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Leadership Essentials Certificate

A Foundation for Future Leaders

Strong leaders effectively source, guide, and champion their teams and peers. With Miami's online Leadership Essentials certificate, you'll gain a holistic understanding of topics from talent management and communication to strategic planning. Learn at your own pace and emerge with the confidence and credibility to advance your organization and career.

Online Certificate Quick Facts

Interested in bringing Leadership Essentials to your workforce or organization?

6 modules

The online course consists of six modules and provides a professional certificate of completion.

Flexible pace

Complete the self-paced course on your terms.


Continue your leadership journey right away.


Access a professional education with exceptional value.

Your Schedule, Your Success

Thrive as a Leader in Today's Dynamic Workplaces

With no application or additional costs, Miami University's Leadership Essentials certificate provides a fast track to achieving your career goals. Led by accomplished alumnae with deep industry expertise, you'll gain actionable leadership skills to drive innovation and success across your teams and organizations.

Enroll now

Master the art of talent management, from hiring and coaching to boosting engagement

Understand ethical decision-making and navigate workplace challenges

Explore leadership styles and uncover the secrets of employee motivation

Hone your leadership voice to align talent, well-being, and strategy with organizational goals

Step into leadership roles or refresh your leadership knowledge

Relevant Skills for Working Professionals

Set the pace for your professional development without interfering with your busy schedule. Upon completing the course, you can share your verified Leadership Essentials certificate with your employers and peers.

The Value of Leadership Skills

Effective, trustworthy leadership is vital to high-performing units and organizations. The quality of a leader or leadership team has a measurable impact on employee acquisition, retention, satisfaction, and confidence.


of global business leaders believe leadership capabilities and effectiveness are important to success, yet only 23% believe their organization’s leaders can manage in "a disrupted, boundaryless world."

Deloitte (2023)


of U.S. workers believe empathetic leadership leads to higher job satisfaction. 79% agree it decreases employee turnover.

EY (2021)


of employees want coaching to help them develop as leaders

DDI (2023)

Course and Instructor Overview

Managing Talent

The Managing Talent module spans topics including:

  • Talent Acquisition
  • Setting Expectations and Measuring Performance
  • Coaching and Feedback
  • Career Development Planning
  • Employee Engagement

Jenna McHugh, Education Dynamics' Chief Human Resources Officer, leads the Managing Talent module. She has over 25 years of experience in executive leadership roles at large and mid-size companies. Jenna has a bachelor's degree in finance and decision sciences from Miami and is on the board of directors at Magnified Giving.

Boundaries, Expectations, and Ethics

The Boundaries, Expectations, and Ethics module covers:

  • Understanding Boundaries
  • Expectations in the Workplace
  • Ethics in the Workplace
  • Integrating Boundaries, Expectations, and Ethics
  • Navigating Challenges and Conflicts

Laurie Sharp-Page, MS, LPCC-S, CWC, leads the Boundaries, Expectations, and Ethics module. In her roles as CEO of Flourish Psychotherapy, mental health professional, and author, Laurie helps individuals and organizations manage life's challenges effectively, combining research with real-world applications.

Leadership Styles

In the Leadership Styles module, you'll explore:

  • Leading with Heart
  • Powering Your Leadership Journey
  • Inclusive Leadership
  • Amplifying through Communication
  • Unleashing Your Leadership Potential

Sophia Fifner, President and CEO of the Columbus Metropolitan Club (CMC), is a visionary leader connecting people through community conversations. With a philanthropy and public policy background, she has secured over $100 million for social impact and served as a strategic advisor to S&P 500 executives.

Inspiring and Motivating Individuals

The Inspiring and Motivating Individuals module spans topics including:

  • Inspiration and Trust
  • Self-Awareness
  • Cultivating Culture
  • Aligning Needs and Values
  • Inspiring Mindset

Wendy Hartman, SHRM-CP, leads the Inspiring and Motivating Individuals module. She is a human resources professional with over ten years of experience supporting leaders as a partner and consultant for performance management, business strategy, and risk mitigation and management.

Communication in Leadership

The Communication in Leadership module dives into:

  • Mastering Your Mindset
  • The Art of Non-Verbal Communication
  • Clarity and Transparency
  • Tone of Voice
  • Building Rapport
  • Empathy

Brie Sakach, marketing and creative director at a private wealth advisory practice, leads the Communication in Leadership module. After leading teams at various non-profits, she managed executive leadership events and large-scale marketing initiatives at JP Morgan before embracing her leadership role at Envisage Wealth.

Strategic Leadership

In the Strategic Leadership module, you will tap into:

  • Talent Matters
  • Health of the Business
  • Retention Matters
  • Improvement Matters
  • Vision and Values
  • Engagement Matters
  • Unlocking Excellence

Melanie Booher, a certified culture coach with 20+ years of human capital management experience, leads the Strategic Leadership module. She helps small- to mid-sized organizations instill "big-company best practices." Melanie created the THRIVE Model™ to help companies intentionally build their workplace culture.

Continue Your Professional Journey

With Miami University's Leadership Essentials certificate, gain relevant skills for busy working professionals. Explore different areas of leadership across six self-paced modules led by successful industry experts. You can get started right away.

Explore Other Professional Certificates

Miami Online offers various professional certificates, including the miniMBA, DEI in Leadership, and Digital Marketing Foundations. You can also learn about custom solutions for employers.