Empowering Women: From the Poker Table to a Seat at the Executive Leadership Table

Flip the table on work and life while building crucial leadership skills

Kellogg Executive Education is partnering with Poker Power to offer a unique and highly innovative program designed for mid- to senior-level women executives. Through the game of poker, participants will learn key leadership skills in an educational, supportive, engaging and entertaining environment.

Grounded in our faculty’s expertise, the program content will address everyday matters such as decision-making, negotiation, emotional intelligence and nonverbal communication. These topics lie beneath the surface in a game of poker and successful players know how to use them to their advantage. Women deal with these same issues throughout their careers and can also learn to leverage them for their own success. Through a highly interactive approach, participants will discover how to enhance their careers by learning to:

  • Take risks
  • Be aggressive
  • Step outside their comfort zone
  • Recognize biases
  • Conquer fear
  • Avoid decision making traps
  • Understand their decision's long-term impact
  • Be aware of emotional contagion
  • Improve probabilistic decision-making skills
  • Recognize the importance of emotional intelligence
  • Overcome confirmation bias
  • Say no

“Not only have I learned a new skill and gained a ton of new insights into how to make better decisions and be the best version of myself, but it has also been awesome to learn that so many other women struggle with the same things I do, such as a lack of confidence.”

Past Participant


VIDEO: Learn more from Academic Director Gail Berger

Personal Consultation

Please contact us to schedule an advising session

Who Should Attend

  • Mid- to senior-level professional women

Download Past Participant Profile

Key Benefits

  • Learn to reframe your thinking and engage critical skills and strategies to advance in your career
  • Discover how to be a more effective decision-maker
  • Develop your emotional intelligence
  • Become a more strategic negotiator
  • Understand how basic math and probability can help to make more informed decisions

Program Content

Please note: no prior poker experience required.


  • Evaluate the decision-making process
  • Accurately assess risk
  • Gain insight into decision-making biases

Emotional Intelligence

  • Develop greater self-awareness and insight
  • Learn how to read other people’s emotions
  • Develop skills to better manage your own emotional reactions


  • Become a more strategic negotiator
  • Build a BATNA to obtain better negotiation outcomes
  • Evaluate the weakness of your opponent’s BATNA
  • Learn how to set aggressive goals when you negotiate


  • Recognize key drivers of regret and be better positioned to make better choices
  • Gain an understanding for how inaction leads to greater regret than action
  • Explore the impact of counterfactual thinking on feelings of regret

Foundations of Finance

  • Explore probabilistic thinking, distributions and the hot hand fallacy
  • Discuss the concept of negative variance and the difficulty that people have adjusting when outcomes are “wrong”

Faculty & Instructors

Gail Berger - Academic Director; Clinical Associate Professor of Management & Organizations; Deputy Director, Center for Executive Women; Associate Professor of Instruction, Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences, McCormick School of Engineering

Maria Konnikova - a New York Times best-selling author, journalist, and professional poker player

Victoria Medvec - Adeline Barry Davee Professor of Management & Organizations; Executive Director of the Center for Executive Women

Mitchell A. Petersen - Glen Vasel Professor of Finance; Director of the Heizer Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital

Jennifer Shahade - Chess and poker champion, award-winning host and author

Brian Uzzi - Richard L. Thomas Professor of Leadership and Organizational Change Co-Director, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO)

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208