What is the ATD-Yale Management Excellence certificate program?

This intensive virtual program integrates ATD’s research-based ACCEL™ skills model with Yale’s superior management training approach to provide you with the ultimate management development experience.

By focusing on five key skills necessary for managerial success—accountability, communication, collaboration, engagement, and listening and assessing—managers will develop their ability to effectively recruit, develop, engage, evaluate, and retain employees through more intentional talent development efforts.

This unique management development experience encourages participants to form a cohort of trusted peers whom they learn from and share knowledge with now and into the future.

The ACCEL Skills Model

In late 2015, ATD Research conducted a short survey of nearly 300 talent development leaders (managers and above) to identify the top skills most associated with successful frontline managers. The ACCEL skills were selected for inclusion in the framework because they had the highest percentage of participants indicating that each contributed to success in managing others to a high or very high extent. The development of these five specific skills are crucial to managerial success.

Listening and Assessing

Learn more about ACCEL.

Who Should Attend?

  • executives and directors
  • aspiring top-level managers with experience
  • high-potential leaders

Why Attend?

You will walk away with the skills to develop your team and improve organizational results:

  • Create a culture of accountability.
  • Foster trust and relationships between team members, clarify team roles, and encourage cooperation.
  • Cultivate a transparent, open, and honest team atmosphere, and build awareness and action toward better employee performance.
  • Nurture psychological commitment to work and positive contributions to personal and company development.
  • Enhance emotional intelligence to identify areas of strength and opportunities

Upcoming Programs

June 8–June 18, 2021
Online Program
Sold Out
September 7–16, 2021
Online Program
June 14–23, 2022
Online Program
Coming Soon
October 3–7 2022
New Haven, CT
Coming Soon
Online Program Schedule
Day 1: Dynamics of Team Synergy
Intro to the Program
Speakers: George Newman and Ryan Changcoco

Dynamics of Team Synergy
Live Programming

Understand the key processes and structures that lead some teams to perform better than others. You’ll pay close attention to the interpersonal skills that allow leaders to identify and leverage the hidden expertise in their teams, such as building trust. By participating in a team simulation exercise, you’ll receive individualized and team-based feedback, and leave with specific actions you can take to improve your performance as a team member and team leader.

Speakers: Heidi Brooks and Marissa King
Day 2: Leading High Performance Teams
Leading High Performance Teams

In this session, you will examine the importance and utility of communicating intent two levels up, two levels down, and across lateral units. You’ll apply the steps for creating and communicating the “leaders intent,” and the related confirmation and back-briefing techniques, for one of your own leadership situations. Finish this session in small-group discussions about how to create alignment and initiative in your organization, while preventing micromanagement.

Speaker: David Fivecoat
Day 3: Leadership Mindset | Data-Driven Decisions
Leadership Mindset: How to Avoid Overconfidence
Live Programming

Overconfidence and self-deception cause people to fall short of their own standards and values. Such biases are common mental traps that cause good people to do bad things and smart people to do dumb things. We will discuss what causes overconfidence and how to avoid it. We will end by discussing how to engage in perspective-taking and how to properly calibrate confidence in ourselves and those we lead.

Speaker: Daylian Cain

Data Driven Decisions/ Moneyball
Live Programming

In this session, participants will go through several exercise in utilizing data and circumstances to make the most informed decision for tough scenarios. Professor Cain will implement the money ball strategy as an example for this process.

Speaker: Daylian Cain
Day 4: Accountability in Management
Being an Accountable Manager
Live Programming

Thriving as an organization in the 21st century marketplace demands an unprecedented level of leadership capacity and execution. This requires personal accountability with a focus on learning and leading by example. In this session, you will reflect on the week’s lessons to distill what you've learned into your own approach for holding yourself accountable in your managerial approach. You’ll share your ideas, and solicit and deliver feedback with fellow participants.

Speaker: David Tate
Day 5: Accountability Everywhere
Accountability Everywhere

Take a deeper dive into Professor Tate's framework on accountability.

Speaker: David Tate
Day 6: Developing Team Strategies | Enhancing Employee Motivation
Developing Team Strategies
Live Programming

In this session, you will learn about the structures and norms that allow teams to achieve process gains and avoid process losses. Specifically, you’ll analyze how teams can use planning and coordination to avoid common problems that result from overspecialization and conceptual blocking. By taking part in a team exercise where you experience these dynamics playing out, you will have the opportunity to analyze your strengths and weaknesses in implementing such group norms.

Speaker: George Newman

Enhancing Employee Motivation
Live Programming

In this session, we will consider the strengths and weaknesses of different ways of measuring and rewarding performance, and we will discuss non-monetary compensation as an important lever in HR management. You’ll also examine the psychological research on incentives and motivation. Specifically, we will focus on the circumstances under which monetary reward systems can have unanticipated and dysfunctional effects, the underlying psychological factors that may lead monetary incentives to reduce performance, and the strategies that managers can utilize to increase intrinsic motivation.

Speaker: George Newman
Day 7: Leading Hard Conversations
Leading Hard Conversations

Learn the Army's After-Action Review method of team feedback to encourage and sustain the voices of those with diverse experiences, and how to communicate in volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) environments. You’ll conclude with an exercise about assessing and discussing individual, team, and organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).

Speaker: David Fivecoat
Day 8: Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence: Intro to RULER

RULER is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, where Marc Brackett is the founding Director.

Speaker: Marc Brackett

Yale Faculty Speakers

MARC BRACKETT is the director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. His research focuses on the role of emotional intelligence in decision making,...
HEIDI BROOKS specializes in leadership and community development for individuals, organizations, and larger systems. Her experience includes executive...
DAYLIAN CAIN’s research focuses on judgment, decision making, and behavioral business ethics. In other words, he studies the reasons why smart people do dumb...
GEORGE E. NEWMAN, faculty director, is an assistant professor of management and marketing. He is interested in the application of basic cognitive processes...
DAVID C. TATE is a licensed clinical psychologist and an assistant clinical professor in psychiatry at Yale University. His areas of practice in...
"I think all leaders and aspiring leaders should do this program to gain a greater sense of one's role and responsibilities as a leader and team member. It gave me greater awareness of myself--new knowledge to apply and identified work to do in all areas of my life. "
"I found this program to be informative and engaging given the virtual environment. The online tools were easy to use and I thoroughly enjoyed the breakout activities to have deeper conversations on the topics. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear the ideas and experiences of others."
"Amazing content--Loved it. Loved the cohort and hope to connect with them. There was a nice cross mix of private/public sector. The professors were very dynamic, each in their own way."
"The professors are outstanding. They presented the material in engaging ways and facilitated connection within our cohort. Thank you for this very special program and opportunity."


  • June 8–June 18, 2021
  • ATD Members
  • Non-Members
  • September 7–16, 2021
  • Early Bird Savings Available Through August 7
  • ATD Members
    Early Bird Rates: $4,000
    Standard Rates: $4,250
  • Non-Members
    Early Bird Rates: $4,250
    Standard Rates: $4,500
  • Register


ACCEL: The Skills That Make a Winning Manager, a new report from the Association for Talent Development (ATD) sponsored by Columbia Business School, examines the development of five specific skills—accountability, communication, collaboration, engagement, and listening and assessing—that are crucial to managerial success. Together, these five skills comprise the ACCEL model.

Defining the ACCEL Model 

Accountability: Accountability skills refer to performance management and the delegation of responsibility to direct reports. Managers who are adept at creating a culture of accountability encourage team members to be accountable for self-development and meeting their own development goals. 

Collaboration: Collaboration is defined as creating an environment and culture of teamwork (in this case, the team comprises the manager and direct reports). Managers who excel in this skill foster trust and relationships between all team members, clarify team roles, and encourage cooperation toward achieving a common goal. By encouraging trust and relationship building between team members, direct reports can share knowledge with and learn from one another. 

Communication: Communication is defined as the exchange of information and feedback between managers and their direct reports. Communication also involves a willingness to engage in three types of conversations with employees: disciplinary, coaching, and praise. Managers who are adept at communication foster a transparent, open, and honest team atmosphere. At the individual level, effective communication—including targeted, actionable feedback—can build awareness and action toward better employee performance. 

Engagement: Engagement is defined as motivating, inspiring, and involving one’s direct reports. Engaged employees understand their specific role and its importance. By engaging team members, managers will have direct reports who are psychologically committed to their work and who make positive contributions to their own development and the company. 

Listening and Assessing: Listening and assessing involves the information-gathering, critical-thinking, and processing skills of a manager during interactions with direct reports. Listening and assessing also encompasses emotional intelligence, which entails recognizing one’s own and others’ emotions and using emotional information to guide one’s behavior and assessments. Managers who are skilled at listening and assessing use these abilities to identify areas of strength and improvement in direct reports.

Key Findings From the Study

In late 2015, ATD Research conducted a short survey of nearly 300 talent development leaders (managers and above) to identify the top skills most associated with successful frontline managers. The ACCEL skills were selected for inclusion in the framework because they had the highest percentage of participants indicating that each contributed to success in managing others to a high or very high extent. In fact, 83 percent of participants said that communication is the skill most related to success as a manager, followed by engagement (76 percent), listening and assessing (71 percent), accountability (70 percent), and collaboration (69 percent). 

Several other key findings from the research are:

  • Less than half (46 percent) of respondents indicated that their organization had identified the specific skills related to managerial success in developing direct reports.
  • The majority of participants (56 percent) reported that their organization measured managers’ success in developing their direct reports by looking at the performance of their direct reports based on business metrics.
  • Nearly a third of respondents (29 percent) indicated that their organization rewards and recognizes managers who exhibit accountability skills. This is a higher percentage than for any other ACCEL skill.
  • Just less than two-thirds of participants (63 percent) reported that managers are trained in ACCEL skills areas through instructor-led real classrooms. 

Want to learn more?

Check out ACCEL: The Skills That Make a Winning Manager to learn:

  • the barriers that prevent managers from exhibiting ACCEL skill
  • how ACCEL skills training is typically delivered
  • what type of measurement is used to determine success in developing direct reports
  • if success in exhibiting ACCEL skills is rewarded and recognized.