how individuals behave in the workplace and the environments that encourage them to grow or shut down. (For example, some individuals thrive in conflict; others require a more harmonious work environment.) A good leader, Dr. Friedman said, can recognize when others’ preferences don’t coincide with their own — and then figure out how to address those inherent gaps in understanding. “Just because you don’t need it doesn’t mean others don’t,” he said.

“Whatever you do has got to be for the benefit of our patients or our communities,” he said. “Not for your board of directors, not for some payer and not for some regulatory body.” – Dr. Leonard Friedman

“I believe that what makes an organization effective is employee initiative, flexibility and accountability,” Dr. Friedman said in his conclusion of the session. That means, he said, influencing the origin of employees’ motivations to be intrinsic rather than extrinsic, including employees in decision making, communicating the organizational mission and values, and, finally, being flexible and responsive.

“Whatever you do has got to be for the benefit of our patients or our communities,” he said. “Not for your board of directors, not for some payer and not for some regulatory body.”

Go Colonials! Joining the GW Community 


Students took a quick break from sessions to pick up their keys to the campus: GWorld cards. They also stopped by the official campus bookstore for some essential buff-and-blue supplies.

Leadership Theories, Styles and Case Studies

Back to work: Saturday afternoon, students took a deep dive into leadership theories and styles with Professor Allen. Understanding where a specific theory might apply, or where a certain style might be most effective, he said, can help leaders facilitate collaboration among different personality types. To illuminate and differentiate styles of leadership — servant, autocratic, laissez-faire, democratic and situational — students broke into groups to assess a real-world case study. Each group was assigned a leadership style and tasked with role-playing the outcome of the case based on that style.


What did you miss? Read about day one and day three of this immersion experience.