ILA Podcast

The Growth of Leadership Education in Japan

Leadership Educator Podcast

with Dr. Mikinari Higano


In this episode, Dr. Mikinari Higano shares the spread of leadership education in Japan. After being hired as an Economics professor, he was asked to create a leadership education course for undergraduate students at Rikkyo University. Since then he’s worked to grow leadership education in Japan, developing courses, conferences, and workshops to help the community grow from a military-only discipline to one that includes transformational leadership practices.

About Dr. Mikinari Higano

Dr. Mikinari Higano established the very first in Japan academic leadership program for undergraduate students at Rikkyo University in 2006. In 2016, he moved to Waseda University and started another program to start from scratch. Now he consults many other universities on the introduction of leadership education curricula. He wrote a chapter on “New Leadership Education and Deep Active Learning” for the anthology Deep Active Learning: Toward Greater Depth in University Education (Springer).

About the Hosts

Lauren Bullock

Lauren Bullock is an Assistant Professor of Instruction at Temple University, where she teaches leadership development and public relations courses. Before transitioning to full-time faculty, Lauren led the university’s leadership development co-curricular programs for six years. Before joining Temple in 2008, Lauren worked in athletic administration at Florida State University and the University of Texas at Austin. Currently, Lauren is writing her dissertation in leadership and change management at Antioch University. Her research interests include faculty-student interaction, generational theory in higher education, purpose and meaningful work, and groups and team dynamics. She works with Dan to set project goals, research and write episode scripts and descriptions, contact guests, craft social media content and strategy.

Dan Jenkins

Dan Jenkins, Ph.D., co-host of the Leadership Educator Podcast is Chair and Associate Professor of Leadership & Organizational Studies at the University of Southern Maine (USM) where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership and organizational theory, research methods, and leadership education. Before joining the faculty at USM, Dan was an academic advisor and co-director of the leadership studies minor at the University of South Florida while also teaching Political Science courses at Hillsborough Community College. Before working in higher education, Dan worked for John Hancock Mutual Funds, in hospitality at various restaurants and sports arenas, for the Florida House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, and as a staff member and volunteer in gubernatorial and school board election campaigns. Dan is a co-author of The Role of Leadership Educators: Transforming Learning and has published more than 40 articles and book chapters on leadership education. Dan mixes and produces the podcast, works with Lauren to curate guests, and researches and prepares content for episodes. 

About the Leadership Educator Podcast

Teaching leadership is hard. Join professors Dan Jenkins and Lauren Bullock, leadership educators with 25+ yrs experience in curricular and co-curricular leadership programs in higher education, as they capture in dialogue questions from their peers and share knowledge and expertise on facilitating leadership learning. Passionate about leadership education? Want to expand your resource toolbox with practical strategies for teaching, learning, and program design? This is the podcast for you! 

The ILA is proud to partner with members Dan Jenkins and Lauren Bullock on a series of episodes each year.  Visit to listen to all of Dan and Lauren’s podcasts.