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University of Pennsylvania

Leading the Life You Want

University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

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Pursue a meaningful life and improve your performance as a leader. Taught by acclaimed Wharton professor, best-selling author, and former Ford Motor Company executive and head of its Leadership Development Center, Stew Friedman, Leading the Life You Want provides you with the skills you need to lead in all four domains of your life: at work, at home, in the community, and in your private self (mind, body, and spirit). You'll explore the core principles of leadership and learn the skills you need to bring them to life. You learn how to find a greater sense of purpose, see how to convey values with stories, learn how to manage attention, feel less stressed, lead through serving others, and more. You'll see these skills illustrated in the inspiring yet imperfect lives of six remarkable leaders: Tom Tierney (former CEO of Bain), Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook), Michelle Obama (former First Lady), Eric Greitens (Republican Governor of Missouri), Julie Foudy (world champion soccer star and three-time Olympic medalist), and Bruce Springsteen (world-famous rock musician). You'll have the opportunity to assess your own leadership skills, and learn simple, proven exercises to practice them. By the end of this course, you'll have the tools you need to develop your skills so you can grow as a leader in all areas of your life and create greater harmony among them.


  • Module 1
    • This module is designed to introduce you to the core principles of leadership from the point of view of the whole person, describe the 18 skills that bring these principles to life, and provide you with a self-assessment tool to determine your skills and establish a baseline for your development. Through the case study of Tom Tierney, former CEO of Bain & Company and co-Founder of the Bridgespan Group, you’ll learn the skills of envisioning your legacy, weaving together the disparate strands of your life, and seeing new ways of doing things. You’ll also learn exercises for developing each one of these skills. By the end of this module, you'll understand the leadership principles of being real, being whole, and being innovative, know the skills needed for improving your performance as a leader in all parts of life, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and learn exercises for building your capacity to envision your legacy, weave the disparate strands, and see new ways of doing things.
  • Module 2
    • This module is designed to help you understand and develop the six leadership skills of conveying values through stories, building supportive networks, resolving conflicts, holding yourself accountable, applying all your resources, and focusing on results. You’ll see these skills illustrated in the lives of Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and Eric Greitens, Republican Governor of Missouri, and learn how they can be applied in very different circumstances. By the end of this module, you'll be able to identify the stories that convey your values, create a plan for holding yourself accountable, build supportive networks, apply all your resources in pursuit of important goals, focus on results, and resolve conflicts among the different parts of life.
  • Module 3
    • In this module, you’ll learn the six leadership skills of aligning actions and values, managing boundaries intelligently, embracing change courageously, knowing what matters, helping others, and challenging the status quo. Through the remarkable stories of former First Lady Michelle Obama and Olympic Gold Medalist Julie Foudy, you’ll see these skills in action as they redefined success for women across the world and demonstrated leadership in service to others. By the end of this module, you'll learn exercises for clarifying your ideal self to know what really matters, finding the larger meaning in what you do so you act in ways that are consistent with your values, managing boundaries so you reduce distractions and pay attention to who matters most, leading through helping others, questioning the status quo, and building the courage to embrace change.
  • Module 4
    • In this module, you'll learn the essential leadership skills of embodying values consistently, clarifying expectations, and creating a culture of innovation. You'll see how these skills are applied in the leadership of world-renowned rock star and author Bruce Springsteen. You’ll learn how to combine all 18 leadership skills to make full use of your talents and passions to serve others and lead the life you want, no matter what your work setting, family circumstances, or cultural background. By the end of this module, you'll learn exercises for embodying your values no matter where you are, developing a process for identifying what people really want from you, and using teaching as a way to create cultures of innovation at work, at home, and in the community.

Taught by

Stewart D. Friedman


2.5 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at Coursera based on 440 ratings

Start your review of Leading the Life You Want

  • Anonymous
    If the courses aren't free they shouldn't be advertised as so. I thought this was a great initiative, but I was mistaken. I was really looking forward to taking this course. Just got very disappointed.
  • Nandakumar R
    It involved practical learning and way to apply if you want the life you want to lead.
    A must for every human being especially for leaders or who want to become a leader

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