Leadership in the Mountains: a selective course for the participants of the long-term programs

Mountain climbing, quests, rope games, obstacle courses and this is far from an extensive list of all the challenges that the participants of the long-term programs of the UCU Lviv Business School agreed to face during a selective course on “Leadership in Times of Uncertainty” or “Leadership in the Mountains”. Through modeling borderline situations this course attempts to reveal such competencies of the participants as leadership, ability to take on responsibility, make decisions, and shape the algorithm of actions. This is an opportunity to learn how to form an efficient team with a well-established communication process in times of uncertainty.

“Leadership in Times of Uncertainty” is based on a special approach: the participants are assigned tasks and a case, which they haven’t dealt with before. Thus, they cannot rely on their experience while making decisions. Nonetheless, the group is to fulfill the tasks independently.

The course presupposes interaction with the trainers: LvBS teacher Andriy Rozhdestvensky and Svitlana Buhai, who do not interfere with the work of the team, but monitor the activities of participants and provide their feedback after each training block.

“This format was chosen intentionally to place the participants in a situation of uncertainty, crisis and stress. During a typical lecture-hall class the people work in detachment from reality and can afford the luxury of playing a part that is “acceptable” to the group or to the teacher. The physical and, first of all, psychological workload of this course would make such an option impossible. Therefore, the trainers are able to observe real-life behavioral models and can provide open and genuine feedback. This course tests the strength and relevance of your values and organizational culture, which is shaped by the leaders with the help of values,” Andriy Rozhdestvenskyi comments about the course. 

Training blocks consist of activities, aimed at shaping the concept of team interaction among the participants. The participants move through one “stage” a day: quest on the first day, ropes on the second day, climbing with professional instructors on the third day.

The training includes theoretical classes, where the participants study famous cases of leadership in extreme situations and in business, draw analogies between them, look into behavioral models, peculiarities of the human psyche, and also consolidate soft skills, acquired in the field.

The objectives of the “Leadership in Times of Uncertainty” course are:

  • To help the participants develop an awareness of their own values, and their interaction with the values of the company; to create a foundation for a comprehensive understanding of the concept of “Leadership”.
  • To provide insights into the processes of team creation, interaction and communication between the “players” involved in a project, organization, social group etc
  • To provide the participants with an understanding of the concept of “Innovation”, and help them develop competencies required to create conditions conducive to innovations in their companies.

Watch a video of the participants of Key Executive MBA from the course “Leadership in Times of Uncertainty”.

A review of “Leadership in the Mountains” from Yaryna Boichuk, Academic Director of the UCU Lviv Business School:

“Leadership in the Mountains” presupposes exiting your comfort zone, facing challenges and extreme conditions. Leadership here refers to the ability to organize the activities: taking into account the pace of the group, and the destination point, since there are people who aim only for the summit, while others can stop underway. This tests your decision-making ability.

We give the participants an opportunity to take an outsider look at themselves. People gather around the bonfire at night and reflect upon everything that happened to them during the trip, analyze the consequences of various decisions they made along the way. It is this reflection process that contributes to personal development.

 Many participants were able to open up after they managed to overcome their inner struggle, displayed trust, or took a risk. During this program people learn how to assume responsibility for their actions, they learn to delegate and define to set their priorities, discriminating between primary and secondary matters. And, what is equally important, they learn to understand what is important for other people,” Yaryna Boichuk comments.


Summary of the course by the participants of MA Program in Human Resources and Development

Alina Tokmylenko, Co-founder and HR Manager of 23 Restaurants Company: Sometimes you have to accept and embrace what is happening around you and refrain from interfering, since letting go of the problem means solving it. Transitional leadership is a revelation for me: allow yourself not to be a leader in one exercise, when there is somebody who’s better than you, but take on the responsibility in a different one.”

Olena Skliarenko, HR-business partner of Imperial Tobacco Company: “Transitional leadership is a sign of a strong and mature team. Common values can turn a group into a real team. It is important that the core beliefs correspond to the situation. If not, they should be changed.”

Marta Salo, HR business partner of Nestle Business Service CompanyA leader needs to be able to hear and feel the people around; be able to and have a wish to assume the responsibility for his/her actions and actions of the team; a leader needs to be prepared to step aside when the leadership of another person is more effective in this or that situation. The rule of taking small steps: when you are climbing a mountain and look back, the descent seems in no way possible, but when you are already going down, you cover the distance step by step, and realize that everything is possible, especially when your team has your back. You have to think two steps ahead, but live in a moment, here and now. Common values form the foundation of a strong and tight-knit team”.


To enroll in the course, please, contact your Program Manager 

We remind you that long-term LvBS Master Programs start in September: Key Executive MBA for business owners and managers, MSc in Innovations and Entrepreneurship for young startup foundres,  MA in Human Resources and Organization Development for HR specialists, MSc in Technology Management for IT Managers.