Paul Corona
Paul Corona

Clinical Associate Professor of Leadership
Director of Full-Time MBA Leadership Development

Print Overview

During the past 32 years, I've transformed myself from a business person into an educator and leadership coach focused on performance improvement. I've held a variety of leadership roles in Fortune 500 corporations, a Big 4 accounting and consulting firm and major research universities. I'm now a full-time clinical professor in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a leadership coach and a large-group speaker.

My management experience and leadership development work spans a variety of industries including accounting, advertising, automotive, chemical, consulting, energy, higher education, household goods, pharmaceutical, publishing and telecommunications. I've helped build global brands including Alka-Seltzer, Chevrolet, Deloitte & Touche and Whirlpool. As an educator at Kellogg and Northwestern, I've taught, coached and advised CEOs, physicians, deans, vice presidents, directors, managers, department chairs, research center leaders, MBA candidates and undergraduates. As an entrepreneur, I founded Optimus Coaching LLC through which I provide individual coaching, workshop facilitation and large-group speaking for leaders, teams and professional associations.

I hold a doctorate in higher education (with a focus on executive education) from Indiana University, an MBA in marketing from the University of Notre Dame and a BA in advertising from Michigan State University. I'm a Marshall Goldsmith "100 Coaches" honoree, selected from more than 16,000 candidates to advance the practice of leadership coaching with Dr. Goldsmith (recognized as the world's top executive coach). I'm also a certified Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coach. My preferred 360-degree feedback assessment is the Korn Ferry Hay Group "Emotional and Social Competency Inventory" (ESCI). My book -- The Wisdom of Walk-Ons: 7 Winning Strategies for College, Business and Life -- suggests ALL leaders are walk-ons at some point in life, and we all can attain and sustain the success we seek by thinking and acting like underdogs. I'm a member of the International Society for Performance Improvement, the Association for Talent Development, the Organization Development Network, the International Leadership Association and the International Coach Federation.

Print Vita
EdD, 1998, Higher Education (dissertation about custom programs of executive education), Indiana University
MBA, 1993, Marketing, University of Notre Dame
BA, 1985, Advertising, Michigan State University

Academic Positions
Clinical Associate Professor of Leadership and Director of Full-Time MBA Leadership Development, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2017-present
Clinical Assistant Professor of Leadership and Director of Full-Time MBA Leadership Development, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2014-2017
Lecturer, Career Development and Training & Development, School of Professional Studies, Northwestern University, 2006-2009
Doctoral Graduate Assistant, Office of the VP for Academic Affairs and Chancellor, Indiana University, 1995-1997

Other Professional Experience
Director of Learning & Organization Development, Northwestern University, 2002-2014
Senior Manager of Professional Development, Deloitte & Touche -- a subsidiary of Deloitte, 2001-2002
Manager of Leadership & Organization Development, Lucent Technologies -- acquired by Nokia, 1998-2001
Management Development Fellow, Ashland Chemical -- a division of Ashland, 1997-1998
Manager of Residential Marketing, ComEd -- a unit of Exelon, 1993-1995
Brand Management Intern, Miles Laboratories -- a division of Bayer, 1992-1992
Account Supervisor, Campbell-Ewald -- an Interpublic agency, 1988-1991
Account Executive, Ross Roy Advertising -- an Omnicom agency acquired by BBDO Worldwide, 1985-1988

Honors and Awards
Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches honoree
Kellogg Excellence in Action Award nominee

Print Research
Corona, Paul. 2018. Only 3 Habits: How to Strengthen Relationships and Sustain Happiness. CreateSpace, an Amazon company.
Corona, Paul. 2012. The Wisdom of Walk-Ons: 7 Winning Strategies for College, Business and Life. CreateSpace, an Amazon company.
Corona, Paul. 1998. Custom Programs of Executive Education: A Case Study of the Indiana University School of Business - Whirlpool Corporation Partnership for Excellence - Manager Development Program. ProQuest LLC.

Print Teaching
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Personal Leadership Insights (KACI-461-5)
This course was formerly known as MORS 935-C
This course is a unique opportunity for students who are highly motivated and committed to their personal development and growth as a leader. You will partner with a faculty member and Kellogg Leadership Coach who will lead a small group of students through a series of assignments that will help you increase self-awareness and gain clarity about your unique leadership skills, values, strengths and limitations. Classes will meet weekly for 90 minutes. Each class will consist of group discussions and peer coaching exercises around self-reflective assignments that you must prepare prior to class. In addition, you will meet one-on-one with your Kellogg Leadership Coach for two personalized, 45-minute coaching sessions during the quarter. Due to the self-reflective nature of the course, you will not receive a letter grade, but rather “Pass/No Credit” on your transcript for 0.5 credits. The “Pass” designation will be given if you meet the following requirements: 100% attendance (with no exceptions); on time completion of all assignments; honoring the confidential information of others in the group; and preparation and active engagement in all group coaching sessions.
Please note that the 100% attendance policy is non-negotiable across all sections and instructors. Only bid on a section for which you are sure you can attend every class session. Review the abbreviated syllabus for that section to confirm the precise meeting dates.