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International Journal of Leadership Education

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Leadership Development Beyond the Classroom: The Value of Leadership Ventures to Instruct Leadership Decision Making

IJLE Volume 1 Issue 1:


Author(s): Michael Useem, Mark Davidson and Evan Wittenberg

Leadership decisions are moments when those with organizational responsibility face a discrete opportunity to commit resources on behalf of an organization's objectives. Drawing on our experience in constructing a set of 'leadership ventures' for MBA students and company managers, we identify how leadership decisions in business schools and firms can be enhanced through out-of-classroom programs that build upon classroom training. A key objective is fostering a capacity for making good and timely decisions in fast-changing and ambiguous environments. The ventures take participants into such environments where they evaluate their own leadership decisions and those of others in the same settings, ranging from the Andes and Antarctica to the Himalayas and Marine Corps. We identify four guiding capabilities for leadership decisions that are particularly subject to strengthening during such learning experiences: transcending self-interest, determining direction, living by one's principles, and acting decisively.

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