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The 7 Best Leadership Courses Online of All Time

The best leadership courses online can equip you with the skills needed to take your business to the next level.

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By Fatima Mansoor

best leadership courses online

Studies show that 83% of organizations think it’s important to develop leaders at all levels of their business, but only 5% of companies have actually followed through and implemented leadership development in their organization. Online leadership courses offer a convenient, comprehensive, and affordable way for executives to get the training they need to better lead their teams.

After extensive hands-on testing and research, I’ve put together a list of what I believe are the very best online leadership classes, ranking them based on a variety of factors, including the quality of the curriculum being presented, the credentials and experience of the instructors, reviews from real students, cost, and more (click here to learn about our entire Editorial Process & Methodology for product reviews).


What are the Best Online Leadership Courses?

1. Oxford Executive Leadership Programme (GetSmarter)

Oxford Executive Leadership Program | Senior Leadership Programme | GetSmarter Oxford Executive Leadership Program | Senior Leadership Programme | GetSmarter

This Oxford Executive Leadership course is designed to help you refine and develop your leadership skills and purpose so you can execute your company’s strategic focus.

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 8 weeks

Want an inside scoop on the Oxford Executive Leadership Programme at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford has to offer? First off, this program equips you with leadership abilities to thrive in the modern business landscape and make valuable contributions to your organisation’s success. 

The course structure is like a well-organised roadmap. You’ll go through principles and practices of effective leadership in weekly modules. With each learning curve, you become a more effective leader.

After completing this program, you’ll be equipped with the ability to lead with impact in your business context. It will teach you how to be the leadership hero your organisation needs. 

Say goodbye to those leadership headaches, as the course provides you with the framework and leadership skills to conquer modern workplace challenges and manage teams effectively. You’ll be able to set achievable goals and strategies for driving change and preparing your organisation for the future. 

Become the visionary leader everyone admires with the guidance from leading industry experts and Oxford Saïd faculty, and unlimited access to exclusive resources and events. You’ll be part of an elite group, armed with knowledge and connections.

You can take this class through GetSmarter, one of our favorite online course websites. Check out our GetSmarter review to learn more.

2. Oxford Enterprise Leadership Programme (GetSmarter)

Oxford Enterprise Leadership Program | GetSmarter Oxford Enterprise Leadership Program | GetSmarter

Acquire the expertise and abilities necessary to synchronize your organization's purpose, strategy, and capabilities, leading to enhanced business performance and results.

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6 weeks

If you’re looking to enhance your leadership skills and drive organisational performance, the Oxford Enterprise Leadership Programme is an ideal choice. This online program, offered by the prestigious Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, provides a comprehensive toolkit to align purpose, strategy, and capability within your enterprise.

Here’s the best part: you won’t be learning from just anyone. The masterminds behind this course are the folks from the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. And they’ve got your back. You’ll be guided by industry experts and, in particular, Faculty Director Jonathan Trevor, an Associate Professor of Management Practice. Their expertise ensures you’re learning from the best.

Upon successful completion, you’ll walk away with an impressive set of skills and insights. You’ll learn how to improve organisational effectiveness through strategic alignment, understand the role it plays in long-term performance, and drive transformation throughout your enterprise value chain. 

The intro-level programme offers a well-structured, in-depth learning experience that’s both practical and enriching. While the price may seem steep, the knowledge and skills you gain are invaluable. 

3. Oxford Leading Through Uncertainty and Disruption: Building Resilient Organisations Programme (GetSmarter) 

Oxford Organizational Resilience Program | GetSmarter Oxford Organizational Resilience Program | GetSmarter

Learn how fostering resilience within your organization can create a competitive edge and ensure lasting sustainability for your business.

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6 weeks

Looking for a program that will help you navigate the challenges of uncertain times and make your organisation more resilient? Well, look no further than the Oxford Leading Through Uncertainty and Disruption: Building Resilient Organisations Programme. 

This program is designed to help you and your organisation thrive in the face of change and disruption. You’ll become a pro at building the capacities, capabilities, and cultures needed to weather any storm. 

The course is led by top-notch experts, including the brilliant Eleanor Murray, Associate Dean for Executive Education and Senior Fellow in Management Practice at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. You’ll be learning from the best in the business!

After completing this program, you’ll emerge with a toolbox full of valuable skills. You’ll master the art of strengthening your resilience as a leader, so you can confidently steer your ship through the stormy seas of uncertainty. With that, you’ll gain the knowledge to recalibrate your organisation’s approach, making it resilient!

By the end of it, you’ll walk away with a practical plan to enhance your organisation’s resilience, using exclusive Oxford Saïd frameworks and wisdom from global thought leaders.

4. Leading People and Teams Specialization (Coursera)


Free to audit (paid upgrades available with the Coursera pricing model)


1 month

If you want a course that’s not only informative but also engaging and led by exceptional instructors, this one’s a winner. Taught by the amazing Cheri Alexander, a seasoned expert with over three decades of experience in international HR management; Maxim Sytch, a Professor with a wealth of knowledge in leadership and organisational matters, and let’s not forget about D. Scott DeRue, the Edward J. Frey Dean at the Ross School of Business. With his extensive research and teachings in leadership and team performance, he adds another layer of expertise to this course. 

In the course Leading People and Teams Specialization, you can expect to gain insights into leadership, managing human capital, and organisational issues. From Cheri’s extensive knowledge to Maxim’s research on collaboration and conflict, you’ll get a comprehensive understanding of these critical areas.

This course is perfect for anyone looking to enhance their leadership skills, grasp the intricacies of human capital management, and understand how organisational dynamics work. The course aids students to become professional with the knowledge to set them on the path to success.

5. Strategic Leadership and Management Specialization (Coursera)


Free to audit, paid upgrades available


2 months

Leadership and Management course from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is led by Jeff Flesher, who comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience, making learning from him a valuable experience.

The roster of instructors also includes Mahoney, Somaya, Love, Bednar, Keating, Loyd, and Luckman. Hence, you can expect a well-rounded and comprehensive educational experience. Each instructor’s diverse expertise will likely bring unique perspectives to the courses they teach, enriching your learning journey.

The Leadership and Management course is designed to equip you with the skills needed to be an effective organisational leader. The course aims to provide practical strategies that you can apply immediately in your leadership role.

For this beginner-level course, you don’t need any previous experience. The flexible schedule allows you to learn at your own pace, which is incredibly convenient.

This course covers a range of valuable skills. You’ll gain a deep understanding of strategic management, a critical aspect of leadership. You’ll learn what it takes to be a successful leader and develop leadership strategies. You will also be able to understand and craft effective business strategies, as they are fundamental skills for any leader.

6. Leadership: Practical Leadership Skills (Udemy)


Regularly $119.99 (Udemy pricing often includes sales)


3h 20m

You’re in for a treat with Chris Croft’s “Practical Leadership Skills” course. 

Croft makes leadership approachable and engaging. He explains the complexity of leadership, making it relatable for anyone, whether you’re managing a small team or an entire business. This course is designed to help you ace time management, motivate your team, and boost personal happiness. It’s not just for the office; it’s a life-changer. 

But it’s not just theory that you’ll be absorbing; you’ll also gain a toolkit of practical skills that you can put to immediate use. Want to steer clear of common pitfalls that could dent your credibility? This course will show you the way. Looking to strike the perfect balance between delegation and monitoring? It’s all here, ready to be explored.

It covers a wide range of topics, offering real-life examples and practical tools. You’ll discover what makes a great leader, learn how to motivate teams with a personalised approach, and gain skills applicable to both your professional and personal life. Don’t miss this opportunity to become an adaptable and inspiring leader. 

7. Leadership: Leading When You Are Not In Charge (Udemy)


 Regularly $99.99 (often goes on sale)



Steve Ballinger’s Leadership When You Are Not In Charge course is an opportunity to learn from an engaging and experienced instructor who can help you become a more effective leader. With its comprehensive content, lifetime access, and personalised support, this course is a no-brainer for anyone looking to level up their leadership skills.

Steve’s teaching style has his wonderful energy, his knack for explaining complex concepts, and his engaging and fun approach to instruction. It’s safe to say that his students will be thrilled.

The course is designed to transform you into a great leader, regardless of your formal title. Steve’s course will equip you with the knowledge and skills to rally teams, interact effectively with peers, and even gain support from management and executive sponsors. With over 25 years of leadership experience, Steve shares best practices and principles that can be applied in various situations.

The course will influence you to learn to get results, spread your passion for your work, and inspire your team and customers.

Catering to a diverse audience it is the perfect course for those with no prior leadership training looking to make a difference. Emerging leaders seeking a bigger role will find valuable insights, as will existing leaders, whether they have a formal title or not, who want to enhance their effectiveness.

Final Thoughts

As an executive, taking an online leadership course (or several of them) can help you grow as a professional. Leadership is a dynamic skill set that requires continuous development. Online courses offer executives the opportunity to stay updated with the latest leadership theories, strategies, and practices.

Remember, there are lots of different choices out there. The right course for you really depends on your specific goals and learning preferences.

Have you taken any leadership classes online? Share your experiences by leaving a comment below.

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