Becoming a Leader: Developing Your Style and Making Sound Decisions

Designed for first-line and mid-level managers positioned to take on increasing leadership roles in their organizations, this program analyzes the symbiotic relationship between leadership and decision making. It combines theory and practice to inform participants on how effective decisions are made, as well as how bad decisions can be avoided. Attention will be paid to recent research in neuroscience on the dual aspects of the decision-making process: intuitive vs. rational, and the respective values of both.

Similarly, the qualities that make for an outstanding leader will be discussed, especially in terms of strategic decision making and implementation to maximize results for the organization. Tools and strategies learned will expand your ability to become a more confident leader.

Program Benefits

  • The psychological pitfalls in decision making
  • Establishing a culture of decisive action in a company to counteract indecision
  • Coping with “information overload” in decision making
  • Regularly using the decision-making process, and not as a periodic event
  • The importance of psychological self-awareness, especially cognitive biases and the illusion of rationality
  • Personal qualities of successful leaders
  • Models of “transformational leaders” for analysis and application
  • Earn a Certificate of Participation from the Harvard University Division of Continuing Education

Topics Covered

  • The dynamics of decision making
  • Psychological aspects of decision making
  • How leadership can be learned
  • The qualities of an effective leader

Who Should Enroll

This program benefits emerging leaders who are poised and motivated to take on significant managerial responsibility in their organizations. Those with 5-7 years of experience managing people will find this program most beneficial. It is highly recommended for those who want to strengthen their leadership skills and establish a culture of decisive action.

Program Information

Program Dates

April 8–9, 2020
Instructor Laura Wilcox, Michael Shinagel
June 15–16, 2020
Instructor Laura Wilcox, Michael Shinagel
September 30–October 1, 2020
Instructor Laura Wilcox, Michael Shinagel
November 4–5, 2020
Instructor Laura Wilcox, Michael Shinagel

Class Times

2020 Class Times: 8:30am-4:30pm

Program Fee

2020 Program Fee: $2,895


One Brattle Square
Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.


Michael Shinagel is a Distinguished Service Lecturer and the recipient of the Petra T. Shattuck Excellence in Teaching Award. He served as dean of the Division of Continuing Education and University Extension at Harvard from 1975 to 2013, and was editor of the Continuing Higher Education Review and publisher of the Harvard Review. Shinagel is a recipient of the Nolte Award for Extraordinary Leadership from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association and the Special Recognition Award from the Association for Continuing Higher Education.

Read More about Michael Shinagel

Laura Wilcox has been in academia for over two decades at the intersection of business, innovation, and education at MIT, MIT Sloan, and Harvard. Throughout her career in higher education management, she has a proven track record of leading people and teams, driving new initiatives, advising students/faculty/industry leaders, and creating new programs and products.

Read More about Laura Wilcox