Executive Learning

Florida International University’s College of Business explores the most effective ways to teach leadership in and out of the classroom.
Column by David R. Klock | June 17, 2018 | Lifestyle

Finding gaps in knowledge and building self-awareness are the keys to teaching leadership skills. At Florida International University’s College of Business, we’ve seen the effectiveness of problem-based learning, using challenging case studies as a starting point to gain knowledge. As participants sort through a series of challenges, they identify their needs and learn through their mistakes. It’s an effective path to success for any business leader. We see this as fostering a 3-step process within the learning team. The first step: Present a problem that’s difficult to solve. Leaders learn best when they’re motivated to seek out the information and skills they need to get results. They then provide additional knowledge, and observe and guide participants as they apply that new knowledge. The skill of sorting through, choosing and acting on relevant information is vital for top leaders in a complex business world. And finally: Repeat. Present additional challenges where the new knowledge is applicable. The experience of putting knowledge to immediate use is a powerful way to learn effective decision-making. We use this approach in our Executive MBA, which brings together some of South Florida’s most promising business leaders at our facility at FIU Downtown on Brickell. We are proud to help future leaders develop the skills they need to build successful organizations and great communities.

David R. Klock is Dean of the College of Business at Florida International University. For more information about the Executive MBA program at FIU Downtown on Brickell, call 305.779.7896 or visit

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