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Recipes for leadership in the 21st century from Sam Potolicchio

26.07.2016 13:55

What has changed in the usual portrait of leader in the 21st century? What do you need to do in order to be convincing? Which communication methods will work, which can be forgotten about? RANEPA Professor and director of the Global Governance and Leadership program Sam Potolicchio answered these student questions at Summer Campus.

Sam Potolicchio gave two lectures at Summer Campus 2016, the first was dedicated to leadership in the 21st century, the second to public speaking skills. As is always the case with Sam’s lectures, the audience was completely involved in the process from the very start. The conversation on leadership began with a small assignment. With the help of seven questions, to which the majority of students could not give a correct response, the professor demonstrated that our knowledge is often worse than we think.

“We may think that we know the correct answer, but in fact we do not,” Sam Potolicchio said. In this lies the main challenge of the 21st century for modern leaders – correct answers are becoming fewer and fewer, ready formulas work less often, and to the foreground come very different qualities.  “It is necessary to go beyond our usual frame of reference, to try to look at things from a different angle,” Sam said. “Those who manage to do this will become leaders.”

The second lecture was dedicated to the best practices in public speaking. At the start of the meeting, the professor floored the audience with a simple question: “Do you know what charisma is?” The answer became the key for understanding the entire topic of the class – charisma unites what at first glance seem to be mutually exclusive things – rigidity and softness.      

To make people listen to you is very difficult, Sam Potolicchio said. There are several methods that help develop charisma, that help one become a person, whose words resonate with the audience. Most of all it is important to make eye contact. Body language can be very convincing, much stronger than words.

“Speak with the help of stories, people love this, the entire Bible was built on stories. Don’t forget about humor, good jokes are remembered for a long time. Use succinct words, precise wording, which sounds strong,” Sam Potolicchio said.

At the end of his lecture Sam Potolicchio gave his last piece of advice, which may be unexpected: “Let the words speak for themselves, it is not necessary to artificially strengthen them. The most useless work in the English language is very. Your attempts to surprise and please the person you are speaking with will always be noted.”

The organizers of RANEPA’s Summer Campus are RANEPA, the government of the Republic of Tatarstan with the support of ACIG Group of Companies.

The website of RANEPA’s Summer Campus:

Media Accreditation: Dmitry Sokolov, RANEPA press secretary (tel. +7 903 788 38 02)

The Summer Campus’s general partner is Coca-Cola. The strategic partner is Johnson & Johnson. Partners are AIRR, Tatneft and ACIG Group of Companies.

The strategic information partner is TASS. The main information partner is The campus’s information agency is Interfax. The campus’s internet media is Gazeta.Ru. The campus’s journal is Forbes. The newspaper of the campus is Parlamentskaya Gazeta. The main regional information partner is Realnoye Vremya. The regional information partner is Tatar-Inform information agency. The information partner for the Republic of Tatarstan is Expert Tatarstan.

Campus partners are RBC Tatarstan, Russian News Service (Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei), Rossiyskaya Gazeta,, Tatarstan State TV and Radio Company, the weekly newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, Radio Svoboda, Kazan TV and Radio Company,, Kazanskie Vedomosti and the Strategia journal.


With the support of:

General partner:



Johnson & Johnson

Media partners:


General Media Partner


Strategic Media Partner


Main Information Partner


Campus Internet Media

Parlamentskaya Gazeta

Campus Newspaper

Realnoe Vremya

Main Regional Media Partner

Regional Media Partner


  • RBC Tatarstan
  • ГТРК Татарстан
  • Rossiyskaya Gazeta
  • Radio Liberty
  • EXPERT Tatarstan
  • Strategy Journal
  • KazanFirst