Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

What Our Leadership Model Means for CLS

For over 70 years, Lake Forest has been empowering working professionals with the tools to make a difference in their organizations and communities. Our Business Leader Faculty are out there doing what others can only teach.

We believe a leader is someone who inspires others, changes lives and propels businesses forward. The Lake Forest Leadership Model is fundamental to our mission to create Broad Thinkers and Strong Leaders. It frames in a theoretical way, what we know to be true in a practical application. All of our Corporate Learning Solutions development programs start with this, our core DNA - The Lake Forest Leadership Model.

  • Agility

    An agile leader must be resourceful, flexible, and resilient in the face of change.

    The opposite of reactionary, agile leaders are able to thoroughly absorb information and wisely use that knowledge to lead others in unfamiliar situations. In addition to a strong, foundational knowledge base in key business disciplines, each agile leader is an archer with a quiver of diverse arrows – skills, tools, experiences – which they can incisively choose and shoot when needed. They intentionally model agility for others to follow their actions. They are Broad Thinkers and Strong Leaders.

    Among many qualities, agile leaders:

    bullet Drive change even amid uncertainty.
    bullet Think critically about possibilities and implications, then make a decisive move.
    bullet See things from different perspectives and operate in many different systems of thinking.
    bullet Flex style to meet demands and situations.
    bullet Have keen self-awareness and self-regulation.

  • Innovation

    Innovative leaders think creatively, question assumptions, defy limitations, and are willing to take risk. Innovative leaders push change on a number of fronts.

    They dream big. They have an insatiable curiosity. They make connections between disparate concepts. They encourage huge, game-changing ideas that disrupt industries. They also inspire employees to make smaller, everyday innovations to internal processes, services or products. A few years down the road, those changes can have a huge impact.

    Innovative leaders take action, leveraging their experience, knowledge and skills to:

    bullet Question assumptions.
    bullet Focus on the customer.
    bullet Experiment and iterate.
    bullet Seek inspiration.
    bullet Celebrate the innovation of others.
    bullet Overcome obstacles.
    bullet Remain strategic.

  • Strategic Vision

    Goals can only be achieved by leaders who develop a concrete vision and can implement that vision to achieve success.

    Many leaders have vision. What sets the best leaders apart is their ability to develop and advance that vision into action and results. A strategic, visionary leader is able to strike a balance between being a dreamer and an implementer, and know when and how much to focus on the short term vs. the long term.

    Visionary leaders are inspirational. Change is hard, but they work to gain the support of others to drive the strategic vision forward. They keep organizations focused, make tough decisions, and execute strategy, always aiming for clearly defined outcomes of performance and success.

    Leaders who develop and advance a clear strategic vision:

    bullet See the big picture.
    bullet Inspire others.
    bullet Embrace change.
    bullet Continuously evaluate success.
  • Self-Awareness

    Self-aware leaders must be able to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and use that knowledge to do what is best for their organization.

    Self-aware leaders understand and manage their personal strengths and weaknesses to optimize leadership impact. A high level of self-awareness is a foundational trait of the best leaders. Without it, the leadership model falls apart.

    They recognize when they are empowering others and when they tend towards micromanaging, and they build teams that bring needed skills to the table. Their self-awareness inspires trust and admiration as they walk the fine line between conviction and humility. Because they feel confident in their leader, employees feel secure enough to offer new ideas and opinions.

    The most effective leaders utilize self-awareness to:

    bullet Operate in the best interests of the whole.
    bullet Stay focused.
    bullet Exude and export positive energy and messages.
    bullet Operate outside comfort zone.
  • Engaging Others

    Leaders who truly change lives have the extraordinary ability to engage others by embracing differences and forming strong connections with employees.

    Great leaders change lives both inside and outside the workplace. Whether they are managing dozens of employees or thousands, they build strong connections with people and inspire them to reach their highest potential. They understand that the success of a company is based on people.

    Engaging others is increasingly critical in today’s diverse workplace. Beyond generational and social differences, many organizations span global borders. Leaders need to manage a range of individual personalities, experiences, skills, and backgrounds. The best leaders use their skills and self-knowledge to leverage these differences and turn them into opportunities.

    Strong leaders who effectively engage others:

    bullet Welcome differences.
    bullet Trust others.
    bullet Are self-aware.
    bullet Break communications barriers.
    bullet Get personal.
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