Leadership Practicum is designed to help you work on yourself as a leader. The class offers three invaluable inputs toward helping you develop:
1. insight concerning the fundamentals of leading,
2. guidance toward building a personal, authentic strategy for leading and developing the skills required to bring your strategy to life, and
3. coaching to accelerate your development.
The fundamentals of leading
Practicum provides a succinct introduction to the foundational questions associated with leading. Class readings, assignments, and discussions encourage students to achieve a deeper understanding of the choices leaders make. Over the course of the quarter, students generate their own responses to these questions and, in so doing, lay the foundation for building their own strategy for leading others.
Guidance toward building a personal strategy and developing one’s skills
Building a personal style of leading can require the better part of a career. To fast track your efforts, Practicum introduces a number of different leadership strategies (e.g., the visionary leader, the relational leader, the leader as coach, and the directive leader). Each strategy describes a point of view about leading and a set of tactics for operationalizing it. These strategies serve as source material as students formulate their personal strategy. The course culminates with an assignment in which students create a statement concerning their own, personal strategy for leading that we call a “Leader Self-Portrait.”
Exceptional leaders not only work from an intentional strategy for leading, they also possess the skill to bring that strategy to life. As such, a central part of Practicum involves experimenting with specific tactics and skills for leading. Because we learn best by doing, Practicum relies as much on activities (e.g., experiences, conversations, and reflective assignments) as it does on formal instruction. Class activities require students to practice and explore different leadership tactics. The experiential nature of the class allows both for skill development and also for assessing different leadership tactics for personal fit.
Coaching to accelerate development
Practicum involves the process of self-development. Making a change in our self is some of the most demanding work we ever do in our lives. To support this process, students work with a leadership coach as they create and pursue a personal development goal. Students typically meet with a coach for four one-on-one appointments over the course of the quarter. In conjunction with insights from class, your coach serves as a guide and thought partner on your journey. In this way, Practicum helps students to make greater progress than they might working alone.
Practicum is a class that is about three things: what it means to lead, how one can lead, and ultimately, how you choose to lead. Because the class is, ultimately, focused on helping you develop as a leader, it is ideal for students who have the time and the desire to engage in the often difficult work of personal development. This is an experience in which you get out of it what you put into it.
View recording of Spring 2021 Info Session