By: Carolyn Clinton, Program Design & Development Manager, Tuck School of Business Posted: Sep 16th, 2014


This major mortgage corporation conducts business in the U.S. mortgage market. The company came to Tuck because it needed to strengthen the ability of the organization’s leaders to successfully manage and motivate their teams in an unusually unpredictable business environment. The goal was to develop a shared strategic leadership mindset throughout the organization and accelerate positive change during this adverse business climate.


Tuck partnered with senior executive talent development professionals and the corporate university to design and deliver three separate programs for over 1,300 officers, directors, and managers. The programs were delivered on-site at corporate headquarters over a period of several years. Each program had a customized design for its target audience plus common frameworks and experiences, such as linking vision and execution through strategic communication, increasing self-awareness through feedback and coaching, and developing influence skills useful in managing change. The multi-level architecture created a cascading effect for key concepts throughout the organization.

Assessments that provided 360 feedback on leadership style or emotional and social intelligence were part of the initiative. In addition, over 1,000 directors and managers completed a network survey designed, administered, and analyzed at Tuck. They identified the managers, directors, and officers they most regularly interfaced with in carrying out their role at the firm. The survey data showed how they saw their own network and how others perceived them. Summary data was used during class sessions to help participants understand their own network report and to explore the power of building relationships across divisions, functions, and levels.


130 directors responded to a follow-up survey about the impact of their program experience:

  • 100% of the respondents said they “have been able to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the Tuck Leadership and Strategic Execution” to their job.
  • 100% said they are “more effective in my role as a result of this course.”
  • 100% said they believed the program “was a worthwhile investment” in their career development.
  • 88% said they were “able to apply the knowledge and skills learned to the job” within three weeks; of that number, 54% were able to make some application within one week.

96 participants in the manager-level program responded to a similar follow-up survey:

  • 97% of the respondents agreed with the statement “The Leadership and Accountability Program has changed the way I act as a leader“. 
  • 92% agreed that “My manager is able to identify positive changes since I attended Leadership and Accountability“.

In response to an open-ended question about what impact the managers who responded had seen on their own job performance, a number of themes emerged:

  • Communicating more often and more effectively, spending more time listening
  • Networking more, reaching out to colleagues, leveraging relationships
  • Having greater self-awareness of their own behavior and its impact
  • Stopping to think before taking action, prioritizing activities to focus more on thinking strategically

In other follow-up activity, directors who participated in the 2012 program were given the opportunity to take the emotional intelligence assessment again, in response to their expressed desire to assess what improvement they might have made. The report is designed to show their 2012 results as well as the new data, and company norms as well as norms for the much larger population the assessment company has data for. Debrief sessions were scheduled for review and discussion. The company plans to do the same thing in 2015 for managers who took part in the 2013 programs.

Is your company ready to develop a customized action learning plan?  Contact our Custom Team for more information on how Tuck can partner with you.  

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