Essential Management Skills for Emerging Leaders

January 8–March 30, 2018 | $5,895

Virtual module I

January 8–21, 2018

On-campus module

January 22–26, 2018

Virtual module II

January 27–March 30, 2018

Companies across every industry are facing complex organizational challenges that require the rapid development of new and agile leaders. More than ever before, emerging leaders must quickly learn and deploy core management skills, develop a broad strategic perspective, take their leadership skills to the next level, and expand their professional and personal networks.

Presented over three months, this intensive program is designed to help new managers master core business concepts and build key skills in six subject areas, including leadership, strategy, and finance. Participants will gain a cross-functional view through sessions led by instructors specializing in each subject area and through project-based learning.

Program Benefits

  • Develop a solid understanding of the core business areas every manager should know. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
    • Leadership
    • Strategy
    • Communication
    • Finance
    • Marketing
    • Culture
    • Innovation
  • Build organizational and team management skills
  • Learn to map your personal leadership and learning journey
  • Improve your collaboration and presentation skills

The program also serves as a gateway to other Professional Development Programs at Harvard's Division of Continuing Education, where you can build on your foundation and develop advanced skills in key areas. After successfully completing this program, you become eligible for a 20 percent discount on future open-enrollment programs.

Topics Covered

  •  Master the core business areas every manager needs to know
  •  Build organizational, team management, and networking skills
  •  Understand how managers interact across business functions
  •  Improve your collaboration and presentation skills
  •  Develop a project that addresses an organizational challenge
  •  Build peer support for your team's projects
  •  Identify your operational and strategic gaps
  •  Find a mentor to support your professional development
  •  Discuss leadership challenges and strategies with peers
  •  Map your personal leadership and learning journey
  •  Expand your professional and personal networks

Who should enroll

This new program is ideal for managers who are looking to rapidly increase their management skills and strategic perspective, taking on additional responsibility, and seeking to be effective in their organization. The program is also appropriate for individuals who are seeking an understanding of business concepts in an intensive format.

Participation in all 12 weeks is required for successful program completion.

Develop the capacity to address management challenges by shifting perspectives, building new competencies, and adopting different mindsets. Through readings and a one-hour webinar, you’ll prepare to apply what you've learned to a scenario at your organization.

Preprogram webinar session: fundamentals of learning

  • Introductions
  • The three fundamental types of learning
  • Strengths and challenges as learners

Master basic concepts in leadership, strategy, communication, finance (half-day), marketing (half-day), and culture and innovation.This module includes daily debrief sessions, case studies, team exercises, and a personal project and presentation. By the end, you will have developed a project plan for addressing a challenge specific to your organization.

Topics and instructors subject to change.


  • Knowing yourself
  • Managing yourself
  • Managing a team
  • Managing up and sideways


  • What is strategy?
  • Case discussion
  • What does strategy mean to the manager and organization?
  • Applying strategic thinking


  • Knowing your audience
  • Verbal and nonverbal delivery
  • The art of persuasion
  • Listening and responding


  • Time Value of Money
  • Financial Analysis


  • Identifying & understanding your customer
  • Developing your marketing messages

Culture & innovation

  • Why innovation matters today
  • Organizational culture
  • Case discussion

Fine-tune your individual project with your manager or mentor, build your developmental network, and make a presentation to your organization.

Postprogram webinar sessions: developing your project

  • Change initiation in your organization, Kotter’s change model; managing up and across
  • Project check in and effective presentations
  • Lessons learned, continuing your learning, building your development network
  • Guest lectures on emerging business topics

Program Information

Class Times

Programs run from 9 am to 5 pm

Program Fee

2018 Program Fee: $5,895
2017 Program Fee: $5,495


Division of Continuing Education classrooms, One Brattle Square


Steven D. Cohen is a leading expert on persuasive communication and effective presentation skills. Cohen is currently an instructor at the Harvard Division of Continuing Education and has a faculty appointment at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Cohen ​has been quoted in the Financial Times, Slate, Huffington Post, Inc., and New York Magazine and was featured in a BBC Radio documentary. Cohen ​is the author of two books, Public Speaking: The Path to Success and Lessons from the Podium: Public Speaking as a Leadership Art. ​He earned a PhD in communication from the University of Maryland and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University.

Taz Hussein is a partner in the Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit consulting firm that advises mission-driven organizations on matters related to strategy, funding, and talent. Earlier in his career, Hussein worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and in the Strategic Planning Group at American Express. He has consulted with companies in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and has volunteered his services to Boston-area nonprofits through Harvard Business School’s Community Action Partners program. Hussein serves on the board of Playworks and the Board of Overseers for the SpeakEasy Stage Company. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Areen Shahbari is a social entrepreneur, Fulbright Fellow, and lecturer of strategic management, marketing, and communication at Simmons School of Management. Shahbari has over 10 years of experience in TV hosting, journalism, public relations, and social media marketing, and has hosted six TV shows and interviewed over 550 professionals. Her company Cactus promotes women entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa region, and provides marketing and business training courses and counseling services to over 1,200 women.

Jennifer Stine is an independent consultant, teacher, and innovator with expertise in the development of world-class executive and professional programs. From 2008 to 2012, she served as managing director of professional education at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining MIT in 2002, she worked as an entrepreneur in technology consulting and served as documentation team lead and training co-lead on a major Oracle implementation at the California Institute of Technology. Stine holds three degrees from Stanford University.

Bruce Watson is a lecturer who teaches courses in economics and finance at Boston University, including a yearly stint teaching math for finance in the master of science in mathematical finance program. Watson also keeps his hand in the “real world” of finance by consulting and teaching with a large hedge fund in New York. Previously, he spent six years as a futures analyst and trader before pursuing graduate work in economics at the University of Colorado and Harvard.