Principled and Purposeful Leadership

Successful leaders in today’s fast-changing and challenging environments are intentional about developing their leadership competencies, articulating their values, and making decisions that align with those values.

Course Introduction


This course introduces topics and tools that are central to leadership. As part of the course, participants will complete a leadership evaluation using Stanford’s LEAP 360 tool and receive individualized coaching and a personalized report.

Participants will also explore frameworks around ethical issues faced by managers and organizations as well as the latest findings on human behavior to inform ethical decisions and strategies. The course will cover controversial case studies, insights from psychology and behavioral science, and a brief introduction to philosophical perspectives that are useful for leaders.

Through video lectures, application exercises, surveys, online peer discussions, and personal reflection, participants will not only gain an overview of relevant topics and research on leadership, but they will also clarify their own values, think through managerial dilemmas, discover the diversity of viewpoints among their classmates, practice articulating recommendations compellingly, and find out how to avoid social and cognitive pitfalls that get in the way of purposeful and principled leadership.

Key Topics

  • Effective communication
  • Understanding others
  • Using trust and humility to build effective teams and organizations
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Self-coaching
  • Responsibilities to shareholders, clients, employees, customers, and society
  • Identifying, understanding, and resolving values-based disagreements
  • Overcoming psychological impediments to ethical decision-making and implementing values-based leadership in one’s own life
  • Shaping an organization’s values

This course will run throughout the full year of enrollment.

Course Faculty

The Morgridge Professor of Organizational Behavior
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
The Walter Kenneth Kilpatrick Professor of Organizational Behavior
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
The David S. and Ann M. Barlow Professor of Political Economy


Marineh Lalikian
Director, Stanford LEAD Online Business Program Executive Education