Michigan Model of Leadership


At Sanger, our philosophy towards leader development is based on a few core assumptions:

Our Philosophy

Leadership is like reading or math–it comprises skills and behaviors that anyone can learn

Developing as a leader is a lifelong growth journey, where you make the most progress with a growth orientation, clear goals, intentional experiments (and acceptance of failures), and lots of feedback

Leader development is most effective when it integrates evidence-based tools, action-based leadership, and personalized learning

As such, we take pride in our evidence-based learning programs that draw on both historical and current research strengths at Ross as well as the most cutting-edge simulations and activities within the space of action-based learning. Our leadership curriculum is anchored by the Michigan Model of Leadership (MMoL), a leadership framework that provides a lens to understand which leadership skills learners have already polished and which skills need improvement.

Using the Michigan Model of Leadership


Michigan Model of Leadership (Simple)
MMoL Table (Tensions)

The self-assessment below is meant to give you a preliminary understanding of your leadership skills across the Michigan Model of Leadership.

History of the Michigan Model OF LEADERSHIP


The Michigan Model of Leadership is based on a half-century of empirical research and real-world practice. It simplifies enormous complexity by building on the Competing Values Framework (CVF), which was developed by Robert Quinn, Kim Cameron, and other Michigan faculty, and has been widely adopted by thousands of businesses and leaders around the world. The CVF is now the foundation for consulting practices, executive education courses, and numerous leadership development programs. In 2003, the Financial Times recognized it as one of the 40 most important management frameworks in history.

The MMoL, based on its roots in the CVF, acknowledges a fundamental paradox of leadership that is tied to two key tensions found in all organizations–how to balance people (yellow) and performance (blue), and how to balance structure (red) and adaptation (Green). Navigating these fundamental tensions and achieving the appropriate balance to optimize team and organization achievement is the goal of leadership.

The Michigan Model operates on three levels of analysis:

  • Leading yourself and others
  • Leading teams
  • Leading organizations



As a center, we are also on our own leadership journey. We are always eager for feedback from our stakeholders to help us continue to improve ourselves and our opportunities for future generations of leaders at Michigan.