Business Leadership Program

To lead you must have followers.

To have followers you must persuade.

To persuade you must understand.

To understand you must listen.

These simple truths form the foundation of the Business Leadership Program (BLP). Superior leadership skills give FCB students a significant boost in their business careers. The BLP helps students gain the skills, knowledge, and personal characteristics necessary for leadership. Regardless of their personal goals, understanding how to lead will help our students achieve success.

Leadership is the art and science of getting others to do what they would otherwise not do. Over the course of three years (beginning with the sophomore year) the BLP helps students learn to lead.

Year 1: Listening: To understand, you must listen.

The BLP begins by strengthening students’ abilities to listen. True listening is not easy; listening requires blocking out life’s ambient noise and solely focusing on the other person. The goal of Year 1 is for students to become authentic, effective, listeners. When others speak, BLP students truly hear.

Year 2: Understanding: To persuade, you must understand.

Once you hear, you begin to understand. Most of us find it difficult to see the world through someone else’s eyes, but this ability is essential to leadership. Year 2 focuses on helping students gain understanding. Understanding builds the foundation for persuasion; persuading is most effective when you can understand your followers’ perspectives, their motivations, fears, and dreams.

Year 3: Persuasion: To have followers, you must persuade.

Leading means persuading others to do what they otherwise would not do without your leadership -- persuasion is the core of leadership. In Year 3 students learn the art of persuasion. Building on Aristotle’s pathos, logos, ethos model, students learn how to craft and deliver persuasive messages, both verbally and in writing.


The BLP is an intensive, three-year program designed to help students learn to listen, understand, and persuade. We built the program around activities including:

  • Structured learning activities that help students gain core skills
  • Personal reflection journals that deepen students learning and self-understanding
  • Interactions with industry leaders that help students learn leadership from those who effectively lead.

The program also helps students become ethical leaders. In each year students improve their understanding of basic ethical principles and how they apply to leadership.

Students who successfully complete the Business Leadership Program will be able to:

  • Apply appropriate active listening techniques
  • Understand others’ motivations and perspectives
  • Persuade others through crafting and delivering effective messages verbally and in writing
  • Apply leadership skills ethically and effectively.