How to Make Leadership Look Like Magic

Wharton Professor, Sigal Barsade

If you think leadership can’t be learned, Professor Sigal Barsade will change your mind. She believes leadership is a skill that contains elements anyone can cultivate like emotional intelligence, group decision making, and the ability to positively influence people.

Barsade says that students at the Wharton School learn leadership — making it look effortless by gaining an understanding of team work and group dynamics.

“To lead well, you also have to know how to be part of a team,” Professor Barsade said. “You have to know how to interact with others, how to step forward, and also know when to pull back. You have to know yourself and you have to be able to not only read your own emotions, but also read the emotions of other people.”

Professor Barsade believes that Wharton students, apart from learning to embrace the cognitive skills necessary for leadership, also learn the science of leadership. “The benefit we have at Wharton is that we have faculty who are the best researchers in their field—doing cutting-edge research and teaching that way,” she said.

“What we teach then has science and rigor behind it and an applicability that our students can go out and use.”


Learn more about how Wharton is creating leaders through the More Than Ever campaign.

View Professor Sigal Barsade’s faculty profile.