Essential Management Skills for Emerging Leaders

Next Session: July 2020 | Registration Deadline: Jul. 05, 2020

Virtual module I

Jul. 13–26, 2020

On-campus module

Jul. 27–31, 2020

Virtual module II

Aug. 1–Sep. 18, 2020

October Start: October 5–December 11, 2020

Virtual module I

Oct. 5–18, 2020

On-campus module

Oct. 19–23, 2020

Virtual module II

Oct. 24–Dec. 11, 2020

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, marketing, communication, and negotiation. Participants will gain a cross-functional view through sessions led by instructors specializing in each subject area and through project-based learning.

Program Benefits

  • 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
  • Discuss leadership challenges and strategies with peers
  • Map your personal leadership and learning journey
  • Expand your professional and personal networks

Topics Covered

Develop a solid understanding of the core business areas every manager should know. Subjects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Leadership
  • Strategy
  • Communication
  • Marketing
  • Negotiation

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.

Who should enroll

This program is ideal for aspiring or new 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 high-level business concepts in an intensive format.

Managers who currently hold a senior leadership position may be better served by one of our more targeted program offerings.

Active participation during all three months is required for successful program completion.

Project Component

As a participant in this program, you will complete a project that will provide a growth opportunity for you as an emerging leader in your organization. The project aims to:

  • Support your personal growth as an emerging leader
  • Align with the strategic priorities of your group or organization
  • Demonstrate your ability to apply something learned during the on-campus module.

You will begin to develop your project while on campus and continue to work on it over the course of virtual module II. You will receive feedback from your peers and instructors throughout your project development. Upon registering for this program, you should be thinking about how your development goals may translate into a project idea.

Begin your learning journey by reading articles and cases relevant to each of the core content areas covered on campus. Discover your top five leadership strengths as you complete an assessment in preparation for your initial online program session. During this first interactive

web conference with your lead instructor, you will also get to know your fellow participants virtually before arriving for your week at Harvard.

Online program session: fundamentals of learning, leadership strengths

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

Master concepts in leadership, strategy, communication, marketing, and negotiation (half day). 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?
  • What does strategy mean to the manager and organization?
  • Applying strategic thinking
  • Contributing to your organization's strategy as an emerging leader


  • Persuasion
  • Storytelling
  • Modern audiences
  • Presentation skills


  • Enhancing your organization’s marketing efforts
  • Promoting yourself as a leader
  • Using marketing tools in project proposals
  • Gaining management buy-in


  • Influencing authority
  • Difficult conversations

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

Online program sessions: developing your project

  • Initiating change in your organization, Kotter’s change model; managing up and across
  • Advising sessions with project facilitator
  • Using program material within your project
  • Follow-up sessions from topics covered on campus

Program Information

Program Timing

On-campus sections run from 8:30 am to 5 pm.

Program Fee

2020 Program Fee: $6,295


One Brattle Square
Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.


Phil Swisher is the founder and CEO of Trevian Wealth Management, one of 12 experts who advise the Governor of Massachusetts on innovation, and a mentor for Techstars.
Previously, he was the global head of innovation and a senior vice president at Brown Brothers Harriman. Swisher also led a startup financed by the Kraft Group that focused on commodities trading and risk management, and worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs in New York. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. 
Read More about Phil Swisher

Mohsin Habib is an associate professor of management at the University of Massachusetts. He received the 2010 JoAnne Fussa Distinguished Teaching Award from Harvard Extension School, where he teaches courses on strategy, international management, and business ethics. His research explores the relationship between foreign direct investments, factors specific to a country, and the strategy of multinational corporations. Habib holds a PhD in strategic management with an emphasis on international strategy from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Read More about Mohsin Habib

Margaret Andrews is a highly rated instructor with over 20 years of experience in higher education, business, and consulting. She served as associate dean at Harvard University’s Division of Continuing Education and as executive director of the MBA program at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Andrews is the coauthor of the StratEDgy blog on Inside Higher Ed, and reports on the worldwide management education market for University World News. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a graduate degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Read More about Margaret Andrews

Julie M. Wilson, founder of the Institute for the Future of Learning and an advisor to entrepreneurial students at Harvard’s Innovation Lab, has over 15 years experience as a leadership consultant, trainer, and coach working with a range of for-profit and nonprofit clients across the United States and Europe. As a learning and development consultant at Harvard University, Julie was the recipient of the Harvard Hero award for outstanding contributions to the University. Her recent book, The Human Side of Changing Education, was published by Corwin Press in 2018.

Read More about Julie Wilson

William Ellet is a Lecturer at the University of Miami School of Business, teaching critical thinking, writing, and speaking. He facilitates Harvard Business Publishing Case Method Training Seminars and gives webinars on studying cases and giving presentations for Harvard Extension's undergraduate business students.

As an independent consultant, Ellet teaches workshops on case method teaching and learning and case writing at universities, primarily in Latin America, and for LASPAU, a nonprofit dedicated to improving university teaching in Latin America. He also consults with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, helping them build their case libraries for both academic and professional education.

Read More about William Ellet

Areen Shahbari is a social entrepreneur, a business consultant, and a lecturer on entrepreneurship, strategic management, marketing, and effective communication at Harvard University Extension School and Simmons School of Business. She provides consulting services to local and international entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies, leads travel courses that focus on women leadership and entrepreneurship, serves on business and entrepreneurship panels, and leads workshops and training on networking, negotiation, entrepreneurship, communicating across cultures, and persuasion. Shahbari has taught in the United States, Chile, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco, Turkey, and Mexico. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of Cactus Int., a company that she founded in 2013 to promote women entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa Region.

Read More about Areen Shahbari

Eugene B. Kogan, Ph.D., is the Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School’s East Asian Legal Studies Program. He recently concluded a five-year term as the inaugural Research and Executive Director of Harvard University’s American Secretaries of State Project, which aimed to crystallize diplomatic leadership lessons from 50 years of diplomacy by U.S. Secretaries of State, from William Rogers (1968) to Rex Tillerson (2018).

Read More about Eugene B. Kogan

Susanna Katsman is passionate about supporting the development of emerging leaders. She skillfully guides her program participants to identify their goals and facilitates the achievement of meaningful and sustainable changes in mindset and behavior. Her work is based on Adult Development and Adaptive Leadership theories and includes tools such as Immunity to Change, Communication Style Diagnostic, DiSC and CliftonStrengths. 

Read More about Susanna Katsman