Leadership Ventures: U.S. Marine Corps Program
and Decision Making Under Uncertainty and Complexity
Next offering of program: September 15-16, 2005 and
April 13-14, 2006
by Lehman Brothers
in 2001, 2002, and April 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
Sponsored by General Motors in
September 2003, 2004, 2005
on the Program
Photos of the Program
Speakers at the Program
Wharton Leadership Ventures
U.S. MARINE CORPS PROGRAM
Leadership Ventures provide intense experience in leadership development by
focusing on a single arena of decision making and action.
This venture builds upon the programs and facilities of the U.S. Marine
Corps for developing leadership at its Officer Candidate School in Quantico,
Virginia. Drawing on its famed
Leadership Reaction Course and Combat Course, the two-day program provides an
intense, hands-on learning experience that emphasizes fast decision-making,
team-based problem solving, and effective strategic thinking.
On Thursday evening we
place participants in individual and team-based leadership scenarios similar to
those encountered by officer candidates for the Marine Corps.
Friday is given to solving logistical and strategic problems with
guidance and feedback by Marine officers. Formed
into small "fire teams," we face navigation challenges, surmount physical barriers,
establish plans of action, and recreate battlefield scenarios.
We conclude the day by extracting the enduring lessons for company
leadership, and senior military commanders guide us in a discussion of how they
have led their forces and built leadership within the ranks.
event is designed on the premise that by experiencing and evaluating the
fast-paced and demanding decision making and leadership environment that
military commanders face, we can better appreciate what we will need for our own
thinking and actions when we are in a leadership position of our own.
event is organized by the Wharton Leadership Program, Wharton Veterans Club, and the Wharton Center for
Leadership and Change, and in 2003 it is sponsored by Lehman Brothers and
It is conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Marine Corps, and all expenses are covered by
generous gifts from Lehman Brothers and General Motors. The
program is open to Wharton
MBA and executive MBA students.
Prior to the program, participants read Jon R.
Katzenbach and Jason A. Santamaria's “Firing Up the Front Line,” Harvard
Business Review (May-June, 1999), and at the conclusion of the program
all are provided David H. Freedman’s Corps Business: The
30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines (Harper Business, 2000).
program requires reasonably sound physical condition, but no
prior experience in any aspects of the program is necessary.
Information on dress code, clothing, and equipment is available here,
and directions for driving to the Marine Corps base at Quantico can be found
presentation on the program can be found
orchestrated by Wharton Leadership Venture Fellows (2nd-year MBA students):
on the Program
Leadership from Military,"
Associated Press, April 11, 2004; also
published as "Students
Hit the Trenches," Free-Lance Star, April 4, 2004.
"Command Performance," American Way, February 1, 2004.
Von Thomas Fischermann, "Das
harteste 'Jobinterview der Welt,'" Die Zeit (Germany), November 27, 2003
(PDF, 600 Kb).
of Quantico, Wharton Journal, October 6, 2003.
Nick Blawat, "Quantico! Heart and
Intensity," Wharton Journal, October 6, 2003.
broadcast on September 27-29, 2003.
Joseph Goldberg, "Marines
Inspire Shock, Awe in Wharton MBAs," Wharton Journal, April 14,
Clay Carol, "Fear,
Mud, and No-Net Gymnastics," Wharton Journal, April 14,
Kolja Rudzio, "Starmanager
adieu: Die Führungskräfte von morgen lernen Demut und Respekt vor den anderen
– so jedenfalls die Idee"
(in German), Die Zeit, December 23, 2002.
Paul Sheppard, "Learning
the Hard Way," Financial Times, July 1, 2002.
Corps Drills Wharton Into Shape," Wharton Journal, April 15,
Sgt. James Covington, "Suits
to Boots," Quantico Sentry, April 21, 2001 (also posted on the U.S.
Marine Corps website).
Eric Dash, "The
Few, the Proud, the MBAs," Business Week, April 16, 2001.
Rob Laymon and Kate Campbell, "Learning
to Lead, Marine Style," Wharton Alumni Magazine, Summer, 2001.
Stephen Lessar and Jason Cummins, "Learning
from the U.S. Marine Corps: Combat and Leadership Courses," Wharton
Leadership Digest, May, 2001.
Richard Mo "Boot
Camp for Business Leaders: A
Group of Wharton MBAs Traveled to a Marine Base for Lessons in Leadership,"
Daily Pennsylvanian, April 27, 2001.
Program Draws Lessons from Marines," The Wharton Journal,
March 5, 2001.
Kara Scannell, "Wharton
Offers Students a Tough Course in Combat," Wall Street Journal, June 5,
2001. Also published in Handelsblatt (Germany) as "MBA im
June 22, 2001.
David Turrettini, "Quantico
Uses Mud to Build Student Leaders," The Wharton Journal, April
Photos of the Program
7-8, 2005: By
Mike Useem, and the
April 1-2, 2004: By
2003: By Nick
Brecker, Eric Clemons, Frederick
J. Helfrich, and Officer
Candidates School, U.S. Marine Corps (photo set 1),
Officer Candidates School,
U.S. Marine Corps (photo set 2).
leaders to serve...
the company of heroes"
Corps University, Quantico, Virginia
Readings and Websites
Karen Dillon and Joshua Macht, “The Few, The Proud, the CEOs.”
David H. Freedman, "Corps
Values," Inc. Magazine, April 1, 1998.
David H. Freedman, Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S.
Marines. New York: Harper Business,
Jon. R. Katzenbach, Real Change Leaders: How You Can
Create Growth and High Performance at Your Company. New York: Times Books,
R. Katzenbach, Peak Performance: Aligning the Hearts and Minds of Your
Employees. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2000.
Jon. R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith, The Wisdom of
Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization. Boston: Harvard
Business School Press, 1992.
R. Katzenbach and Jason A. Santamaria, “Firing Up the Front Line,” Harvard
Business Review, May-June, 1999, pp. 107-115.
Grider Miller, The Bridge at Dong Ha. U.S. Naval Institute, 1996 (about
Col. John W. Ripley).
Ruggero, Duty First: Westpoint
and the Making of American Leaders. New
York: HarperCollins, 2001.
Colin Powell, On
Leadership (Powerpoint file, 210 Kb).
Robert Sterling, "Meet
America's Best Business Schools" (about the U.S. military service
academies), The American Enterprise, July-August, 2000.
Rod Walsh and Dan Carrison, Semper Fi: Business Leadership the Marine
Corps Way (New York: Amacom, 1998).
U.S. Marine Corps, "26
MEU's new commanding officer takes control of his 'business'" (March,
Marine Corps Association, From The Horses Mouth, Selected Thoughts on Small
Unit Leadership (about Col. John W. Ripley).
Webb, address at the U.S. Naval
Academy, September 30, 1987
from Wharton Leadership Digest:
Peter Pace, leadership presentation at Wharton, by Jason Santamaria (WG
Military Academy, by Dano M. Jukanovich (WG ’01)
Naval Academy, by Harry Hirschman, Loree Hirschman, & Jason Santamaria (WG
U.S. Marine Corps Base at Quantico,
U.S. Marine Corps
U.S. Marine Corps
Speakers at the
September 26, 2003
Lutz, Vice Chairman of the General Motors Product Development and
Chairman of GM North America. Lutz joined GM in September 2001 after an already
distinguished career in the automotive industry. From 1986-1998, he worked at
Chrysler Corporation, reaching the position of vice chairman. His time with the
company is chronicled in his 1998 book, Guts:
The Seven Laws of Business That Made Chrysler the World’s Hottest Car Company.
In addition, he worked at Ford Motor Company for a substantial period, where he
served as Chairman of Ford Europe, Executive Vice President of Ford’s
International Operations, and finished as Executive Vice President of Truck
Operations. Prior to joining Ford, Lutz worked at BMW in Munich and at GM in
Europe. Lutz also served as chairman and CEO of Exide Technologies until
September 2001. He continues to serve as a member of Exide’s board of
Robert Lutz has a long-standing
relationship with the United States Marine Corps. He served as a jet-attack
aviator in the USMC from 1954 to 1965 and attained the rank of captain. He
continues to take a keen interest in military jet flying. He is currently a
member of the board of trustees of the United States Marine Corps University
Foundation and the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas.
Lutz received both his Bachelor
of Science Degree in Production Management and his Master’s in Business
Administration from the University of California, Berkley.
General USMC Reserve
Leo V. Williams III, Deputy Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat
Development Command. He serves as the Marine Corps Principal
Representative to the Joint Requirements Board, which supports the Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff in carrying out his responsibilities.
Major General Williams received a Bachelor of Science degree
from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1970 and later earned a Master of Business
Administration degree from Southern Illinois University in 1978. He serves
as Chairman of the Board, Marine Corps Reserve Officers' Association. He
also is a member of the Board of Directors, U.S. Naval Academy Foundation and
Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
The Secretary of Defense appointed Major General Williams in
September, 2000, as a member of the Reserve Forces Policy Board. In
civilian life, General Williams is the Brand Manager for the Ford Expedition
sport utility vehicle, Ford Motor Company.
at the 2001 program included General
Thomas V. Draude (click
for article), Jon R. Katzenbach (see
his books below), Colonel
John W. Ripley, and General
Clifford L. Stanley; the speaker at the 2002 program was General Clifford L.