By Leif Andreassen, Bruce Kaufman, Dorothy Voorhees, Eva Tsang, Anderson Baptista, Jared Barnett, and Reid Tileston
Over Spring Break, six students from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business took a trip to Canyon Country in Southern Utah with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). We were blazing our own trail through the canyons, navigating 50 foot drops, avoiding fights with cactuses, and managing our own competing personality types. A common theme on the trip was ex-Swiss Special Forces first year Konrad Marti directing the group to, “less talk, more walk” with an emphatic “YOLO” from Chris Panagiotopoulos. In spite of the brisk pace we found time to scramble up canyon walls and explore Native American ruins from the 12th century.
A common theme on the trip was ex-Swiss Special Forces first year Konrad Marti directing the group to, “less talk, more walk” with an emphatic “YOLO” from Chris Panagiotopoulos.
“The trip was a great investment of time and money” said trip co-planner Reid Tileston. Key to the experience was that after a day of hiking and exploring we spent time at night in front of the campfire reflecting on how we navigated the challenges that we encountered and how effectively we performed as leaders; this feedback allowed the group members to grow as leaders.
At the Leadership In Action Group this is what we are all about. The Leadership In Action Group, previously the Leadership & Influence Group, motivates the Booth community to exercise leadership skills outside of the confines of the campus' Harper Center. The outdoors are a great place to forge relationships, hone leadership skills, and have a good time. We believe there is no better way to practice leadership than to be put in stressful situations, with incomplete information, and be forced to make decisions that have consequences for your whole team. These are the types of situations we will face as business leaders on a daily basis.
The outdoors are a great place to forge relationships, hone leadership skills, and have a good time.
At Booth we value staying ahead of the competition; however, in spite of our vigilance, outdoor leadership is one area where Booth has fallen behind. When classes started in the fall we were the only top MBA program that did not have an outdoors club. Luckily those dark days are behind us.
We are creating a group where we can explore the outdoors and put our leadership skills into action in extremely fun and challenging environments. We are planning day long and weekend trips culminating with Outdoor Leadership Trek during Spring Break 2015. While getting outdoors is the end game of the club’s vision, there is an equally important classroom component as well. We have some lunchtime leadership role-playing sessions planned that will help members better confront real life leadership situations. There are a lot of exciting developments at the Leadership In Action Group, we look forward to integrating the outdoors into the Booth community.
Learn more about how your school, office team, or program can develop customized leadership training with NOLS Professional Training.