L2L Cohort Program

L2L's flagship offering is a year-long cohort program in which participants are afforded dedicated time for reflection and self-discovery, theoretical and applied learning, and dialogue with MIT's senior leaders. 

Away from daily work demands, participants 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.

The cohort program uses best practices for development, including:

  • Multi-rater assessments based on MIT's leadership competencies
  • 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


Workshops throughout the program year feature MIT senior leaders and leadership development experts and provide opportunities for:

  • 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.

Fellows learn and practice applying theoretical frameworks related to:

  • Decision making
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Leadership fundamentals
  • Leading change
  • Situational leadership
  • Strategic thinking
  • Visioning
  • Other timely and relevant topics

Through dialogue with senior leaders and visits to campus facilities and Lincoln Laboratory, they have exposure to important aspects of the MIT enterprise. Among the topics typically covered are:

  • MIT governance
  • Research (campus and Lincoln Laboratory)
  • Student life
  • Admissions
  • Academic leadership (Dean's Panel)
  • Financial leadership
  • MIT culture
  • Topics of particular importance during the program year

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.

After the assessment

The Fellows meet with a coach throughout the program to:

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

L2L projects

The L2L projects are a critical learning component of the cohort program experience. They provide Fellows with an opportunity both to carry out important and timely work for MIT senior leaders and to apply leadership concepts and tools in a project team context.

In support of an executive sponsor and a sponsor, each project team investigates a vital topic and produces information, insight, and recommendations to help inform current and future decision-making.

Teams are asked to approach the projects as they would any major work project, bearing in mind the importance of a project plan, clearly defined scope, relevant and achievable goals, and alignment with sponsor expectations.

Teams are also expected to use the projects and the team experience as a learning vehicle, being intentional about both applying leadership tools and frameworks and discussing how team dynamics evolve over the course of the project.

The projects culminate with a written report for the sponsors and a final presentation at the L2L project presentations and graduation event.

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 their coach at least twice during L2L
  • Attend the L2L project presentations

Apply to L2L

Learn more about applying to L2L.