Yale School of Management

SOM in the Utah wilderness

November 6, 2012

SOM is investing heavily in its new Leader Development Program. Yale went to West Point and hired General Tom Kolditz, the soldier/scholar who spent the last twelve years refining how the U.S. Army teaches leadership skills to its most promising young officers. SOM has hired professional leadership coaches to advise every M.B.A. student. And today I attended an info session for a proposed new program: a ten-day Yale/National Outdoor Leadership School wilderness leadership course in Utah canyon country. I was struck by the four leadership skills that NOLS emphasizes:

  1. Designated leadership

  2. Active followership

  3. Peer leadership - leading when there is no formal hierarchy

  4. Self leadership - willpower, attitude, character

I've of course thought about the differences between formal, role-determined leadership and spontaneous, non-hierarchical leadership. But I've never thought about active followership or self leadership as facets of this same equation. I hope to do the Yale/NOLS course in May 2013.

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Daniel Weisfield