Developing Leadership Capability in the Corporate Aviation Function

  • The path to outstanding corporate aviation leadership is more difficult than most. Executives must navigate competing needs from two very different businesses — a technically demanding service operation and the organization that supports it — while building an attainable business future greater than the sum of its parts. Those who succeed are dedicated to the continual mastery of mechanical, technological and regulatory changes as well as strategic decision-making, innovation, high-performance execution and ongoing business development.

  • At a Glance

    Turn your flight department into a strategic asset when you take on high-level business development. In Developing Leadership Capability in the Corporate Aviation Function, you'll uncover the skills that set powerful leaders apart, the solutions to traditional and emerging challenges unique to aviation and the strategies to execute long-lasting growth and evolution in your business.

    The Program

    Expand your perspective of the big picture and your role in it. This course partners with the National Business Aviation Association to increase the influence and organizational integration of corporate aviation leaders like you. By studying success stories from your field, you'll discover real-life solutions to industry challenges and the principles of powerful leadership. After identifying which common model makes the most sense for your organization, you'll be given the tools to analyze and improve operational systems and cross-functional performance. You'll also work directly with Darden experts in global business management and organizational behavior to develop your customized growth plan — an outline of tangible goals that will advance your career as you steer a more adept and profitable business.

    Where You'll Excel

    • Learn management techniques for handling changing international regulations, safety concerns and expanding operations.
    • Practice facilitating communication between aviation experts, management and the teams that support them to execute projects more swiftly and smoothly.
    • Strengthen your ability to negotiate and to build more cohesive teams.
    • Review common models of flight departments to design effective yet flexible organizational structures and improve your change management skills.     

    Schedule & Topics

    • Developing Leadership Skills
    • High-Performance Service Operations
    • Mastering the Change Process
    • Personal Planning Workshop
    • Strategic Thinking


    When you finish Developing Leadership Capability in the Corporate Aviation Function, you'll walk away with:

    • A personal action plan that integrates your aviation-specific development strategy with corporate objectives and long-term goals
    • A shortlist of leadership best practices for more efficient and profitable operations in the aviation function
    • Techniques to inspire and encourage growth among members of your organization's flight department
    • The communication and negotiation skills to settle cross-functional conflict and move disparate groups toward a shared vision
    • Greater awareness of personal leadership strengths and methods for expanding your influence 


    This program is designed for chief pilots and executives with aviation department responsibilities who want to maximize their impact across their organizations. It's especially helpful for leaders who want to grow beyond "one-size-fits-all" management skills and develop the competitive insights and habits to flourish in their industry.




    James G. Clawson

    Johnson & Higgins Professor of Business Administration
    A teacher of leadership and organizational behavior for more than three decades, Clawson is frequently cited by former students for delivering some of the most influential courses of their Darden careers; one Darden alumnus named a classroom in his honor. Clawson formerly worked as a trainer for Mobil Oil Company in Japan and as an international banking officer for Wells Fargo Bank. He remains an active consultant. His numerous publications include the books Level Three Leadership: Getting Below the Surface, Balancing Your Life: Executive Lessons for Work, Family and Self and Powered by Feel: How Individuals, Teams and Companies Excel. Clawson holds a D.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an MBA from Brigham Young University, a B.A. from Stanford University and a second-degree black belt in taekwondo.

    Mark E. Haskins

    Professor of Business Administration
    Haskins has designed and delivered executive education programs for such clients as IBM, INTELSAT, MCI, Coopers & Lybrand, Aetna Insurance, Norfolk Southern Railroad, AES Corporation, Rolls Royce NA, Harris Corporation, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force. Professor Haskins has taught executives in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Thailand, Australia, Hong Kong and the United States. He is author of The Secret Language of Financial Reports(McGraw-Hill, 2008) and coauthor of Teaching Management: A Field Guide for Professors, Consultants and Corporate Trainers(Cambridge University Press, 2006).

    Participant or faculty member quote

    "This program establishes a conduit between the corporate hangar and the corporate headquarters."

    Location & Accommodations

    Darden School of Business
    Charlottesville, Virginia

    As a participant, you'll stay in a private room at the  Inn at Darden, our highly rated hotel adjacent to the classroom buildings and dining center. Accommodations are included in your tuition.

    Tuition & Certificates

    $8,550 covers materials, meals and accommodations at the  Inn at DardenNBAA members receive a 10 percent tuition reduction.

    By taking this course, you will earn one week of credit toward a  Certificate of Specialization.