UNC Kenan-Flagler has launched an innovative approach to develop MBAs’ leadership skills.
The Kenan-Flagler Leadership Initiative is an integrated, experience-based program that assesses and develops MBAs’ leadership skills. Students will test their leadership skills by putting them into practice to solve real business problems and graduate with a track-record of effective leadership.
Mindy Storrie (EMBA ’97) is directing the initiative. She draws upon 12 years of management experience at General Electric and seven years leading MBA Career Services at UNC Kenan-Flagler.
"Teaching leadership principles is not enough," said Dean Steve Jones. "The formula for developing leadership skills also includes the trial-and-error application of those principles, followed by constructive feedback. UNC students will apply what they’ve learned to solve real problems for real companies – where consequences matter."
MBAs develop strong functional and quantitative skills at UNC Kenan-Flagler, but even more is required for career success, said Valarie Zeithaml, associate dean of the MBA Program.
"Typically, leaders demonstrate initiative, take risks, communicate well and work in teams to get things done through and with groups of people," said Zeithaml. "Managers are seen as executing complex processes. We realize that recruiters want the MBAs they hire to be both leaders and managers, and we are meeting those needs."
Storrie is leading the design and delivery of leadership experiences outside the classroom to complement existing courses and programs. MBAs will apply leadership principles by:
- Developing individual plans that include personal self-assessment and career goal-setting, and then identifying ways to gain additional leadership experiences while at UNC
- Receiving feedback and reflecting on their experiences guided by leadership coaches
- Consulting with companies and organizations to solve real business problems
- Interacting intensively with executives who will share their expertise through coaching, small group discussions, workshops, training sessions and networking activities
- Applying what they have learned in simulations and action-learning projects
"The Kenan-Flagler Leadership Initiative is strengthening UNC’s already robust corporate relations and alumni network through their active involvement in these programs," said Storrie. "UNC alumni are a valuable resource for the School and vital to the success of this initiative. I’ve been thrilled by our alumni’s positive reactions to our plans and their dedication to helping us develop the next generation of leaders."