It takes more than brilliant solutions to be successful in business. Standing out from the rest depends on how well you communicate, collaborate, and motivate people. These skills are critical to a lifetime of strong business relationships and career advancement.
Chicago Booth understands the importance of developing leaders beyond their business acumen and technical expertise. We developed one of the first experiential leadership programs for full-time students at a major business school in 1989 under the guidance of Harry Davis, Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Distinguished Professor of Creative Management. Now called Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD), the LEAD course is the only required class across all of the Booth MBA Programs.
Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD)
LEAD starts during LAUNCH – a 3-day program that connects students to the Booth community, and establishes a foundation for lifelong learning, growth and engagement.
The interactive and intensive LEAD course is designed to enhance students’ leadership effectiveness by providing them with opportunities to increase their self-awareness, develop action and insight skills and build strategies for continued lifelong learning and leadership development. Through experiential sessions in which students work in teams, practice the art and science of influence, give and receive feedback and develop their presentation skills, the course provides students with a baseline understanding of their leadership capabilities.
"LEAD was a phenomenal experience for me. I realized the difference in how others perceive me versus how I perceive myself, which is a lesson that I took very seriously." Adrian Pellen, '18, Evening MBA Program
Students complete all of their LEAD requirements at LAUNCH and are encouraged to stay in action around their leadership growth throughout their time at Booth.
Leadership Development beyond the LEAD Course
Beyond the foundational coursework in LEAD, Chicago Booth's Leadership Development Office provides ongoing leadership development experiences and coaching that increase a student’s awareness, generate new insights and keep a student in action around their growth and development. Throughout their time at Booth, students have opportunities to continue their leadership development by engaging in a wide range of co-curricular experiences through our Leadership in Practice (LIP) sessions, Leadership Retreat and Booth Women Advance program:
Leadership In Practice
- Offering numerous workshops during Week 3 of every quarter, these sessions focus on strengthening self-awareness and developing new and/or refining existing leadership skills.
- Offered twice a year, this offsite retreat is an opportunity for students who have completed at least 10 courses to reflect on their leadership growth and reconnect with their classmates.
Booth Women Advance
- An annual leadership program open to Evening, Weekend and Executive MBA women, Booth Women Advance provides a woman-centered workspace in which students can further develop their leadership capacity.
Designed and taught by experts in the leadership development field, these co-curricular sessions enhance our students’ self-awareness while also offering practical tools and experiences that students can apply in the classroom and at work.
Courses on Leadership
Our Chicago perspective on leadership is also woven into the Booth curriculum. Here at Booth, our faculty incorporate practical applications into their courses to make students better leaders. Some example courses are below.
- Managing in Organizations
- Leading and Managing Teams
- Diversity of Organizations
- Power and Influence in Organizations
Harry Davis Center for Leadership
The Harry L. Davis Center for Leadership is an incubator for generating new insights about leadership that impact education, practice, and discovery for future generations of students. The center has a deep commitment to collaboration and experimentation within leadership development. It creates and facilitates open dialogue to explore the skills required of leaders, develops solutions for critical leadership challenges, and builds transformative learning experiences to develop principled, progressive leaders. With a “scientific approach” towards experimentation and rigorous means of evaluating new initiatives, the center seeks opportunities for collecting quantitative and qualitative data to support actionable conclusions to scale across leadership contexts.
Finally, the center empowers students, alumni, and partners with the skills to continually learn from their own experience throughout their career and encourages them to engage in their own regular experimentation, practice, data collection, and reflection.
For more information on Leadership Development at Chicago Booth, please contact the Leadership Development Office for Part-Time MBA Programs at ewmbaLEAD@chicagobooth.edu.