How do you understand and manage people’s perceptions of you? How do you talk across differences?

Leadership requires exceptional skills — from critical analysis and communication to self-awareness, interpersonal acumen, and situational awareness. Being a leader also requires humility, curiosity, compassion, and courage. The Black Leaders Program curriculum helps you discover and develop these skills and values.

Black Leaders Program has developed a highly-specialized curriculum. Explore perceptions of identity, learn how to use your power, and transform your leadership skills and career trajectory. Sessions focus on the issues of race and leadership, power and relationships, communication, and cultivating networks to help Black leaders address the most critical and complicated issues you may face in the workplace.

The program also includes a capstone project where you:

  • Identify career advancement goals and develop and refine your action plan 
  • Work in self-directed small groups from September - November for feedback, coaching and accountability
  • Gather as a class in a culminating session with faculty director and peers to share and celebrate your progress

Program Highlights

Below is just a sample of the sessions you’ll experience as part of the program

Managing Difficult Conversations

As leaders in professional organizations and beyond, one of the most challenging yet important responsibilities that we have is to engage in difficult conversations as we navigate dynamic social environments. In this session, we’ll discuss some key elements for creating productive and healthy difficult conversations. We’ll also have an opportunity to experiment using real-life situations.

Setting and Understanding Context

In this session, we’ll explore components of leadership in the context of race and identity. Together, we’ll look at and discuss hierarchy across societies as well as intergroup interactions and work.

Blackness and the White Gaze

In this session, we will discuss how Black Americans’ concerns about the judgments and evaluations of White Americans affect how they carry themselves and how they interact with and treat other Black people. 

Networks of Support vs. Influence

In these sessions, you’ll learn the difference between mentorship and sponsorship and why it’s important. We’ll then consider how race and gender impact the way we organize our social connections, thereby impacting our ability to leverage the professional support we need to succeed.

You’ll also learn a framework for assessing the health and optimization of your social networks. Then, we will discuss the importance of reframing networking as a relational activity and how we can use that lens to create closer and more authentic relationships with others.

Coaching Others

Creating, and strengthening, organizations based on trust and psychological safety is crucial to organizational success. One of the most important strategies leaders can use to help accomplish this is to model and support a feedback-rich culture that encourages perpetual learning and development.

The ability of leaders to effectively coach their staff, peers, and other colleagues is an organizational imperative for creating innovative work environments, as well as a key differentiator to developing and retaining valued talent. In this session, we’ll explore some key elements of coaching for growth.


Jana Dubovska | Executive Education, Stanford GSB
Associate Director, Programs Executive Education