Leadership for the 21st Century: Delivering on Purpose and Profit

Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Leonard N. Stern School of Business


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Who should attend

Although there are no formal education or background requirements, this course is designed for executives who meet the criteria below. While we strongly encourage global participation, please note that all courses are taught in English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.

  • Ideal for individuals who are open minded, forward-thinking, innovative and proactive, and who recognize the power in themselves and their organizations to shape the future of business.
  • This course is relevant across all job functions and industries, but will be most immediately applicable for individuals leading teams or organizations, and/or who have been empowered to drive organizational change.

About the course

Today’s quickly changing business landscape has brought increased pressure for organizational leaders not only to maximize profitability and shareholder value, but also to do what is right and moral from the standpoint of a wider array of stakeholders, including employees and customers. Topics that were once siloed have become core to successful business practices. In this one-of-a-kind program, NYU Stern has identified the emerging topics that will become integral markers of success for businesses in the future and assembled a team of trailblazing faculty who are setting the standards for these issues.

In three modules, participants will be challenged to “look out” (i.e., consider their social, environmental, ethical and moral obligations to the broader society), “look in” (i.e., create human centered business practices within their organizations), and “look within” (i.e., develop the personal skills and perspectives needed to lead effectively). The course will conclude with an integration and action planning session, in which participants will come up with concrete ways they can implement what they have learned.

This course is designed for those who understand that topics such as social responsibility, climate change and environmental sustainability, ethics and morality, diversity and inclusion, and employee well-being have become integral components of leading a competitive and profitable company, and are looking for the knowledge skills necessary to embed these concepts in their organizations and themselves. We have structured this course as daily intensive sessions, to not only equip you with knowledge, but to help you build a habit of incorporating these practices every day.

Program Takeaways

Responsibilities to Diverse Stakeholders

Understand how organizations affect and are affected by diverse stakeholders in broader society, and your role in operating an ethical business that upholds social and environmental responsibilities.

Responsibilities to Employees

Learn how to build an ethical, moral, and inclusive culture within your organization.

Core Competencies

Develop the personal skills needed to lead diverse teams and integrate diverse employee perspectives.

Leadership Action Plan

Create a roadmap for incorporating emerging leadership competencies as core business practices within your organization.


Part I: Looking Out

When leaders “look out” beyond the boundaries of their own organizations, how can they fulfill their social and moral responsibilities to the broader society?

  • Session 1: The Language of Ethical Businesses, Bruce Buchanan

Understand the changing business landscape, identify essential pillars of business practice in the near future, and build a vocabulary around these topics that is designed to unite stakeholders around your vision.

  • Session 2: Business and Human Rights, Michael Posner

Examine the relationship between corporations and human rights, and learn how to develop industry-appropriate processes, standards and metrics to evaluate and improve your company’s performance.

  • Session 3: The Business Case for Sustainability, Tensie Whelan

Discuss key sustainability issues and strategies, and understand how to embed sustainable business practice as a financial win for your organization.

Part II: Looking In

When leaders “look in” their own organizations, what can they do to create human centered business practices?

  • Session 4: Group Dynamics and Employee Well-Being in the Age of Polarization, Jonathan Haidt

Learn about group dynamics and hive psychology (the “one for all, all for one” mentality), and how to overcome the challenges of leadership in the age of political polarization, social media and anxiety.

  • Session 5: Establishing an Ethical Culture, Alison Taylor

Understand why meeting legal compliance is no longer sufficient when solving ethical challenges, examine factors that drive people to act ethically or unethically, and learn how you can drive ethical behavior through your leadership.

  • Session 6: Breaking the Barriers to Diversity and Inclusion, Anne Weisberg & Linda Basch

Understand what bias is and how it plays out in major talent decisions -- from hiring and assignment to performance reviews -- and learn about the mindset you need to cultivate to recognize bias and change outcomes.

  • Session 7: Diversity and Inclusion as a Business Asset, Lisa Coleman

Explore and apply DEI asset modeling to frame and drive innovation, best practices, and sustainability, and harness entrepreneurship across varied business practices and sectors.

Part III: Looking Within

When leaders “look within” themselves, what are the core competencies needed to lead effectively in the 21st century?

  • Session 8: Developing Intercultural Competence, Gary Fraser

Learn what intercultural competence is and how to develop it within yourself to become a stronger, more inclusive leader.

  • Session 9: Leading by Listening, Nathan Pettit

Practice essential listening techniques that can lead to increased performance outcomes for your employees and organization.

Part IV: Integration and Action Planning Session

Participants will be guided through the process of integrating what they have learned and coming up with a plan for how they will use the material in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.

  • Session 10: Integration and Action Planning, Lisa Leslie

Reflect on the topics, frameworks, and practices introduced throughout the course, and identify concrete steps you can take to practice this new form of leadership moving forward.


Bruce Buchanan

Biography Bruce Buchanan is C. W. Nichols Professor of Business Ethics and Professor of Marketing. Since 1993 he has served as the Director of Business & Society Program, which delivers courses in Professional Responsibility, Ethical Leadership, Business Law, Corporate Governance, and CSR in ...

Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan Haidt joined New York University Stern School of Business in July 2011. He is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, based in the Business and Society Program. Professor Haidt is a social psychologist whose research examines the intuitive foundations of morality. His most re...

Lisa Leslie

Biography Lisa M. Leslie joined New York University Stern School of Business as an Associate Professor of Management and Organizations in July 2013. Professor Leslie's research focuses on strategies for facilitating social justice and strong performance in diverse organizations. She also conduct...

Nathan Pettit

Nathan Pettit joined New York University Stern School of Business as an Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations in 2011. He teaches the undergraduate core course "Management and Organizations." Professor Pettit's research focuses on the behavioral consequences of experiencing and des...

Michael Posner

Biography Michael H. Posner is the Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics and Finance and a Professor of Business and Society at NYU's Stern School of Business, where he is working to launch the first-ever center on business and human rights at a business school. Prior to joining NYU Stern, Posner s...

Tensie Whelan

Tensie Whelan joined New York University Stern School of Business in November 2015 as Clinical Professor of Business and Society. She will lead the School’s efforts around issues of business and sustainability, driving research and coursework on natural resource-based challenges including climate...

Anne Weisberg

Anne Weisberg is Director of the Women’s Initiative at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP, where she is responsible for designing and implementing a gender strategy that fosters a high performing, inclusive work environment for all. She is also an adjunct professor of management at...

Linda Basch

Linda Basch is an Adjunct Professor of Management and Organizational Development at New York University’s Stern School of Business where she teaches about inclusive leadership, an Athena Leadership Fellow at Barnard College and a Consultant with the University of North Carolina’s Center for Facul...

Lisa Coleman

Dr. Lisa Coleman is New York University’s (NYU) inaugural senior vice president for global inclusion and strategic innovation, and the University’s chief diversity officer. Reporting to NYU president Andrew Hamilton, Dr. Coleman works with the Office of the Provost, deans, and other senior leader...

Gary Fraser

Since January 2019, Gary Fraser has served as the first associate dean for diversity and inclusion at NYU Stern, a position that spans both undergraduate and graduate programs. Counting his time as an MBA student, this is his third Stern incarnation: in 2000, after eight years in brand management...

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Leadership for the 21st Century: Delivering on Purpose and Profit at Leonard N. Stern 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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