Dolan Students Gain a Leading Edge

Dolan Students Gain a Leading Edge

Student at desk

A new partnership with leadership development platform BetterManager allows graduate students a chance to fine-tune their leadership skills while developing their personal brand.

While the Dolan School’s MBA program has an excellent reputation, “we are always looking for new ways to make it unique in this competitive environment,” says Leanne De Los Santos, assistant dean of graduate programs at the Dolan School. “To that end, we’re partnering with BetterManager, a leadership development platform, so that leadership will be a signature element in our students’ MBA experience.”

BetterManager is a leadership training program conducted fully online that uses a one-to-one coaching approach to help students and managers of all levels develop their leadership skills.

“What we know from analysis is that employees tend to leave managers, not companies. We also know that engagement levels are low when poor management is in place,” says John Topping ’89, CRO at BetterManager. “At the same time, the demands of the workforce – from digital transformation, to diversity initiatives, to the pandemic – have made good leadership more important than ever.” The most successful and engaged teams in any company, he says, are those in which the leader is an effective coach, and whose team members feel empowered to be active participants in their teams and organizations.

The program is set to begin in February. Students in any Dolan School graduate program can apply, although preference will be given to those in the MBA program and in the leadership classes taught by Lisa Stafford, MBA, instructor of the practice, management, and Rich Cerrone, adjunct professor, management.

The 18 students accepted to the program will first take a DISC assessment test to determine their managerial styles and how they work in a group setting. Then, each student and his or her coach will establish goals such as learning to handle conflict, working as a valued member of a team, making difficult decisions, or developing a personal brand.

“The DISC assessment that BetterManager uses is common in business, and is very credible,” says Professor Stafford. “It gives actionable feedback about targeted leadership skills, and allows students to develop a plan with their coaches on specific goals to further their professional and career development.”

BetterManager is just one part of Dolan’s approach to teaching leadership, adds Professor Stafford. “Because it’s a concierge style, personalized service, it allows for the fact that all students have different needs. In our classes, for example, we have students who just graduated college, as well as those with five years’ experience who are mid-level managers. Obviously, they require different levels of coaching.”

The BetterManager program generally costs companies several thousand dollars, but will be provided at no cost to students. The program, with its personalized coaching, will complement the services offered by the Dolan Career Development Center, says De Los Santos.

“Leadership goes beyond technical expertise. It also requires skills such as emotional intelligence,“ says Professor Stafford. “I believe this personalized coaching service will be the differentiator that will give our students a competitive edge in their careers.”

Tags:  Dolan School


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