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Leadership training: 10 online resources for developing leadership skills

Sarah K. White | Sept. 6, 2017
Effective management requires strong leadership skills. These 10 online resources offer professional development for those seeking to strengthen their management and executive skills — and some of them are free.


Universal Class

Universal Class offers comprehensive online programs on nearly any business topic you can think of. Courses are typically under $100 and are self-led with multiple lessons, exams and assignments. Leadership courses include leadership and supervision, team building, and running effective meetings. You can take multiple courses at a time and each course will earn you a certain amount of credits as you work towards completing a full certificate.    


Cornell Online Executive Leadership

Cornell University offers a three-month online Executive Leadership program consisting of eight two-week courses. The website claims that “executive leaders can’t be traditional managers anymore; they need to be effective coaches, creative problem solvers, savvy negotiators and skilled decision makers.” Courses are run through the University’s online learning subsidiary, eCornell, which offers flexible instructor-led courses entirely online. The program costs $4,800, or $650 per month.


Lynda from LinkedIn

Owned by LinkedIn, Lynda features leadership training and tutorials, among other topics. It promises to help you “develop talent and keep skills current with expert-led, on-demand eLearning.” You can complete courses individually, but there’s also an option for businesses to use Lynda to train your organization or specific departments on certain skills. You can try Lynda out for free for 30 days, after that the cost for a basic account starts at $19.99 per month, while a premium account starts at $29.99 per month and offers offline viewing and practice project files.


Master Class Management

Don’t let the slightly outdated website fool you — Master Class Management is a valuable resource for expanding your leadership skills. The website is home to free courses on management and leadership, with the goal to bring affordable professional development to anyone with an internet connection.



MindTools has an entire section dedicated to becoming an “exceptional leader” with over 60 skills and techniques to improve your leadership skills. Your first month of MindTools will only cost $1, but after that it’s $19 per month for a standard membership and $27 per month for a premium membership. The courses contain material “normally taught only in management programs or MBA classes,” and can also be used by companies for widescale training.


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