participants in the Stanford LEAD: Personal Leadership program working together
Stanford LEAD: Personal Leadership Certificate


The LEAD Personal Leadership curriculum: Eight rigorous courses. 250-plus hours of engagement. One year of profound virtual, social, and global learning.

Additional Elective Courses

Leadership Agility, taught by Christian Wheeler
Decision Making, taught by Paul Pfleiderer

Start With the Fundamentals

You will begin this leadership development program with an in-depth evaluation of your leadership proficiency using Stanford's proprietary 360° feedback tool — a proven management evaluation tool through which you gather constructive feedback and outline a meaningful action plan. You will then work with a coach to identify areas for development and create a customized learning journey based on your evaluation results and the personal goals.

The LEAD Personal Leadership curriculum begins with two foundation courses, taken simultaneously over an eight-week quarter. Foundations of Leadership includes tools to help you gain deep insights into the principles of effective leadership and how others perceive your leadership style. Values-Based Leadership teaches you how to lead with your values and how to respect the values of others on your team and in your organization. Through proven frameworks, innovative tools, and expert insights, the two foundation courses will enhance your self-awareness and guide you towards identifying the electives that will best help you reach your goals.

Customize Your Personal Leadership Curriculum Path With Electives

At the completion of the two foundation courses, you’ll be invited to choose six electives to personalize your learning journey. Combined with the newfound understanding of your leadership values, strengths, and needs, these courses will enable you to focus on the leadership development areas necessary to become the leader you aspire to be in the long term.

Participants can enroll in elective courses to master a range of leadership competencies, including communication, decision-making, team and culture management, and building and exerting power. Like the foundations courses, the elective courses are all taught by Stanford faculty who share the ideas and frameworks they teach in our MBA and Executive programs.

What to Expect

LEAD is not a typical online learning program. It has a unique collaborative and experiential design that requires active synchronous and asynchronous participation. Each participant's willingness to engage with a highly diverse cohort of driven individuals is essential to the experience. You will be able to apply course concepts immediately, collect feedback, and share learnings with your peers in the program.

The Personal Leadership curriculum workload is challenging, but your learning journey includes the full support of the Stanford LEAD program team every step of the way. Expect to spend an average of three to five hours per week per course consuming the material and completing assignments. While the eight-course curriculum is designed to be completed in one year, you may have up to 24 months to complete the program.

Leadership development assignments in the program include a wide variety of engaging experiential activities, such as: watching exclusive course videos, reading case studies, and participating in interactive speaker sessions, and collaborating on small team projects with members of your diverse cohort. These connection-driven learning activities enable you to immediately apply what is learned to real world situations, share your experiences, and receive feedback from faculty and the cohort of your peers.

Earn Your Certificate

Once you demonstrate mastery of the two foundation courses and six electives, you’ll receive a Stanford GSB certificate — a Certified Electronic Certificate issued by Stanford’s Registrar that you may share with your employer and network, as well as a frameable certificate of completion. Additionally, CEUs will be awarded to you upon program completion which can be helpful in meeting professional re-certification requirements or to qualify for professional development or tuition reimbursement programs.

Thanks to our high-touch support model and selective admissions process, we see much higher completion rates than other online programs and courses. Since inception, Stanford LEAD has experienced an average completion rate of 95% for each enrolled class.