Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

Welcome to Wharton Leadership

In Leadership, MBA Students, Uncategorized, Undergraduate Students, Wharton on July 14, 2010 at 10:45 pm

As we kick off a new academic year, we are also excited to launch a new look for the Wharton Leadership Program website.  It is our hope that our new site will provide the information that you may be seeking about both our coursework and out-of-classroom development experiences, whether you are a prospective student, current student, mid-career manager, or just interested in our research and teaching.

We seek to help people at all stages of their careers – high school students, undergraduate students, MBA students, and mid-career managers and executives – develop and learn as leaders.  We want to provide an array of opportunities for strengthening their leadership through class work, experiential learning, short courses, and access to research.

For high school students we support two summer programs on leaderships; for undergraduate students, our offerings include a course on “Leadership and Communication” (Management 100); for MBA students, we include a course on “Leadership and Teamwork” (Management 652); and for mid-career managers and executives, we help Wharton Executive Education support an array of leadership programs.

We are also working to build a variety of opportunities for people to apply their classroom learning and program concepts.  Our learning venues range from non-profit organizations and the mountains of Ecuador to the Shakespearian stage and Civil War battlefield.  We believe that by combining leadership coursework with direct experience, the premier concepts of leadership – thinking strategically, communicating persuasively, deciding decisively – can be best learned and enduringly mastered. Read the rest of this entry »


Experiential Learning: Our Approach to Leadership Development

In Leadership, MBA Students, Uncategorized, Undergraduate Students, Wharton on July 14, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Wharton turns leadership education on its head by giving students the test first, and then mining that test for learning and lessons.  Jeff Harmer, a 2006 MBA graduate, first said that to me when reflecting on his experiences as part of the Wharton Leadership Ventures and the Leadership Fellows program.  It’s a statement that has stayed with me for the past five years, and Jeff’s comment has, in many ways, shaped and guided my approach to leadership development.

The Wharton Leadership Program is at heart of the student experience, and the key word is “experience”.  Experiential learning shapes the courses and co-curricular programs that the Leadership Program delivers and supports.  At Wharton, students learn leadership by linking core academic concepts – influence, emotional intelligence, decision-making, and organizational awareness, for example – with hands-on experiences created specifically for Wharton students to test and acquire new skills.

From the wilderness expeditions of the Wharton Leadership Ventures to the community leadership projects and roles found in Management 100, the Non Profit Board Leadership Program, and the Social Enterprise Fellows, our programs create deep leadership roles imbued with meaning and peer-based learning and reflection.  Management 652, the Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership course that features the innovative Wharton Teamwork and Leadership Simulation, is the first course that incoming MBA students complete.  Every Undergraduate and MBA student completes coursework in leadership, communications, and ethics, and this commitment to leadership education has shaped the student experience for close to 20 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Experiential Learning: A Note from Undergrad

In Leadership, Undergraduate Students, Wharton on July 2, 2010 at 5:18 pm

At Wharton, leadership education for grads and undergrads is bottom up and participative.  The hallmark of leadership education at Wharton is experiential learning.  Experiential learning is central to Management 100, the undergraduate Leadership Ventures, our communication initiatives, and our summer business institutes for high school students.

I like to tell my undergrads enrolled in MGMT 100—the foundation leadership course taken by all in-coming students—that the course is “upside down, backwards, and high touch.”  The course is “upside down” because the project team experience is the primary text of the class.  Over the course of the year, Wharton undergrads nearly 70 field projects through MGMT 100.  In the fall, freshmen participate in community service projects, a good number supplied by the United Way; in the spring, upper level students work on consulting projects sponsored by Wharton’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC).  The field projects—whether community service or consulting—provide an excellent opportunity for students to develop their skills, participate in a high performance team, and contribute to the greater community.  MGMT 100 is upside down and “backwards” because students “take the test first and then study”—in other words, they go out into the world, meet with their clients, work on their projects, return to the classroom and reflect on what happened and what they would do the same or differently.  The course is upside down, backwards, and “high touch” because the students realize that relationships matter. They roll up their sleeves and complete a task, but they also build strong relationships with each other and their client.    Read the rest of this entry »