Leadership Curriculum

Mission: The Park Leadership Fellows Program serves to attract the best and the brightest to Johnson, and to establish the School's reputation as the premier producer of world class leaders.

Vision: To develop and inspire the next generation of world class leaders through an experience based leadership program that is grounded in self-awareness and interpersonal mastery and manifests in an enduring legacy of service.



Foundation in Personal Mastery

Personal Mastery is about knowing and discovering oneself for the purposes of understanding who you are as a leader, what developmental changes you want to make, and how you want to apply your talents in this world.

Challenges You to Grow as a Leader. You do not invent your natural leadership style, you discover it. This means stepping out of your comfort zone to face new challenges, to grow as a person, and to expand your realm of possibilities. Every act of leadership is an act of courage, and you will model this through the challenges you face in this self-discovery process.

And Empowers You to Pursue Your Passions. Confucius said to "find work that you love and you will never work another day in your life." We impel you early to take a hard look at this issue. If your professional aspirations are lined up with your passions, you will not only be successful, but also happier and healthier. The fellowship not only begs this question, but also affords you greater financial freedom to experiment with it.

Dynamic and Innovative Program

An Innovative Vision. The two-year developmental sequence of class sessions and experiences that the Fellows go through together makes the Park Program a unique and powerful experience in management education. It is built on a principle of developing leaders from the inside-out, and it not only instills an inspiration for becoming the best that you can be, but also a desire to make a positive difference in the world.

Balancing Leadership Theory. The developmental sequence starts with a process of discovering leadership. As a Park Fellow, you will explore the leading theories and frameworks and have an opportunity to deepen your understanding of them through case discussions. You will also be asked to define leadership for yourself and to use that definition as a model to live by.

With Practice and Learning by Doing. Leadership development is like learning how to swim—you only learn after jumping in. So after reflecting on the intellectual frameworks of leadership and developing your own definition, you will apply your understanding through exercises, simulations, school activities, and service projects in the community. Each of these areas serves as a practice field for developing leadership skills along four broad dimensions:

  • Personal Mastery — How do I learn and what to I want to become as a leader?
  • Interpersonal Mastery — How do I model that skillfully, particularly in relationships and conducting difficult conversations?
  • Team Mastery — How do I develop a diverse group into a high performing team?
  • System Mastery — How do I manage and lead change in an organization?

Inspired Leadership

Inspired Leadership. The result is a leadership ideal—visible, distinguished, and selfless—that all Park Fellows are inspired to attain. They are driven to excel, dedicated to excellence, and committed to the greater good. Moreover, their example of balancing professional achievement with personal contribution to the world, serves to inspire others to do the same.

Diverse Learning Community

A Diverse Group, Sharing a Common Commitment. One of the distinguishing features of the Program is its theme of diversity—"from all walks of life, into all walks of life." By almost any measure, the Park Fellows are a diverse group of interesting and unique people who are united around a common commitment to leadership. No matter where you are in life, or what your particular profession, function, or place in society, as Park Fellow you are called to serve as a voice of positive influence and proactive change.

And a Community of Learning Partners. If nothing else, leadership is about relationships and is learned through relationships. As a Park Fellow, you will partner with others in your learning process through coaching, mentoring, role playing, and challenging one another throughout the two year experience. In fact, you will probably learn more from one another than from any other aspect of the program. As a result, deep and long lasting relationships and sense of community develop.

That Extends into an Active Alumni Network. This learning community extends into the alumni experience. Being a Park Fellow is a lifelong commitment to your development as a leader, and it is nurtured through an active Park Leadership Fellows Alumni Association and program that serves to promote learning, networking, and advancement throughout your career. Every year, newsletters, networking opportunities, and reunion events serve to keep the growing Park community thriving.

Legacy of Service

Legacy of Service. Finally, through community service projects, contributions in the School, and a commitment to social responsibility, Park Fellows leave a rich legacy of service. The student-run Big Red Venture Fund and the Big Red Incubator are just two of the more visible examples of the Park Project legacy at Johnson. But the Fellows have also conducted over 80 projects in the local community, ranging from working with youth at risk to helping launch start-ups, to bringing in alternative air services to Ithaca. And this commitment to service is enduring. A recent alumni survey shows the vast majority of Park Fellows continue to be involved in the betterment of their communities long after graduation.


Nicole Craddock
The program enabled me to define a professional vision that encompasses a diverse set of personal values.

Nicole Craddock '08

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Christy-Bensen-2007
Perhaps the greatest reward of the program, however, was working with such an inspiring, impressive group; my Park class definitely shaped my business school experience, supported my career search and became true friends and mentors.

Christy Bensen '07

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Chris-Vansant-2008
The Park Fellows Program helped me in ways that were subtle, but in the aggregate led to a higher degree of effectiveness and confidence, particularly when it came to interacting with others.

Chris Vansant '04

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