Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In The Adaptable Leader: Leading in a Virtual World, you will learn to:

  • Lead high-performing teams that produce results
  • Enhance individual growth and collaboration skills across a team
  • Build a network that supports you in your current role and across your career
  • Efficiently manage day-to-day operations while setting and achieving long-term goals and strategies
  • Become an influential leader who inspires and develops other team members

Experience & Impact

Today’s business climate of continuous change and hyper-competition demands great leaders. But making the transition from competent to great requires getting trusted guidance while tapping into strengths and vulnerabilities as you develop your leadership identity. The Adaptable Leader: Leading in a Virtual World accelerates the process.

The program is built on the philosophy that to be an effective leader in today’s volatile business economy you need to understand who you are as a leader, appreciate your role on a team, and be able to navigate the environment in which the team operates. This program takes a highly personal approach to help you examine your current leadership style, and gives you a priceless opportunity to refine it with new knowledge and practice.

The Adaptable Leader

A highlight of The Adaptable Leader: Leading in a Virtual World is an actionable leadership framework that is used throughout the program. Becoming a more adaptable leader means you will:

  • Select yourself into the right situations
  • Craft or change the situation to compliment your strengths
  • Stretch yourself into becoming the leader you want to be, shoring up weaknesses and playing to strengths

The Adaptable Leader: Leading in a Virtual World has been described as a transformational week—one that can accelerate your growth, taking the place of a few years of experience. In fact, recent participants share that their growth was much more than what they expected.

The Adaptable Leader: Making the Transition from New Manager to Key Leader.

By attending this program, you will become a more intentional and effective leader. You will leave with new skills and behaviors that you can continue to hone throughout your career, not only producing greater benefits for your organization, but also developing the leadership of those who report to you.

Session topics may include:

  • Leading High-Performing Teams
  • Establishing Your Leader Identity
  • Managing Talent
  • Understanding Communication Styles and Having Difficult Conversations
  • Developing Coaching Skills
  • Strengthening Your Emotional Intelligence
  • Building your Network

The Leadership Navigation Challenge: Jeff Klein of Wharton’s McNulty Leadership Program explains.

Wharton LIVE Programming

Real-time, synchronous peer learning

The live, virtual version of The Adaptable Leader: Leading in a Virtual World will be delivered online daily for five days. It will be taught by the same Wharton faculty who teach in our on-campus leadership programs. This program will address the new normal of work, specifically working remotely and leading virtual teams. It will cover topics such as how to motivate, communicate, and maintain engagement with employees spread across multiple locations. The program will also address how to provide coaching and feedback to employees in a virtual setting.

Participants will have direct access to Wharton faculty throughout the program and will engage in dynamic, small-group work that helps reinforce the learning and enable networking among the peer community. This virtual program is a fully immersive and structured learning experience that culminates with a new set of knowledge and tools that can be put to immediate use.

Program Duration:

  • 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST

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.

Who Should Attend

The Adaptable Leader: Leading in a Virtual World is designed for those who have recently transitioned into the broader responsibilities of a leadership role, and for those who anticipate such a transition. This includes newly promoted managers, executives with a technical or scientific background, and entrepreneurs leading their organizations into new phases of growth. Participants represent a wide range of organizations, from multinationals to startups, and include for-profit, governmental, and non-profit organizations. Their areas of expertise are diverse, and they come from a variety of industries, regions, and cultures.

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 Edge participants by industry

Participants by Job Function

The Leadership Edge participants by job function

Participants by Region

The Leadership Edge 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.


Nancy Rothbard

Nancy Rothbard, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

David Pottruck Professor; Professor of Management; Chairperson, Management Department, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Emotion and identity, work motivation and engagement, work-life and career development

Matthew Bidwell

Matthew Bidwell, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Human resource management, knowledge workers, worker mobility

Jeff Klein

Jeff KleinSee Faculty Bio

Executive Director, Anne and John McNulty Leadership Program; Lecturer, The Wharton School and the School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania

Sigal Barsade

Sigal Barsade, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Joseph Frank Bernstein Professor; Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Organizational culture, emotional intelligence, unconscious bias, organizational change, teamwork and leadership

Martine Haas

Martine Haas, PhDSee Faculty Bio

The Lauder Professor; Professor of Management, The Wharton School; Anthony L. Davis Director of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute for Management and International Studies, The University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests: Global collaboration, human & intellectual capital, information technology use, knowledge sharing, teamwork

John Kanengieter

John KanengieterSee Faculty Bio

Senior Fellow, Center for Leadership and Change Management, The Wharton School; Director, Kanengieter Consulting Group


Lisa LarsonAssociate Vice President, HDR Inc.

Terrence R. HeadPresident and Founder, Outlier Global Solutions

In my work, you are either on the technical track or the management track. As a tech lead, you only manage your boss and your teammates, other tech people. But as a manager, you need to manage people much more and attend to non-technical issues such as project timelines, cross-team functions, etc. So leadership takes a broader and non-technical form.

The Adaptable Leader used a lot of different approaches to teach us to be effective leaders, to discover our own leadership style, but I loved the role-playing sessions the best. I realized that as a leader I should be facilitating more, encouraging and inspiring the people in my team to participate and bring their best game. After all, that was the true strength of the team, and that was how we would succeed. That was quite an unexpected personal insight. For me, the role-playing somehow made the learning much more real. And so the realization that came off it had longer lasting effect.

Another brilliant aspect of the program was the communication portion. Not only do you realize what kind of person you are — direct, systematic — you also learn how to figure out what kind of person others are. When you know others’ communication style, you become tolerant of things, can make the conversation more effective. How to read expressions, reading to see if people are getting bored. You can steer yourself on your visual cues. These are definitely great takeaways for anybody in the professional world.

By far, the best part of the program was the people. At the first breakfast I sat down with participants who were Special Ops, Navy SEALs, and ex-CIA agents. I only see these kinds of people in the movies! They have a different outlook, perspective.

Though I wasn’t sure how the program would apply to my current job, I find myself applying the communication tools, the managing peers skills that I learned. As long as we’re working with people, we have the opportunity to lead people.”

Joy Ghosh, PhDSenior member, technical staff, VMware, Palo Alto, CA

Date, Location, & Fees

November 16 – 20, 2020LIVE Virtual$5,500

May 3 – 7, 2021Philadelphia, PA$11,280

Download the program schedule, including session details.

Download ScheduleApply Now

Hotel Information

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

International Travel Information »

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