The Sanger Leadership Journey

To develop as a leader, you need to intentionally guide yourself on a leadership learning journey where you experiment with new behaviors on a daily basis. Our 5-step framework below explains how you can embark on and accelerate your own leadership development: the Sanger Leadership Journey.

Learn to Lead

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business is the first top-tier business school to offer a self-guided leadership coaching program. We believe that leadership is a skill that anyone can learn. Each day offers numerous opportunities to learn, practice, refine, and reflect on your current and desired leadership skills. To truly transform as a leader, you will need to intentionally guide yourself on a growth journey through these different experiences.

At Sanger, our goal is to accelerate your leadership growth journey by:

  • Providing a journey framework for you to coach yourself and curate your own personalized leadership learning journey
  • Sharing data-driven bold ideas, actionable frameworks and skillsets to give you ideas for growth opportunities along your own development journey
  • Creating transformative, experiential learning opportunities to test your progress
  • Providing opportunities for connection and learning collaboration with students, staff, faculty, alumni, professional coaches, and impactful leaders

Whether you want to chart your own values, pioneer a new initiative with your team, or navigate an entire organization through uneven terrain, Sanger can help you help yourself develop the concrete leadership skills you need to achieve your goals for your life and the world around you.

The Sanger Journey builds on the cornerstone values at Michigan Ross of humility, hard work, and self-growth to empower students, alumni and others to embark on a lifelong journey of leadership growth, where each of us continually and intentionally works to improve not only ourselves, but our followers, peers, and community for the greater good.

Have a Sanger Journey Experiment to share?
We want to hear it! Fill out our form to share your journey.

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1. Identify your point of origin.

You start from a unique destination and you bring your own talents, skills, and beliefs. In order to know where you’re going, you need to start from a solid awareness of where you’ve come from and where you dream to go, including identifying the guiding values that bind these experiences together.


Understand your values and reflect on the unique set of experiences you bring to your journey in our Journey Workbook.

Journey Workbook

2. Chart your course.

Next, you need to chart your course from your current point of origin to your intended future destination, including finding a route that will allow you to develop the leadership skills you need to thrive at your destination.

To identify the right path for you, you need to assess the leadership skills you have and those you need to arrive at and succeed at your end goal. This means identifying evidence-based short-term learning objectives to support your end goals that you carry with you and work on across all the social interactions you have in a day. Whether you are at our Crisis Challenge or chatting with someone on your work team, these are all opportunities to intentionally practice the leadership skills you are currently trying to develop along your chosen leadership journey. Review examples of skills and behaviors and come to Sanger programs or check out our learning portal for more data-driven bold ideas of skills you can work to improve your leadership ability.


Formulate the goals that will help you reach your dream destination in our workbook. Then, use these other resources to determine the types of leader behaviors you’ll seek to experiment with and learn.

Journey Workbook
Leader Behavior Encyclopedia

3. Get going!

Embark on your journey by beginning to test out the new behaviors and skills you’ll acquire at U-M. Participate in leadership experiences, such as a Sanger program, your internship, or a club. Also use daily interactions in class or with your friends as opportunities to keep practicing too! Within these interactions, it’s important to intentionally design experiments around the skills you learn, which requires you to formulate a hypothesis about what will happen if you try something in a new way and then to go test that hypothesis by trying that new behavior and observing yourself and watching how others respond to you. Keeping a journal where you log your hypotheses, experiments, and results is a great leadership practice regularly done by the world’s best leaders and is core to coaching yourself on your leadership journey. For more insights into how to design and run these experiments, review the Journey video on this page.


In our workbook, get going by determining which experiments you will run to learn a new leader behavior. We’ll take you through each step of your experience. You can also chart simultaneous leadership experiments in our tracking spreadsheet.

Journey Workbook
Journey Tracking Sheet

4. Reflect on your progress and update your goals.

As you approach the end of your journey toward one goal, analyze the experience, both from your own perspective and that of others. What did you learn? What were the effects of the experiment? How did it challenge your assumptions or change your self-confidence? Taking time along the way to reflect on your short- and long-term goals and adjusting them along the way will help your journey be more successful.

  • Find a trailmate in a group such as LDRx.
  • Reflect on your progress.
  • Gather feedback from trailmates.
  • Earn badges in the online portal, track progress and update goals.


We’ve provided several reflection questions in our workbook. You may also want to review the Mindful Engagement Model by Professor Ashford and Dean DeRue to guide your reflection.

Journey Workbook
Mindful Engagement Model

5. Become a guide for others.

Once you’ve mastered the journey on one skill, help coach others along their leadership journeys in formal or informal situations. After all, your journey does not end when you reach your destination: you can always learn more and improve, and mentoring others is one way to do it.


Wrap up your journey with reflection questions in our workbook, and consider ways you’ll teach others what you’ve learned.

Journey Workbook: Reflection Questions
Journey Workbook: Ways to Become a Guide

Support on Your Journey

The Sanger team is here to support you along the way: connect with a member of our team or one of our Sanger Student Board Members with any questions. Additionally, we can be reached at