Leadership Strategies for Successful Schools

Maximize Your Impact as a School Leader

School leaders face significant pressures and challenges while leading schools in today’s uncertain world and our shifting educational landscape. This unique learning experience offers school leaders the chance to enhance their management capabilities to more effectively navigate those challenges. You will leave the program with a leadership toolkit and practical frameworks you can put to use immediately. Expert faculty from Kellogg and Northwestern, along with seasoned education sector practitioners, will share insights in a combination of lectures, small group sessions and interactive exercises.

Topical and highly interactive, this program will energize you as a leader, empower you with a broader perspective, and equip you with tools to support the goals you have for staff and students as well as the broader community your school serves.

Please note: We offer a school-specific leadership program each summer on a two-year cycle. Attend Building Leadership Capacity: Foundations for Strong Schools in an even year and Leadership Strategies for Successful Schools in an odd year.

Center for Nonprofit Management

Enhance your school leadership capabilities with practical frameworks


Who Should Attend

  • Superintendents, Heads of Schools, Deans, Principals, Assistant/Associate Principals, Lead Teachers
  • School Senior Leadership Teams (special pricing available for teams of participants)
  • K-12 Education Board members

Key Benefits

  • Develop tools to manage challenges and balance priorities; build decision-making and prioritization skills
  • Learn new leadership frameworks to bring out the best in your teachers and staff
  • Gain exposure to methods for intentional communication that will help you lead and mobilize your team through change initiatives
  • Understand new ways to sustain motivation amongst your teachers and staff

Program Content

Leader as Coach

  • Understand the rationale for using the leader as coach approach in schools
  • Discern situations where coaching can best help to solve problems, make decisions and discover opportunities
  • Learn coaching skills to develop potential and improve performance on your school teams
  • Use an assessment to further develop your own leadership awareness

Leadership communication frameworks

  • School communications have many variables and can be incredibly complex
  • Learn from real world examples where communications have gone wrong despite the best of intentions and apply the model to see where communications got off track
  • This session will transform a complex set of considerations to a simple model for intentional communication
  • You will be able to use this communication model to distribute lessons learned across the program to maximize the impact of your learning

Harnessing the power of social networks in your school

  • Discover the power of social network analysis in school settings
  • Understand the intuitive, complex “map” of your school team in a more systematic and simple way
  • Learn to purposely leverage existing structures within your school during change initiatives

Learning from leadership failures

  • Learn strategies for self-management and self-leadership, particularly in moments of intense uncertainty
  • Become aware of common biases that occur in moments of failure
  • Discover two universal and practical frameworks to make the most of failure
  • Walk away armed with new perspective and tools to help lead others through and following failure


Amy Stewart Smith - Academic Director; Director of Nonprofit Executive Programs

Brenda Ellington Booth - Clinical Professor of Leadership

Shana Carroll - Clinical Associate Professor of Management Communications; Faculty Director, Management Communications Program

Cynthia Coburn - Professor, Human Development and Social Policy; Professor, Learning Sciences, Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy

Joe Holtgreive - Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Engineering, Director of the Office of Personal Development, McCormick School of Engineering

Accommodations, Fees & Policies


Nonprofit Management Programs are held at Northwestern University's Chicago Campus.

Wieboldt Hall
340 East Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Chicago Campus Parking Map - Please Note: the Huron Superior Parking A lot and the Erie Ontario Parking C & D lots are available to the public and should be used when attending programs at Wieboldt Hall.

Application Deadline

The deadline for registration is 10:00 am one business day prior to the program start date.

Scholarship Assistance

Up to 50% scholarships are available for all of our nonprofit executive education programs for those working in nonprofit organizations. All applications are initially submitted at the full list price. Each is reviewed by our registrar and any scholarships granted will be reflected in the amount applied to your invoice or charged to your credit card.

Hospitality during the Program

We strive to provide healthy meal choices for our participants for breakfast, lunch and breaks. We typically provide a range of choices, including some vegetarian-friendly and gluten-avoidant selections. We cannot meet all dietary preferences, but we will do our best to accommodate health restrictions, religious restrictions and food allergies.


Participants are responsible for booking their hotel accommodations during their stay in Chicago.

Download Nearby Hotels List

Cancellation Policy:

Participants must notify the Program Manager five business days in advance of the program start date if they are unable to attend. Otherwise, participants will be charged 20% of the stated program fees.

When canceling a program registration, participants may choose to rollover their payment to a future program or receive a refund. Participants are allowed three rollovers, after the third rollover, participants forfeit the money paid to the Center for Nonprofit Management.

*Refund or rollover must be requested at the time of the program cancellation. Once a program payment has been rolled over, a monetary refund is no longer an option. The participant must continue with the rollover process.

Learn More

Please email or call us if you would like additional information about Nonprofit Programs

2021 Session

July 13-14, 2021

Start: July 13 at 8:30 AM

End: July 14 at 5:00 PM

LOCATION: Chicago campus


Scholarships Available

Kellogg School of Management

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