The Top Leadership Development Courses Online2018-09-22T01:56:29+00:00

The Top Leadership Development Courses Online

Being in a position of authority often requires you to use a combination of leadership skills. These skills come in a mix of hard and soft tactics, but it is sometimes difficult to know when to use which approach. Something that is effective in one scenario may not work in another, even if the circumstances are similar.

One of the most important attributes that you can have in a management or authoritative position is not knowledge or power – it is the ability to be a good leader. Whether you are an office manager, head of a company, or team leader, you need to be fluent in leadership skills. Some people seem to have an innate knack for these skills while others must work to learn the art of leadership.

The importance of leadership skills is becoming more understood, however, and there are many workshops, seminars, and training courses available to learn skills like communication, team-building, and exactly when to use hard or soft tactics. These powerful trainings are available through professional development courses online or in a wide range of venues and from multiple sources, making it easy for you to choose the one that is right for you.

In fact, many of the best people in business leadership, corporate leaders, and executive gurus have honed their leadership skills through online professional development.

You can find affordable and effective opportunities to learn how to be a competent leader that others will want to emulate in one of the following top leadership development courses online.

Harvard Leadership Courses Online

Harvard University Online Learning offers non-credit professional development programs as part of their Leadership series. These courses are designed to develop leadership and strategic management skills.

Each module can be taken by itself for extra thorough understanding and development of a particular skill, or they can be taken together and used towards completion of the Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership (CAEL).

While the program fees range, you get the benefit of knowing that you are accessing Harvard-level material and will be getting top level instruction. The cost of each module varies depending on the platform you choose and other options that are available, like certifications and credits.

Modules include courses in which you learn how to develop yourself as a leader by practicing more intentional self-development, identifying high-level leadership goals to work towards, and applying effective tools and strategies towards your workplace development.

You may also choose to focus on looking for excellence in others, which is a very important leadership skill. Through Harvard’s modules, you will learn how to practice self-examination to determine your mindset and beliefs, learn how differences affect our education and how we learn, and then develop leadership strategies to help others succeed regardless of their background.

Maybe you simply want to learn how to be a better manager. Harvard offers professional development courses to guide you in learning how to do this by helping you identify and influence organizational processes and how they are necessary to achieve results. You will learn about the essential processes managers must be skilled in, which are decision-making, implementation, organizational learning, and change management.

By the end of the course, you will be able to understand the realities of what management entails, know why you should take a “process perspective” towards the work, and be able to influence the way decisions are made in your job environment. You will also learn how to implement strategies and initiatives efficiently, lead educational initiatives for further growth of your employees, manage and lead to make change, and design and shape the processes of your organization to be advantageous.

Between these and the multiple other classes offered, your will be able to hone your skills to become more than simply effective at management – you may be on target to land up there with some of the best in the world in the realm of leadership.

Cornell Leadership and Management Courses Online

Cornell University’s Executive Leadership program is a four-month online course broken into eight two-week modules. The premise behind this program is that leaders of today must be highly skilled in coaching, problem solving, negotiating, and decision making.

Successful completion of this course will earn you an Executive Leadership Certificate and six professional Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that can be applied towards your CEUs. People who take Cornell’s Executive Leadership program are usually professionals who are looking for a professional development program that will help them to improve their executive leadership skills and allow them to develop their careers to a higher level than where they currently are.

A general outline of this program includes 100% online, instructor-led core courses that cover quality and service excellence, leading collaborative teams, strategic decision making, leading with credibility, motivating people for high performance, and coaching skills for leaders.

You additionally can choose from multiple electives to help you with your individual needs. These range from guiding you in planning and delivering effective presentations to negotiation skills.

By the time you have completed this course, you will be able to create employee-related practices that can improve your organization and the service your customers receive. You will know how to implement healthy team behaviors, respond decisively to situations requiring you to make a decision, and be able to recognize things that stand in the way of your credibility with people that you work with.

You will also be able to evaluate employee motivation and engagement and determine the factors that cause positive and negative outcomes so you can proactively address issues. You’ll know hard and soft leadership tactics like negotiation and when it is and is not necessary, as well as how to do it effectively.

Universal Class Leadership Training Courses

If you are looking for something more affordable, you may prefer the self-guided online leadership courses offered by Universal Class. These online classes give you the fundamental skills and knowledge you need to be an effective manager and leader through self-paced modules. With over 500 courses to choose from, you can self-determine which areas you need to work on and access those modules directly.

Professional development credits are available with each module, but the amount of CEUs vary depending on the course. Each module gives you a breakdown of how many lessons are involved, the number of assignments and exams you can expect, how long it takes the average person to complete the course, and how many CEUs you will receive. This analysis gives you an idea of what you are getting into before you sign up so you can prepare accordingly.

Through the Leadership and Supervision course, for example, you will receive 11 lessons and 18 assignments and exams that, as a whole, take most people six hours to complete. Successful completion of this course allows you to receive .6 CEUs.

In the course, you will learn what being a great leader entails and how a person’s unique attributes and skills affect their ability to practice effective leadership. You will also understand the roles of problem solving and planning through examples of real-life leaders in history and how they became admired and followed. If you are looking to become a powerful and respected leader, this would be a good course to choose.

Other leadership courses offered through Universal Class include such titles as Business Management, Diversity Training 101, Emotional Intelligence, Running Effective Meetings, Team Building 101, Product Management 101, and Strategic Planning. Each of these courses are currently offered for $110 or less.

MIT OpenCourseWare Leadership Development Classes

MIT OpenCourseWare offers you the opportunity to access over 150 undergraduate and graduate archived courses for free. These courses come from the Sloan School of Business Management and cover just about every topic necessary for becoming an effective leader.

The MIT Sloan School of Business Management offers world-class courses and is known for thought leadership and long-term partnering of theory and practice. Courses offered through this school have been sought after by professionals throughout the world. Through these courses, students get the experience and skills necessary to become leaders in their organizations, thus changing and improving business practices everywhere.

If you are a good self-directed learner looking for professional development without the hefty price tag, you can’t miss the opportunity that MIT’s OpenCourseWare gives you to get a comprehensive education to improve your leadership skills.

Courses available through the Sloan School of Management include archived titles like Optimization Methods in Management Science, Management Communication for Undergraduates, Managerial Psychology, Practical Information Technology Management, and Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager.

Hundreds of other titles can be accessed on the undergraduate or graduate level, however. Each course is set up like a college class, where you receive a syllabus, selected readings to pair with your learning, lecture notes, assignments, and downloadable course materials.

Considering the high level of content that self-guided learners can receive for free, these courses are not to be missed if you wish to learn how to become a highly effective leader at your own pace.

Develop Leadership Skills from Some of the Top Experts

Sometimes learning from an educational, university style setting is not for everyone. Instead, many individuals and companies turn to the leadership skills of the top gurus in coaching for their professional development.

Because these leaders are experts in their field, creating content based on their philosophies and beliefs rather than a set of standards that they must cover, these types of online leadership courses often contain presenters with a passion for the subject that may not be as apparent in a course offered for a traditional educational audience.

Through professional leadership development, you will learn new skills and can even receive your certification in becoming an executive leadership coach. Some people choose to enroll in these courses to become better leaders in their families, churches, or work environment. Others want to obtain the certification required to branch out on their own and become leadership coaches.

Whichever reason fits your individual goals, there are many online leadership skill development courses provided by experts that are accessible to you. Here are some of the best online courses out there offered by experts in the field of leadership.

Anthony (Tony) Robbins

Through the Robbins-Madanes Training Center, the official Coach Training School of Anthony Robbins, over 10,000 leadership coaches have been trained in the style of guru Anthony Robbins.

You can participate in the Core 100 Training, in which your leadership skills will be honed over 100 hours that consist of mastery units focusing on Megastrategies, Navigating Life Stages, Personal Transformation, and Key Decisions. The courses integrate video training, teleclass modules, and weekly live Power Sessions, as well as coach practice training, so you have hands-on learning in combination with the online component.

At the end of the course, you will receive a formal Certificate of Completion from Robbins-Madanes Training Center. You can also use this course towards your CEUs; it is worth 36 hours.

If you are looking to become a board certified leadership coach, this center also offers a program to qualified individuals who meet the criteria. The label of Board Certified Coach shows to others that you have sufficient education and training, passed a psychometrically sound coach-specific exam, and obtained experience in coaching. It also shows that you have professional peer references, are accountable to an enforceable ethics code, and have a commitment to continuing education.

John Maxwell

Leadership guru John Maxwell offers his personal insights and professional tips through his courses online. His courses are affordable, with most of them in the $200 range, and you can tailor your selection of training to fit your needs. When you pay for your course, you have lifetime and on-demand access to all the video content associated with it, so you can continue to refresh your skills as you need to.

His “Developing the Leader in You” five week course is based off of his groundbreaking book with the same name, written over 25 years ago and still inspiring a new generation of leaders.

He also offers courses like “15 Laws of Growth,” “Advanced Growth System,” and “The Mentor’s Guide to Everyday Challenges,” along with many others. Each of these courses is tailored towards specific hard and soft tactics and skills you will need in your position as a leader to stay on track to success and get others to join you there.

Stephen Covey

Cementing his name in the field of leadership with smash success books and courses like “The Leader in Me” and “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen Covey was truly a leader. Although he passed away in 2012 at the age of 79, his work continues through his company, FranklinCovey.

Covey’s leadership advice and tips are offered through on-site training with motivational executive speakers. The FranklinCovey Store allows you to browse the many trainings offered and see how long each one lasts, when they are offered, a description of the course, and the learning objectives covered.

Through courses like “Executing Your Team’s Strategy and Goals,” you can access affordable training via online webinars with live presenters. With each course, you will receive a participant guidebook, leadership card deck, and a money-back guarantee.

Courses like Covey’s are excellent for those who want to learn what they need to know quickly through passionate facilitators but are not confident in their ability to self-guide themselves through a course.

Simon Sinek

Best known for inspiring people to find their “why” for what they do, Simon Sinek has inspired thousands of people to get passionate about what they do. His theories and practices are grounded in science-based concepts that have studied the biology of humans to get to understand how they think and act.

Sinek’s WHY Discovery Course, “Pathway to Purpose,” presents a series of videos in which you are guided through a step-by-step process to help you find your why.

Many employers use this course as professional development in their companies. The rationale behind self-discovery is that a person’s why applies to everything they do at home and at work. Through understanding your own personal why, you can make better decisions at work and at home that can help lead you to successful outcomes and become the best that you can be.

Marshall Goldsmith

Twice recognized as the top-ranked executive coach in the world, Marshall Goldsmith is considered to be one of the top ten most influential business thinkers according to Thinkers50. He has written 34 books and his leadership advice has been translated into 28 languages.

Goldsmith’s courses are available online, and you can find some of them in massive open online courses (MOOCs) for free. His self-paced course “Helping Successful Leaders Get Even Better” is offered for free on the MOOC list and is geared towards helping you achieve harmony both personally and professionally.

The Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching site goes even further for those who wish to receive their executive coach certification in the field of leadership. This certification is available for those just learning about leadership and coaching or those professionals who are wishing to transition into coaching.

Online Leadership Development Courses at Your Convenience

With all of the webinars, webcasts, and online courses available that focus on specific targeted objectives that good leaders have cultivated, you should be able to find one that works for you on your schedule. Whether you are looking for university-style education over long-term courses or short, online webinars and downloadable modules that you can access at your convenience, you have multiple options for free and paid content.

Personal leadership growth is a powerful part of becoming a successful, well-rounded individual. Those who become effective leaders in their companies generate ripples that are felt well beyond their immediate sphere of influence.

Taking the first step to determining that you want to learn how to be a leader through a leadership development course online has already put you on the path to success. Your journey is just beginning, with the ultimate objective of becoming a powerful, motivating leader awaiting at the end!


Cornell University Executive Leadership Course. (n.d.) Retrieved July 23, 2018 from

FranklinCovey Store. (n.d.) Retrieved July 25, 2018 from

Harvard University Online Learning Leadership Course. (n.d.) Retrieved July 23, 2018 from

John C. Maxwell Courses. (n.d.) Retrieved July 25, 2018 from

Marshall Goldsmith Course. MOOC Online List. (n.d.) Retrieved July 25, 2018 from

“Marshall Goldsmith Biography.” Thinkers50. (n.d). Retrieved July 25, 2018 from

MIT OpenCourseWare: Sloan School of Management. (n.d.) Retrieved July 24, 2018 from

Robbins-Maddens Trained Life Coach. Robbins-Maddens Center. (n.d.) Retrieved July 24, 2018 from https://rmtcenter.com/certification-programs/.

Simon Sinek. “Pathway to Purpose.” (n.d.). Retrieved July 25, 2018 from

Universal Class Course Catalog. (n.d.). Retrieved July 23, 2018 from