MLD-364: Leadership from the Inside Out: The Personal Capacity to Lead and Stay Alive

Semester: January

Credit: 4.0

Syllabus: Click here for syllabus

Faculty: Ronald Heifetz


Day Time Location
Term Start Date 1/3
Meet Day M/T/W/Th/F/S 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM Littauer Bldg 140 (HKS)


To lead is to live with danger. Although it may be exciting to think of leadership as inspiration, decisive action, and powerful rewards, leading requires taking risks that can jeopardize your career and your personal life. It requires putting yourself on the line, disturbing the status quo, and working with hidden organizational and political conflicts. Those who choose to lead take the risks and sometimes are neutralized for doing so. In this course, we explore how self-knowledge and self-discipline form the foundation for staying alive in leadership. The course has three parts: (1) the sources and forms of danger in leadership; (2) diagnostic, strategic, and tactical responses to these dangers; and (3) the personal capacities to lead and stay alive, not only in your job, but in your heart and soul. Structured daily into large and small group discussions, the course draws on student cases and case-in-point teaching - using the classroom process to understand role, identity, and system dynamics. The course is designed to be a transformative personal experience with the intent to generate more options for diagnosis and action in the practice of leadership. It complements the systems framework developed in MLD-201.


Prerequisite: MLD-201

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