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A Dynamic Environment for Growing and Developing Business Leaders: A Look at Leadership Programs at Johnson

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Brett Davidson, MBA ’14, above, participates in a drill during Johnson’s Leadership Expedition to USMC Quantico in spring 2013. The expedition is one of several offered by Johnson Leadership Programs. Photo by Alex Chang, MBA ’12 (CQ)

Daniel Ahmad, MBA ‘14

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Brett Davidson, MBA ’14, above, participates in a drill during Johnson’s Leadership Expedition to USMC Quantico in spring 2013. The expedition is one of several offered by Johnson Leadership Programs. Photo by Alex Chang, MBA ’12 (CQ)

Brett Davidson, MBA ’14, above, participates in a drill during Johnson’s Leadership Expedition to USMC Quantico in spring 2013. The expedition is one of several offered by Johnson Leadership Programs. Photo by Alex Chang, MBA ’12 (CQ)

In today’s increasingly complex and uncertain world, strong leadership skills are a differentiator that can propel careers to the stratosphere. Just as business school admissions offices place an emphasis on meaningful leadership experience, employers are searching for candidates who have taken a structured approach to growing, developing, and articulating their leadership growth while in business school. In response to the growing demand for strong leadership potential, Johnson is developing programs that allow students to learn the skills to realize and hone their own leadership potential while in business school and beyond.

 

The Johnson Leadership Programs office was created in June 2012, with Jerry Rizzo as the first director, as an all-encompassing umbrella that streamlines and manages leadership activities at Johnson. In developing a distinct Leadership Programs office, the Johnson administration wanted to bring all of the school’s leadership activities under one roof with dedicated resources to grow and develop leadership at Johnson.

 

Johnson’s approach to leadership development model is structured on the principles of competence, character, compassion, and courage. This Johnson 4Cs Leadership Framework is grounded in the latest research and is unique to Johnson. Through a reinforcing cycle of instruction, experience, and review, students are encouraged to put the principles into practice and seek opportunities to learn and grow inside and outside the classroom.

 

“I think the best way to teach leadership is through a continuous, reinforcing cycle of instruction, experience, and review. We start by delivering knowledge, teaching the principles of leadership. Then we create opportunities for students to lead. This gives students the chances to put principles into practice, and because these are relatively safe environments, they have room to experiment.” 

-Jerry Rizzo, Director of Johnson’s Leadership Programs

 

Students can hone their leadership skills while at Johnson with diverse offerings that range from for-credit academic courses to extracurricular and experiential leadership opportunities. There are leadership course offerings, supplemental workshops (LSPs), leadership speaker series, as well as various opportunities for coaching and feedback available at Johnson. Leadership Programs also organizes leadership expeditions to Patagonia and the Utah Canyonlands, where students can gain unparalleled leadership training in unique settings that are nearly impossible to recreate in the classroom. Another extremely popular leadership expedition opportunity for students is an overnight expedition to United States Marine Core Base Quantico in Quantico, Virginia. On this expedition, students go through two days of intensive training and practice in leading under pressure during an abbreviated officer training school program run by drill instructors from the United States Marine Corps.

 

Leadership Programs is also focused on building on the success of Johnson’s current programs by continuously improving its offerings for the future. It will be imperative to continue to look for way to enhance opportunities for individual coaching and personal leadership development to complement the classroom and extracurricular leadership experience. Incoming students will be asked to complete a 360 degree assessment prior to coming to Johnson. They will get the results once they get here and will use the results to map out a two-year leadership development plan for their time at Johnson. This will drive students to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, identify areas they want to improve, and develop and plan to utilize the resources and opportunities at Johnson to achieve their leadership development goals.

 

There are also exciting opportunities to expand the curriculum as Cornell NYC Tech becomes a reality. The unique blend of technology and entrepreneurs in an academic setting at Cornell NYC Tech provides an excellent breeding ground to train and develop cutting edge leaders. As we move forward into the future, Johnson will continue to commit to growing and developing the next generation of leaders to take on the challenges of today and tomorrow.

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