High Impact Leadership

Enhance your high impact leadership capabilities and apply these skills to your organisation.


8 weeks, excluding


8-10 hours per week,
entirely online

Learning Format

Weekly modules,
flexible learning

This course is for you if you want to:


  • Develop your entrepreneurial mindset and foster innovation in your organisation

  • Equip yourself with the values and practices to lead sustainability in a volatile world of climate, economic, and social disruption

  • Drive effective change in your organisation and develop strategies to communicate, influence, and engage with stakeholders

  • Gain insight into sustainability leadership and the application of systems thinking to business challenges

You'll walk away with:


A high-impact leadership action plan to become a more effective leader in your current and future spheres of influence.


Key leadership competencies to lead with impact in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world.


Access to the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) alumni network, consisting of senior leaders and practitioners in every industry.


A certificate of completion from the University of Cambridge validating your leadership knowledge and improved capabilities.

Course outline

Module 1:
High impact leadership and its importance
Module 2:
Exploring the context for leadership and the related challenges
Module 3:
What does high impact leadership look like?
Module 4:
The future we want, the leadership we need
Module 5:
High impact leadership capabilities
Module 6:
Communicating for influence
Module 7:
Developing the mindset and skills for innovation
Module 8:
Rewiring your leadership to achieve your goals

Your Course Convenors

Zoë Arden

Fellow and Associate Director, Leadership,
University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Arden specialises in leadership, stakeholder engagement, and storytelling. Before joining CISL, she served as director of SustainAbility (a global think tank and advisory firm) and as the director of communications and social responsibility of British Telecom. She has also held the position of managing director of the global communications consultancy Golin, among others. Arden draws on three decades of global business experience, 13 years of which were spent in managing director/director roles in complex organisations. She is also a co-author and contributor of research and reports on leadership development.

Martin Roberts

Director of Digital Learning,
University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Roberts is a programme director at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, where he helps companies with a global reach to derive value from embedding innovative approaches to sustainability across their organisation and their supply chains. Roberts has extensive experience working with companies and NGOs on sustainability challenges, with particular expertise in the food, agricultural, utility, tourism and extractive sectors. He has lived in several African countries working with governments and the private sector to tackle the resource challenges of today and the future.

Accreditation Logo

This course is certified by the United Kingdom CPD Certification Service, and may be applicable to individuals who are members of, or are associated with, UK-based professional bodies. The course has an estimated 80 hours of learning.

Note: should you wish to claim CPD activity, the onus is upon you. CISL and GetSmarter accept no responsibility, and cannot be held responsible, for the claiming or validation of hours or points.

An online education that sets you apart

This CISL online short course is delivered in collaboration with online education provider GetSmarter. Join a growing community of global professionals, and benefit from the opportunity to:


Gain verifiable and relevant competencies and earn invaluable recognition from an international selection of universities, entirely online and in your own time


Enjoy a personalised, people-mediated online learning experience created to make you feel supported at every step


Experience a flexible but structured approach to online education as you plan your learning around your life to meet weekly milestones

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