Guest speakers discuss ethical leadership values.

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Leadership Development: Courses and Programs

The Bauer Leadership Center develops and supports courses that emphasize values-based, data-driven leadership. These two guiding principles are grounded in the core values and identity of the Olin Business School and specify how one should operate in all one does as a leader.

When industry and community leaders come into the classroom, a common theme in their remarks is the importance of personal values and ethics—in their careers, and in guiding their organizations. At Olin, values-based leadership is an integral part of the business curriculum. Our goal is to model authentic leadership values and encourage students to develop a plan for balancing leadership impact with personal integrity.

From signature courses to graduate degree programs to Bauer Fellows, the Bauer Leadership Center impacts the education of Washington University students. In the Center’s “Defining Moments” and “Women and Leadership” courses, students hear firsthand from exemplary leaders discussing their approach to leadership and the values that guide them. To extend the impact of these classes, the Center has captured some of the insights and inspiration from featured speakers in the “Lessons in Leadership” video series. These videos will be used in classroom settings and to complement research initiatives.

Bauer Leadership Fellows

The Fellows program team building exercise

The Bauer Leadership Fellows program helps students advance their leadership knowledge and skills and refine their personal values and strengths. The program combines challenging leadership experiences with assessments, coursework and coaching to help each individual maximize their leadership capacity. View Fellows Program requirements and opportunities (PDF). View Fellows Program requirements and opportunities (PDF).

Sponsored Leadership Courses

Olin Business School offers a range of leadership courses in undergraduate, graduate, and executives programs beyond these sponsored courses. To understand which ones are the best fit for your education and career development, please discuss with your program office.

Leadership in the Trenches: Learning to Lead through Experience

This class is designed to help students advance their leadership capacity by engaging in and learning from a challenging leadership experience. It is the core class required for all Bauer Leadership Fellows.

Defining Moments: Lessons in Leadership and Character from the Top

Michael HolmesMost transformational leaders can point to a handful of key moments that defined the trajectory of their character, their career, and their company. How can aspiring business leaders prepare themselves to face their defining moments with insight and integrity? This course examines these questions by learning from leaders who exemplify both business excellence and personal character.

“This has been one of the most impactful courses of my MBA career at Wash U Olin. The opportunity to speak to some of the top CEOs in their respective industries is invaluable and unlike any course here at the university. This course allowed me to listen to various perspectives and has opened my mind to different points of view on how to become a successful leader and create an impact in my company and community.
—Eddie Cohen, MBA Candidate

Defining Moments Speakers, Spring 2022

Bob Chapman, Chairman & CEO, Barry-Wehmiller
Doug Charles, President, Americas, Korn Ferry
Lal Karsanbhai, President & CEO, Emerson
John Mozeliak, President of Baseball Operations, St. Louis Cardinals
Sue McCollum, Chairman & CEO, Major Brands Premium Beverage Distributors
Michael Holmes, Chairman Emeritus, Rx Outreach, Inc.
Yemi Akande-Bartsch, PhD, President & CEO, FOCUS St. Louis

Women in Leadership

Yemi Akande-Bartsch, FOCUS St. LouisNow in its eighth year, this course focuses on learning from the experiences and insights of women who have achieved excellence and impact in leadership.

Women in Leadership Class Speakers, Fall 2021

Maxine Clark, CEO, Clark-Fox Family Foundation; Founder, Build-a-Bear Workshop; Chief INspirator, The Delmar DivINe
Valerie Toothman, Chief Consumer Experience Officer, Drinkworks
Ann Marr, VP & Chief HR Officer, World Wide Technology
Jennifer Engeling, Director, Inclusion and Diversity, Edward Jones
Katie Fogertey, CFO, Shake Shack
Michelle Tucker, President and CEO, United Way of Greater St. Louis

Leadership Programs and Degrees

Undergraduate

BSBA Major in Organization and Strategic Management combines coursework in leadership, organizational behavior, strategy, and human resources. The major is ideal for students interested in management rotational programs, consulting, and/or human resource management.

The interdisciplinary Minor in Leadership is available to undergraduate students in Arts & Sciences, Engineering, and the Sam Fox School at WashU. It’s ideal for students interested in management rotational programs, consulting, and/or human resource management. Core course requirements include Individual in a Managerial Environment, Negotiation, Organization Behavior within the Firm, and Leadership in Organizations. Two Bauer Leadership Center courses—Defining Moments and Women and Leadership—are elective courses in this minor.

The Bauer Leadership Center helped develop and launch the Business of Social Impact Minor, which is available to undergraduate students across WashU. This minor provides tools, frameworks, and experiences to help students become socially responsible leaders who use business as a tool for making a positive difference in society. The Bauer Center’s Defining Moments course will serve as the capstone for this minor.

Graduates from the Nonprofit Leaders Certificate in Business Management

Certificate in Business Management for Nonprofit Leaders

This innovative executive certificate program is offered by Olin Business School in partnership with the Brown School of Social Work and the United Way of Greater St. Louis. The program’s purpose is to present nonprofit executives with relevant business thinking that catalyzes agency growth and innovation.