CEO Essentials

Robins School of Business

Robins School of Business


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About the course

Presented by the Virginia Council of CEOs in partnership with the Robins School of Business

Eight sessions covering the most-requested topics by VACEO's members. The sessions are specifically designed for CEOs and senior leaders from small and mid-sized companies. All sessions will incorporate action learning to immerse participants in the process and give them hands-on experience with the content. Participants will engage with experts and peers to address the most pressing challenges and deepen their connections with fellow CEOs and executive leaders. Class size limited to 24 participants.

Weekly Schedule

Talent Development: Coaching and Nurturing Employees / Succession Planning

CEOs want people who fit well in their companies’ cultures, who perform at an outstanding level, and who are committed to the long-term sustainability of the business. At the same time, opportunities for top talent to work elsewhere abound. The war for talent rages on. In this session, we will discuss executive succession from the top down, while focusing on organization planning, recruiting, development, and retention. You will learn strategies, processes, and techniques designed to broaden strategic discussions that explore succession options, risks, and contingencies.

Strategic Planning: From Vision to Execution

Why does your firm exist? What purposes does it serve for your various stakeholders? How do you discover the main problem or opportunity in your market and then coordinate your full range of resources to exploit it? This workshop walks through strategy lessons learned from public companies and challenges you to think through a set of foundational questions that will help you prioritize the most important next steps in your firm’s strategic planning process.

Change Leadership

Change is no longer an exception, it's the new norm. Great leaders must therefore be change leaders, those who can identify, capitalize on, or counter the relevant historic, current, and emerging drivers of change affecting their business. They must also be equipped to sponsor change, promote change-agile cultures, and deploy tactics to manage change successfully. This course will help you understand the different types of change that affect your organization and give you tools to create and lead a change-agile organization.


Negotiation skills can be learned. Whether you are involved in formal negotiations or simply looking to improve your success in influencing others, this interactive session is designed for you. Richard Coughlan combines his practical experiences with recent research to highlight the factors that separate successful negotiators from others. Using group discussion and role-play exercises, you will learn to approach negotiations with a structured plan that boosts confidence and provides multiple paths to success.

Creating a Sustainable Competitive Advantage through Customer Centricity

In today’s ever-connected world where consumers often have more information than the companies that seek to serve them, there is only one competitive advantage that can be sustainable: having a customer-centric culture. The firm that better understands and seeks to meet the needs of its customers of today—and tomorrow—will win in the marketplace. This course will help you understand the importance of customer centricity and how it can be a driver of consistent innovation and growth. You will learn about simple yet powerful tools and processes that you can implement immediately to help drive organizational understanding.

Using Financial Tools and Data for Success

This class is intended to provide the CEO with tools to guide data-driven decisions toward financial success. While accounting looks backward at how you’ve done, business finance provides tools to allow you to look forward at how you’ll be doing. Some of the key topics discussed in this class will include key financial ratios, company-wide performance measures, and cash flow analysis.

Understanding & Leveraging Opportunities in Digital Marketing

The digital landscape is changing rapidly. It is critical that your business is not only present online, but also strategically positioned to maximize conversions. In this course, you will gain an understanding of the various digital marketing opportunities available and how to leverage these online tools to create customer value. We will discuss the KPIs and key metrics that should be top-of-mind as digital tools are implemented, as well as best practices for online reputation management via user-generated content (e.g., reviews, ratings, recommendations).

Managing Conflict

Conflict wears many faces. Whether you are dealing with difficult people or tough situations, you need a collaborative and productive process to resolve a problem. This workshop will give you the tools needed to manage relationships effectively with both internal and external stakeholders. Through a series of self-awareness and experiential exercises, this session will teach you how to maximize every business conversation and interaction you have.


Bob Piazza

Robert “Bob” Piazza joined the University of Richmond in 2011 as an Adjunct Instructor of Management in the MBA program, where he has taught Organizational Behavior, Strategic Talent Management, and Business Communications. He also served as the university’s business school Executive-in-Residence...

Doug Bosse

Doug Bosse is Professor of Strategic Management and the David Meade White Jr. Chair in Business at the Robins School of Business at University of Richmond. Doug is also Chair of the Management Department. He received his Ph.D. from Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. Doug’s s...

Rick DeJarnette

Rick has been alpine, rock, and ice climbing across the U.S. for over 20 years. He counts among his highlights climbing up the Diamond on Longs Peak in Colorado (at 14,259 feet, it’s the highest elevation big wall in the lower 48 states), scratching up classic mixed and ice climbs New Hampshire’s...

Richard Coughlan

Richard Coughlan is an award-winning educator who has delivered engaging talks to academic and professional audiences on three continents over the last 20 years. In addition to his role on the faculty at University of Richmond, he serves as a keynote speaker, strategic advisor, facilitator and co...

Joel Mier

oel Mier is a Lecturer of Marketing at the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond. He received his Doctorate in Business Administration from Georgia State University in 2016. His primary teaching responsibilities at the University of Richmond include teaching the Principles of Ma...

Mike Matthews

Inspiring the development of others is at the core of Mike’s business philosophy and drives his leadership approach. He and his team rely heavily on business analytics to develop a clear strategy that, when paired with our effective organizational structure, helps us see beyond where they are at ...

Sara Hanson

Sara Hanson is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Richmond's Robins School of Business. She received her Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Oregon in 2016 after working as an account manager in advertising and software development. Sara's research interests include on...

CEO Essentials at Robins School of Business

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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