Leadership Development at UNC Kenan-Flagler

At UNC Kenan-Flagler, leadership and teamwork have always been critical principles we instill in our students. We seek leaders who value integrity, teamwork, community and a passion for learning. As part of our curriculum, we back the academic rigor of skill development with considerable leadership practice, feedback and coaching.

What Makes an Effective Leader?

Leadership at UNC Kenan-Flagler has two dimensions — performance and character. Together they comprise our profile of an effective leader. We are committed to developing the leadership potential of all of our students and have developed a number of programs and initiatives to this end. Our goal is not to develop a generic type of leader but rather to develop a particular type of leader who reflects the goals, values and traditions of the School.

Leadership Performance

Leaders are expected to achieve sustained high performance in their organizations. While performance is defined differently in different settings (e.g., profitability, market share, quality, mission accomplishment), the need to achieve strong results is a constant across virtually all leadership roles. We seek to instill both the desire and the ability for this in our students. If leaders do not achieve high performance, they will not be in leadership positions very long, and any other attributes they bring to the table will not matter.

Leadership Character

Leaders do not produce performance results themselves. Virtually everything a leader does to effect high performance is accomplished by working with other people. This means that effective leaders need to excel as visionaries, communicators and motivators. Self-awareness and the abilities to diagnose a situation and to apply the appropriate leadership techniques are also key. It is important to recognize that the aspiration for high performance is not for the leader himself or herself but for the organization and the larger purpose that it represents. We want UNC Kenan-Flagler leaders to be able to bring out the best in others by focusing on the need to achieve great results together.

Our Leadership Development Model

group of students attending a networking event

UNC Kenan-Flagler has achieved great success integrating both leadership development and career management into the MBA student experience. We are ranked No. 7 in leadership development among top business schools by Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Our unique, action-oriented Leadership Development Model guides students through a balanced approach to leadership development:


Students will complete an MBA curriculum designed by distinguished UNC Kenan-Flagler professors and world-renowned thought leaders, and will participate in courses, global immersion experiences and webinars that promote leadership.


Students will have at their fingertips an expansive selection of experiential leadership activities that teach critical management and problem-solving skills.


Students will receive valuable feedback and insight on their leadership style and effectiveness through leadership self-assessments and multi-rater assessments, as well as through individual and group interactions.


Students will benefit from personalized coaching and consultation from senior business executives, faculty, staff and peers so they can consider and apply new leadership tactics and concepts.

"At the end of the day, being able to motivate others is the mark of a leader; a key to success in the corporate environment. It is in these areas where my learning with MBA@UNC has been eye opening. The leadership development activities, group projects and focus provided by this program already have improved my leadership and communication skills."
—Brian Edwards, MBA@UNC Student