7 Best Leadership Courses Online

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If you’re a manager and you’re looking to progress you leadership skills further, then we have got just the thing for you! Suitable for all levels, we’ve spent some time researching the best leadership courses that are available online.

But first, let’s answer an important question – what are professional leadership skills, and why should all managers be looking to develop theirs?

A leader helps themselves and others in their organization to do the right things. They set direction for their team, inspire others and create something new and exciting. Leadership skills are, essentially, a persons ability to successfully do these things.

Managers need leadership skills because it gives them the unique ability to inspire and motivate others. It helps them to coach and build a team, so that they can get everyone working better together to achieve the best possible results for the business. With just a few weeks of online education, an executive can complete an online leadership program that they might have taken in college or earlier in school.

One of the best way to learn to build excellent organizational leadership abilities is through online learning. Suitable for those of all levels, I have spent the time researching the best online leadership classes out there. If you’re looking to progress your skills there will be an online course for you.


1. Creative Leadership Toolkit: Curiosity, History, and Discovery (Skillshare)

  • Level: All levels
  • Completion time: 57m
  • Cost: 14 day free trial
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 16,245
  • Course rating: N/A

Taught by John Maeda, who is experienced in helping companies progress their culture through design,  you will learn how to become a truly wonderful, and creative, leader in just under an hour!

You will take a look at exclusive interviews with creative leaders, including Rob Forbes, Joe Gebbia and Cara McCarthy. As well as this, you will look at history, curiosity and discovery to really kickstart your creative leadership journey. On top of this, you will also complete a number of hands-on class projects that help to solidify the importance listening, inclusion and building diverse teams.


2. Management Skills: New Manager Training in Essential Skills (Udemy)

  • Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Completion time: 40m
  • Cost: $89.99
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 50,668
  • Course rating: 4.5/5 (out of 9,700 ratings)

Suitable for new managers who want to learn the basic skills of managing people, leading teams and improving work processes. This course is also suitable for more advanced managers who are wanting to improve or progress their skills to be better at leading people.

In this short course, you will learn all the technical skills you need to be able to manage, motivate and develop the employees that work as part of your team. The course is organized around three skills: 1) managing and motivating; 2) leading high performance teams; and 3) engaging their people in the continuous improvement of work processes.

Essentially, after this course you should have the skills to be able to efficiently lead a team to success!


3. Leading People and Teams Specialization (Coursera)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: Approx. 5months at 3h per week
  • Cost: Enroll for free
  • Certification: Yes
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 84,849
  • Course rating: 4.8/5 (out of 5,069 ratings)

Offered by the University of Michigan, you will learn proven management techniques that will get you leading a team more effectively than you ever have. On top of this, you will also learn how to create and communicate your vision as a leader to the team underneath you, as well as learning how to manage talent to improve employee performance, development and retention.

Included in this course is also an exclusive insight into the Michigan Model of Leadership to define organizational goals. You will then use this model to complete your hands-on project. Once the project is completed, you will have successfully earned your certificate and will be well on the way to being able to create a high-quality team charter that enhances team performance.


4. Essential Leadership Qualities (Skillshare)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 52m
  • Cost: 14 day free-trial
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 1,459
  • Course rating: N/A

Taking only 52 minutes to complete, in this course you will discover the key attributes and qualities of a great leader. In such a short amount of time, you will learn the 4C’s and E’s of leadership. You will discover why motivating a team is important, how to have a good vision, how to use language the best and why you should be instilling culture in all of your teams.

Most importantly, by the end of this course, you will understand how being a leader is different to being a manager. You will also be able to apply the primary leadership styles of leading a team, including how to set SMART goals for your employees.


5. Think Like a Leader with Brian Tracy (Udemy)

  • Level: Beginner to Intermediate
  • Completion time: 3h 4m
  • Cost: $270
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 15,923
  • Course rating: 4.5/5 (out of 3,313 ratings)

In this popular Udemy course, you will learn to change your day to day habits so that you can become a powerful, motivating and successful leader.

All you need to complete this course is an involvement in an organization where you want to grow and excel, and the desire to become a better and more effective leader! You will learn how to reprogram your mindset to achieve leadership success, as well as learning how to master strategic planning, communication, teamwork, vision and other core skills.

Importantly, you will also learn how to build your confidence towards becoming a lifelong transformational leader, both in the workplace and in your home life. You’ll be able to create and track manageable business goals and establish better working relationships with colleagues, direct reports and other diverse groups of people.


6. Anna Wintour Teaches Creativity and Leadership (Masterclass)

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Completion time: 2h 36m
  • Cost: $17 a month
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: N/A
  • Course rating: N/A

A fashion and media icon, Anna Wintour has been driving cultural conversations for more than 30 years. In this Masterclass course, you will see how Anna nurtures talent, makes bold decisions and evolves brands.

Through 10 lessons, you will learn about how to get work done, how to start out, how to lead with a vision (and execute this vision!), how to evolve brands… and so much more! By the end of this course, you will have learnt how to lead with impact and become a visionary and creative leader.


7. Leadership and Critical Thinking Specialization (Coursera)

  • Level: Advanced
  • Completion time: Approx 3 months at 6h per week
  • Cost: Enroll for free
  • Certification: Yes
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 3,688
  • Course rating: 4.7/5 (out of 12 ratings)

Although taking longer to complete, once you have finished this 3 month course you will have developed the leadership and critical thinking skills to lead a business transformation!

You will learn how to develop a style of leadership suited specifically to your strengths and needs. On top, you’ll take a look at how to design motivating tasks for yourself and others, as well as how to communicate your perspective in a credible and persuasive way. Finally, you’ll learn how to employ a methodology for the application of critical thinking!



So, there you have it… the 7 best leadership development courses that are available online. These classes are suited to anyone who is wanting to develop their talents to become a fantastic manager in any industry.

Leadership and management skills are widely transferable and having these skills will aid you in hundreds of careers as these skills will encourage you to be motivating, inspiring and able to efficiently lead a team. Specific careers where leadership skills are particularly helpful include:

  • Human resources
  • Project manager
  • Purchasing manager
  • Nurse

To gather these unique leadership skills that will make you progress in lots of careers, there are lots of online courses available for you. There are free courses that take as little as an hour to complete, and there are more expensive courses that much longer to complete! Some courses are suitable for complete managerial newbies. Whereas other courses are better suited for those with lots of experience as a manager, but are specifically looking to increase their leadership skills further.

The self paced online leadership classes in this list are the best of the best. Each is taught by an experienced and dedicated teacher, and they all have lots of satisfied and happy customers.

So, which leadership course you decide take depends on your experience, funds and spare time. Are you a complete newbie to the managerial world? Or have you already got excellent general managerial skills but just want to further develop your leadership skills? Do you have a huge amount of money to spend on your skill development? Do you have a lot of spare time, or are you just looking for a quick, but effective, skill top up?

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