ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Effective leaders are forged from experience. That's why the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business Executive Education is offering a unique program to develop leaders with a climb up Africa's highest mountain—19,000-foot Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Guided by Ross Professor Scott DeRue, one of the world's top experts on leadership, this new course pushes participants to learn more about themselves than they ever could in a classroom. Participants will lead the expedition, set goals, face the unexpected and confront difficulties. Along the way, DeRue will translate lessons from the mountain to leading in the business world.
"We don't simply teach leadership. We design experiences for you to learn leadership," DeRue said. "Climbing is the ideal experiential laboratory for learning leadership skills to transform you and your organization's performance."
The first week-long course is scheduled to begin Dec. 29, 2012, with another offering starting Sept. 9, 2013. Boyd Matson, host of National Geographic Weekend, will join the September 2013 course, creating radio and video segments from the climb.
"We know that learning experiences that put you in real, complex and challenging situations have the greatest impact on shaping your skills," said DeRue, who has been named as a Top 40 Under 40 professor by Poets & Quants and CNN Money. "One of my greatest passions is climbing, and I've found great parallels between what goes on in the business world and what goes on during a climb."
The program is suitable for beginners and experienced hikers. It costs $14,300, which includes tuition, climbing guide and park permit fees, group gear and equipment, meals, ground transportation and three nights' hotel stay in Tanzania.