Our interest in leadership education is based on the assumption that leadership can be learned, and therefore taught. Take, by analogy, the process of becoming a musician. Many a talented youngster fails to realize his or her musical potential because of poor teaching, while an ordinary child can become an excellent player with terrific teaching. Becoming a great musician usually requires not just talent, but expert training. Likewise with leadership, there may be predispositions for leadership, but they will be harnessed or squandered depending on the quality of education..
Our teaching strategy rests on three principles. First, people learn best by experience because the evidence generated by experience is so compelling. Second, to make experiential evidence useful requires giving people either the conceptual tools to organize the evidence or tools to develop such tools. Third, educators must try to “practice what they preach.” In particular, the form of teaching should communicate the same message as the material.