NOLS: National Outdoor Leadership School Home

Expedition Leadership
Photo: Brien Sheedy

There are a lot of ways to learn about leadership—books, seminars, classes, degree programs—but how do you learn to be a leader? At NOLS, leadership isn’t just a concept to be studied and pondered; we give you the tools to be a leader. What you learn here are leadership skills and qualities you’ll carry with you the rest of your life.

NOLS Leadership Works for Life
The focus of leadership NOLS-style is on leading small groups in the wilderness, but the lessons transfer to your life when you participate in groups at school, in sports and at work.

What is an Expedition?
Setting goals, planning, efficiency and teamwork. Whether you're climbing Denali or embarking on a new business venture, these are the skills that will get you to the top. Planning, preparing, performing… it's a formula that applies not only to the wilderness, but to the expedition of life.

What is Expedition Leadership at NOLS?
Expedition leadership is situationally appropriate action that directs or guides your group to set and achieve goals. Great leaders create an environment that inspires individuals and groups to achieve their full potential.


Leadership Roles 4 Leadership Roles
There are four: Designated Leadership, Active Followership, Peer Leadership, Self Leadership
Learn more…
Leadership Skills 7 Leadership Skills
There are seven: Expedition Behavior, Competence, Communication, Judgment & Decision-Making, Tolerance For Adversity & Uncertainty, Self-Awareness, Vision & Action
Learn more…
Leadership Style 1 Leadership Style
The one signature style is the leadership style that works best for each individual. This style is based on tapping into the leader’s personality, learning preferences, passions, strengths and experiences.
Leadership Development Leadership in 30 Days
At NOLS we develop leadership by giving you the chance to do it.
Learn more…
Leadership Profiles Leadership Profiles
People all over the world have taken their first steps as a leader at NOLS—from teachers to NASA astronauts, from business entrepreneurs to conservationists.
Learn more…

Students practice real leadership at NOLS, especially skills like how to work together as a team to achieve a common goal.
Photo: Michelle Schibonski

NOLS Top of Page
NOLS Home About Us Courses Wilderness Medicine Institute NOLS Professional Training Alumni Store Donate Account NOLS Home Parents Press Room School Resources Photos NOLS.TV Events WRMC The NOLS Blog Introduction About Leadership History Mission & Values Profiles Partnerships Frequent Questions Find a Course Skills School Locations School Locations Leave No Trace Financial Aid Academic Credit Find a Course Skills School Locations Course Types Leave No Trace Financial Aid Academic Credit NOLS Pro Home 1-3 Day Courses 7-30 Day Courses Risk Management Staff Clients Design Your Course Contact NOLS Pro NOLS Pro 1-3 Days 7-30 Days Risk Management Clients Contact Us NOLS Pro Design Your Course NOLS Pro Staff Overview Outcome-based Curriculum Faculty Overview Outcome-based Curriculum Faculty Case Studies Overview Administrative Training Staff Training Consulting Conference: WRMC How to Apply Apply Online Download an Application Admission Policies WMI Home About WMI Courses Schedule FAQ Photos & Movies Curriculum Updates Employment Sponsors WMI Home About WMI Admissions Courses Schedule Host a Course Resources Gallery Alumni Home Trips and Events The Leader Alumni Chapters Employment Staying in Touch Volunteer Photos & Videos Home NOLS Photos NOLS.TV The NOLS Podcast NOLS on Flickr Leave No Trace Overview Leave No Trace Principles Leave No Trace Master Educator Courses Host a Course Contact Map of Events Dream Expedition Leadership Week Press Room Images for the Press Archives