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Leadership Programs

Cornell strives to develop leaders who inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.

Leadership Development

Organizational Development & Effectiveness (ODE) aims to help people to discover their leadership potential and advance in their leadership roles. To learn more about the programs offered and how to register, please click on the links below:

Discovering Leadership at Cornell

“Discovering Leadership at Cornell” is a three-program leadership academy for supervisors and managers:

The programs are designed to provide individuals with the self-awareness, skills, tools, action plans, and commitment to be proactive leaders of and within their organizations in meeting new challenges, gaining a deeper understanding of the Cornell culture, and developing a stronger line of sight between the work they do and the university’s mission.

The goals of the academy for supervisors and managers are to:

  • Increase self-awareness of participants about their personal leadership style, attitudes, skills, and behavioral impact on others;
  • Improve communication and relationship-building skills for inspiring, engaging and motivating others;
  • Create new experiences in developing and leading project teams and complex organizations;
  • Design an individualized learning plan that makes a difference to the individual and organization;
  • Develop and practice a methodology for facilitating and leading groups, managing projects, and supporting change;
  • Build campus-wide networks and increase partnership, collaboration and alignment with Cornell’s mission.

As the name indicates, the discovery process is the core of the program. In the various programs, each participant works through a series of developmental exercises and activities to discover personal competencies and new ways of thinking about leadership and influencing others. The developmental emphasis is on understanding and tapping into individual experience, information, knowledge, and energy to develop responses to organizational challenges. Personal development occurs through working with others to meet challenges, evaluating and reflecting on this experience, and distilling the lessons learned for future application – all within the supportive context of the group.

Program Comparison Snapshot




Course Fee


Approval by supervisor who has attended HDCLP.



HDCLP and preferably BTLC, the Cornell Leadership & Professional Development Program or a comparable leadership course.



HDCLP, Turning Point, or ELP.


The Harold D. Craft Leadership Program (HDCLP)

The Harold D. Craft Leadership Program (HDCLP) focuses on individuals as leaders, individual effectiveness, the power of dialogue and communication, personal mastery, & leadership within the Cornell culture.

Program Goals

  • Realize the importance of your role as a leader, developer, and coach of individuals.
  • Maximize the potential of the individuals you lead, creating a culture where they can thrive personally and professionally.
  • Experience an evidence-based, highly interactive curriculum involving an array of learning formats in a safe and trustworthy space.


Lead Self

  • Expand awareness of your leadership style and behaviors and how they contribute to who you are as a leader.
  • Take inventory and reflect on yourself as a leader, developer, and coach to understand your impact on others.

Lead Connection

  • Learn how to listen deeply, ask open, honest questions and build more trustworthy relationships and teams.
  • Participate in meaningful interactions with others that honor differences.
  • Deepen your understanding of how psychological safety, communication skills, and conflict management contribute to strong relationships.

Lead Belonging

  • Learn actions, behaviors, and skills to create and lead a culture of belonging and inclusivity where all individuals can thrive.
  • Engage in peer-to-peer collaboration, network and community building, teamwork, and reflective practice.

Building Teams and Leading Change

The four-day Building Teams and Leading Change (BTLC) is the second session of the nine-day leadership program for individuals who are in people manager roles that require them to direct, manage, or lead others. Participation in the Harold D. Craft Leadership Program (HDCLP) is a prerequisite for this program.

In BTLC participants begin to explore how to look at teams and how to develop teams in a way that promotes learning, growth, trust, and respect. Building Teams and Leading Change addresses the growing challenges presented to leaders in the rapidly changing world of higher education. Through well-designed and proven approaches to leading change, participants explore what it means to lead change and work on actual change situations, designing plans for leading change. By the end of this session, participants will:

  • Learn and leverage tools to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where groups and teams thrive. 
  • Gain awareness of and comfort with their personal impact and style in leading and facilitating groups. 
  • Be able to effectively design meeting agendas and objectives to advance the work of the team. 
  • Gain experience with these learnings in actual team application building a team from the ground up and diagnosing and critiquing the performance of themselves and others. 
  • Develop an individual development plan that they will put into action. 

The Samuel Bacharach Leading Cornell Program

Leading Cornell is a unique opportunity to nominate mid-career, high-performing individuals with strong senior leadership potential and dedication in academic administration or division/department administration who will influence Cornell’s strategic direction.

There are 30 spots in each Leading Cornell program. Candidates are nominated by Deans and Vice Presidents in partnership with College Officers and HR Directors/Generalists.

Program Highlights

  • Learn and apply BLG’s unique leadership model designed to enhance leaders’ capacity to move agendas forward to become more effective leaders of innovation and change, to negotiate, and to be skilled coaches who work with others with a coaching mindset to advance the development of others.
  • Interaction with senior university leaders to more deeply understand the impact that challenges and opportunities within the world and higher education have on leadership;

Nomination Prerequisites

  • Academic or G, H, or I, and a high performer with senior leadership potential
  • Employed by Cornell for at least one year (so nominee is settled in role/has a basic understanding of how the university operates)