Building Leadership on Strengths

Increasing employee engagement, driving innovation and change, and stimulating top-level performance involves taking a positive new approach to leadership that builds on strengths.

Run jointly by IESE Business School and Michigan’s Ross School of Business, this program will provide you with the techniques and tools you need to stimulate performance in others by focusing on their strengths.


  • Learn how to cultivate a mindful and mission-driven work environment that empowers and engages employees.
  • Examine the importance of self-awareness to motivate growth at both individual and organizational levels.
  • Learn techniques to unlock the highest potential within oneself and others.
  • Make a step-by-step plan to address leadership challenges in your organization.


In “Become a Positive Leader to Accelerate Positive Change“, you will engage in an exciting, introspective, and intense opportunity to reflect on yourself and your organization. You will explore in detail the following topics:

The Positive Leadership Framework

  • The BPL framework
  • Application of the framework to personal and organizational realms

Enabling Spectacular Performance and an Exceptional Culture

  • Tools and techniques to motivate employees
  • Setting the stage for implementation to excel

Character Development (Nurture Versus Nature)

  • Self-awareness and development of positive qualities
  • Leveraging crisis situations as opportunities for resilience and learning

Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Basilica: Drawing Inspiration from Gaudí

  • Motivating others with a sense of purpose and mission
  • Creativity for overcoming challenges and constraints
  • Evaluating the present to create an alternative future

Reflected “Best Self” Exercise

  • Customized feedback on your strengths and strength profile
  • Creating a picture of you at your best

Deep Change

  • Understanding the power of emotions and managing them in professional environments
  • Clarifying values and purpose

Creating a Positive Organizational Culture

  • Positive climate: stress prevention; mindfulness and well-being
  • Pros, cons and sustainability of a positive culture

High-Quality Connections and Energy Networks

  • Understanding the power of high-quality connections and learning how to create them to impact the future
  • Trust and empowerment

Action Plan: Change Starts With You

  • Planning and positioning for excellence
  • Development of a 21-day personal action plan

Is This Program Right for You?

The “Become a Positive Leader to Accelerate Positive Change” program targets human resource professionals and their teams; executives who are spearheading change or in the midst of a career transformation; and leaders who aspire to develop creative, committed and constructive teams.


The “Become a Positive Leader to Accelerate Positive Change” program combines a variety of dynamic methodologies, including a Reflected Best Self Assesment, case studies, team exercises, a personal development plan and experiential learning activities, all designed to help you grow as a leader and catalyze positive organizational change. The program also offers an enriching forum for interaction with faculty and peers.

In order to benefit fully from the course, reading the academic material that will be provided two weeks prior to the start date is essential.


The faculty of the “Become a Positive Leader to Accelerate Positive Change” program  is made up of professionals who are involved not only in teaching but in research and the business world.

Alberto Ribera (academic director)
Professor of the Practice of Management of Managing People in Organizations
Doctor of Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
PhD in Economics, UIC (Barcelona)
Specialist in Social and Preventive Medicine (Mental Health), Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza
Certificate in Personality Assessment, University of Minnesota
At IESE he teaches the MBA course “Personality and Leadership”, which received the 2009 IESE Award for Excellence. He also teaches the Global Executive MBA course “Managing Oneself”; and executive courses on self-leadership, relationship management and executive coaching. He has been invited as visiting professor or guest speaker at universities and business schools of more than 20 different countries and at international conferences like the World Economic Forum.

He has taught courses for Enel, Banco di Napoli, Telecom Italia, Saint Gobain, The Arab Contractors, Egypt Telecom, Enrst&Young, Hewlett Packard, PricewaterhouseCoopers and other firms. He is a board member of the Istituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria (Rome) and other not-for-profit institutions.

Kim Cameron (academic director)
William Russell Kelly Professor of Management and Organizations, University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business
MA and PhD in Administrative Sciences, Yale University
His past research on organizational virtuousness, downsizing, effectiveness, corporate quality culture, and the development of leadership excellence has been published in more than 130 academic articles and 15 scholarly books. His current research focuses on virtuousness in and of organizations — such as forgiveness, gratitude, kindness, and compassion — and their relationship to performance.

He is one of the co-founders of the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan and has served as Dean at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, Associate Dean in the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University, and department chair and associate dean at the University of Michigan.

Shawn Quinn | University of Michigan Business School

Shawn Quinn
Master’s degree in Organizational & Social Psychology from Columbia University
BSc in Psychology, University of Utah
Experienced Based Learning and Training from National Training Labs (NTL).

Shawn Quinn is an adjunct faculty member in Executive Education at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He teaches courses on leadership and change and is the faculty director for the Positive Leadership program. Shawn plays a role at the University in the Center for Positive Organizations, which in 2012 was awarded the Research Center Impact Award in recognition of its major impact on real world management practice. He is also the Founding Partner for LIFT Consulting.

Shawn has consulted with many Fortune 500, FTSE 100, Governmental and NGO organizations. At Prudential Retirement, for example, he guided their internal change agent team in building a positive corporate culture. At General Electric he helped design and run the initial idea generation process for one of their Imagination Breakthrough projects. At the University of Michigan Health System, Shawn worked with the Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs to guide efforts with the EVPMA and Departments Chairs to clarify vision, strategy and to help the group uncover and discuss challenges blocking them from reaching the vision. He has helped design and run many successful high potential and executive development programs. Shawn also helped develop and run the Competing Values Change and Innovation Assessment with many teams and organizations.

Shawn is the co-author of the McGraw-Hill book, “Leading Innovation: How to Jumpstart Your Organization’s Growth Engine,” and has co-authored five other articles and book chapters on change, engagement and positive leadership.

Shawn worked for Knight Transportation as an internal organizational development consultant, responsible for a number of key strategic change projects.

Anneloes Raes
Associate Professor of Managing People in Organizations
PhD in Organizational Behavior, Maastricht University
MSc in Psychology, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherland

Prof. Raes’ research and teaching expertise include top management teams, successful interactions between top and middle managers, self-management, leadership, and teamwork. Prior to joining IESE, Anneloes worked as an assistant professor at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, and she held visiting scholarships at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, as well as Harvard University.

The academic work of Prof. Raes has been published in academic journals such as the Academy of Management Review, Small Group Research, and Human Relations, and was awarded with the “pioneering research award” from the Organizational Development and Change Division of the Academy of Management and Healthways.

Admission Process
The program has a four-step admission process:

  1. Participants must complete and submit the online application.
  2. The Executive Education Department will contact the participant by email to acknowledge receipt of the application. It will also provide information about the program dates, sending of prior study materials and the bank details needed to pay tuition.
  3. The participant pays tuition (payment must be made before the start of the course and before prior study materials are sent). This is an essential prerequisite for participating in the program.
  4. Two weeks before the start of the program, participants will receive an email with a username giving them access to IESE’s Virtual Campus, where initial study materials will be available.


The program fee is tax-exempt and includes academic materials and lunches. It does not include travel or accommodation expenses.

The program requires preparatory coursework, which will be made available three weeks before the start date. Payment is required in order to access this material. Check the cancellation policy below.

Do you know about our corporate agreements and fees for multiple registrations? Feel free to ask us.

We have negotiated special fees for our participants in these hotels near to Barcelona campusAC Victoria Suites (Marriot) 4*Sansi Pedralbes 4*Abba Garden 4*Meliá Sarriá Barcelona 5*Upper Diagonal 4*.

Arranging Payment
We accept payments by credit card, check or wire. For more payment information, please reference your invoice.

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations received within 20 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a cancellation fee equivalent to 25% of the program fee. IESE reserves the right to cancel this edition of the program or to change the dates up to 20 days prior to its start. IESE is under no circumstances responsible for travel expenses incurred. Participants should consider travel cancellation coverage in the exceptional event that the program is cancelled or that participants are unable to attend for personal or professional reasons.


September 21-25, 2020


IESE Barcelona
(+34) 93 253 4200
How to arrive


Michigan Ross




  • IESE offers you the opportunity of designing a personalized development plan. With the support of an academic adviser, you will ll select at least four focused programs that address your unique interests and learning objectives. Once completed, you will receive the IESE Executive Education Certificate and become elegible to join IESE’s Alumni Association.

    Contact an adviser – Learn more about our Focused Programs portfolio and the ones that best reflect your development needs.

     Request the Executive Education Certificate – If you have already completed four or more programs and meet the requirements, you can apply for your certificate here.

  • IESE’s Executive Education Certificate offers a series of key benefits:

     Professional guidance with an IESE adviser.

    5% discount on any future focused program.

     Possibility of becoming a member of the Alumni Association, which delivers a broad array of exclusive benefits, ranging from professional support services to access to more than 300 Alumni learning sessions per year. Delivered around the world, sessions are a chance to learn and build your network.

  • To receive the IESE Executive Education Certificate you must meet the following requirements:

    Complete at least four focused programs (in English or Spanish).

    Programs must be completed within three years.

    Programs should amount to a minimum of 13 days of learning. You can view the focused programs calendar here for a list of available programs.


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