Leadership and Happiness - Harvard Business School MBA Program

Leadership and Happiness

Course Number 1885

Senior Fellow Arthur Brooks
Professor Leonard Schlesinger
Spring; Q3; 1.5 credits
14 Sessions

This half-semester course will introduce students to the growing science of human happiness and its applications to modern leadership. We have two objectives: To learn to be happier leaders, and to build happier communities among those we lead. Why does it matter? First, everyone wants to be happier (even EC MBA students!). Second, we believe that leaders who are attentive to their own happiness and that of those they lead are at a demonstrable advantage in a competitive economy. Third, enterprises with unhappy leaders and cultures are likely at unnecessary risk.

Students will become familiar with the latest literature on well-being from positive psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics. Using a variety of personality tests, they will learn their own natural levels of positive and negative affect, and how to change them. They will practice techniques for raising the well-being levels of others, and apply core insights through a number of case studies, experiments, and simulations. By the end of the term, students will be prepared to use the skills from this class in their lives and careers.