Weatherhead MBA Students in the LEAD
The MBA program at Weatherhead requires first-year students to complete Leadership Assessment and Development—LEAD for short—a course that launches the process of learning to lead others by encouraging students to look within. LEAD starts out with self-evaluations during which students find out about their own leadership and learning capacities.
Among the tools for self-evaluation used in class, Janice de Camara, MBA '11, cited the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory as especially informative. "It was extremely enlightening. People from all areas of my life answered questions, generating a 360-degree feedback on my competencies," she says. "Then, a one-on-one session with a trained coach enabled me to seriously analyze the results and interpret them in relation to my career vision."
Armed with new knowledge of their personal leadership strengths and deficiencies, students create personal development plans before being assigned to teams that include members with diverse learning styles. Raghavendra Thammala, MBA '11, says this was among the aspects of the course that he considered to have the most lasting value.
"Differing learning styles explain why a certain thing clicks for one person and not another," he says. "Not only that, but an individual's learning style has a lot to do with that person's working style."
And because at Weatherhead (as in the working world) the ability to work effectively in teams is crucial, students welcome the group work experience that LEAD provides. Thammala is convinced that students will continue to reap the benefits of that experience for years to come.
"Three or four years down the line, our knowledge of working in teams will be especially important. Our entire jobs will revolve around working in, and leading, teams," he says.
"The LEAD course is truly unique," de Camara agrees. "It focuses on the MBA student as a person. It provided me with the opportunity to explore and understand my personal values and abilities and to ultimately align those with a career vision."