Essentials of Executive Leadership: The Psychology of Management 

Learn to apply insights from the discipline of social psychology to build your ability to effectively lead and manage people, processes, and situations.

Success in management requires understanding the psychology that determines both individual attitudes and group behaviors. Great managers must be self aware and deeply empathetic, leveraging their team's attitudes, thoughts and beliefs to inspire their best work.

This program, grounded in social psychology, will introduce frameworks and principles that will allow you to explore your assumptions about others, better understand why people do what they do, and more effectively manage yourself and others.

Ideal for anyone with current or anticipated management responsibilities, this course will examine topics such as motivation, interpersonal dynamics, influence and persuasion, group decision making, organizational culture, and ethics and leadership.

By attending this program, you will:

  • Understand the nature and dynamics of interpersonal and team behavior related to organizational performance and effectiveness.
  • Develop a framework for analysis and action around your management challenges.
  • Identify behaviors and situational factors to improve your future outcomes.


Chicago Booth, Gleacher Center, Chicago IL

This program is beneficial for managers who seek to enhance their management skills and effectiveness within the context of their organization and individual performance. It is ideal for anyone with current or anticipated management responsibilities, ranging from senior-level and mid-level management to people expecting to take on leadership roles.

Titles include: mid- to senior-level manager, director, vice president, and general manager.

Linda E. Ginzel

Clinical Professor of Managerial Psychology

Linda E. Ginzel has been on the Chicago Booth faculty since 1992. She specializes in negotiation skills, managerial psychology, leadership and executive development. Her recent book, Choosing Leadership, helps readers to develop what she terms Leadership Capital: the courage, wisdom and capacity to decide when to manage and when to lead.

Ginzel has taught at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. She is a charter member of the Association for Psychological Science, as well as a member of the Academy of Management. At Booth, she has received the 2011 Faculty Excellence Award, and the Inaugural Global Hillel J. Einhorn Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013. She was named an Impact Professor by the class of 2014, received the Hillel J. Einhorn Excellence in Teaching Award in 2019, and the class of 2020 Phoenix Award.

Ginzel received her bachelor's degree with distinction and Summa Cum Laude in psychology from the University of Colorado in 1984. She studied experimental social psychology at Princeton University where she earned a Master's degree in 1986 and a PhD in 1989. During her PhD studies, she worked as senior consultant in training and development for Mutual of New York's Group Pensions and Operations Center.

In 2000 President Clinton awarded her a President's Service Award, the nation's highest honor for volunteer service directed at solving critical social problems. Ginzel is the co-founder of Kids In Danger, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by improving children's product safety. She also served as director of the Consumer's Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports.

Bernd Wittenbrink

Robert S. Hamada Professor of Behavioral Science

Bernd Wittenbrink is interested in the psychology of person perception and social judgment, specifically the influence that stereotypes and group attitudes may have on people's decisions and behaviors. His research has been published in the premier journals of Social Psychology, such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and Social Cognition. His book on recent developments in attitude measurement, Implicit Measures of Attitudes, coauthored with N. Schwarz, is published by Guilford Press.

Wittenbrink's research also has been featured by The New York Times, NBC, and National Public Radio, among others, and has received funding though the Russell Sage Foundation.

Wittenbrink has served as an associate editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and member of several professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association, Society of Personality and Social Psychology, and the European Association of Experimental Psychology.

Wittenbrink received his undergraduate education in Germany and completed a master's degree in 1991 and a PhD in 1994 in social psychology at the University of Michigan. He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 1996.

Boaz Keysar

Professor of Psychology

Boaz Keysar is a Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Cognition program at the University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1989 and was a visiting scholar at Stanford University before joining the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1991.  

Keysar’s research is about the relationship between thinking, decision making and communication. His research has been published in major scientific journals such as Psychological Review, Psychological Science, Cognition, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Journal of Experimental Psychology. Keysar’s research has also received substantial interest in the media, both domestic and international. Reports about his work have appeared in media outlets such as the Science Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, National Post-Canada, Der Spiegel – Germany, China Daily – China, Smart Money – Russia, Science daily,, MSNBC, National Public Radio, Freakonomics Radio and others.  

Keysar's teaching experience spans three educational institutions—Princeton, Stanford and the University of Chicago. His classes on The Psychology of Decision Making, as well as The Psychology of Negotiation receive top ratings from students and are among the most sought-after courses on campus. Professor Keysar's honors and awards include the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship. His research has been supported by over three million dollars in research grants from federal agencies and private foundations such as the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation.  

Keysar is a charter member of the Association for Psychological Science, as well as a member of several other professional associations such as the Psychonomic Society and the Society for Judgment and Decision Making. He has also served on editorial boards and grant reviews. Though the majority of Professor Keysar’s time is devoted to research and teaching, he has also provided seminars to corporations in a variety of industries. He is routinely invited to present his work in universities and conferences around the world. He has been named Chicagoan of The Year, and was awarded the President's Service award, the nation’s highest honor for volunteer service.  

Introduction to Essentials of Executive Leadership

  • How can we learn the right lessons from experience by employing insight and action skills?
  • What are the key features of individual learning and unlearning?

(Mis)Forming Impressions About Others

  • How do we acquire and seek out information about others to form impressions?
  • How do you defend yourself against bias and use this knowledge strategically?
  • What are the limitations of intuition in managing others?
  • How do we improve accuracy in decisions about others?

Persuasion and Influence

  • How do leaders effectively shape the beliefs, convictions, and actions of others?
  • What are the frameworks for effectively influencing others?
  • What are the most effective techniques for influencing difficult small group meetings?

Systematic and Critical Thinking: Decision-Making

  • What does it mean to frame decisions, and how do we ask the right questions?
  • How do we recognize and avoid decision traps?
  • In what ways can we improve our decision-making process?
  • How do implicit preferences impact our decisions?
  • In what ways can we improve our decision-making for strategic advantage?

Competition and Cooperation: Negotiation

  • What are the best ways to prepare for a complex negotiation?
  • How can negotiation outcomes be improved?
  • What role does creativity play in reaching agreements?
  • What is the relationship between personal characteristics and situational factors?
  • In what ways can we improve our decision-making for strategic advantage?

From start to finish, the program delivered to the very high expectation set before arrival. The tools I gained this week will be on the top shelf of my toolbox as I return to the office.

—Bob Allen, Plant Manager, Borg Warner, Inc.

This was a challenging and fulfilling program that provided me an opportunity to personally investigate my style of management.

—Joanne Benrud, Director of Professional Services, Apple Home Healthcare Ltd.

What an amazing experience! This course embodies the high and low points of what's necessary to be an effective manager.

—Robert Sluss, Senior Product Manager, Hip & Knee Division, Arthrex, Inc.

I would like to thank the faculty for this really brilliant program. It provided me with very valuable insights that I intend to apply both in my professional and private life. The well-balanced combination of theory and practice, as well as the use of an array of examples and interesting exercises makes it extremely worthwhile. I’ll share this with colleagues and highly recommend it.

—Vesselina Komitska, Head of Unit, European

Great program. I believe with the framework to continue to learn and apply skills learned here, I will be a more effective manager – providing greater value to the organization, customers, and more importantly to my immediate team.

—Donald Conley, Director of Transportation Services, Union Pacific Railroad

Outstanding course. Will recommend to mid-level leaders in my organization. A must have for anyone aspiring to a leadership position.

—James Hartigan, Director, BAE Systems

It was the greatest gift and honor to sit in the class, and I didn’t even know I needed it. The facilitators, materials, and delivery of every aspect have been impeccably thought out. I will begin to take action to shift current situations into environments that raise the bar and excellence of my team to bring their best. Tremendous gratitude!

—Terra Schaad, Executive Director, Hunkapi Programs

I found this course extremely beneficial for understanding what impacts our decision-making. Moreover, we have learned how to use tools to help overcome some of the obstacles restraining one from reaching the best possible decision/outcome.

—Luis Carrazco, Board/Mill Manager, United States Gypsum

The experience of Chicago Booth was excellent as always. Every detail was attended to in exemplary fashion.

—Brad Hickerson, General Manager, Amsted Rail

Faculty was excellent and impressive. Staff was overly accommodating! Very helpful. Linda and Boaz are a power couple! Loved learning from their experiences.

—Kristin Hamb, Financial Reports Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

The class turned out to be much more than I could have ever expected. I look forward to using these tools in my everyday life.

—Timothy Minton, National Accounts Sales Manager, United Sugars Corporation

Great course that allowed me to take a deep dive into executive leadership. Skills I learned will be directly applied to my role as a chief military instructor.

—Justin Langley, Chief Petty Officer, US Navy

Upcoming Courses

Date Fee Format
December 6-10, 2021 $10,950 In-Person Register Now