Advanced Leadership in Action: Kilimanjaro


17 Sep - 24 Sep 2014Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa - $14,300 USDRegister


D. Scott DeRue

*Fee includes accommodations and meals

Advanced Leadership in Action: Kilimanjaro

Highlights  │   ► Takeaways & Tools  │   ► The Journey  │   ► Who Should Attend?
     ► Training and Gear  │   ► Alpine Ascents  │   ► Toolbox  │   ► Fees
Video footage contributions: Eui-Jee Hah, Josh Owens, Luz Gardella

What can a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro teach you about leading your organization? Michigan Ross research shows that testing leadership in real, unfamiliar, and complex environments has the greatest impact on advancing skills to drive success in business.

This program is not your typical professional development opportunity. It will push you to learn more about yourself than could ever be gained in a classroom. As you progress up the mountain, you'll learn cutting-edge leadership tools and put them into practice leading fellow executives on the trek. Reflection discussions with faculty leader Scott DeRue and peers will help translate daily lessons to your work. And individual coaching will help you customize learning to your unique aspirations.

No other leadership development program can offer such an intense and focused learning experience. You'll return to the office a profoundly different leader -- more authentic, confident, self-aware, and laser-focused on your goals and what it takes to achieve your highest objectives. This powerful development journey will transform your leadership acumen on the highest freestanding mountain in the world.

Program Highlights

  • Throughout the trek, you will engage in designed leadership challenges that test and grow your ability to lead a high-performing team, develop a culture of accountability, make tough decisions, demonstrate resilience, and achieve results in dynamic environments.
  • Leadership coaching and feedback will be woven throughout the experience to help you identify your strengths and opportunities for improvement.
  • You'll "learn by doing" in a way that cannot be replicated in any classroom environment:
    • You'll put advanced concepts into use immediately in real life scenarios and develop strong mastery of key tools and approaches.
    • After the trek, you'll develop a detailed plan to leverage lessons to transform your work.

Takeaways & Tools

  • Research-based tools for improving judgment and decision-making in uncertain and complex environments
  • Insight into how to build high-performance management teams, inspire excellence in your employees, and create a culture of accountability and trust in your organization
  • Knowledge and skills for building resilience in yourself, your team, and your organization in the face of adversity and change
  • A development plan to realize your unique leadership potential

The Journey

Kilimanjaro Expedition You'll start this seven-day journey in the rainforests of Africa. As you begin to ascend the great Mount Kilimanjaro, the terrain will start to change from lush green to jagged rock. It is a sensory experience that is varied and intense. We'll progress up well-marked trails and transcend from warm and humid climates to arid mountainsides and finally to cold and snow.

From the moment we begin the climb, you will engage in tough leadership challenges and learning assignments. You will be responsible for building the team, setting collective goals, establishing group culture, and defining routines. The unexpected will become the expected. You'll confront difficulties where sound judgment and effective decision-making will be critical. Leadership coaching will be woven throughout the experience, and feedback from faculty and peers will be delivered in real time. You'll see your teammates at their best and worst as you experience the triumphs and struggles of the climb together. And you'll gain deep insight about how to motivate others to achieve more than they thought possible.

As you approach the summit the barren earth will give way to breathtaking views and awe-inspiring vistas. At this point, the leadership challenge will turn to descending the mountain to get the team home. After the climb, you will develop a detailed plan for how to leverage lessons and insights to transform your leadership at work.

Who Should Attend?

Proven leaders who want to achieve new and ambitious results through authentic and inspirational leadership.

The journey up Mount Kilimanjaro is a non-technical climb suitable for beginners and experienced hikers alike.

Training and Gear

Participants must be physically fit and ready for Kilimanjaro. We recommend a training regimen of three to four months for this program and a full list of appropriate gear. Trained staff of Alpine Ascents will work with you to prepare and pack for Kilimanjaro.

Contact: Customer Service // +1 734-763-1000 //

Alpine Ascents International

We are excited to partner with Alpine Ascents International on this program. Named one of the best adventure travel companies on earth by National Geographic Adventure Magazine, Alpine Ascents will provide carefully planned highly nutritious meals, tent camps, cybercasts, and all ground logistics while in Tanzania. Unique to Alpine Asents, an on-staff professional guide will lead the trek along with local African staff. In addition, a team of roughly 50-65 professional porters will support you throughout the trek.

Alpine Ascents has more than 20 years' experience leading groups up Kilimanjaro and more than 90 percent summit success rate. They have been featured in National Geographic, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and more for their excellence in mountain climbing hosting and expeditions. Alpine Ascents' high level of professionalism and proven safety and track record make them the ideal partner for this program.


Help your team reach new heightsHelp Your Team Reach New Heights

Participants in this program inevitably experience uncertainty. But that's to be expected when you're climbing the world's highest freestanding mountain, right? During the trek, we discover tactics to help leaders identify and eliminate doubt and fear in the workplace. Below are a few "freebie" tools you can implement (without having to climb Kilimanjaro):

— by Professor D. Scott DeRue and David Morton, mountaineer; adapted from "Leading Teams When Lives Are at Stake," originally published by the Harvard Business Review blog network.

Minimize Status Differences: One executive shared his approach of intentionally not attending brainstorming meetings to prevent his direct reports from feeling intimidated and holding back ideas.

Share Mistakes:Sharing stories of personal mistakes isn't a sign of weakness. Rather, it makes it clear that nobody is perfect, and creates a norm of sharing with the team.

Be Inclusive and Forgiving: When mistakes occur, demonstrate forgiveness. Focus on learning, not reprimanding. Mistakes will occur — just make sure not to make the same one twice.

Bio: Scott DeRue

► View all Michigan Ross program offerings

Program Fees Include:

  • Tuition and climbing guide fees
  • Scheduled ground transportation and three nights' hotel in Tanzania
  • Group gear and equipment, such as tents, stoves, etc
  • All meals during the program
  • Porters, drivers, guides, park fees, and climbing permits

Program fee does not include:

  • Travel to and from Tanzania
  • Personal gear

Fee is payable in advance in US dollars and is subject to change. See our Cancellation, Transfer and Substitution Policy.


Admission to this program is by application only. Alpine Ascents reserves the right to screen candidates for health, fitness, and preparedness. This climb is suitable for beginners who commit to a prescribed training regimen. Prior climbing experience is not required. There are three ways to apply:

  1. Register Now
  2. Download the application and mail it back to us or fax it to +1.734.764.4267
  3. Email or call us to request a paper application be mailed to you.  

Contact: Customer Service // +1 734-763-1000 //

Advanced Leadership in Action: Kilimanjaro


17 Sep - 24 Sep 2014Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa - $14,300 USDRegister


D. Scott DeRue
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Advanced Leadership in Action: Kilimanjaro
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