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Leadership Initiatives

In addition to its deep connections, McColl School of Business is an active and respected presence in Charlotte’s corporate community. Thousands of leaders have graduated from the school with the knowledge they need to succeed in the workplace and contribute positively to society as a whole.

The McColl School develops students into the next generation of leaders through a dynamic, practical, integrative learning environment where the classroom meets the real world. Our approach is designed to help each student enhance his or her leadership philosophy and style.

Leadership Philosophy

The McColl School of Business defines leadership by Hugh McColl’s three Cs.

Competence – Acquire the business acumen and interpersonal skills to effectively execute business functions, manage others, and accomplish organizational goals.

Character – Become an ethical leader with a deep sense of self-awareness, confidence, and the capacity to interact effectively with others, think creatively, and learn from experience.

Commitment to Community – Gain an understanding of how we live in a highly interdependent community in which we must show concern for its success, choose to act to improve circumstances and acknowledge a balance between individual goals and the common good.

Leadership in Our Graduate Programs

Leadership is the cornerstone of the McColl School experience. In our MBA and MSTOD programs, we have an entire course dedicated to this highly experiential process focused on personal development and growth. You’ll explore leadership in the 21st century, identify your leadership style, diagnose your current effectiveness, and develop a plan to achieve your objectives.

Impact of Self-Awareness

The McColl School places a strong emphasis on self-awareness as the foundation for leadership and personal effectiveness. Through a variety of assessments, you’ll be challenged to gain an accurate assessment of yourself, take advantage of these insights, and create an Individual Development Plan.

Actualized Leadership Profile

Alp certification logo

Developed and validated by McColl School of Business professor William L. Sparks, Ph.D., the Actualized Leadership Profile (ALP) measures your dominant motive need, corresponding style of leadership, and degree of self-actualization. The ALP provides you with an understanding of where you go under stress so that you can develop a plan to actively manage your “Leadership Shadow.” Companies such as Ally Bank, Bank of America, Charlotte Hornets, EnPro Industries, and Novant Health have embraced the ALP as a leadership development tool in their organizations, and more than 200 professionals are now certified in the assessment.


ALP360 logo

Based on the ALP framework, the ALP360 is a 30-item multi-rater assessment that provides feedback on perceptions of your leadership style and the four competencies of emotional intelligence (EQ): Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Social Management.

Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument

Herrmann logo

An HBDI® Certified Practitioner will administer the instrument and provide a comprehensive evaluation of your preference for thinking in each of the four brain quadrants, as depicted by the Herrmann Whole Brain® Model. Your HBDI results will equip you with valuable knowledge to help you adapt to and take advantage of the ways others think and process information.

The Values Profile logo

Values Profile

The Values Profile™ helps facilitate a conversation about whether your current values align with your career, work relationship, and personal achievement goals. It can be useful for career planning, job redesign, succession planning, job enrichment, work culture alignment, team relationships, work prioritization, and more.

Experiential Learning

The Leadership Development course utilizes a number of experiences outside of the classroom to profoundly affect and impact your ability to grow and develop.

Executive Coaches

Executive Coaches play a key role in helping you refine and implement your Individual Development Plan. You’ll have the opportunity to select and interview a coach based on a wide variety of attributes. Once matched with a coach, you will schedule four to six sessions tailored to your individual needs.

Network Mentors

A key to success is reaching out to others for information, connections, skills, and assistance. You must take it upon yourself to seek mentorship, learn how you can add value to the relationship, and discover how mentors can be a critical component in career success.

Executives in Residence

Bring your questions and challenges to the table during this one and a half hour-thought symposia. Each session is led by a McColl School Executive in Residence who will reflect on his or her views about what is important for today’s leaders to know and understand. In addition to hearing from the executive, you’ll engage in thought-provoking conversations and make new connections with classmates in a small group setting.

Leaders in Action Lecture Series

The Leaders in Action lecture series brings leaders from a variety of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations to campus to share their perspectives on leadership. William L. Sparks, Ph.D. leads a conversation that encourages the speaker to talk candidly about his or her experiences. The lecture is always followed by a reception, providing an opportunity to interact with the speaker and others from his or her organization.

Leadership Challenge

Every fall, the McColl School of Business provides an opportunity for faculty, staff, and graduate students to participate in an intellectual and physical leadership challenge in the Western North Carolina mountains. You’ll explore the moral and philosophical foundations of Capitalism and have the opportunity to work with Vertical, a prestigious leadership expedition team from Santiago, Chile.

Community Leadership Team Project

You’ll be exposed to the realities of poverty in our own community during a simulation led by the Crisis Assistance Ministry. Following the simulation, important discussions take place around the systematic elements of a community and their impacts on the cycles of poverty. As part of a team, you’ll partner with a nonprofit organization to understand the issues they face and complete a strategic leadership project.

Leadership Faculty

Our leadership faculty has published 85 peer-reviewed journal publications, and five books in the past five years and 100 business leaders have served as guest speakers and collaborated with faculty.

William Sparks

Will Sparks, Ph.D.

Dennis Thompson Chair & Professor of Leadership

John Bennett

John Bennett, Ph.D., PCC, BCC

Professor of Business & Behavioral Science

Dawn Chanland

Dawn Chanland, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Management

Greg Berka

Greg Berka, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Organization Behavior & Management

Contact Us

Jane Williams, M.S.
Assistant Director of Leadership Initiatives, 704-337-2352