How L2L Works

How L2L Works

The 12-month Leader to Leader program includes presentations by special guest speakers, skill-building workshops, multi-rater assessments, executive coaching and hands-on projects. L2L runs every other calendar year.

Four Major Components of L2L


Leader to Leader activities are primarily structured around sixteen to eighteen full-day sessions spaced throughout the thirteen month L2L program year. This schedule allows focused development time for participants without extended time away from daily routines.

Most program sessions are held from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at various MIT locations (e.g., Lincoln Laboratory, Media Lab, Stata Center, Sydney-Pacific Graduate Dormitory and Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) Classroom).

A model of distributed leadership, developed by Sloan faculty, is a core component of the Leader to Leader program. Sloan faculty visit program workshops to share key leadership concepts.

Individual Development

A commitment and openness to coaching is a critical aspect of the L2L experience. At the beginning of the program, L2L Fellows participate in a 360 assessment, a confidential process that gathers feedback about each participant's leadership competencies from peers, managers, direct reports, and others.

This information is combined with self-assessment and coaching from experienced executive coaches to create an individual leadership development plan. Each plan is continually evaluated and adjusted during the course of the program. Each Fellow meets with his/her coach once between each workshop session to discuss progress on goals, obstacles that may be hindering progress, and ways to apply leadership concepts to his/her work at MIT. This personalized, iterative approach allows each Fellow to tailor the program to target specific areas for growth.

Applied Learning

Between sessions, L2L Fellows work in teams of four to six on projects that support strategic Institute goals. These projects give L2L Fellows the opportunity to focus on leadership competencies within the context of real MIT projects. The projects are sponsored by L2L alums and others who can reinforce key leadership lessons. In addition, an L2L alum serves as a process coach for each project team. This coach meets regularly with his/her team to help the Fellows apply key concepts of L2L to their project.

In addition to working on projects, L2L Fellows use time in the workshops to reflect on what they have applied in their own work settings since the last session, what worked and what they would do differently.

Manager Engagement

L2L Fellows are most successful at applying what they learn in L2L to their work when their managers are actively engaged in their leadership development. To this end, managers of L2L Fellows are expected to:

  • Give input in their Fellow's 360 assessment
  • Participate in a lunchtime Manager's Orientation
  • Meet with their Fellow and his/her executive coach at least once during L2L
  • Optional follow up action items for managers and fellows sent via email after workshops

If a Fellow's manager is unable to fulfill these expectations, the Fellow can choose a "designate" in the manager's place. If an applicant and his/her manager prefer to choose a "designate," the applicant should contact Margaret Ann Gray at for guidance in identifying someone who can successfully play this role.

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