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Harvard Business School

Authentic Leader Development

Jul 28—Aug 2
6 days
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
USD 15500
USD 2583 per day
Dec 8—13
6 days
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
USD 15500
USD 2583 per day

How it works


Companies need to be developing leaders who exhibit high standards of integrity, take responsibility for their actions, and make decisions based on enduring principles rather than short-term expedience. The best leaders are authentic leaders—people whose inner compass guides their daily actions and enables them to earn the trust of subordinates, peers, and shareholders. In this program, you will uncover, analyze, and strengthen the unique characteristics that enable leading with authenticity and purpose—and become the type of outstanding leader you most admire.

Key Benefits

Based on leadership visionary Bill George's groundbreaking books—Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value and True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership, this program immerses you in a profoundly personal exploration. Focused on developing self-awareness and emotional intelligence, you will define your own path to authentic leadership and return to your company ready to lead with greater passion and confidence, inspire others to do their best work, and create exceptional value for your company


Find your own path to authentic leadership

  • Develop greater confidence in your own capabilities
  • Recognize and address your blind spots as a leader
  • Learn from feedback and the challenges you encounter daily
  • Lead an integrated life that enables you to balance work, home, and other pursuits

Learn to adjust to new conditions and empower others

  • Lead with integrity through difficult and pressure-filled challenges
  • Adapt your leadership style to different scenarios, while remaining true to your values and purpose
  • Balance your intrinsic and extrinsic motivations to find the "sweet spot" of your capabilities
  • Become an empowering leader who fosters effective teamwork and helps individuals at all levels of the organization to realize their leadership potential

Expand your personal and professional network

  • Extend your network by living and working with accomplished executives from various backgrounds, industries, and countries across the globe
  • Build relationships with a diverse group of peers who can provide wide-ranging insights into your business challenges and career decisions

What You Will Learn

Through a rich learning experience that includes faculty presentations, case studies, individual exercises, small group discussions, and classroom debates, you will explore the qualities of leading with authenticity as well as the deeply personal core of your own leadership. During the program, you will participate in a Leadership Development Group (LDG) with seven other participants. This powerful peer-based forum enables you to discuss the personal roots of your leadership in an intimate setting. Exercises that promote individual reflection and peer exchange will provide an opportunity for you to evolve your approach to leadership in a supportive environment that encourages more openness and self-reflection than might be possible in a large class setting.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to create your personal leadership development plan—a blueprint for continuing to grow as an authentic leader after the program ends.

Please note that you will be asked to complete certain exercises before the program begins to help you maximize the value of your time on campus.

Key Topics

Examining your leadership journey

  • Analyzing your formative experiences to find critical lessons that inform your authentic leadership
  • Recognizing and overcoming personal impulses that can lead to problematic leadership behavior
  • Learning how the most difficult times in your life can shape your passion to lead
  • Using your experience to shift from an "I" to a "We" orientation

Discovering your authentic leadership

  • Becoming more self-aware by embracing candid feedback from others
  • Clarifying and living your values, while establishing ethical boundaries
  • Understanding your motivations and capabilities, and finding the point where they align
  • Building your support team and finding leadership mentors
  • Integrating the different "buckets" of your life—family, community and friends, and career

Putting your authentic leadership into action

  • Identifying your purpose and establishing it as a cornerstone of your leadership approach
  • Leading by example—creating a culture of authenticity, high standards, and shared responsibility
  • Empowering others to lead—exploring six approaches that work
  • Optimizing your leadership effectiveness by understanding common leadership styles
  • Choosing the leadership style most appropriate to your authentic leadership
  • Creating a plan to help you achieve your leadership potential ?

Who should attend

This program is designed for senior executives who want to enhance their leadership ability and prepare to take on greater leadership responsibilities within their organization.

The program welcomes individuals or teams. Attendance by multiple company representatives will foster teamwork, amplify the program's impact, and enable participants to continue supporting one another's leadership development after the program ends.

The journey toward authentic leadership requires confronting your personal aspirations, strengths, and weaknesses—including aspects of your life history, identity, or current leadership style that may be helping you or holding you back. During the program, you must be ready to share with your peers in a deeply personal way—be able to trust, expose your fears, offer feedback, and accept others' input with an open mind. All information you share will remain strictly confidential.


Bill George is senior fellow at Harvard Business School, where he has taught leadership since 2004. He is the author of four best-selling books:7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis, True North, Finding Your True North, and Authentic Leadership, as well True North Groups. His newest book, Discover Your...
Thomas J. DeLong is a senior fellow and former Philip J. Stomberg Professor of Management Practice in the Organizational Behavior area at the Harvard Business School. Since 1997 DeLong has taught over 15,000 MBA’s and Executives both on campus and throughout the world. He is internationally recog...
Lakshmi Ramarajan is the Anna Spangler Nelson and Thomas C. Nelson Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School. Her research examines the management and consequences of identities in organizations. Lakshmi''s research examines h...
Scott Snook is currently the MBA Class of 1958 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He graduated with honors from West Point earning the Royal Society of Arts Award for the most outstanding overall cadet in his class.  Following graduation, he was commissi...


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