Leadership Components

The LGO program is more than just engineering and management coursework. Leading in engineering firms takes strong skills in team dynamics, organizations in action, and dynamic engineering problems. LGO leadership development takes several forms: traditional classes, seminars with industry executives, collaborative project work, and active engagement in the program’s future. LGOs are continually challenged to improve their management capabilities in engineering and corporate settings to understand diverse leadership styles.

LGO students begin on campus in June with an intensive 12-week session just for LGOs. This allows students to begin their experience in a small cohort, which fosters a small-school feel before integrating with the MIT community in September.

Each entering class takes a series of courses that cover both management and engineering disciplines, but it has engineering leadership at its heart.  The class is split into an LGO core team. Much of the coursework involves team projects that allow LGOs to combine and learn from their collective strengths and perspectives. Throughout the summer LGO leadership sessions cover team dynamics and leadership styles to ensure that every summer team is a success.

In addition to the team dynamics, students:

  • Take leadership courses in the official summer curriculum
  • Begin committee work on leading the program (see below)
  • Attend plant treks throughout the Boston region
Students take an active leadership role in managing the program and forming the class’s experience through a variety of committees. Small groups of two to ten students lead projects such as:
  • Develop and run the internship selection process
  • Source and negotiate LGO action learning lab projects
  • Run new student recruitment and admissions events
  • Organize the Operations Leadership Seminar series, working closely with top executives
  • Plan and coordinate plant domestic and international plant treks
A committee of first-year LGOs coordinate this weekly seminar. They use any personal contacts, LGO alumni, industry partners, and the MIT community to schedule top-level engineering leadership speakers. The speakers present on a wide range of operations, manufacturing, high-tech, and engineering management topics.

Previous speakers include:

  • Mark Borrocas, President at SharkNinja
  • Filipe Calderón, former President of Mexico, 2006-2012
  • Christina Chase, Managing Director at MIT Sports Technology Research Group
  • Steve Cook (LGO ‘98), Executive Managing Partner at LFM Capital
  • Jens Gruenkemeier, Vice President Supply Chain & Procurement at Amazon
  • Greg Jackson, Vice President of Supply Chain at Gogo
  • Denise Johnson (LGO ’97),  Group President, Resource Industries at Caterpillar
  • James McIntire, Washington State Treasurer
  • Mick Mountz, CEO/Founder at Amazon Robotics (Kiva)
  • Rory Sexton, VP of China Operations at Apple
The popular Leadership and Ethics Seminar teaches engineering leadership development specifically in operations and manufacturing. LGO’s current industry co-director, Vah Erdekian, teaches the course, which frequently has guest speaker engagements with high-profile industry leaders. Past visitors include Tim Copes (LGO ’92), VP of Fleet Services at The Boeing Company and Ruthie Davis, President of Davis Enterprises.
This course provides LGO fellows with an opportunity for a more ‘in depth’ dialog about specific challenges faced. Students lead the discussion through case studies and interactive dialogue, and the LGO leadership committee works to set up each week’s topic.
The MIT Sloan MBA is designed to foster community leadership that has a positive impact on the world. There are a variety of leadership possibilities at your fingertips as a Sloanie:
  • Sloan Innovation Period offers leadership and ethics short courses
  • Sloan Senate, the school’s student governing body. There is often one or more LGO serving on this governing body.
  • Sloan Clubs, focusing on everything from data analytics to foodies, offer opportunities to engage and lead initiatives
MIT Leaders for Global Operations has a sister program in at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) called the China Leaders for Global Operations (CLGO) program. MIT provides academic support to the SJTU, which is China’s only dual-degree, graduate-level operations program.

Every year, the CLGO students visit Cambridge during the summer to tour the Boston area, visit companies, and experience MIT academic culture. The MIT LGO-CLGO synergy committee creates opportunities for both programs to learn and gain value from each other during the visit. The next spring, LGO’s International Plant Trek often goes to China. When the class does go, the CLGO students help organize social and professional events and industry visits in the Shanghai area.

Finally, LION teams are Action Learning Labs that work on engineering management problems faced by companies with operations in China and Malaysia. Each LION team has members from LGO and CLGO. The projects include remote collaboration among the LGO and CLGO team members, data collection and discussions at the company site in China or elsewhere in Asia, and follow-up reporting. Previous LION teams have supported firms such as Apple, ABB, Nike, Boeing, Cisco, and SanDisk.

The relationship between LGO and CLGO provides unique opportunities to experience China’s engineering management environment firsthand and to form lasting relationships with future Chinese industry leaders.