With a focus on organizational leadership, the Executive Master's in Leadership helps students anticipate the future, identify an organization's desired position in that future, implement the steps to place the organization at the forefront, and lead othe

Course Listings

Leading Teams and Organizations

Models of Leadership
This course provides an introduction to the study of leadership at the graduate level. The course includes an analytical survey of major leadership perspectives, theories, and models. Participants explore both relevant theories and models and their implications for specific leadership contexts and challenges. A major goal of the course is to provide each participant with a repertoire of leadership concepts that can be applied, as appropriate, in a variety of specific leadership situations.

Anticipating the Future
World-class leaders share their visions of current trends and likely developments in areas such as global demographics, economics, geo-political developments, technology, and social trends. The course takes place during the initial and final portions of the program. The first portion emphasizes trends relevant to the location of the pending Global Residency, and the second portion touches on issues likely to prove directly relevant to the future of participants as leaders.

Leading Teams
This course is focused on leadership in the context of teams, the most common arena for the experience of leading (or being led). Exploring both the science and the practice of leading teams, we highlight the leader’s role (e.g., designing, composing, structuring, and coaching a team) and the differences among various sorts of teams (e.g., entrepreneurial teams, creative teams, decision-making teams, virtual teams, top management/C-suite teams).

Leading Change
The primary focus of this course is organizational transformation, that is, on leadership that fundamentally re-orients an organization, its potential, objectives and methods. In particular the course examines how effective leaders are able to bring about fundamental change in organizational settings and why certain methods and techniques, and not others, are effective in particular settings.

Scenario Planning
The goal of the scenario planning course is to build capacity for scenario thinking as it relates to the leadership of organizations and groups. Participants are introduced to a robust technique for creating scenarios, with an emphasis on the value of scenarios as tools for environmental monitoring, innovation, strategic planning, and short-term alignment of initiatives. Vigilant leaders spot opportunities and threats before others and scenario planning provides a disciplined process to guide this focus on the future, offering tools to manage key uncertainties.

Creating and Changing Cultures
Building on “Leading Change,” this course will focus on understanding of the power of organizational culture, and a leader’s role in shaping and leveraging the culture. Major perspectives on culture are explored to create frameworks that allow students to analyze culture, understand its strengths and weaknesses, and learn how a leader can use culture to bring the best results to the organization.

Tools for Leadership

How Leaders Develop
This course weaves together two major themes – the development of individuals into leaders, from both the personal and organizational perspective, and methods for studying leadership (and leadership development) in a systematic way. Thus the course provides a survey of research methods most likely to be useful in preparing the Master’s Paper for each participant—methods such as literature reviews, participant observation, interviewing, and surveys—while exploring the available research on the development and maturation of leaders. The course is coordinated with the concurrent course on Human and Social Capital.

Human and Social Capital
Social capital is defined as the resources embedded within and available through social relationships. The thrust of this course is to demonstrate how an organization can attract, develop, and retain talented people (human capital); systematically build trust and social capital; and thereby enable organizational success. The course provides a context for understanding how an organization can identify and nurture potential leaders.

Building on previous course work in team leadership, this course develops the participant’s negotiation skills. The course explores interaction between individuals and teams, and the systems that interact with or affect them.  Subsequently, students will conduct multi-level analyses on such topics as cultural nuances, identity, barriers, perceptions, motivation, group entanglements, creativity, social identity, and intergroup behavior.

Power and Influence
Exploring the dynamics of power and influence within human organizations, topics include the role of power in leadership (and vice versa); the interface of values, behavior, and perceptions; and an exercise in “creating yourself” as a leader. 

Decision Making
The ability to make good decisions is a fundamental skill for leaders in all organizations. This course provides students with a systematic way to carefully think about decisions to arrive at more informed choices, and will thoroughly examine the “pitfalls” (i.e., cognitive biases) that commonly derail good decision making. Topics include decision structuring, tradeoffs,analysis, and traps.

Selling Your Agenda Inside and Outside the Organization
Building on previous coursework (e.g., “Power and Influence”), this helps the participant to build capacity to analyze an audience, articulate desired objectives, and frame messages with maximum probability of producing desired effects.  The course explores impromptu and planned presentations, the importance of audience analysis, and the integration of technology within presentations.  It also examines the persuasion process and how this influences your ability to lead an organization and motivate individuals to action.  This course keeps you on your feet presenting and provides you with constructive feedback.

Capstone Project: Master's Paper

The Master’s Paper is an individual capstone project that provides an opportunity for each EML student (guided by a Faculty Mentor, and with input from a second Faculty Reader) to carefully explore a personally relevant leadership issue. Capstone Project Weekend provides an opportunity for each EML participant to make an oral presentation of his or her project to classmates and to EML faculty. The event is open to the Georgetown McDonough School of Business community.

Looking to the Future

Developing a Personal Leadership Action Plan
Participants integrate concepts learned throughout the program into a personalized action plan that identifies the strategic priorities, action steps, and areas of opportunity in their individual leadership journeys.  The plan that each student produces serves as a guide for future growth and success, and directly prepares the participant for the Closing Residency.