Executive Education

Leading Teams for Growth and Change

Prepare to lead collaboratively in any situation. Take your change and leadership skills to the next level. Create a culture for high team performance. Be coached by an Olympian, and experience what it’s like to go from no team to high-performing team. Darden’s unique, hands-on Executive Education program Leading Teams for Growth and Change gives you the opportunity to expand your experience and knowledge — and challenges you to stretch your thinking alongside peers from around the world.

Program Overview

Through Leading Teams for Growth and Change, participants explore the strategies, structures and skills required to lead teams. Using a participatory, problem-solving framework, this innovative course includes in-class case analysis, a self-assessment diagnostic, small group discussion and activities, along with daily sweep rowing experiences led by world champion rower Dan Lyons.

Participants will:

  • Develop strong, sustainable leadership and team building abilities.
  • Learn how to coach and lead through challenging conditions (including a challenging economy).
  • Experience steps to taking a team to the highest level.
  • Master how to harness individual and team strengths — along with talent across the enterprise.
  • Understand the interaction between leadership and team performance.
  • Be part of a high performing and collaborative environment.


"This program doesn't just teach change, it inspires it!"
Arjun Moldanado
Product and Equipment Solutions Manager
ADS Inc.

"I learned that, regardless of team dynamics or external forces, I set the environment. I also learned that time to 'replenish' is vital for me and my team to be effective. I will forever use the phrase 'I got back on the boat' to describe tenacity against challenges."
Debra Phillips
Managing Director - Communications
FedEx Freight

Related Resources


Executives of all levels who lead teams and are looking for a better leadership skill set will benefit from Leading Teams for Growth and Change.

Participant Examples

  • Directors with accountability for enhancing their firms' effectiveness
  • Division and unit managers
  • Executives who work collaboratively to foster innovation and change
  • Mid- to senior-level managers responsible for growth
  • Project managers
  • Those responsible for improving enterprise-wide performance

Organizations Recently Represented

ADS Inc.
Boral Roofing
Cisco Systems Inc.
Eastman Chemical Co.
Erie Insurance Group
Federal Express Corp.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Federal Reserve Information Technology
Inland Revenue Department (New Zealand)
Internal Revenue Service
Linfox Australia Pty. Ltd

National Pension Commission (Nigeria)
National Student Clearinghouse
Northrop Grumman Corp.
Patton Boggs LLP
Ruhrpumpen Inc.
Samba Financial Group
Six3 Systems Inc.
State Farm Insurance Co.
St. Luke's School
Transportation Security Administration
U.S. Army
Waste Management Inc.




Lynn A. Isabella

Associate Professor of Business Administration
Isabella is an expert, published author and teacher in the areas of leadership, change and organizational behavior - with special expertise in leading change as a middle manager. She has extensive experience helping companies worldwide with leadership development, teambuilding, and strategic alliances and partnerships. In addition to her MBA, she holds a doctorate in organizational behavior and a master's degree in education.

Faculty Bio Page
Read an interview with Lynn Isabella


 Dan Lyons

Daniel K. Lyons

World Gold Medalist and Olympian in Rowing
Founder and President of Team Concepts Inc.
Founder of Champions of Hope Inc.

Lyons is noted for his expertise on teams, teambuilding and leadership - reflecting his unique combination of high achievement in the sport of rowing, perspective as a coach for the past 30 years, and extensive military and ancient history knowledge and teaching background. In addition to competing in the 1988 Olympics, Lyons rowed on seven U.S. national teams, won world and Pan-American gold medals, and was inducted into the U.S. Rowing Hall of Fame after winning 11 national championship titles. He holds two master's degrees (one from Oxford) and a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Naval Academy.

Faculty Bio Page


Complete faculty information

Key Takeaways

This program offers insights and skills in the areas of team culture and team leadership - specifically teaching participants how to:

  • Build a culture that promotes change and growth.
  • Help team members develop creative solutions and view workplace challenges as opportunities.
  • Create a culture for paramount team functioning.
  • Visualize and communicate goals.
  • Generate commitment, loyalty and pride.
  • Inspire teams using leadership "secrets."
  • Use collaboration and teamwork effectively.

Through the rowing experience, attendees:

  • Examine leadership and teambuilding.
  • Realize how coaching works and builds teams.
  • Understand methods of listening and offering feedback.
  • Learn how to bridge differences.
  • Understand how to blend individual strengths into high team performance.


  • Diagnosing and Remedying Team Dynamics
  • Coaching for Exemplary Performance
  • Creating a Culture for Paramount Team Functioning
  • Bridging Differences in Teams
  • Learning the Right Lessons from Your Team Experiences
  • The Roles Collaboration and Teamwork Play in Change and Business Growth
  • The Leadership Secrets for Inspiring Teams
  • How Individual Strengths Blend Into Team High Performance


  • Classroom Portion (50 percent)
    • Case discussions
    • Simulations
    • Role plays
    • Small-team exercises
  • Rowing Experience (50 percent)
    • A dynamic, on-water experiential learning opportunity reinforcing/allowing practice of in-class lessons on leading teams and how teams work*
    • In partnership with gold medalist Dan Lyons and his team of former world and Olympic medalists
    • Culminates in a full racing shell competition
    • No rowing experience necessary
    • No specific athletic ability required


(Please note that the below applies to the October and June offerings; the February program will take place in Tampa, Florida.)

  • Day one classroom introduction, followed by opening reception and dinner
  • Daily sessions and meals at the Darden School
  • Daily sessions at the Rivanna Reservoir Boathouse in nearby Earlysville
  • Evenings spent in group discussion and/or individual preparation
  • Final day session and lunch

*Why rowing?

Yes, there is a connection between leadership and rowing.

In the rowing experience, just as in building and onboarding a team in a business or for a project, the quality of the team's response is highly dependent on the timeliness of the direction received from the leader. Input from team members - and, in a business context, external input from customers - needs to be heard and processed in a prompt manner to achieve expected results. Receiving well-timed information is crucial to any team's performance. The extraordinary leader ensures that feedback reaches every team member in time to make adjustments and corrections. The techniques imparted in the rowing experience are directly correlated to the in-class lessons and can be applied immediately upon return to the workplace.

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  • Course Information

    1-5 June 2015
    5-9 October 2015

    Image for EE Register Here
    $7,900 covers materials, meals and accommodations.

    Executives of all levels who lead teams and are looking for a better leadership skill set

    Gain one week of credit toward a Certificate of Specialization.

    Darden School of Business
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Rowing Experience:
    Rivanna Reservoir Boathouse
    Earlysville, Virginia 

    Additional Information:
    +1-434-924-3000 or contact the program director.