Essential Management Skills for Emerging Leaders

Next Session: October 2019 | Registration Deadline: Oct. 29, 2019

Virtual module I

Oct. 7–20, 2019

On-campus module

Oct. 21–25, 2019

Virtual module II

Oct. 26–Dec. 13, 2019

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. Subjects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Leadership
  • Strategy
  • Communication
  • Finance
  • 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.

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

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.

Participation in 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 basic concepts in leadership, strategy (half day), 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?
  • 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

  • Change initiation in your organization, Kotter’s change model; managing up and across
  • Project check in
  • Lessons learned, continuing your learning, building your development network
  • Follow on sessions from topics covered on campus

Program Information

Program Timing

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

Live webinars are typically held from 3-4 pm eastern time

Program Fee

2019 Program Fee: $5,995


One Brattle Square
Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.


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

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

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.

Read More about Taz Hussein

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, teaches in the Harvard University Extension Essential Management Skills for Emerging Leaders program, and gives webinars on studying cases and giving presentations for Harvard Extension's undergraduate business students.

As an independent consultant, Bill teaches workshops on case method teaching and learning and case writing at universities. He also consults with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, helping them build a case library for both academic and professional education.

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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 is Research Director of the American Secretaries of State Project, a joint initiative of the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, and Harvard Business School. Dr. Kogan is a former Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. He is working on a book about nuclear negotiations based on his Brandeis University doctoral thesis, which was awarded the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation’s Raiffa Award for the Best Student Doctoral Paper.  Dr. Kogan has given executive and professional development lectures in Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Education, Harvard Professional Development Programs and the Paris School of International Affairs.

Read More about Eugene B. Kogan

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. 

Read More about Bruce Watson