High-Potential Women Leaders Program

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business


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Who should attend

  • High-potential women leaders preparing to take on increasing levels of responsibility and challenge as they move into more senior leadership or management roles
  • Women who are in the early to middle phases of their careers in leadership roles, with around three to five years’ experience in an entry to the middle-management role
  • Those of all genders who are interested in supporting emerging women leaders

About the course

Act with power, strengthen negotiating skills, learn how to manage teams, and lead with impact in this unique program for women leaders on the rise.

Live Online Program

There’s no time like the present to embark on your leadership journey. High-Potential Women Leaders gives you powerful skills, strategies, confidence, and connections to meet your professional goals and deepen your impact. This intensive, two-week live online program is a research-driven, career-accelerating experience that will not only transform the way you negotiate and manage teams, it will fundamentally change the way you lead.

It’s no surprise that men and women differ in their leadership styles. But even when they do the same thing, they are often perceived differently. As a high-potential woman leader preparing to take on more responsibilities, learning how to navigate the workplace and broaden your executive presence are essential. High-Potential Women Leaders Live Online will help you understand where power comes from, and, more importantly, what you can do moving forward to increase your influence and impact.

You’ll gain insights from Stanford GSB faculty members who make it their business to help you challenge your assumptions, confront your fears, and turn obstacles into opportunities. Explore the perceptions, behaviors, stereotypes, and backlash that women uniquely face, and transform those empirical results into effective strategies and solutions. And, experience it all in the company of other dedicated women as you create a personal and professional network you can leverage throughout your career.

Key Benefits

Equip yourself with career strategies to get where you want to go and develop self-awareness to succeed on the way.

  • Develop powerful negotiating skills and rethink your approach to negotiation.
  • Understand how to create and manage teams by analyzing team composition, leveraging information sharing, and resolving leadership issues.
  • Improve your executive presence, learn how your personal leadership style impacts others, and gain greater awareness of your personal strengths.
  • Understand how leadership has changed in recent months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Where does power come from? What role does humor play in leadership? Is it better to be adversarial or collaborative at the negotiating table?

High-Potential Women Leaders has developed a highly-specialized curriculum to help you explore how to use your power, strengthen your influence, and transform your leadership skills and career trajectory. All optimized for a virtual environment. Sessions focus on the issues of power and relationships, negotiation, team effectiveness, social networks, and influence. Because these are the most critical and complicated issues facing women in the workplace.

In our live online classroom you will:

  • Engage directly with world-renowned faculty through real-time lectures, Q&A, and office hours
  • Participate in hands-on negotiation simulations
  • Collaborate and connect with other women leaders through discussions and group-based exercises

Program Highlights

Below are just a few of the sessions you’ll attend as part of the program.

Acting with Power

In just a few months, the world has changed, and we are all struggling to adapt. As fear and uncertainty rise in our workplaces, now more than ever, so does the need for strong leaders who are not afraid to use power. In this session, Professor Deborah Gruenfeld and author of the new book Acting with Power: Why We Are More Powerful Than We Believe, addresses how what we need from our leaders is changing, and how women leaders, in particular, can rise to the occasion, by learning to wield power without fear.

A New Type of Leader — Anchored on Purpose, Fueled by Humor

You, oh fearless leader of the future (and maybe present), are very important. You will make critical and far-reaching economic, political, and social decisions in your quest beyond Stanford to change lives, change organizations, and change the world. That’s serious stuff. So why humor? The late journalist Eric Sevareid said, “Next to power without honor, the most dangerous thing in the world is power without humor.” Our goal is to pin you down and not let you walk away from this session without a healthy dose of humanity, humility, and intellectual perspective that only humor can bring. Drawing upon the behavioral science of humor and laughter, this class is about the power (and importance) of humor to help leaders be more authentic and influential, cultivate more meaningful and productive relationships, produce more innovative ideas, and build more nimble and resilient teams and organizations.

Neuroscience and the Connection to Exemplary Leadership

The exponential growth in our understanding of the workings of the human brain has led to a rather startling and maybe embarrassing (even depressing) conclusion.

While the human brain is unique among species in its ability to strategize, conceptualize, hypothesize, memorize, etc., it is now undeniable that most human decisions are shaped by nonconscious instinctual neural systems and processes.

In these two sessions, you will first gain an understanding of the workings of the instinctual brain and then leverage that understanding to be exemplary leaders — to be more effective at making decisions and influencing others’ (e.g., key stakeholders’) decisions.


Deborah Gruenfeld

Research Statement Deborah H Gruenfeld is a social psychologist whose research and teaching examine how people are transformed by the organizations and social structures in which they work. The author of numerous articles on the psychology of power, and on group behavior, Professor Gruenfeld has ...

Margaret Ann Neale

Research Statement Margaret Neale’s research focuses primarily on negotiation and team performance. Her work has extended judgment and decision-making research from cognitive psychology to the field of negotiation. In particular, she studies cognitive and social processes that produce departures ...

Sarah Soule

Research Statement Sarah A. Soule's research examines state and organizational-level policy change and diffusion, and the role social movements have on these processes. She has recently published papers on how protest impacts multi-national firm-level decisions regarding divestment in Burma, and ...

Shelley Correll

Bio Shelley Correll is professor of sociology and (by courtesy) organizational behavior at Stanford University. She is also the Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research and the founding director of the Center for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership. Professor Cor...

Baba Shiv

Research Statement Baba Shiv's research expertise is in the area of neuroeconomics, with specific emphasis on the role of neural structures related to emotion and motivation in shaping decisions and experiences. His recent work examines the interplay of the brain’s "liking" and "wanting" systems ...

Jennifer Aaker

Research Interests Time, Money and Happiness The Power of Story Global Brand Building Emotions, Goals and Health The Psychology of Giving Bio Dr. Jennifer Aaker is a behavioral psychologist, author, and the General Atlantic Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her research focuses...

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High-Potential Women Leaders Program at Stanford Graduate 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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Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

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