Leadership Essentials

Nov 15–18, 2021 $2,950 (Live Online)
Apr 7–8, 2022 $3,950 (In-Person)
Questions? Contact Us:
Christine Tom
Assistant Director, Learning Solutions
[email protected]
Format: Four consecutive days with live sessions from 2 to 5 p.m. ET. View the schedule.
In-Person Format: Two consecutive full days of in-person sessions on the Columbia campus in NYC. View the in-person schedule.
Certificate Credits: 2
Learn more.
Preferred pricing is available for groups of two or more. To inquire, email [email protected].

"The program provided an opportunity for me to polish my leadership skills through a profound understanding of the importance of transactional leadership as a support and balance to transformational leadership."
– Program Participant Chukwuma Nwachukwu, CEO at North Eastern Capital Ltd.

In this video, Faculty Director Joel Brockner speaks to the program experience and the feedback he receives from past participants.

Leadership Essentials identifies several of the skill sets that great leaders possess. Through engaging lectures delivered by Columbia Business School faculty, dynamic discussions with colleagues and hands-on workshops, participants explore the most crucial areas of leadership.

Participants emerge from the program with fresh insights into how to be better decision makers, leaders of people and groups, and agents of organizational change.

"This was a fully engaging course which has provided me with tools of leadership that I can use beginning tomorrow: tools with a lifetime warranty."
– Matthew Price, Director, Sales & Marketing, ACS

Other Formats

This program is also being offered in an asynchronous online format. Learn more about Leadership Essentials (Online). To compare program formats, click here.

Please Contact Us

Please contact our Learning Solutions Specialists at 212-854-3395 for a personal conversation to learn more.


In just two days, participants in Leadership Essentials take away several tangible benefits. They learn how to:

  • Enhance emotional intelligence and apply it appropriately as a leader
  • Strengthen the ability to lead and manage organizational change
  • Improve decision making
  • Motivate your team more effectively
  • Manage the dynamics within and between groups that influence performance

Hear from the program's faculty director on the leadership essentials acquired in the program:


Note: This program does not include a 360-degree feedback tool. We encourage you to apply for High Impact Leadership should you be interested in benefiting from this specific feature.

Upon completion of this program, you will earn two credits towards a Certificate with select alumni and tuition benefits. Learn more.


PLEASE NOTE: The upcoming iteration of this program will take place in a live, virtual setting. The daytime session takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time. (View daytime schedule). To accommodate time zones in the Eastern Hemisphere, the evening session takes place from 7–10 p.m. Eastern Time, which is 8–11 a.m. Japan Standard Time. (View the evening schedule). You may also view the in-person program schedule for when our in-person programming resumes.

The program consists of four tightly connected sessions:

I. Leadership Styles and Emotional Intelligence

Key questions

  • What are the different styles of leadership, and when is it appropriate to exercise one rather than another?
  • What role does emotional intelligence (or EQ) play in enacting the different forms of leadership?

II. Leadership Styles and Managing Change

Key questions

  • What are the key action steps needed to plan and implement change?
  • What do you think you do well versus not so well when it comes to planning and implementing change?
  • What leadership style makes people more likely to embrace rather than resist change?
  • What makes it hard for agents of change to adopt a style that makes others embrace rather than resist change?
  • What can be done to overcome the obstacles alluded to in the preceding question?

III. Leadership and Group Dynamics

Key questions

  • Why do some groups work together effectively, while other groups seem to struggle?
  • How does “who you are” influence the type of roles that you take on in a group?
  • What climate do you create for groups that you lead?
  • How can you motivate your team to take more risk and responsibility?

IV. Leadership and Personality

Key questions

  • How much of your leadership behavior is driven by your environment?
  • How much of your leadership behavior is driven by your own preferences?
  • How can you learn about others preferences in order to more effectively lead, manage, and collaborate?

For a complete program schedule download the agenda.


Leadership Essentials is designed for mid-level executives looking to improve their effectiveness working with individuals and teams.

Columbia Business School alumni and up to four of their colleagues are eligible for a 25 percent tuition benefit for this program. More on the Alumni Tuition Benefit.

Typical Participant Mix

Geographic Spread

Years of Management Experience

Job Function


Hear from Past Participants:


Joel Brockner, Faculty Director
Phillip Hettleman Professor of Business, Columbia Business School

Joel Brockner is a leading authority on a variety of psychological issues in the workplace, including change management, leadership, decision-making, the role of the self, and cross-cultural differences in work behavior. He has consulted about the planning and implementation of significant organizational change, leadership development, and decision making with such organizations as the Association of Art Museum Curators, Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, Citigroup, ConocoPhillips, Eastman Kodak, IXIS Capital Markets, MBNA, Pfizer, State Farm Insurance, Southern New England Telephone, and Stratus Technologies.

Brockner’s book publications cover decision making in "sunk cost" situations, causes and consequences of employees’ self esteem, and the role of justice in the workplace. He has published more than 100 articles and book chapters in a variety of prestigious outlets, including Harvard Business Review and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He has served on the editorial board of numerous management and psychology journals including the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Sarah J. Brazaitis
Associate Professor of Practice, Teachers College, Columbia University

Sarah Brazaitis is an associate professor of Practice in the Department of Organization and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University where she also directs the MA program in Organizational Psychology. Brazaitis teaches courses on group dynamics and team performance to masters- and doctoral-level students as well as in executive education programs. As part of her group dynamics course, Brazaitis runs an experiential group relations conference that provides participants with opportunities to learn in real time about covert processes affecting leadership and power in groups and organizations.

Brazaitis maintains a private practice of organizational consulting with a specialty in working with diverse teams and she has 20+ years of experience in providing coaching, consulting and training to executives, leaders and high potentials including to those in the C-suite. Clients have included organizations such as BNP Paribas, Deloitte, Google, KPMG, Thomson Reuters, Time Warner, Inc, as well as various schools and universities.

As an expert on group dynamics in social systems, Dr. Brazaitis has publications in scholarly journals, industry books and the popular press on conflict resolution in diverse teams, challenges related to the global community, improving race relations in multicultural organizations, and understanding and leveraging implicit, hidden dynamics in the workplace.


Do you have questions about our live online programs? Please review our commonly asked questions on our live online programs FAQs page.