High Performance Leadership: Denver’s Premier “Mini MBA” Program

The High Performance Leadership Program (HPL) at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business is an intensive experience for individuals with significant leadership responsibilities who are looking to hone their skills in order to take on larger and more critical challenges. In a fast-track format, you’ll experience the best the Daniels has to offer: high-caliber faculty, rigorous and innovative classes and an accomplished peer group.

Learning Outcomes

Drawing from the Daniels Executive MBA, the HPL combines leadership skills and competencies with foundational business topics such as finance, marketing, and strategic decision making. You will gain:

  • An awareness of your personal strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your organization.
  • A plan to achieve organizational goals through your personal leadership and the ability to inspire, engage and lead others’ performance.
  • New methods, tools and best practices in the areas of innovation, strategy and market analysis.
  • An increased agility and adaptability to change.
  • A strong foundation of business ethics to be prepared for difficult decisions today and in the future.


 Day 1
(DU/The Nature Place)
Day 2
(The Nature Place)
Day 3
(The Nature Place)
Day 4
Day 5
Class Introduction, Leadership, Org Performance & Change FrameworksBuilding High Performance Teams & FeedbackInterpersonal Leadership—Engagement, PerformanceUnderstanding Financial Statements: Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash FlowMarketing, Innovation and CRM
Personal Leadership—Insights and Emotional IntelligenceOutdoor Experiential Feedback & DeclarationsOutdoor Experiential Feedback & Takeaways Return to DenverEthical Decision-MakingMarketing, Innovation and CRM (continued)
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Power & Influence/Negotiations IFinancial Planning & Analysis/Budgeting/Capital BudgetingStrategic Thinking/Business Models/Org DesignsAttracting & Developing TalentLeading Change
Analyzing Financial Statements WorkshopPower & Influence/Negotiations IIBusiness Model Canvas WorkshopExecution DisciplinesProgram/IDP Debrief & Graduation

Key Faculty

Scott McLaganJ. Scott McLagan

Scott is a Clinical Professor of Management at the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business. He teaches and consults in the areas of leadership, strategic planning/execution and global business. Prior to joining Daniels, Scott spent over 27 years in industry with senior executive roles with Emerson Electric and Monsanto.



Kerry PlemmonsKerry Plemmons

Kerry is a Clinical Professor at the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business. He brings over thirty years of experience in entrepreneurship, leadership, business development and international business. Prior to Daniels, Kerry held executive positions at Starbucks and Pour La France.


What is the benefit of taking the program for academic credit?

If you are planning to return to graduate school to get a full degree, you may want to transfer the credits for this program into the degree program. If you anticipate that in your future, you should take the program for credit, you will only be able to transfer academic credit to a degree program. Also, some organizations only reimburse for courses taken for academic credit.

I don’t need academic credit, but I would like to get CEUs for the program–is that possible?

Yes, we can grant CEU credits (80 hours/8 units) for the program, either way you choose to take the program (noncredit or for credit).

What will the weeks of class time look like for me?

Class will start at 8 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m. Please plan on spending the whole day on campus. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided on class days. Several short breaks will be offered throughout the day. The program starts with a 2-night, 3-day retreat in the mountains.

Where can I park on campus for the program?

Parking permits for a close-by parking lot or garage will be provided for the weeks that you need to be on-campus.

Are there exams, papers or presentations?

There will be reflective papers. Students who are not taking the program for credit will not be graded, but will be given feedback from the faculty. Students who are taking the program for credit will be required to demonstrate mastery of the content and will be graded. Expectations of all participants will be high and the content of the program will be the same.

My HR department tells me that they do not have the budget to send me to the program. Is there another way?

Depending on your company’s policies, you may be eligible to use tuition reimbursement benefits.

The weeks/days of the program don’t work for me. Will you be offering another program like this?

Please be sure to contact Roberta Nicknish at 303.871.4833 or roberta.nicknish@du.edu for information about future dates.

2017 Program Dates

Spring starts April 3 | APPLY


Contact Us

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Program Details

Eligible ParticipantsMinimum of seven years of work experience in progressively responsible roles, including at least two years in personnel management. Will evaluate management experience to determine the appropriate fit.
Program Schedule

2017 Program Dates:

April 3–5, three-day, two-night retreat in the mountains.

Class days: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. at the University of Denver
April 13, 20, 17
May 4, 11, 18, 25


Fall 2017 tuition:
For academic credit: $10,064 (8 credit hours @ $1,258/credit hour)
Non-credit: $7,500
DU alumni: $6,000

The tuition covers the cost of courses, textbooks and the retreat.

Corporate Partner, non-profit and military discounts available.

Admissions ProcessSubmit a completed application with a letter of recommendation from your direct supervisor (if applicable). The GMAT is NOT required. APPLICATION
Application DeadlineDeadline for programs is three weeks prior to program start date. For more information and future dates, contact Roberta Nicknish