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9 Best Short Leadership Development Courses


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There are many terms that lack a universally accepted definition and scientifically defined general framework, but leadership beats it all. Thousands of headlines promise to explain it and tens of thousands of university professors and top consultants promise to teach it. Out of hundreds of courses from numerous top providers we chose these because they do stand out.

Ilya Breyman
November 14, 2017

Columbia Business School: High Impact Leadership

One of Columbia’s flagship leadership development programs utilizes a broad range of personal development tools to ensure participants’ progress: 360-degree assessment, personal assessment tools, one-on-one coaching sessions etc. The program places a great emphasis on self-management (one of Columbia’s signature topics) and change management. HIL is also a great opportunity to expand one’s network among experienced senior managers from various regions and industries as the program includes everyday intensive small group discussions and even a karaoke session. Due to very high demand, the program is offered several times a year.

6 days, New York, USD 11,850

IMD: High Performance Leadership

The most senior level program among various leadership programs at IMD is offered eight times a year (combined, in Lausanne and Singapore). Six intense days in classroom are boosted in terms of learning effectiveness by a six week preparation period that involves a lot of reflecting on participants’ prior leadership experiences as well as success and failure factors. Based on that, the program provides a very comprehensive leadership skills learning experience that involves also communication, negotiation, conflict management and team management. For an additional fee, HPL allows up to three one-on-one coaching sessions after the program. Among other features, the program envisions a team opportunity that allows several people from the same company use the program learn together and improve their teamwork.

6 days, Various Locations, USD 14,100


A unique program for the highest level leaders that allow them to exchange opinions and best practices regarding global development trends. By a rigorous selection process, INSEAD ensures that only established business leaders can participate in this very exclusive program. AVIRA views leadership as an ability to define strategic direction and mobilize the team to reach strategic objectives. By offering a safe space for intimate discussions between global leaders, the program creates an inspiring and insightful learning environment allowing CEO and business owners to reach a new level of leadership effectiveness. The program can be both a great gateway into the world of executive education for someone who reached the top level without going back to school and a perfect addition to previous learning efforts for an experienced ExecEd participant.

5 days, Singapore, USD 23,000

LBS: Proteus

A very non-standard leadership program that aims at helping participants gain renewed motivation, review professional goals and identify paths to achieve them. By bringing together a very diverse handpicked group of participants and putting them in environments that are somewhat unconventional for an executive education program (i.e. London Zoo or National Portrait Gallery) Proteus helps participants find new approaches to their personal development by analyzing themselves and global development trends. The program’s main advantage is that guarantees participants important revelations regarding their career ambitions and professional choices.

6 days, London, USD 17,200

Alliance: The Manchester Leadership Development Programme

The three-module program takes six months to complete and it involves follow up coaching sessions over the next year. Due to the extended length of the program and significant components of strategy and performance management, it effectively borders advanced management programs. The MLDP program involves both external coaching and mentoring inside participants’ organizations making it especially applicable to their existing professional goals. To increase this positive impact, the program includes an Applied Learning Challenge — an existing business issue in participants’ current organizations that they try to resolve throughout the program.

9 days, Manchester, USD 13,000

Rotman’s Strategic Business Leadership Program

The program is based on an integrative approach to leadership that combines the ability to solve business problems and define strategy with leading a team and managing relationships. That allows a very balanced program content structure with elements of negotiations, conflict management as well as problem-solving and decision making. Design thinking is a key component of the program as clear vision is seen as an enhancer of effective collaboration. Competitive pricing is also one of the stronger advantages of the program.

5 days, Toronto, USD 7,200

Stanford: Executive Program in Leadership: The Effective Use of Power

The program is aimed at senior leaders currently managing teams and it empowers them with hands-on management tools that would make their leadership more effective: team management, persuasion, motivation, team coaching etc. An intense program experience due to innovative design and course materials creates a very productive learning experience. The main learning tools of the program focus on participants’ classroom collaboration as opposed to individual coaching sessions in many other programs.

6 days, Palo Alto, USD 13,500

Michigan Ross: The Positive Leader: Deep Change and Organizational Transformation

The program focuses on the positive leadership concept designed and developed at the very same school. It offers participants a step-by-step process of improving their own and their teams’ performance by creating a better working environment. For that goal, during the program participants identify, work on and present their own leadership dev cases. They also work on both identifying their unique leadership development paths and acquire new tools to manage their teams.

6 days, Ann Arbor or Hong Kong, USD 10,500

Wharton: Becoming a Leader of Leaders: Pathways for Success

A renewed successful program (was previously named The Leadership Journey: Reimagine Your Leadership) combines advanced learning tools, such as case studies and computer simulations, with group discussions and feedback sessions. Developing succession plans for participants and their teams is yet another less common feature of the program.

5 days, Philadelphia, USD 10,950

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