Leadership Development

An overview of the leadership development focus within the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA Program in Philadelphia.

You have reached this point through hard work and dedication. By focusing on your unique leadership abilities and ambitions, the Penn State Smeal Executive MBA will help you tackle new challenges and take the next step in your career.

Many executive MBA programs operate as though all students are exactly the same, with identical strengths and weaknesses. At Smeal, we intentionally limit the size of your class, which allows us to break free of this common production-line mentality to business education. Our program is built on a philosophy of personalized leadership development, which includes the following unique elements:

360-Degree Assessment

The Leadership & Organization Development Journal reports that 360-degree feedback paired with individual coaching can increase leadership effectiveness by up to 60 percent. In fact, two-thirds of Fortune 100 companies implement this type of leadership assessment in their management programs. Smeal's leadership assessment provides you with feedback on your leadership behaviors—each one rated by yourself, other fellow students, and current or former colleagues. The results are summarized into an easily interpreted format that helps you understand your strengths and developmental needs.

Executive Coaching

Advancing through the senior-management ranks of your firm or launching your own venture takes more than business acumen. To fully prepare you as a leader, time in the classroom alone is insufficient. At Smeal, we take a more tailored approach, pairing a world-class education with extensive personal development opportunities. Using the 360-degree analysis as a focal point, we work with you to develop a comprehensive profile of your leadership abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. You will then meet with one of our executive coaches to build a personal development plan to implement throughout the remainder of the program and beyond. Continuous feedback allows your coach to adapt meetings to your personal growth, ensuring you continue to work toward your personal and professional goals.

Intensive Communications Training

Although effective leadership requires strong analytical skills, we understand that real success demands that you attract interest and resources. At Smeal, we have pioneered an award-winning program in leadership communications. Through emphasis on one-on-one leadership, you'll study communication, human behavior, and teamwork. You’ll practice presentation, conflict resolution, team building, and negotiation. You will learn how to motivate, communicate internally and externally in a crisis, and become more effective in large group and in one-on-one communications.