One of the biggest reasons Ryan Brown 17MBA came to Goizueta was to develop leadership skills—not only from the top down, he explained, but his peer-to-peer leadership skills as well. As a participant in this year’s Delta Leadership Coaching Fellows (LCF) Program, Brown got what he asked for and more. “The program was one of the pinnacle moments of my MBA career,” Brown said after a luncheon that honored the 60 students who completed this year’s program. As a fellow, Brown was able to hone his peer-to-peer abilities by coaching first-year MBA students and subsequently examining the process with his executive coach. “Getting feedback from both sides is a really powerful experience,” said Brown, who plans to join First Data in the company’s corporate finance department when he graduates this spring. “The value I got from this program is the ability to help others problem solve for themselves so they can operate autonomously.”
Although all Goizueta MBA students receive leadership training, the Delta LCF Program offers Full-Time and Evening MBA students the chance to practice interpersonal leadership skills. Fellows are each assigned an executive coach who meets with them individually as well as in group sessions. LCF fellows learn how to improve their interpersonal and leadership skills using behavioral, relational, cognitive, and emotional tools.
The program taught Anna Selser 17MBA how best to frame conversations so that her first-year MBA team members were willing to engage in “dialogue that was deeper and richer,” she said, than it would have been had she simply suggested how to solve a problem. Selser, who will join General Mills as a brand manager after she graduates, added, “If you haven’t had direct report experience before, this is the best way to learn some of those managerial skills.”
Goizueta Leader in Residence Hervé Coyco, a former senior executive at the Michelin Group, addressed the fellows during the luncheon and reminded them that if they want successful careers, they’ll need input from those around them. “If you want to grow in responsibility as a leader, you’ll need people to tell you what they think,” he said. After the ceremony ended, Coyco commented on the importance of the Delta LCF Program. “A big part of your leadership responsibility is to coach others,” he said. “I am very supportive of making the concept and idea a reality that will help students develop.”