Leadership Principles – Harvard Business School


  • Description


Leadership Principles – Harvard Business School

What You’ll Learn

Go to Course Syllabus
  • Understand your motivational drivers, emotional intelligence, and communication methods to establish a personal leadership style
  • Apply or adapt your leadership style to meet specific challenges
  • Manage the conditions that drive team performance
  • Coach colleagues and share feedback in ways that enable them to develop and deliver
  • Handle stressful and demanding leadership situations
  • Take charge of your professional development as you navigate the challenges of transitioning from an individual contributor to a leader

About the Professors

Joshua Margolis is the James Dinan and Elizabeth Miller Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, Unit Head of the School’s Organizational Behavior Unit, and Faculty Chair of the Program for Leadership Development and the Christensen Center for Teaching and Learning. He is co-author of the book People and Profits: The Search for a Link between a Company’s Social and Financial Performance, and has won numerous awards, including the Robert F. Greenhill Award and the Apgar Award for Innovation in Teaching.

Anthony Mayo is the Thomas S. Murphy Senior Lecturer of Business Administration and C. Roland Christensen Distinguished Management Educator in the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School. He served as director of the School’s Leadership Initiative for 16 years and was previously the course head for FIELD, a required experiential, field-based course in the first year of the MBA program. He is co-editor of the volume Race, Work, and Leadership: New Perspectives on the Black Experience.

Who Will Benefit

Early- and Mid-Career Professionals

Prepare for leadership roles after working as an individual contributor or functional specialist.

New Leaders

Build greater self-awareness and explore how you can adapt your leadership style to meet specific organizational challenges.

Early-Stage or Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Develop techniques for building high-performing teams, coaching, delivering feedback, and handling stressful leadership situations.

Is Leadership Principles Right for You?

Program Structure

The course begins with a two-week prework period in which you’ll be asked to complete a self-assessment and solicit feedback from colleagues, such as managers, peers, and direct reports. The prework will take approximately one hour of your time and roughly 30 minutes for each colleague who participates.

Upon successful completion of the prework—which requires obtaining ratings from at least two colleagues in addition to the self-assessment—you’ll receive a detailed report that provides insight into your emotional intelligence and how you’re perceived by others. Emotional intelligence is a central theme of the Leadership Principles course. By completing the prework, you’ll enhance your knowledge of both the course materials and your personal leadership.

The course content is delivered over a four-week period after the prework concludes. The course also features several video upload exercises in which you’ll be presented with scenarios and asked to video record yourself reacting to various leadership challenges. These exercises have been developed to let you step into the shoes of decision-makers, gain insight into your leadership style, practice techniques taught in the course, and—in some cases—share feedback with fellow learners. You can record yourself on a phone, computer, or other video recording device and will be asked to upload the video to the course. You should expect to spend approximately seven to nine hours per week on coursework, which can be completed on your own time while meeting regular deadlines.

Leadership Principles is part of the Leadership and Management Learning Track. If you’re interested in developing deeper insights and expertise, you can choose to complete three leadership and management courses within 18 months to earn a Certificate of Specialization.


Leadership Principles leverages self-assessments, 360° feedback from colleagues, and the perspectives of fellow learners to help participants build greater self-awareness and enhance the versatility of their leadership style and approach. Through multimedia case studies and interviews with experts, participants in this program will experience wide-ranging leadership challenges and develop the skills needed to address different situations capably and authentically.

Learning requirements: In order to earn a Certificate of Completion, participants must thoughtfully complete all modules (Prework and Modules 1-4) by stated deadlines.

Prework: In the first two weeks after the course start date, you’ll complete a self-assessment and ask colleagues, managers, and/or direct reports to rate you on dimensions of emotional and social intelligence. These two components comprise the 360° assessment known as the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI).

Leaders Interviewed:

  • Gonzalo Muñoz Sanz, Leadership Development Program, Amadeus North America
  • Yvonne Chen, VP of Marketing, Udemy for Business
  • Mike Anello, Managing Director/Co-Founder, M33 Growth
  • Mia Mends, CEO, Inspirus and Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services, USA
  • Iz-Lynn Chan, CEO, BHG Retail REIT
  • Mark Ellis, CEO/ Co-Founder, Liftoff