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strategy and business
 / Spring 2003 / Issue 30(originally published by Booz & Company)


Noel M. Tichy: The Thought Leader Interview

S+B: Our conversation has been largely about CEOs institutionalizing leadership in their companies through teaching. If you’re a leader in the middle of a company, can you build a teaching organization?

TICHY: I’ve seen it at all levels. That doesn’t mean being soft and fuzzy about it. But that’s part of my contribution here at Michigan. I am not the dean. I run orientation for 450 MBA students, a weeklong program. It includes community service, business ethics. We do the exercises detailed in Cycle of Leadership. We set up six tents. We do workshops, bring executives in. It has a huge impact on the students.

We’re also designing a three-day leadership transition workshop for graduating MBAs, to help them on the next leg of their life journey. We’re renting out the Hyatt Regency, doing life planning, career planning, bringing alumni in from prestigious companies. And we’re going to spend the last day going to Focus Hope, a civil rights organization, where we are going to do community service together.

S+B: Hmmm … that seems to go back to the ambivalence you felt earlier in your career about locating yourself at a business school.

TICHY: I spend 20 percent of my time right now doing pro bono stuff and engaging the business school in global citizenship. I don’t work with any clients that don’t include community service as part of leadership development.

S+B: A very good idea.

TICHY: You watch the rankings.

Reprint No. 03109

Randall Rothenberg,

[email protected]
Randall Rothenberg is editor-in-chief of strategy+business.

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