Leadership Essentials (Online)

Columbia Business School

How long?

  • 4 weeks
  • online

What are the topics?

Columbia Business School


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Who should attend

Leadership Essentials (Online) is designed for aspiring, new, and mid-level business leaders looking to improve their effectiveness working with individuals and teams. This online program is designed for leaders looking for the same great learnings from the in-person program in a convenient online format.

About the course

The topic of leadership can be overwhelmingly broad, encompassing multiple disciplines in academia that study the complexity of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and organizational dynamics. But where do we begin to build our leadership abilities or hone our skills for the next chapter of our professional lives?

The Leadership Essentials (Online) program offers a four-week learning journey for aspiring, new, and mid-level leaders to immerse themselves into the essentials of effective leadership with real-world application and research-based insights presented by renowned Columbia Business School faculty and executive coaches in the field.

Based on the popular in-person Leadership Essentials program at Columbia Business School Executive Education, which has been highly rated by nearly 1,000 participants since its inception in 2008, this online program offers the same great learnings in a convenient online format, making it accessible to leaders around the world.


The Leadership Essentials (Online) program helps you improve your effectiveness in working with individuals and teams by developing your essential leadership abilities, including team leadership, emotional intelligence, and change management.

By taking this program, you will:

  • Learn how to identify different leadership styles and leverage your own style for the evolving leadership roles at your organization
  • Enhance your emotional intelligence and learn how to apply it appropriately as a leader
  • Get equipped to make more effective business decisions and better communicate them to your team members
  • Build strategies to influence your team more effectively and motivate them to maximize their potential
  • Develop best practices to lead organizational change
  • Understand how to manage the dynamics and climate in your team so you can collectively strengthen your organizational performance

Program Structure

Leadership Essentials (Online) guides you through a sequential learning experience of four modules over the course of four weeks:

  • Week 1: Introduction to Leadership Styles and Emotional Intelligence focuses on the difference between a “leader” and a “manager” and the relationship between emotional intelligence (EQ) and leadership effectiveness. You will go through a series of hands-on activities to understand the topics and self-assess your own EQ.
  • Week 2: Understanding Yourself as a Leader further explores leadership behaviors based on key findings and theories from Lewin’s studies. You will learn about your own leadership style from the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a widely acclaimed self-assessment tool, and build strategies to work effectively with people who have other leadership styles.
  • Week 3: Leading Organizational Change invites you to dive deeper into your leadership abilities and addresses typical cases of organizational change. You’ll learn best practices for how to manage and bring about change at your own organization.
  • Week 4: Leadership in Group Dynamics and Climate wraps up the program with further perspectives from research findings on group dynamics and system dynamics. You’ll explore key questions and trending topics to consider when it comes to shaping your team environment and organizational culture.

Each module features a series of faculty lecture videos, self-assessment tools, group activities, and interactive discussion forums. You will allocate about two to three hours per week to digest the bite-sized lecture videos, reflect on your own learning and takeaways, and share your ideas and reflections with your peers who can bring new insights and broader perspectives to the discussion.

Every step of the way, your program facilitator will support your journey, bringing your questions to the faculty and cultivating a safe space for you and your peers to maximize your learning experience.


Joel Brockner

Within the broader field of organizational behavior, Professor Brockner is well known for his work in several areas, including the effects of organizational downsizing on the productivity and morale of the "survivors," the management of organizational change, organizational justice, self processe...

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Leadership Essentials (Online) at Columbia Business School

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