In this specialization, you will learn essential leadership skills, including how to inspire and motivate individuals, manage talent, influence without authority, and lead teams. In this specialization, you will not only learn from Michigan faculty. You will also learn directly from exceptional leaders including Jeff Brodsky, Global Head of HR for Morgan Stanley, and John Beilein, Head Coach of the University of Michigan Men’s Basketball Team. We will share with you our research on how to lead people and teams effectively, and work with you to apply these insights to your own teams and leadership. In every course, you will have an opportunity to apply new leadership skills by working through a series of practical leadership assignments. In addition, the capstone will enable you to work on live leadership challenges faced by senior leaders from premier Fortune 500 firms and receive their feedback on your ideas and solutions.
Top students completing the Specialization will be eligible to receive one or more of the following: office hours with your faculty, one credit toward Michigan Ross’ Distinguished Leader certificate, a waived application fee to Michigan Ross graduate programs, or a LinkedIn recommendation/endorsement by Ross faculty.
In this course, you will learn how to create a shared vision for your team and effectively communicate it to your teammates. You will also learn how to set effective goals and expectations in a way that best enables your team to attain the shared vision. Finally, you will understand the most important needs and drivers of performance across cultures, and will learn to align rewards with desired behaviors so that your teammates are motivated to attain the team’s objectives.
Motivation represents a crucial challenge for contemporary organizations: A recent Gallup poll revealed that only 13% of workers worldwide exhibit high levels of engagement and motivation. We will show you why these motivation problems are not simply due to a “bad” or “unmotivated” team member. Rather, motivation is very much driven by what work conditions we create for our teammates, how we structure goals and objectives, and how we reward people for the accomplishment of those goals. This course will help you diagnose and solve motivation problems so that you can bring out the best in your people.
This course will improve your ability to influence people in situations where you cannot use formal authority. You will learn about effective ways to build, develop, and sustain a power base in your organization. You will also learn influence tactics that enable you to be more persuasive and influential in working with your superiors, peers, and even subordinates. In addition, you will learn how to build and maintain high-quality relationships to further maximize your informal power and ability to influence others. Importantly, you will distinguish between influence and manipulation and learn how to protect yourself from the unwanted influence of others.
The influence strategies you learn in this course will make you a more confident and influential leader, presenter, and decision-maker. You will more effective in pitching business ideas to your superiors, influencing customers, and building coalitions across stakeholders. This course will not only give you strategic guidance on how to develop and maintain your network for influence and power, but we will also equip you with specific tactics and strategies that are proven to work for gaining power and influencing people.
In this course, you will learn best practices for selecting, recruiting, and onboarding talent. You will also learn about the key approaches to measuring performance and evaluating your employees. In addition, you will learn how to develop and coach your talent so that they can realize their full potential at work. Altogether, you will gain a thorough understanding of the complete cycle of managing talent and creating a robust talent pipeline for your team and organization.
Managing and developing talent is one of the top 3 issues on the minds of CEOs from around the world. In fact, CEOs cite managing and developing their leadership talent as the issue that is most important to the future success of their business but that their organizations are least capable of addressing effectively. This course will provide you with the insights, frameworks and tools to effectively manage and develop talent in your teams and organizations.
In this course, you will learn how to build your team, improve teamwork and collaboration, and sustain team performance through continuous learning and improvement. Specifically, you will learn best practices for composing a team and aligning individual and team goals. You will also learn how to establish roles, build structures, and manage decision making so that your team excels. This course will also help you manage critical team processes such as conflict resolution and building trust that have a profound impact on your team’s performance. You will discuss some of the best ways to harness the productive potential of teams while mitigating the risks and traps of teamwork.
In modern organization, most of work is done in teams, yet the results of teamwork are exceptionally mixed. Many teams are poorly designed and structured, fraught with dysfunctional conflict, experience coordination breakdowns and serious motivation challenges. As a result, many teams fail to realize their potential and frequently underperform even individuals working on similar tasks. After completing this course, you will acquire a set of tools and practices that enable you to effectively set up, run, evaluate, and continuously improve your team. Such insights will both make you a more effective team leader but also a standout contributor in team settings.
The capstone project will consist of three options, and you will complete one of them as part of the course.
The first option is working with senior-level executives to help them solve their most pressing leadership challenges. Two (2) senior-level executives from leading organizations will provide detailed descriptions of ongoing leadership challenges that they are currently facing within their organizations. The challenges will be real and current. You will be asked to help the executives think through how best to approach and address their respective leadership challenges. Specifically, you will be tasked with drafting a memo to one of the executives outlining your recommendations for how best to address the leadership challenge. To offer effective advice and counsel, you will need to use course concepts and frameworks to (a) diagnose the fundamental issue(s), and then (b) develop a coherent set of solutions or recommendations. The memos will be evaluated based on how effectively you apply course concepts to diagnose the problem and how well you link your proposed solutions to the diagnosis. The best submissions will be sent to the executives for their review, and each executive will offer feedback that will then be shared with the entire class to advance everyone’s learning.
The second option is to identify your own leadership challenge (e.g., at work, at school, in your local community). You should be directly involved in the challenge, and the challenge must align with at least one topic from the specialization. You will develop a presentation where you use course concepts and frameworks to (a) diagnose the core leadership challenge and barriers to effective performance, and then (b) develop a coherent set of solutions or recommendations for your own leadership challenge.
The third option asks you to interview an executive of your choosing. In this interview, you will ask questions about the challenges faced by that executive with respect to leading people and teams, as well as the practices used by the executive to address his or her challenges. In your written submission, you will use course concepts to organize the major leadership challenges faced by the executive, highlight the strategies and practices used by the executive to address the core leadership challenges, and then to evaluate the effectiveness of the executive’s practices related to leading people and teams.
You can expect to receive staff feedback on your assignment 4 to 8 months after you submit your assignment.
Cheri Alexander, Maxim Sytch, Ph.D. and Scott DeRue, Ph.D.