Effective leaders are constantly trying to understand how change can occur to impact the public good. In Leadership and Ethics, created by Christopher Robichaud, senior lecturer in ethics and public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, in concert with a team of the School’s learning designers, individuals can acquire the skills necessary to begin the practice of moral leadership to instill change that has lasting impact on your community.

“This leadership and ethics module goes above and beyond every other leadership and ethics module I’ve studied in the past. Using case studies and group work, you’re pushed to examine your personal values and your own story and at what point you’d make trade-offs for the greater good. This is, by far, the best module I’ve studied on the topic.”

– Josephine Doueihi, PLC Learner

Program Highlights:

  • Learners acquire leadership frameworks to mobilize people for positive change.
  • Complete 100 percent online coursework, designed to fit into your busy life, featuring learning modules, case studies, and simulations.
  • Qualify for a potential pathway to the Harvard Kennedy School MC/MPA Program.

While many people believe leaders exude heroic behavior and give inspiring speeches, moral leadership is not, in fact, about taking charge and acting alone; moral leadership is about helping people define the problems they face, disagree productively, and make progress toward solutions. In Leadership and Ethics, you will learn that being a moral leader is not about always knowing what is right or how to solve problems. Instead, moral leaders acquire the skills to mobilize people and engage with those problems to find solutions.

The courses are designed for professionals with a minimum of five years of experience and a commitment to the public good. Participation in the program requires 10 to 12 hours per week dedicated to reading, viewing multimedia materials, participating in participating in group learning activities and discussions with peers, and completing interactive assignments.

Leadership and Ethics comprises two courses: A and B. Learners must take the A Course before they take the B Course. Please see a list of the learning outcomes per course below.

Leadership and Ethics A: Moral Leadership in Personal Practice

  • Distinguish between adaptive challenges and technical problems.
  • Understand the difference between possessing authority and exercising leadership.
  • Describe why failure is integral to practicing leadership.
  • Differentiate between pursuing the greatest good and protecting individual rights.
  • Manage the complexities involved in negotiating values within a group.
  • Explain why moral trade-offs are inevitable in adaptive leadership.

Leadership and Ethics B: Moral Leadership in Organizations and Society

  • Recognize and build capabilities for practicing moral leadership in organizations.
  • Learn how to promote moral transformation within an organization.
  • Learn how to advance public value and justice in society.
  • Practice leadership using ethical frameworks and behavioral insights.

Faculty Lead

Christopher Robichaud

Christopher Robichaud
Faculty Lead, Leadership and Ethics, PLC
Senior Lecturer in Ethics and Public Policy
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Guest Lecturers

The following are faculty guests in the Leadership and Ethics courses:

Course A

Course B

Who Should Take These Courses?

These courses are designed for learners who want to acquire the tools to more effectively mobilize people and organizations to action. Learners gain skills to work across differences and practice ethical leadership to help organizations and individuals face adaptive challenges and make positive change at every level.

Interested in learning more about the Public Leadership Credential from Harvard Kennedy School?

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