Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In Becoming a Leader of Leaders, you will:

  • Learn to be a more effective leader of leaders and ‘teams of teams’
  • Master your own mission-critical leader’s checklist
  • Recognize and prepare for times when your leadership is on the line
  • Work to strengthen your own leadership and that of others
  • Make your team a team of leaders
  • Better direct your team through challenging, uncertain, and stressful times
  • Develop appreciation for your leadership among others
  • Coach and mentor high-potential managers who report to you
  • Learn to lead out and up, not just down
  • Prepare yourself for more senior responsibilities

The Definition of Leadership: Professor Michael Useem on the nature of leadership

Experience & Impact

Becoming a Leader of Leaders strengthens your capabilities and your team’s ability to generate sustainable high performance. We blend a range of engaging and interactive teaching methods — experiential decision making, problem-solving exercises, case discussions, and self-development workshops.

The varied pedagogies in our program distinguish it from other leadership-development programs. Class sessions include experiential learning from pivotal moments in history, including those portrayed by William Shakespeare and as seen in the U.S. Civil War battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The program includes an off-site learning day where we walk the battlefield of Gettysburg as we discuss how leaders of leaders made (or failed to make) critical differences at key leadership moments in this turning point in American history.

This program focuses on strengthening your personal capacity to produce results through your own leadership and that of others. Highly interactive, Becoming a Leader of Leaders blends team exercises, case discussions, and personal-development sessions to strengthen your leadership capabilities and those of others.

Active Dialogue: Professor Michael Useem on the program’s content

In this program you will:

  • Apply the latest research and thinking on leadership and decision making
  • Experiment with new leadership behaviors
  • Build your leadership presence
  • Ready yourself and others for greater leadership responsibilities
  • Engage in hands-on simulations of decision making and enterprise building
  • Prepare yourself for active ownership of the greatest challenges facing your organization
  • Learn what it takes to be a leader of leaders

Convince Your Supervisor

Here’s a justification letter you can edit and send to your supervisor to help you make the case for attending this Wharton program.

Due to our application review period, applications submitted after 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday for programs beginning the following Monday may not be processed in time to grant admission. Applicants will be contacted by a member of our Client Relations Team to discuss options for future programs and dates.

Who Should Attend

Renewed Sense of Purpose: Reimagine your leadership style

Becoming a Leader of Leaders: Pathways for Success is designed for senior managers who want to strengthen, advance, and hone their leadership skills to meet their organization's current and future challenges. With a results-oriented, intensive, hands-on learning experience, the curriculum is intended for professionals seeking to broaden their skills for leading other leaders.

Fluency in English, written and spoken, is required for participation in Wharton Executive Education programs unless otherwise indicated.

Participant Profile

Participants by Industry

The Leadership Journey participants by industry

Participants by Job Function

The Leadership Journey participants by job function

Participants by Region

The Leadership Journey participants by region

Plan your stay in Philadelphia

Plan Your Stay

This program is held at the Steinberg Conference Center located on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia. Meals and accommodations are included in the program fees. Learn more about planning your stay at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus.

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group-enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.


Michael Useem

Michael Useem, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

William and Jacalyn Egan Professor Emeritus of Management; Faculty Director, Center for Leadership and McNulty Leadership Program, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests: Catastrophic and enterprise risk management, corporate change and restructuring, leadership, decision making, governance

Peter Cappelli

Peter Cappelli, DPhilSee Faculty Bio

George W. Taylor Professor of Management; Director, Center for Human Resources, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Human-resource practices, public policy related to employment, talent and performance management

Gregory Shea

Gregory Shea, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Adjunct Professor of Management; Senior Fellow, Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management; Adjunct Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Leadership, leadership of change, organizational innovation


Becoming a Leader of Leaders was fantastic. I really loved the course. At first, I was a little hesitant, thinking it would be very subjective and emotional. But everyone I had spoken to about the course raved about it. I can definitely say my opinion changed afterwards. The program really opened up my eyes. I thought I knew what leadership was and that it was something I just ‘did.’ Leadership is so much more than ‘doing’ and that’s what I’ll take away from the course.

Contrary to my expectations, the program and the topic were rooted in a rigorous and objective approach. The team-building exercises were eye-opening. And the trip to Gettysburg to visit the battlefield? Such a tremendous experience. Kudos to Mike Useem and Greg Shea for making it so memorable.

I took Becoming a Leader of Leaders as part of Wharton’s General Management Program (GMP), and the course, combined with the GMP executive coaching, without a doubt, helped me better understand and develop my leadership skills. I’ve often thought of business as being about winning the war and seeing the biggest picture possible. But now I realize how important the smaller, individual battles are, thanks to this program. The work you do as a leader builds upon itself.”

Phil Kim Chief Strategy & Creative Officer, Universal Nutrition

Date, Location, & Fees

If you are unable to access the application form, please email Client Relations at

September 22 – 27, 2024Philadelphia, PA$14,750

May 4 – 9, 2025Philadelphia, PA$14,750

Download the program schedule, including session details and format.

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Hotel Information

Fees for on-campus programs include accommodations and meals. Prices are subject to change.

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