Indiana University


Tobias Center Vision

The enduring mission of the Tobias Center is inspiring leadership excellence on a national scale.  Special access to the Center’s work will be furnished to Indiana citizens for the distinct purpose of enhancing leadership within the state.


Hoosier Fellows Program » Curriculum

The curriculum of the Hoosier Fellows Program will be varied, reflecting the breadth of leadership itself. The examination of leadership will be conducted in an environment of academic excellence and ongoing research. At the same time, it will be solidly grounded in real world experiences. This ten month study will be centered on narratives -- the stories of leaders and their moments of trial where their leadership was tested. Themes and reflection are also integral features of the program.

Read an article from the Indianapolis Business Journal about the Hoosier Fellows program. Leader program builds following

The Hoosier Fellows Program, although based in Indianapolis, will frequently go "on the road".Experience the critical elements of leading your organization toward their vision. Hoosier Fellows will travel to a number of other venues across the state to feature particular issues and resources. Venues include military (e.g. Camp Atterbury and Fort Knox), religious (e.g. St. Meinrad monastery), sports (e.g. Colts or Pacers), entertainment (e.g. Indianapolis Opera), government (e.g., City of Indianapolis, State of Indiana), education (e.g., University of Notre Dame and Indiana University), and business (e.g. FedEx) sites, so that the Fellows can hear directly from leaders in these sectors.

The Hoosier Fellows will engage in a variety of activities to enhance their learning:
  1. Instructional sessions, where the case method of instruction will be employed with a variety of
    cases, not just simply business cases.
  2. Active sessions, where the Fellows will be asked to perform in teams.
  3. Assessment sessions, where the leadership styles of the Fellows will be individually assessed.
  4. Reflective sessions, where the Fellows will debrief themselves after trips, lectures, and
    active sessions.
  5. Journaling, where the Fellows will be asked to put down their own thoughts concerning
    their leadership styles and their own moments of trial.

Networking Opportunities
There will be several ways by which the Fellows can network:

1. The Fellows will be given time to get to know one another well by sharing their own narratives and journals.

2. The Fellows will be an integral part of the Tobias Center and its research through contact with the Faculty Fellows, a core group of IU faculty who will do research on cross-sectoral leadership excellence, teach classes, conduct workshops and convene the various groups unique to the Center.

3. The Fellows will meet and interact with the leaders and experts who will be part of the curriculum.

4. The Fellows will be invited to all relevant Tobias Center events and lectures and may have the opportunity to interact with nationally recognized leaders and speakers who attend the events.

Every month a new theme will be explored. The program will focus on leadership elements and leadership contexts. While these elements and contexts are presented as organizing ideas, there will be some mixture of elements and contexts throughout the year in the monthly sessions. All sessions will be led by outstanding IU faculty as well as by leading outside experts.

Leadership Assessment
Prior to the first meeting, each Hoosier Fellow will participate in an in-depth leadership assessment with an industrial organizational psychologist.  Some of the assessment instruments will be completed online and there will be a 1.5 hour session scheduled with the psychologist in Indianapolis.

Everyone’s leadership is personally assessed by a trained psychologist and each Fellow is given intensive feedback about his or her personal style of leadership and such skills as communication, emotional control, problem solving, judgment, and strategic thinking.  Using the assessment results, the psychologist works with each Fellow, developing a personal plan for leadership growth.  Throughout the year, with coaching from the Tobias Center staff and follow-up sessions with the psychologist, the Fellows continue working on areas and behaviors targeted for personal growth.  The Fellows will also work in small groups for discussion and reinforcement of the personal growth work.

Leadership Elements

Leading at the Edge
Beginning in 1914 with Sir Ernest Shackleton's journey of adventure and survival in the seas and ice of Antarctica, this module will explore the essential elements of leadership and high performance teamwork. What comprises effective leadership in challenging times? How does a leader develop and sustain a vision and core values through change and transition? How does a leader take appropriate risk, manage conflict and business challenges and above all, set a personal example?

Leading Change and Thinking Strategically
Today's organizational climate is marked by rapid change. Leaders must not only understand their changing environments; they need to embrace change. On the assumption that a leader must understand the role of his or her organization and have a vision for its future, various techniques of change management will be examined and strategic thinking will be explored in this module.

Ethical Leadership and Legal Issues
Today's leaders confront increasingly complex ethical issues. What does the expression 'ethical leadership' mean? Is the expression redundant? Are there special ethical issues for leaders? The range of ethical and legal issues faced by organizational leaders will be explored.

Leadership Failures and Success
Does one set of behaviors lead to success and another set to failure? How is it that some organizations seem to produce both? Using case studies and stories, this session will examine the leaders, the companies, and the circumstances of both successes and failures.

Complex and Sophisticated Skills for Success
What do Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Sir Richard Burton (the explorer, not the actor), and James Bond all have in common? This session will explore very complex skills in emotional and social communication. These attributes are often referred to as the elements of a leader's charisma, and they are also related to what is commonly referred to as intuition or everyday mindreading. This session will test and examine multiple forms of intelligence, particularly the relatively new constructs of emotional intelligence and social intelligence, impression management, the ability to "read" other people, self-awareness and self-control, and the ability to adapt to social and cultural situations. Using transformational leadership as a "template" the Fellows explore ways to develop these sophisticated leadership skills.

Authentic Leadership Praxis

If Socrates was right and the unexamined life is not worth living, then the unexamined practice of leadership may be seriously flawed. In this session, the class presents and discusses data on individual practice - including information processing style. In light of this information, Fellows share and discuss their leadership beliefs. This session encourages examination and articulation of the philosophy and practice of leadership.

Leadership Contexts

Lead a convoy through the "streets of Baghdad".Military
Military leadership has qualities that differentiate it from typical civilian leadership. Unlike civilian leaders, military leaders generally don't have the luxury of learning from their own mistakes. The military creates a laboratory for testing assumptions about leadership and presents an environment in which conditions can be controlled to a degree, thus allowing more research and experimentation. How does the modern military teach people how to think as opposed to the old mode of teaching people what to think?  How does the military create and nurture adaptive leadership modes? What can we learn from the military?

Read the article about the Hoosier Fellows military leadership training at Camp Atterbury. Operation Leadership: Executives Trade Offices for Tents, Humvees as Part of Leadership Training Program

International Leadership
The world is flat and how does that flatness influence leadership in today's organizations? What problems do multi-national organizations face and how can they make ethical decisions that sometimes force them to evaluate options searching for the one that will inflict the least harm? Learn how organizations operating in other nations must carefully weigh public relations, human rights, environmental impact, social justice, human dignity, political and social circumstances and a host of other considerations in each decision making process. As a consultant to a company operating in another country, what would you advise?

Sports, Arts and Entertainment
Explore the complex and enormously varied world of sports, the arts, and entertainment. When is it important to give people permission to make mistakes?   How does a leader elicit the best possible performance from people?    How does a good leader build a great team?  Meet some exciting and unusual leaders and learn about the challenges they face. From symphony to soccer, learn how leaders face the unique practices and imperatives of these fields of activity.

Does being an entrepreneur call for a different kind of leadership? What do you need to know to go solo? Whether you own the company or work for someone else, all leaders can learn from these lessons - especially the one about maintaining your competitive edge. A touch of innovation can turn change to your advantage. Some of the best employees are actually entrepreneurs within the organization that employs them. 

How do government leaders make decisions? What's the difference between decisions made by the US Congress and decisions made by business organizations? What do leaders need to know about government and politics? How can a leader interact with government effectively? What is the impact of government on your organization - in terms of taxation, legislation, and regulation? How can these matters be better managed?

Practice sixth century Benedictine leadership at St. Meinrad Archabbey.Religious Leadership
In the sixth century, St. Benedict originated a form of government with rules that are still followed throughout the world today. He addressed social duties and responsibility, obedience to authority and protected the rights of individuals from arbitrariness. How did the leadership of one individual wield such great influence for such a long period of time and how does he think a good leader should lead? This module will explore the world of religious leadership as it has been applied through the centuries and how these precepts can work for today's leaders across all sectors.