10 totally-worth-it online courses for executives
Go back to school—and push your career to the top of the ladder—from the comfort of your living room.
Just because you’re no longer sitting in a classroom five days a week doesn’t mean your student days are behind you. As an executive, you know the value of an employee who is committed to self-improvement. Well, the same goes for, you, a company leader looking to make your next big move up.
If you’re serious about taking your career to new heights, you need to demonstrate your willingness to learn and grow. Online education offers you the opportunity to do just that—at a pace that works with your schedule.
Monster partner Udemy.com offers more than 40,000 skill-building online courses in a wide range of subjects. We looked through their course list to pick 10 that will help any executive reach the highest rungs of the corporate ladder.
Go behind-the-scenes of a TED Talk to find what works best when presenting to a crowd. TED curator Chris Anderson details the work that goes into the famed viral lectures. Topics include key TED techniques (such as narration, revelation and persuasion), the effective use of visuals, and postmortems on some less-than-effective lectures for lessons on what to avoid.
Are you a fan of leading by creative disruption? Best-selling author Seth Godin focuses on upending traditional thinking on leadership principles to help participants become true leaders, including in roles without formal authority. The course description emphasizes that it is “not ... for people who seek shortcuts, guaranteed results and an easy path.”
Leaders need to know how to work with people who have different backgrounds and points of view. Amid today’s constant waves of polarizing dialogue, this course highlights the idea of respectful interchanges with others as a counterbalance. Instructor Krista Tippett, a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and host of the radio show “On Being,” urges thoughtful questions and active listening, but also the need for humility and curiosity rather than confrontation and certainty.
At times, being the boss means playing peacemaker. This course details the steps required to deal head-on with conflict—including instances where some level of disagreement can be a positive for a team. Topics from instructor Learoy Tonight include an examination of communication during conflict, how conflict can veer into crisis and the difference between advocacy and inquiry.
Closing more deals means you need take-no-prisoners negotiation skills, and that’s the focus of this brisk, blunt course. Topics from instructor Steli Efti, CEO and co-founder of sales communication platform Close.io, include dealing with prospects who put up an unending series of roadblocks and how to revisit a previously agreed deal that isn’t working. Efti doesn’t pull many punches, so expect some colorful language. Free!
If your role involves improving the performance of co-workers, you’ll find much to chew on here. Instructor Sorin Dumitrascu offers step-by-step sections on coaching executives, including before, during and after such sessions. The second half of the course is about how to create and sell a business case, including writing tips and design principles.
Think of some of the most visible company heads and ask yourself what’s required to lead an organization of such magnitude? For one thing, people like them and look forward to hearing what they have to say. T.J. Walker, founder of Media Training Worldwide, is adept in developing this kind of charisma in his clients, having trained U.S. Senators, Fortune 500 executives, NFL stars and even Miss Universe contestants.
Existing managers, as well as aspirational future managers, are the targets for this course that covers team management and overall leadership. The lessons from instructor Greg Henriques, founder of weGrow coaching, emphasize the need to create and maintain credibility and trust with team members, and a situational approach rather than a one-size-fits-all model.
A good leader seeks to understand people so as to deliver what they truly want, even if the people can’t communicate what that exactly is. This course emphasizes asking effective questions as a way to improve your professional and personal relationships. Instructor Richard Lock’s topics include how to avoid “closed” questions (those that can be answered solely with “yes” or “no”), and how to use questions to identify causes of stress and conflict.
If you’re ready for a deep dive into some headier material, this course uses the tenets of cybernetics, “the science of communication and control,” as a means to improve decision-making and keep information flowing smoothly in an organization. The lectures aim to help you learn to think more clearly, make decisions faster and communicate more effectively.
Interested in exploring other courses? Click here to access Udemy’s course catalog.