Becoming a more effective leader during the Leadership Challenge 2020/2021 in Norway

Updated: 19 October 2020

If you’re ready for a physical and perhaps emotionally testing challenge and want to improve your leadership skills, then this is an event to keep an eye on!

Imagine... completing challenges using all of your abilities – mental and physical – against a backdrop of raw nature, with a full backpack, and no mobile phone or internet. This will be completely outside of your comfort zone.

Due to Covid-19, the Leadership Challenge 2020 was postponed to 20 – 28 July 2021. If all goes as planned, it will take place in the Hardangervidda National Park in Norway. The event aims to develop and improve personal leadership capabilities, and student swill take part in the challenge alongside students from other graduate business schools. The environment is raw and has none of today’s high-tech distractions. Teams from top business schools such as Rice University, Cornell University, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, University of Exeter Business School, University of Michigan and University of Virginia will compete against each other.

This challenge is all about personal growth. Students will be navigating a route through the wilderness and will be pushed to the limits as they face challenges along it. We know that one of the most important lessons is learning when to step up to use  skills as leader, and when to let others lead. It’s about connecting with others, about focus, and about delegation.

The Erasmus Centre for Leadership appoints experienced outdoor instructors and mentors to organise and facilitate leadership expeditions for students, managers and executives. They provide professional guidance and expert preparation, so you don’t have to be an outdoor expert to benefit from this Challenge.

19 sponsored places

What’s more, the Erasmus Centre for Leadership fully sponsors the participation of 19 master students from RSM. Selected students only need to pay for their own travel expenses to and from Bergen and Kinsarvik in Norway. Some equipment, like a sleeping bag, liner, sleeping pad and a backpack, can be borrowed from the outdoor company that helps to run the Challenge - on a first-come, first-served basis.

But, participants must be ready for a physical – and occasionally emotional – challenge. All of this takes place in untouched natural terrain with steep hills to climb up and down. The participating students need to carry a full backpack which could weigh as much as 20 per cent of their own body weight, so they need a basic level of fitness.

And participants need to be prepared to switch off from modern communications.  There’s no mobile phone signal, no wi-fi or internet, and no home comforts. Thus, the participants must be prepared to live out of their comfort zone.

The selection for the Leadership Challenge 2020 was done during the Spring of 2020 and the criteria to be considered for selection were as follows:

  • The applicant must be a student enrolled in one of RSM’s MSc programmes, registered and active during the academic year 2019-2020;
  • The applicant must answer two questions about his/her motivation through our online video application platform from RIVS;
  • The applicant must submit a curriculum vitae/resume;
  • The applicant must have an I WILL statement which appears on RSM’s I Will website;
  • The participant must finance his/her own travel to and from Bergen and Kinsarvik;

The Leadership Challenge committee selected a shortlist of applicants for a 30-minute interview. These interviews took place in the week of 30 March 2020.

If you have questions, please contact the Erasmus Centre for Leadership.