Engineering Leadership for Emerging Leaders

Emerging Leaders

"The course was very well designed and executed. It gave me both practical skills and insightful perspectives. The course was very engaging beginning to end. I have already started recommending this class to my colleagues."
- Project Engineer, Stryker IMT

If the future of your organization depends on effective leadership for new products, engaged employees, and growth, you should take this course. Gain the leadership skills to accelerate your effectiveness and impact. Offered by the premier Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program, this five-day course is designed to equip you with the skills and perspectives needed to lead yourself and others in today’s engineering and technology environments. You will improve your leadership skills by learning from the latest breakthroughs in the practice of leadership within a program that draws on a variety of teaching methods, especially hands-on learning. Like the practice of leadership itself, this program will be high-contact, high-energy, and consequential.

The transition to becoming an engineering leader is one of the most promising, yet challenging experiences that engineering professionals can face. The promise comes from becoming a new kind of professional; one who can mobilize sometimes-conflicting individuals around a shared vision, solve problems through “real” teamwork, and motivate people to deliver their best results. The challenge comes from learning to work in an entirely new way; from relying solely on oneself to deliver individual results to leading others to deliver collective results. Herein lies the nature of the delicate relationship between leadership and followership.

This course was previously titled "Engineering Leadership for Early Career Professionals."

Earn a Professional Certificate in Innovation and Technology

This course may be taken individually or as an elective course for the Professional Certificate Program in Innovation and Technology.

Lead Instructor(s): 

David Niño
Joel Schindall


Jul 16, 2018 - Jul 20, 2018

Course Length: 

5 Days

Course Fee: 





  • Open

It is highly recommended that you apply for a course at least 6-8 weeks before the start date to guarantee there will be space available. After that date you may be placed on a waitlist. Courses with low enrollment may be cancelled up to 4 weeks before start date if sufficient enrollments are not met. If you are able to access the online application form, then registration for that particular course is still open.

This course has limited enrollment. Apply early to guarantee your spot.

Participant Takeaways: 

During our five-day program, you will:

  • Enhance your understanding of the nature of leadership and followership
  • Build a foundation of team-building skills
  • Develop and deliver an inspiring and shared vision
  • Discover new ways to lead and motivate others in technical environments
  • Gain support for your ideas in environments characterized by conflicting stakeholder needs
  • Learn to manage conflicts through negotiations and constructive dialogues

Who Should Attend: 

This course is designed for engineering, science, and technology professionals with less than 15 years of experience who are leading others for the first time, or aspiring to do so. Those who attend usually include: engineers, research scientists, managers, project or product managers, directors, crew chiefs, members of technical staffs, and technical leads.

Computer Requirements:

Laptops/devices with word processing capability are recommended. Advance materials may be sent by email or posted to the MIT Stellar system; please expect an email from the course directors with information about how to access these materials.

Program Outline: 

Day One — Introduction to Leadership for Engineering Professionals

8:30 AM – 9:45 AM: Introduction to program instructors, participants, and learning goals. (Niño and Schindall)

9:45 AM – 10:00 AM: Break

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Fundamentals of engineering leadership. Overview of perspectives on management and leadership and implications for early career professionals. (Niño)

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Lunch

12:30 PM – 2:30 PM: Creating a team vision. Review importance of developing a shared vision and practice methods for creating one. Review "Communicating a Vision" assignment. (Niño)

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM: Visit to MIT Museum

3:30 PM – 3:45 PM: Break

3:45 PM – 4:15 PM: Introduce group project. Discuss how program participants will form groups to address topics of special interest.

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM: Learning from reflection. Participants review, assess, and document day's key learning. (Niño)

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Special Networking Event (light buffet will be provided)

Day Two – Leading in Multi-Stakeholder Environments

8:30 AM – 9:45 AM: Achieving collective support in multi-stakeholder environments. Discerning and prioritizing diverse stakeholder needs; Reconciling differences and presenting a unifying vision; Achieving buy-in and support for complex projects and programs (Magarian)

9:45 AM – 10:00 AM: Break

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Achieving collective support in multi-stakeholder environments (cont.)

11:30 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch and Special Presentation by Ray Stata, Chairman, Analog Devices Inc. (tentative)

1:00 PM – 3:15 PM: Delivering an inspiring vision. Discuss strategies and presentation tactics for delivering an inspiring team vision. (Eng)

3:15 PM – 3:30 PM: Break

3:30 PM – 4:00 PM: Reflection. Participants review, assess, and document day's key learning.

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM: Form special interest groups and begin working on group projects.

Day Three — Motivating Teams and Managing Conflict

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Creating a motivating environment: Building team drive to act in support of mission, goals, and technical execution. (Martinez)

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM: Break

10:15 AM – 12:00 PM: Building teams. Discuss strategies for building strong relationships within teams. (Feiler)

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Managing conflict and negotiations. Assessing your personal conflict management styles and practice negotiation skills. (Niño)

3:00 PM – 3:15 PM: BREAK

3:15 PM – 3:45 PM: Reflection. Participants review, assess, and document day's key learning.

3:45 PM – 5:30 PM: Groups work on projects and final presentations.

Day Four — Managing and Developing Oneself

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Leadership operating framework. An interactive discussion on leadership, and the skills, characteristics, behaviors, and attitudes forming a framework for effective leaders. (McGonagle)

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM: Break

10:15 AM – 12:15 PM: Making an Impact:  How to be Effective as an Engineering Leader. An open discussion of decision making in the face of uncertainty, advocacy, communication, networking, vision, intention and commitment, systems thinking, the role of entrepreneurship, and applying engineering skills to organizational design and project management (Schindall)

12:15 PM – 1:15 PM: Lunch

1:15 PM – 3:00 PM: Vision presentations and feedback. Individuals will deliver their vision presentations and receive feedback from others

3:00 PM – 3:15 PM: Break

3:15 PM – 4:30 PM: Vision presentations and feedback (cont.)

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM: Groups work on projects and final presentations.

Day Five — Final Presentations and Wrap Up

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Special topics presentations. Groups will deliver their final presentations on engineering leadership topics of special interest.

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM: Break

10:15 AM – 12:00 PM: Special topics presentations (cont.)

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Course reflection and wrap up. Participants reflect on week's activities, assess program, and receive program certificates.


Course Schedule: 

View 2017 schedule (pdf)

Class runs 8:30 am - 5:15 pm on Monday, 8:30 am - 5:30 pm Tuesday through Thursday, and 8:30 am - 1:00 pm on Friday.

There is a networking dinner on Monday from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.    

Participants’ Comments: 


"The class was very nicely structured, with more practical advice than theory. I came out of it with concepts that I could apply immediately in my workplace. I also liked the format - the lecturing was kept to a minimum, and concepts were reinforced using hands-on exercises. This was a focused course that outlined practical concepts. The course itself taught useful methods, and it also provided a basis for future learning. As such, I would recommend this class for any young engineer."


"The course content was formalized in a way that was very clear, made a lot of sense, and had examples as to how to put these theories into practice. I learned highly valuable tools to make me a more effective leader at my job."


"The course was very well designed and executed. It gave me both practical skills and insightful perspectives. The course was very engaging beginning to end. I have already started recommending this class to my colleagues."


"It provides real-life experiences such as how to manage and act as a manager. In addition, exercises given through the course provide an understanding of how the course tools are being used and at the same time, reflect on some of the different methods that the different teams employed. Lastly, the sharing of different organizational ways of leadership was also very interesting and enlightening."



This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please complete the Custom Programs request form for further details.


Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (20%) 20
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (20%) 20
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (60%) 60

Delivery Methods: 

Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (20%) 20
Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (40%) 40
Labs: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations (40%) 40


Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (50%) 50
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (40%) 40
Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level (10%) 10