Tag Archives: LEAD

30 years of LEAD: Reflecting with Professor Harry Davis

Chicago Booth is known for its flexible curriculum, which allows students to curate a tailored MBA experience by picking and choosing the courses they want to do. In fact, there is only one class that is mandatory for everyone: Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD). The course is designed to enhance one’s self-awareness and interpersonal effectiveness by working in teams and going through modules such as cross-cultural communication, personality development, and feedback and coaching.

Each year, 40 second-year students (called LEAD facilitators) are selected by faculty to design and deliver this flagship course to an incoming class of ~600 students. I had the pleasure of being a LEAD facilitator this year, an experience that has been the highlight of my time at business school.

But in a school that is known for cutting-edge research in finance and economics—and has faculty that is at the forefront of their fields—why is a student-run course on leadership the only mandatory class? I got the amazing opportunity to sit down with Professor Harry Davis to reflect on the journey of LEAD, 30 years after he started the program in 1989.

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Leadership Beyond LEAD

One of the reasons I came to Booth was to improve my leadership skills. Having been a student here for 6 months, I reconfirm that coming to Booth was the right decision regarding this goal. There are many opportunities to help improve your leadership skills, and I want to share some of them with you.

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A Path To The Tipping Point

“You going to sign up for this ‘Tipping Point’ deal?” a friend asked me as we walked out of one of our Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD) classes early in the quarter.

I replied, “I don’t know – I’m not clear what it is, exactly. A case competition? With alumni as judges? And you only receive materials the night beforehand? Sounds intense – and there’s already so much else to do this quarter.”

“I know man – but every second year who did it says it was one of the best parts of LEAD.”

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Hear Second Years Reflect On Their LEAD Experience

The Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD) program is an experiential learning course that all Booth students take when they arrive on campus. The program starts alongside Orientation and extends into the first quarter. The lessons from LEAD are meant to guide students through their continued development at Booth and beyond. Hear six students from the Class of 2019 (including yours truly) reflect on the LEAD lessons they used during their summer internships! Watch our video!

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What’s in a Leader? A Deep Dive into Booth’s 2020 Class

Last week, our very own Bo Shi wrote about his experience as a LEAD Facil (read more about it here). The learning experiences and chance to improve his own leadership skills pushed Bo to dedicate months to developing the LEAD curriculum and facilitating the first-year class.

However, the new Y1s at Booth are leaders in their own right. Booth’s Class of 2020 was featured this week in a Poets & Quants article highlighting their leadership and experiences in LEAD. In this leadership series, we will delve deeper into these students’ profiles and discover what leadership means to them!

Read the P&Q article