Top 10 Executive Programs for Leadership Development

Top 10 Executive Programs for Leadership Development

By Pamela Martinez

Many executive leaders spend much of their days in meetings with other people — and yet, their lives can also be very isolating. But how do you measure up as a leader? Being a “leader” is much more than being the one in charge. A leader is also a coach, influencer, team-builder, people manager, and strategic thinker, among other things. Developing your leadership skills not only helps get you ready to guide people and manage projects to their highest potential, but it also accelerates your career success.

Investing in leadership courses can benefit you personally and professionally and boost the success of your team and organisation. However, choosing the right course can be overwhelming with so many options available. Much of what the world’s most successful leaders know, they’ve learned through hands-on experience and the active pursuit of professional development.

To help you make the right decision, here is a list of 10 top leadership courses to help you reach your full potential as a leader. The courses presented are not an exhaustive or comprehensive list of all possible options but are mainly focused on executive leadership and business intelligence in line with the current trends of digital transformation, healthcare, and sustainability.

1. Executive Presence and Influence: Persuasive Leadership Development, Wharton Executive Education

Wharton’s executive presence and influence program gives learners the tools to transform their executive presence to make a significant impact. Learners can improve their leadership mindset and behaviour, understand effective leadership principles, use rhetoric to advance agendas, maximise networking opportunities, and create a personal leadership story to set achievable goals.

2. Behavioural Science in Practice, Warwick Business School

Behavioural Science in Practice is an immersive course run by Warwick Business School and the Behavioural Insights Team, a global social purpose company of leaders and pioneers in applied behavioural science.  Over three days of face-to-face learning, you will be introduced to critical principles from behavioural science and how to apply them to real-world problems. The course has been successfully delivered to cohorts over a number of years, delivering impact and new thinking to over 150 participants, who have attended from a range of role specialisms and business sectors.

3. Non-Executive Director, University of Bath

Learn what it takes to be a successful and sought-after non-executive director through the University of Bath’s Non-Executive Director program. This interactive programme will provide participants with a practical understanding of the role of a non-executive director (NED). Focusing on the responsibilities, challenges and behaviours needed, those who take part will enhance their skills and learn how to be a successful NED. The programme will also provide support on how to find and secure a NED position. With input from existing CEOs, NEDs and chairs from a variety of organisations, the approach is interactive and practical.

4. Executive Leadership Programme, University of Oxford

‍The University of Oxford’s Executive Leadership Programme is a short course to help business leaders understand how to be more effective in their roles during times of disruption and change. The class guides leaders through uncovering their personal motivation and purpose as a leader and applying effective leadership techniques in real-world settings.

5. Healthcare Leadership, National University of Singapore

NUS’ health leadership program provides a comprehensive approach to leadership and diversity in the healthcare sector. It focuses on teaching learners the fundamental principles of effective leadership, informed decision-making, managing change, and equipping them with the necessary tools to transform their teams and organisations.

6. Leading Organizations for High-Velocity Performance, MIT Sloan Executive Education

This MIT Sloan program focuses on helping professionals become high-velocity leaders who understand and overcome the barriers preventing their organisations from achieving performance excellence. Participants will learn key principles, frameworks, and tools to drive organisational transformation and create actionable plans to achieve organisational transformation.

7. Global MBA, ESSEC Business School

Through ESSEC’s Global MBA, you can open the doors to your desired industry. This is a 12-month full-time program delivered in France. Through its majors: Luxury Brand Management, and Strategy & Digital Leadership, participants are equipped with a macro-view of core business functions coupled with industry-specific skills and knowledge to help them make a successful career switch to industries such as consulting, tech, or luxury. ESSEC Business School’s Global MBA is a holistic MBA experience encompassing hard and soft skills through training on in-demand industry certifications, personal branding and development workshops, as well as career development support, will give you the tools you need to make the career leap.

8. Leadership Programme for Senior Executives, INSEAD

The INSEAD Leadership Programme for Senior Executives aims to address the scarcity of general management skills in fast-growing companies.  Through this, participants develop strong general management and leadership skills to capitalise on their growth potential. Delivered in several components so that you can continue in your job full-time, ILPSE helps you build an integrated approach to management and leadership that draws on both operational skills and creativity. Prior to the start of the formal programme, participants will complete optional online coursework covering basic financial concepts.

9. Corporate Governance Program: Developing Exceptional Board Leaders, Columbia Business School

The Corporate Governance Program of Columbia Business School equips executives and professionals who currently serve or are interested in serving on corporate boards with the knowledge required to excel as stewards of shareholders that promote long-term and sustainable value creation. Drawing on thought leadership from world-renowned experts at Columbia Business School and leading practicing directors, this program integrates academic research with a deep understanding of the emerging issues that boardrooms face. A unique aspect of the program is a series of panel discussions entirely devoted to emerging issues in the field of corporate governance, such as CEO succession plans, shareholder activism, the disruptive impact of technology and cyber risk, and corporate social responsibility.

10. Inspirational Leadership, IMD

Lead yourself and others to sustained success through IMD’s Inspirational Leadership program. This provides participants with an opportunity to expand their leadership skills and enrich the way they mobilise others. Students will examine their individual leadership strengths and weaknesses and learn how to be more grounded leaders. The program equips them with the essential tools to build strong relationships with their team, increase engagement and shape a culture of high performance. They will learn to lead their people by coaching them and helping them develop their potential. Led by former hostage negotiator, George Kohlrieser, the course provides students with applicable insights on handling difficult conversations and persuading through dialogue and negotiation.


Leadership skills may come naturally to some, but even natural-born leaders will need to develop their leadership skills for a career in executive management. And it’s important for organisations to have employees with strong leadership potential rising the corporate ranks, ready to fill leadership roles as executive leaders retire or move on to other opportunities.

About the Author

Pamela Martinez is a writer for The European Business Review. She is dedicated to crafting timely blog pieces about business acumen, changing leadership dynamics, emerging finance and technology trends, global breakthroughs and how these spaces intersect from a millennial’s perspective. She also works as an editor and content strategist and the sister publications of The European Business Review.


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