Leadership Essentials

Program Overview

The Leadership Essentials Program is a three-tier multifaceted leadership skills development program targeted to staff, supervisors, team leads, and faculty who desire to enhance the current effectiveness of their leadership skills, and learn how to positively impact people, performance, and productivity. 

Tier 1 is curated towards individual contributors and tier 2 is curated towards managers, team leads, and faculty, each providing specific information that will help you succeed in your current function. Completing tier 1 or tier 2 meets the prerequisite criteria for Intensive.

Competency Model

Core competencies are the measurable skills, behaviors, and attitudes that lead people to success in their work. The following competency model was designed using the Korn Ferry Leadership Architect™, a global competency framework.*

Our competency model represents the success profile of each program based on leader level. Success profiles are the unique combination of competencies that describe the skill set of the ideal person for a specific level or key job. Individuals who most closely match a success profile will be considered the best fit, or star performers (Ruyle & Orr, 2010).

Competency Model

To use the competency model above, begin by:
  1. Identifying the ideal skill set for the role you want to pursue.
  2. Attend the programs that will help you develop an understanding of those competencies.
  3. Incorporate these competencies in your self-performance appraisal.
  4. Discuss with your leader what successful application of these competencies looks like and have them evaluate you after a set period.


The content of the Leadership Essentials program differs from the Supervisory Skills Certificate Series (SSC) in that it dives more deeply into theory, discovery and skill development than the SSC. There is not significant overlap between the two programs. The SSC is not a prerequisite for this program. Graduates of the SSC are still eligible to be nominated for this program

The Korn Ferry Leadership Architect™ was designed based on thorough, comprehensive, and rigorous analysis. This global competency framework was derived based on a combination of quantitative, qualitative, and market-based data, sourcing from Korn Ferry’s own extensive data stores and external research literature sources.The Leadership Architect® is a research-based, scientifically validated tool used by organizations to profile and assess leadership behaviors. The development of the Leadership Architect® Library was based on the early work at the Center for Creative Leadership, Hay-McBer, Sears, Exxon, AT&T, and other organizations that seriously studied success at work (The Leadership Architect® Technical Manual, 2010). The Leadership Architect® Library consists of 67 Competencies and 19 Career Stallers and Stoppers which roll up into 21 leadership characteristics for success and 5 negative characteristics that can derail a career (Lombardo & Eichinger, 2009).


Contact the Office of Organization Effectiveness at psom-oe@pobox.upenn.edu 215-573-0682.