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Program Format

Over the course of 8-weeks, you'll experience the power of the Usild Live Online Classroom—discussing, debating, and engaging live with faculty and peers—while charting your leadership trajectory with a small group of fellow class participants. The live classroom sessions with Professor Nancy Koehn will take place every Tuesday from 4:30 to 6:00 PM ET. Participants will need to log into the Live Online Classroom 30 minutes before the start of each session to conduct a technical check. Each live class will be followed by a 90-minute session with your LDG via the Zoom platform. You will have the option to sign up for your preferred time from 6:30 to 8:00 AM ET or 6:30 to 8:00 PM ET.

Participants should also expect to spend about 4-5 hours in preparation of each class and LDG session, as well as in post-session reflections. The estimated total time commitment for the program is approximately 40-50 hours. Attendance at all sessions and meetings with your LDG at designated times is expected and, just as in our classrooms on campus, everyone will be held to a high standard of engagement through lively discussions, debates, and cold calling.

The part-time schedule of this programs enables you to gain leadership insights you can immediately apply on the job without having to put your work on hold.


What You'll Learn

In each session, you'll explore the insights, behaviors, and formative experiences of an iconic leader, past or present, such as Howard Schultz, Ernest Shackleton, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Rachel Carson, Nelson Mandela, Katharine Graham, and Greta Thunberg. Course participants will then break into small Leadership Development Group (LDG) sessions to unpack the lessons learned in each session and to explore and share how they can be applied to their unique work context and to their larger leadership journey. Throughout the process, facilitated by a self-paced HBS online learning platform, you will reflect on your own path as a leader and identify the steps you can take to navigate the next phase of your career with greater purpose and determination.

At the end of the course, you'll walk away with a personal leadership development plan, which combines perspectives and insights from the iconic leaders you have studied along with reflections from the LDG sessions and the faculty chair, providing you with actionable takeaways you can use to advance your career.



Leading change in great turbulence: Howard Schultz
  • Explore Schultz's role in organizational transformation

  • Consider the critical role that a leader's presence and style play in achieving stakeholder inspiration and engagement

  • Learn vital tools for accomplishing your organizational goals

The power of individual agency and leading teams: Ernest Shackleton
  • Understand your own agency as a leader through Shackleton's own experiences

  • Examine the role of self-awareness in that agency

  • Identify specific tools for deepening your self-awareness and using it to lead teams

The value of crucibles, resilience, and learning from failure: Abraham Lincoln
  • Explore the most relevant and actionable lessons from Lincoln's leadership

  • Understand your crucible and the lessons they offer

  • Access your resilience strengths

Developing courage in relation to our greatest fears: Frederick Douglass
  • Access relevant tools and insights from Douglass' leadership journey

  • Examine an important crossroads in your life and what was/is at stake

  • Identify your greatest fear and how to move forward in its presence

Finding your sweet spot and embracing mighty purpose: Rachel Carson
  • Assess Carson's most useful tools and lessons

  • Examine the spectrum of relevant and effective leadership styles (including the introverted style)

  • Begin to craft your purpose statement

Seeing the big picture and sustaining belief in our ability to change the world: Nelson Mandela
  • Identify key leadership lessons of Mandela's experience

  • Enhance your ability to see the larger picture of this moment and your role in it

  • Understand your own ability to motivate and inspire others

  • Continue honing your purpose statement

Finding our mission and developing our own distinctive leadership style: Katherine Graham
  • Take stock of the key lessons from Graham's leadership journey

  • Explore the evolution of a leader's commitment and self-determination

  • Examine a leader's "leap of faith" in service to the mission

  • Understand the making of our own leadership style

The next generation of leadership—leading from our humanity: Greta Thunberg
  • Examine the key lessons of Thunberg's experience thus far

  • Assess the making and impact of the next generation of leaders, as exemplified in Greta Thunberg's journey

  • Identify the role humanity plays in leading major chance

  • Understand the impact leaders such as Thunberg are exercising on younger and older individuals who want to make a difference

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