Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Teaching leadership- testing character

An innovative approach to business education

Stress testing the character of future business leaders

Early one morning late last summer, a bus load of ambitious Ivey Business School students departed from Western University’s campus in London, Ontario, and headed north for a unique course on leadership. The individuals in question were not exactly sure what to expect when they arrived at their destination—Canadian Forces Base Borden.

From the course outline, the students knew Leadership Under Fire: Developing Character was a new program designed to challenge them both mentally and physically in an environment outside their comfort zones. Many students, however, didn’t fully realize how much the course would empower them to explore their personal strengths and weaknesses and assess their suitability for leadership. Some students imagined they had signed up for a field trip with relatively simple team building exercises and a fun obstacle course. At least one didn’t even bother to bring along boots and a backpack, which were clearly listed as required items on the course equipment list. These harmless misconceptions were quickly dispelled along with the dangerous and false idea that good leadership comes easy to intelligent and confident people.

Waiting for our Clausewitz

Clausewitz (II)

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