Leadership is a capacity that draws on all aspects of yourself and your organization. Developing a vision, articulating it, and inspiring others to achieve it requires not only careful analysis and technical knowledge but also a sense for what is important for the organization and for the people in and around it. Mastering these abilities is a lifelong endeavor. A unique combination of learning and trekking, the Leadership Seminar Trek is an extraordinary educational opportunity to develop and strengthen your leadership skills and capacities, cross-train your mind, and reflect on your leadership with others who share the same concerns as you hike together through the spectacular peaks and pinnacles of the Swiss Alps.
Images of mountains resonate deeply in cultures around the world; they are symbols of patience and strength, effort and inspiration. Mountain climbers, like the mountains they climb, hold a central place in modern business and society, a paradigm for how individuals striving for a goal can achieve what others label impossible. Reaching a summit, however, is usually far more than a personal achievement, for it almost always depends on collective effort, with the contribution of each required for the success of all. Through readings, case studies, discussions, and experiential exercises on the trail, the program uses mountains, mountaineering, and trekking as powerful cross-cultural metaphors to expand and deepen our understanding of leadership and teamwork.
We focus on leadership throughout the trek through daily seminars, exercises, and reading assignments. It is essential that you have a strong interest in leadership and its development, and are willing to actively engage in the leadership activities and discussions during the trek, and you will need to be in good physical condition for vigorous hiking over five days.
Above the Swiss village of Zermatt rises the most spectacular peak in the Alps — the Matterhorn, with its distinctive shape of a sharply attenuated pyramid of rock and ice. From a base in Zermatt, we will trek up through alpine meadows brimming with flowers to the base of the famous mountain and to neighboring villages and high points with views of the second highest peak in the Alps, Monte Rosa, at more than 15,000 feet high. The story of the first ascent of the Matterhorn, one of the most famous in the history of mountaineering, along with accounts of other well-known climbs in the Alps, will provide ample material for leadership lessons and discussions.
“I would strongly encourage my fellow Wharton AMP alumni to consider the Leadership Seminar Trek for three reasons: the place, people, and professors.
Few places on earth rival the natural beauty of the Swiss Alps. Each day the different alpine trails that you’ll take will provide a completely different perspective of the Matterhorn and its foreboding beauty.
In this majestic setting, you’ll be part of an intimate group of AMP alumni whose own unique leadership backgrounds provide a sophisticated sounding board for your ideas and leadership challenges. From this experience you’ll forge bonds of friendship that will last a lifetime.
Finally, the opportunity to spend an entire week in the company of world-renowned educators — Dr. Mike Useem and Dr. Rodrigo Jordan — transform what would otherwise be an amazing expedition with friends into a life-changing leadership challenge. Together, Mike and Rodrigo's unique approaches will help you explore your next leadership challenge from an entirely new perspective.
Prior to the trip, you’ll be asked to identify the next major leadership challenge that you are facing in your career. As you carry that challenge through the alpine trails with the benefit of Wharton camaraderie, by the end of the week you will enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you’ve charted a path to overcome that particular challenge that is your own personal Matterhorn.”
Robert J. Knorr III
G’96, WAM’15, LPS’16
Attendee, Leadership Seminar Trek in the Swiss Alps – Summer 2018