To maintain competitive advantage and sustain success in a fast-changing business environment, organizations must identify, nurture, and prepare the next generation of high-performance leaders for excellence. Executive Leadership Development: Analysis to Action is designed for the emerging leader who will navigate the firm through tomorrow's business challenges.

The program will strengthen participants' analytical tools, management acumen, and interpersonal skills, thereby preparing managers to build effective teams, resolve strategic problems, drive change through the organization, and ultimately get to the next level. The objective is not to follow a specific recipe for leadership development, but rather to learn how to "cook for yourself" by refining a set of personal leadership skills to solve problems independently and to lead with confidence. Participants will leave the program with sharpened analytical skills, a better awareness of how they are perceived as leaders, and a fresh and informed perspective on accomplishing their individual leadership objectives.

Program Dates: January 11 – 23 and
April 12 – 17, 2015 (this is a two-module program)
Application Deadline: November 17, 2014
Program Tuition: $34,000 USD
Additional Leadership Coaching (Optional): $3,000 USD
Program tuition includes private accommodations, all meals, and course materials.

Program Overview

Designed to enhance your ability to resolve strategic problems, drive change through the organization, design and motivate effective teams, and ultimately get to the next level of your career. Taught by our world-renowned faculty, this program applies research-based knowledge to practical contexts facing high-potential leaders, covering a wide range of topics that reflect the multidimensional challenges leaders face. A distance learning component provided in addition to the on-campus experience gives participants an opportunity to further advance their objectives. The three-week, on-campus experience offers three unique perspectives:

Analysis. Honing the ability to analyze business problems critically and holistically, taking into account industry analysis, and economic, financial, and policy perspectives.

Design. Discovering the principles of design thinking and their application to solving business challenges; learning effective ways of designing teams, business operations, change management initiatives, and organizational structures and culture.

Leadership. Refining a set of personal leadership skills—influence, motivation, and communication—through the use of in-class training and experiential exercises.

Faculty Directors
Other Faculty
Francis J. Flynn

Paul E. Holden Professor of Organizational Behavior; The Hank McKinnell-Pfizer Inc. Director of the Center for Leadership Development and Research; Codirector of the Executive Leadership Development Program

Jesper B. Sørensen

Robert A. and Elizabeth R. Jeffe Professor; Professor of Organizational Behavior; Professor of Sociology (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences; Director of the Center for Social Innovation; Codirector of the Executive Leadership Development Program; Susan Ford Dorsey Faculty Fellow

Thomas M. Siebel Professor of Business Leadership, Strategy, and Organizations; Codirector of the Executive Program in Strategy and Organization; Affiliated Faculty, Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford

Associate Professor of Political Economy

Moghadam Family Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior; Codirector of the Executive Program for Women Leaders

STANCO 25 Professor of Economics

Thoma Professor of Operations, Information and Technology; Director of the Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum; Director of the Strategies and Leadership in Supply Chains Executive Program

Professor of Organizational Behavior

The Class of 1968 / Ed Zschau Professor of Organizational Behavior; Claude N. Rosenberg Jr. Director of the Center for Social Innovation

Adams Distinguished Professor of Management; Director of the Managing Teams for Innovation and Success Executive Program Director of the Influence and Negotiation Strategies Executive Program; Codirector of the Executive Program for Women Leaders

The Robert L. Joss Consulting Professor of Management

Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior

Gregor G. Peterson Professor of Accounting; Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Professor of Law (by courtesy), School of Law

Atholl McBean Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resources; Director of the Managing Talent for Strategic Advantage Executive Program; Codirector of the Customer- Focused Innovation Executive Program

MBA Class of '78 Lecturer in Organizational Behavior; Director of the Arbuckle Leadership Fellows Program

Sanwa Bank, Limited, Professor of Marketing; Director of the Strategic Marketing Management Executive Program

David and Ann Barlow Professor of Political Economy; Professor of Political Science (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences

Theodore J. Kreps Professor of Economics

Morgridge Professor of Organizational Behavior; Professor of Sociology (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences

Professor of Finance

Executive Leadership Development: Analysis to Action – An Overview
Explore this three-week, two-module intensive program, the premiere program for high-potential executives and emerging leaders from around the world. Executive Leadership Development: Analysis to Action will enable participants to learn and develop a new set of skills and insights into how organizations work and how people are managed in order to grow into more senior leadership positions.
Executive Leadership Development: Analysis to Action – A Preview
Learn more about our innovative new program for emerging leaders, Executive Leadership Development: Analysis to Action (ELD), during this complimentary webinar led by Stanford GSB Professor Jesper Sørensen. This one-hour online session will introduce ELD and a sample program session: Innovation in Established Companies.
Key Takeaways
  • Improved core analytical skills required for approaching business challenges holistically and making better executive decisions
  • Enhanced understanding of the critical interface between strategic challenges external to the organization and internal organizational, leadership, and execution issues
  • Ability to apply design thinking principles to solve business problems effectively
  • Heightened awareness of one’s leadership style and how it is perceived by others
  • Understanding of relevant psychological principles to create high-performance teams and increase employee motivation
  • Honed interpersonal skills to increase one’s impact on the organization

Unique Features

Critical Analytical Thinking—The primary objective of the Critical Analytical Thinking, or CAT component, is to provide training, practice, and feedback in the construction, presentation, and critical evaluation of clear, concise, and well-reasoned arguments. While participants will undoubtedly already have some proficiency at these skills, the objective is to hone them—especially in applying analytical and critical thinking to business issues where tradeoffs are inevitable and tough decisions are necessary. Participants will develop, deliver, and discuss arguments on assigned topics and these arguments will be dissected on the basis of the logic used, specification of objectives, the plausibility of assumptions invoked, and the adept balancing of tradeoffs. By understanding principles of critical analytical thinking, participants will be able to better recognize the essence of their argument and communicate it to others both orally and in writing.

Design Thinking—The Design Thinking process and its application to tackling business problems in organizations will be introduced. This process, taught in an experiential learning environment, draws on methods from engineering and design, and combines them with ideas from the arts, tools from the social sciences, and insights from the business world. Regardless of the steps taken, the elements underlying the process are the mindsets of empathy, an attitude of prototyping, collaboration, iteration and feedback. One of the key insights participants will gain is the logic behind and the methods of rapid prototyping and developing quick solutions to problems that can be easily tested and refined. To accomplish that, participants will be encouraged to focus on how they work, not just the final outcome of what they do.

Business Challenge—To focus the program takeaways around practical solutions, all participants are asked to bring a business challenge they are currently facing to the first program module—ideally a big picture leadership or strategy issue they will encounter as they work toward the next level in their professional advancement. The curriculum will provide fresh perspectives for addressing these challenges.

Leadership Coaching—During the first two-week module, participants will meet in small groups with an executive coach, who will facilitate application of the program content to their individual business challenges. During the period between the two on-campus modules, participants will complete a 360-degree feedback assessment. During the last on-campus program module they will be provided with a framework for analyzing the results and applying the insight to their future on-the-job performance. For an additional fee, participants will also have the option of engaging an executive coach for personalized leadership coaching after completing the program.


Highlighted Sessions

Understanding Competitive Advantage
Many firms are successful in their markets, but have only a limited understanding of the reasons behind the success. This lack of understanding can be dangerous: seemingly sensible decisions can turn the firm's fortunes for the worse. More generally, firms with a sustained competitive advantage are ones in which managers throughout the organization have a deep understanding of the firm's key success factors. This session will present a framework for analyzing the firm's basis of competitive advantage, and allow you to consider the implications of different sources of competitive advantage for strategic decision making.

Influencing Upwards
This session will tackle the challenge of influencing small groups, particularly those over which one has no authority. Through analysis of parts of the film Twelve Angry Men, participants will identify several perspectives on group dynamics which can be used to develop influence strategies, and examine which tactics are most effective, and why.

Motivating Employees to Work Harder and Smarter
In these tough economic times, leaders must find ways to motivate their employees to work harder and smarter. Most managers tend to rely on "carrots" as means of motivation. This session will explore alternative "psychological levers" — tools that truly motivate and inspire employees to perform without excess spending. The group will draw examples from successful firms that have unlocked their employees' true potential by providing meaning in their work.

Accounting for Valuation and Control
Financial reporting is the primary means by which current and prospective investors and other interested parties are informed of the financial position and the results of the operations of an organization. Management control is the process whereby managers assure that resources are obtained and used effectively and efficiently in the accomplishment of an organization's objectives. Participants will study the principles governing the measurement of income and financial position, as well as the design of systems for management control.

Strategy Beyond Markets
Most business school classes focus on firms' interactions with customers, competitors, suppliers, and shareholders in the form of mutually beneficial voluntary exchange transacted in markets. In contrast, these sessions consider firms' strategic interactions with comparably important constituents, organizations, and institutions outside of markets. Strategy beyond markets is a central component of a company's approach to achieving superior overall performance, and it must be integrated with the company's market strategy. Examples of topics to be discussed in these sessions include boycotts, activist pressures, regulation, judicial decisions, and political risk, all of which substantially impact firms' performance and profitability.

Leadership Vignettes
This session will draw on a collection of video cases featuring leaders talking about the toughest challenges they have faced, the decisions they have made, and the lessons they learned from these experiences. Participants will then discuss how these challenges relate to their own careers and to their development as leaders.

The Neuroscience of Decision Making
This session will explore the key drivers that affect decision making. Drawing on data from research in both the public and private sector, it will reveal the neural underpinnings of the crucial role that emotion and analytics play in the decision making processes. It will highlight the main processes employed in the decision-making process, and present some tools for harnessing the power of emotion to yield the most effective decisions.

Crisis Management
What should management do when a crisis focuses the harsh spotlight of public opinion on its organization? Whether it results from a firm's own missteps (think BP) or from strategic activism or media action (think Greenpeace), crisis is increasingly on the agenda for today's executives. This session will explore the skills and organizational structures required to prepare for, and productively manage, a crisis to avoid bringing lasting damage to a firm's reputation.

Strategy and Organizational Design: Translating Strategy into Action
This session will examine the role of organizational design in executing a company's strategy. The group will begin by identifying JetBlue's strategy and then discuss and evaluate how the company's organizational design supports this strategy. The case of JetBlue Airways will be used to discuss the way the company culture is built and reinforced and how this helps to support the execution of the company's strategy.

Effective leaders rarely emerge unexpectedly. Rather, they develop their skills by way of personal experience and practical education. As an integral piece of that education, this course is intended to help 'rising stars' realize their leadership potential—to envision competitive strategy, implement meaningful change, and achieve extraordinary results.
– Francis J. Flynn
Faculty Director
Before this program I was searching everywhere to find that magic recipe for solving my organization’s problems. Here I learned the simplicity of small, practical implementation steps - steps I've already used to build a team that is moving forward. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to move their organization, their own position, and their future to the next level.
– Reza Fateh
Chief Information Officer / Chief Technology Officer
Pars Online
Stanford’s approach to teaching is amazing – it’s very inviting and you learn a lot. The small breakout groups let you delve deeply into concepts, express your thoughts, and learn from others. I have already recommended this course to a peer. It’s been invaluable.
– Julie Arndt
Manager - 787 Regulatory Administration Development Programs
Boeing Company
This program has reconfirmed that I am ready to move to the next level. It also gave me the opportunity to really step back and reflect on what I do, how well I do it today, and where I need to make improvements. It’s been a tremendous experience.
– Debora Bielicki
Director of Global Sales - Technology Services

Who Should Attend?

This program is designed for executives who have recently been promoted to a position of significant managerial responsibility or are clearly on track for such a role. Applicants should have at least 10 years of work experience, a minimum of 3 to 5 years of management experience and significant levels of responsibility within their organization. Participants from all industries and companies of all sizes will find this program valuable.
SAMPLE Participant Mix


Dan Epelman
Director, Programs and Marketing
Phone: +1.650.725.7169

Participant Survey

When asked upon completion of the program whether they recommend others attend the program, 2012 program participants give the program the high ranking of 4.96 on a 5-point scale


Stanford University
The Stanford campus is world renowned for its natural beauty, Spanish mission-style architecture, and temperate climate. With more than 8,180 acres (3,310 hectares), Stanford's campus ranks as one of the largest in the United States. Participants in Stanford's Executive Programs become part of a quintessential university setting, residing together, walking or biking to classes, and enjoying access to Stanford University facilities.
The Knight Management Center
Opened in spring 2011, the Knight Management Center has transformed the Stanford Graduate School of Business into a vibrant and unified indoor-outdoor, living and learning community. Participants will take classes at this new state-of-the-art campus, which features tiered classrooms with extensive floor-to-ceiling glass, the latest in audiovisual technology, numerous breakout and study rooms, outdoor seating areas to encourage informal discussion, and an open collaboration lab that employs hands-on and design thinking techniques.
Schwab Residential Center
Designed by renowned Mexican architect, Ricardo Legorreta, the Schwab Residential Center gives residents ample privacy while promoting collegial interaction through shared lounges, outdoor meeting areas, a library, and an exercise room.