Leadership Edge at UNC Kenan-Flagler

Dean Jim DeanInterested in learning whether leaders are born or made? Check out Heather Havenstein‘s conversation with dean Jim Dean of UNC Kenan-Flagler, published in the fall issue of UNC Business magazine.

Here are some key nuggets from the interview…click back to the link above for the complete story.

What do you say to the notion of some that leaders are born and that you can’t teach people to become leaders?

We don’t have enough born leaders to exercise the leadership that we need in the country or the world. I don’t for a second buy that you can’t help people learn how to be leaders. The military does it effectively, many businesses do it effectively. We do it here.

Has the School changed its admissions criteria to reflect the goals of the Leadership Initiative?

Yes, we have for the MBA Program and for BSBAs. Perfect or near-perfect GMAT scores are not a guarantee of admission. We’re looking for people who not only have strong academic performance ”” and in the case of MBAs, strong experience ”” but who also are doing well in terms of leadership and leading according to the values of the School ”” excellence, leadership, integrity, community and teamwork.

How do you define leadership?

Leadership has to do with working within a group or an organization to achieve its goals and influencing people to accomplish something together. Leadership has two sides. First, you have to achieve goals and move the organization forward, taking it to places it hasn’t been before. Second, you have to do that within the framework of a set of values that characterizes the organization.

What is the importance of the experiential element to the Leadership Initiative, and how does it differentiate UNC Kenan-Flagler from other schools?

I wanted a part of the program where we had no classes and just focused on leadership. We devised an incredibly deep experiential immersion for students who were just about to graduate and who had already secured jobs, during which the students have no classes.

I want the Leadership Immersion program to be so good that students will come to UNC Kenan-Flagler just to be part of it and for it to be so transformational that they will remember it the rest of their lives.

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