Cornell LEADS (Leadership, Entrepreneurship, And Distinctive Service) is a distinctive leadership program that examines the qualities of leadership through interactions with leaders from all walks of life and endeavors to develop real-world skills through a curriculum of leadership building activities emphasizing the following key elements: emotional intelligence, leading change, decision making, motivation and team building.

A great resume builder and networking opportunity, LEADS offers a select group of students the opportunity to participate in tailor-made experiences to explore their leadership abilities and build on those skills.

Program Details

Elements of Leadership Workshops with Gale Mote

We host a seven-part series of leadership skill-building series led by Trainer and Organizational Development Consultant, Gale Mote. Workshops emphasize the following key components: understanding different communication styles, authentic leadership, emotional intelligence, team building, decision making, and influencing skills. 

Leadership Seminar

In the seminar hosted by former Cornell president, Les Garner students consider the “10 Commandments of Leadership” by viewing contrasting leadership styles in the BBC docu-drama “The Last Place on Earth,” chronicling the race to the South Pole between Roald Amundsen (Norway) and Robert Scott (Britain) in 1911. After discussing the docu-drama, students meet in small groups to identify the objectives and attributes of leadership. 

Business Case Study 

Tom Jarom '66, patron of Cornell LEADS, presents a case study in business management from his own career in International Banking. Tom is a life trustee and a former chair of the Cornell Board of Trustees. 

Panel Discussion and Networking Event with Entrepreneurial Leaders

Mehrdad and LEADS students networkingStratafolio and LEADS students networking

Accomplished leaders in business will share their career stories, citing resources found, leadership challenges faced when building their businesses, and eventual successes. Panels have included professionals in business, the arts and communication, fashion, politics and journalism, and other industries.

Chicago Site Visits

LEADS students will travel to Chicago over block break 7 to meet with leaders in various fields, participate in an alumni networking event, and visit organizations in a variety of fields and industries. In 2019, we visited the brand new global McDonald's corporate and charitable organization headquarters, NBC Universal Sports, Advanced Group, and Mistwood Golf Course.  

Service Outreach

Cornell LEADS is partnering with the Civic Engagement Office to plan and execute the kick-off party for the Angel Tree project and will assist with the project from start to finish. There are a variety of opportunities for service at Cornell College, and LEADS participants are encouraged to use their leadership skills in service to others.