Leader to Leader

MIT's Leader to Leader (L2L) is a year-long program that provides both a theoretical leadership framework and hands-on leadership experiences.

L2L graduates emerge as thoughtful, deliberate leaders, inspired and well prepared to achieve greater influence and impact at MIT. They are equipped with multiple leadership models and skills, greater understanding of MIT’s culture and operations, and access to a vibrant network of fellow leaders, including MIT senior leaders.

Through the yearlong program, L2L participants are afforded dedicated time for reflection and self-discovery, theoretical and applied learning, and dialogue with fellow MIT leaders. Away from daily work demands, they are able to view challenges, opportunities and decisions from a broader, more strategic perspective. They come to think and act differently, learning to lead with confidence, humility and respect for the mission and values of MIT.

L2L uses best practices for development, including:

  • Multi-rater assessments based on MIT's leadership competencies
  • Executive coaching to support individual leadership goals
  • On-the-job application of what's learned in the program
  • Strategic project work in areas relevant and timely to the Institute
  • Leadership workshops with the MIT senior leaders, Sloan and other faculty, and leadership development experts

Program Components


L2L is structured around 14 daylong workshops throughout the program year. Workshops feature MIT senior leaders and leadership development experts, and entail:

  • Applying a theoretical framework for leadership to MIT-specific challenges
  • Engaging in dialogue with MIT senior leaders
  • Working collaboratively with colleagues on meaningful learning experiences
  • Reflecting and committing to action.

Individual leadership development

Multi-rater assessment

Effective leadership begins with self-awareness. L2L Fellows participate in a multi-rater assessment covering competencies that contribute to leadership success at the Institute. The assessment yields insights on how Fellows are perceived by managers, peers and colleagues, and direct reports and helps Fellows identify their strengths and areas for development.

Leadership competencies

In the L2L multi-rater assessment, raters will be asked to rate the level of effectiveness on specific behaviors related to leadership competencies that make sense for leadership at MIT.

After the assessment

The Fellows meet with an executive coach throughout the program to:

  • Analyze and synthesize results of multi-rater assessment
  • Identify leadership development goal(s) based on assessment outcomes
  • Periodically discuss progress toward the goal(s), obstacles that hinder progress, and ways to apply L2L learning toward leadership goal(s)

Applied learning

L2L Fellows apply what they learn during the workshops to their leadership goals and timely and relevant aspects of their work.

L2L Fellows are part of an L2L project team that supports strategic Institute goals. Sponsored by senior leaders and L2L alums, the project teams give Fellows the opportunity to:

  • Focus on leadership competencies within the context of real MIT projects
  • Reinforce key leadership lessons
  • Deepen knowledge and understanding about the Institute
  • Build their network of colleagues from across the Institute
You can view projects from our Fellows on the L2L Projects page (Touchstone required).

Manager engagement

L2L Fellows are most successful at applying what they learn in L2L when their managers are actively engaged in their leadership development. To this end, managers of L2L Fellows are expected to:

  • Provide input in their Fellow's multi-rater assessment
  • Participate in a Manager's Orientation
  • Actively enable Fellows to apply what they are learning in the work setting
  • Meet with their Fellow and his/her executive coach at least twice during L2L
  • Attend the L2L project presentations

Upcoming Program

The L2L program runs every other year. The application period for the L2L Class of 2020 is closed. Learn more about the application process.