Leadership on the Edge (LOTE)
A program for tomorrow's leaders
Part of the MBA experience involves Leadership on the Edge (LOTE). LOTE is designed to provide insight and reinforce leadership theories that are taught in the classroom, by asking students to practice those theories in an unfamiliar and unpredictable wilderness environment. Over Labor Day weekend, student teams will climb the Knife Edge Ridge of Mt. Katahdin in Maine. This route provides the opportunity for the team to practice and hone its management, leadership, and coping skills in a challenging environment.
The world of today will not be the world of tomorrow. -- What this means in no uncertain terms is that what we know today may only be partially relevant or applicable to the fast changing circumstances of tomorrow. Implicit in this assumption is that business school graduates have to be leaders who are prepared and willing to make rapid adjustments in the way they deal with potentially threatening and unfamiliar situations, and convince others to follow.
The LOTE Program concludes with an intensive de-brief of the ascent of Mt. Katahdin.
Documentary - The LOTE Experience
The experience I faced was like no other. It was exhilarating knowing we had to continue moving on no matter what, because there was no going back. We as a team were 100% committed to reaching the top, and in order to reach that goal, we had to trust every person on the team with our lives. We all helped each other one step at a time through the Knife Edge and when we finally got to the summit, it was a feeling of accomplishment that I can not explain in words. No classroom can ever teach the lesson we learned in team building and leadership that day.
Similar to my team members who appeared out of nowhere with a hand outstretched, an offer to carry my backpack, or simply a big beautiful smile, I have vowed to always be present for my staff. I have a habit of multitasking when someone was talking or staffing a case. My resolve is to put my work aside to listen and be present at all times.
Although at first I felt that I needed to do what was best for me, I later realized that it was what the group needed that was the most important. Just as Roy told us many times, the strength of the wolf is the pack, and the strength of the pack is the wolf.
The change in environment from the office to the mountain was key to discovering the power to overcoming fear. In another environment (work, personal] I could have more easily gotten away with bending to uncertainty or doubt, but on the mountain I had to work through it. The personal and team management skills we used on the mountain are the same skills that can be applied to other areas of life; work, personal relationships, community relationships, and family. As managers, we are meant to be masters at planning, organizing, implementing, and control, yet so many managers lack these skills outside the office. Katahdin showed me that management skills apply to every aspect of life.