Lead from the heart

Leadership opportunities

Practice, practice, practice. Becoming the future leaders of tomorrow means honing your leadership skills today. At Stanford GSB, you hit the ground running with courses and opportunities focused on experiential learning — practicing leadership in real-world scenarios.

Interpersonal Dynamics

Our most popular elective for more than 45 years, this course gives students a deeper understanding of how they relate to others. Small 12-person “T-group” sessions help you examine the way you interact with people. You'll achieve greater self-awareness and become more comfortable with giving and receiving feedback — crucial traits for exceptional leaders.

  • Learn to connect with those different from you
  • Give and get direct peer feedback
  • Put what you learn into practice through experiential-based activities

Learning by leading

The Stanford MBA Program is designed to allow students to lean on and learn from one another.

Leadership Labs

Required for all first-year MBA students, this course is all about gaining leadership experience. Students are divided into squads of six, led by a second-year Arbuckle Leadership Fellow. Your squad recreates real-life leadership challenges through a series of exercises and simulations, giving each student the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned.

As your squad works through these scenarios, you assess and analyze each decision and every behavior. The end goal is greater self-awareness and leadership ability.

Arbuckle Leadership Fellows

Arbuckle Leadership Fellows are chosen through a highly competitive process in their first year of the MBA Program. In the second year, Fellows spend two quarters developing facilitation, coaching, and mentoring competencies.

Part of this includes leading a Leadership Labs squad. They guide their squad through lab sessions, coaching both the whole team and individual members. In addition, Fellows provide coaching to more than half of all first-year MBA students.

The Executive Challenge

Why practice if you don’t get to play? The Executive Challenge is the culmination of the Leadership Labs course. Senior alumni return to campus for this one-day event and engage in role-playing sessions alongside students and faculty. Every first-year MBA student gets to demonstrate what they’ve learned as their squads compete against each other in experiential leadership challenges featuring real-life situations that reflect the kinds of diverse scenarios they may someday face in the world beyond the GSB.

Students participating in the 2019 Executive Challenge