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Lesson Learned

Samba Tenin Diallo, Chief of the Industrial Fisheries Department, Centre National des Sciences Halieutiques de Boussoura

Samba Diallo received a small grant from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund to attend the 2005 Environmental Leadership Course given by the Smithsonian Institute’s Monitoring and Assessment of Biodiversity Program. The course takes leadership tools, behaviors, strategies, and concepts modeled from outstanding leaders in many fields, and applies them to solving environmental problems.

What was the most important lesson you learned?

By looking back at times in life when you have really excelled, you can learn how to develop the attitudes and habits that help you perform at your very best.

Describe how you learned this and whether/how you have adapted your approach or specific project elements as a result.

I learned this lesson in one of the workshops during the two-week course and it was very exciting for me. First of all, we had to identify what it was like to really be working on all cylinders – to be in a state of excellence – and be aware of the characteristics and qualities that are inherent to that state.

Working in pairs, we each thought of our most excellent moment; for me it was during my MSc thesis defense.

I remember feeling confident, capable, receptive, responsive, and successful in my role as an environmental leader.

Remembering that experience, I recalled what I saw, felt, and heard. I reconstructed the experience completely, noticing my posture, breathing and other sensations. My partner helped me to notice all the characteristics and then it was possible to recreate, step by step, the patterns of behavior, trains of thought, and actions that help me do the very best I can.

Whenever I’m in need of extra strength or find myself in a very challenging position, I use this approach to help get me through.

- December 2005
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Photo courtesy of Samba Diallo

Created in 1987, the Centre National des Sciences Halieutiques de Boussoura is a public research center set up by the government of Guinea to respond to fish and fisheries issues.

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