Frances Hesselbein

Frances Hesselbein is considered one of the country's greatest leaders. From her service as the CEO of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. from 1976-1990, to her recognition by former President Bill Clinton in 1998 as a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient for her work as “a pioneer for women, volunteerism, diversity and opportunity,” Frances has provided the world with a simple leadership philosophy: To serve is to live.

Joshua Spodek's courses are that rare breed of training—genuine, authentic, effective, meaningful, engaging, and, most of all, fun—whether you take them in-person, on-line, or by book. Through him I have witnessed their development, implementation, and results. They are based on the best leadership theory and practice. He implements them with the student's needs first, engaging them. The results are that the student becomes an authentic, great leader, able to serve and to live to the best of their ability. Anyone who aspires to lead, to lead better, or to live better would benefit from Joshua's exercises. This goes for business, public service, the social sector, the arts, education, and any sphere where leaders serve.

Marshall Goldsmith

World’s #1 Leadership Thinker (Harvard Business Review) and #1 Best­seller (NYT and WSJ)

What I really love about what you're doing is you're building an ongoing follow up, an ongoing practice. See the problem with most leadership training to me is you go sit in a room, you hear a lecture, and then you leave and there's an assumption that somehow your behavior is going to change… And in life our problem isn't understanding, it's doing. I think most people understand what we want to do, we just don't do it. What I love about what you're doing is it's practice and doing over and over again and you're building a follow-up.”

You have a real focus on creating positive change, not just understanding theory… Almost no one does that. For example if you go to almost any leading business school, they have all these programs to help people become better leaders. None of them do any follow up…

What I love about you is you're teaching people very practical tools that they can take back and use every day

Student Reviews Entrepreneurship Step By Step

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This is one of the greatest classes I have ever taken. It was engaging, thought provoking, challenging, and fun. Josh is an incredible teacher, mentor, and friend to everyone in the class who is passionate about the subject matter. If I could take this class all over again, I would.

Take the course! As a senior, I think it's incredibly necessary for students to be equipped with some business knowledge before going into the ‘real world.' Furthermore, the class taught me how to create sustainable solutions to remedy problems I'm passionate about. I'm incredibly grateful for the business and social tools I gained from this course.

Breaking down the entire process into baby steps was extremely helpful. This course was amazing.

As a Stern alum who concentrated in Management, Joshua Spodek's class better taught me more applicable and meaningful management skills than any course from the Management Department.

10/10 would take again! I loved every second of this class, but what's cooler, is that I think I may have loved the homework even more.

It was an incredible class that inspired me in immeasurable ways. It was my first real experiential course in college and thus allowed me to feel prepared to actually use the skills I learned in the real world. … I would highly recommend the class to anyone.


This course is extremely relevant to life outside of school… The class is super rewarding if you put in the time and the effort.

This class has taught me more skills I can use outside of the classroom than any class I have taken so far.

This class is not just about the classroom but it is about skills for life.

As a senior, this was the first course that challenged me, asking me to think outside my comfort zones. Yet, it is also where I developed a strong network of supporters through group projects.

I have already started applying everything I've learnt in this course to my real life and venture that I am taking forward. [My venture] developed tremendously in this class and because of the financial model that Prof. Spodek made us do, I was able to realise just where I needed to tweak my business model and I did precisely that. I applied everything I learnt to my venture and was successful in receiving a $8500 grant from NYU to make it work. Thus this class has been extremely rewarding for me.

Message for future students: Take the course seriously. Take advantage of every aspect of the course. In my seven semesters at NYU, it's easily been one of the most valuable courses I've taken; please give it the time it deserves. Don't be scared to reach out to people, anyone at all, for advice. The worst they can say is no and the best is invaluable.

Student Reviews Leadership Step By Step

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Absolutely. I would recommend this course not just to peers, but anyone interested in leadership. Honestly, even if you don't care about being a leader, this is the kind of class which can help anyone grow as a person, not only bettering themselves in terms of leadership, but also in terms of self actualization. The social skills you learn in this class have never been taught to me in an academic environment.

An incredibly rewarding course that allowed me to challenge myself to strive for a better version of myself… It required discovering what I wanted to learn through real-life encounters, as opposed to lecture-based classes in which many students only memorize concepts for the exam only to completely forget it in a couple months.

I found myself being able to handle situations in team-environments with much more effectiveness because I had a reference to the way I was participating in groups. I think Professor Spodek effectively redefined my understanding of leadership and of being a leader … he really provided perspective in that we use leadership every day in both encounters with others as well as within myself.

Joshua Spodek’s course … is uniquely distinct from any previous NYU course I have taken thus far. Professor Spodek was exceptionally adept at teaching this course’s material … this class was clearly structured and well thought out. .. it had a profound impact on me.

I truly hope other NYU students have the privilege of taking this course. It is the exact material that students of my generation need in order to tackle the unknown beyond graduation and in our everyday.

Personally, identifying with Josh’s passion for leadership and seeing the great powers it it has on creating growth/change … I have found increased meaning in the work I do, and have found myself more motivated to arrive and thrive. … I am beyond grateful. Thank you.

I would recommend this course to my peers. This course let me realize more of myself. It is a discovery process of my emotion, motivation, and behavior. It is also helpful to understand more of others' behavior / feeling. It's helpful for both life and learning.

Chris's interview:

This course really changed by definition of “Leadership.” Joshua is an amazing professor. He taught this class in a way that we learned about ourselves and then to understand others. He taught us how to find the real emotions and beliefs behind someone's behavior and use that emotion to lead them and make them feel understood.

I believe the class has the potential to change people's mind about how to teach leadership.

This is the most influential yet relaxing class that I have ever taken in my life. … I really loved, enjoyed it, and constantly amazed by how much I learned more and more over the course of practicing Joshua's exercises. … this is a really great class that I will recommend to my friends.

I've learned now to lead others with empathy and connect tasks to motivations or passions. I will be able to be an effective leader with these newly acquired skills in future roles… experiential learning is a great way to learn skills and be able to apply them in real life.

26 More Pages of Testimonials

Joshua's students are honest and vocal about their experiences with him in the classroom. Click here to read even more direct quotes from people who have experienced growth under his guidance first-hand.

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