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LLP Alumni Seminar with Dr. Anna Dolidze

On a stormy Tuesday evening in June an Alumni Seminar was held for alumni and students of the (International) Leiden Leadership Programme for which a special international guest had been invited: Dr. Anna Dolidze.

Herself an alumna of Leiden University and visiting from Tbilisi, Georgia to share her impressive leadership experiences from her diverse career path in human rights activism, academia, and public service as the Deputy Minister of Defense, and now the right-hand of the President of Georgia. She shared with the soaked audience some anecdotes about when her leadership was particularly challenged; for example renovating a military training facility in Georgia – here she introduced her analogy with matryoshka dolls. Even a simple enough problem in a developing country can turn out to hold many more complicated problems, each problem uncovering the next – like the Russian dolls.

Anna made another analogy between leadership and decision making and romantic relationships; how long do you try to patch things up and invest in the many layered doll-like problem and when do you decide to start over with a new and shiny and rather more exciting doll?

After these interesting insights into her personal leadership and the way she perceived leadership challenges in her various professions, the audience discussed with her a lot of interesting issues such as, among others, the media, her personal choices, gender and leadership, Georgian culture, and her future plans. Asked about her future plans Anna mentioned the British philosopher Isaiah Berlin and his essay “The Hedgehog and the Fox” and her strong identification with the fox. Who knows where the future will take her and the assembled alumni? Hopefully we will see them all, and especially Anna Dolidze, again at the Honours Academy in the near future!

The LLP Alumni Seminars are held twice a year to give the alumni of the leadership programmes an opportunity to, again, learn from experienced leaders and reflect on their own progress since they participated in the programme. Also of course, especially during the drinks afterwards in nearby café ‘De Keyzer’, the alumni have the chance catch up.

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