The Effective Statistician Leadership Program

We designed this program for statisticians and data scientist to strengthen your leadership skills so you can maximize your impact at work even if you don’t have direct reports.

The Effective Statistician Leadership Program, a modular program of self-learning parts and moderated small group discussions, helps all statisticians and data scientists. It especially takes into account the needs of pharmaceutical statisticians, but the concepts will apply to any data scientist.

It aims at all levels of statisticians and helps both junior statisticians without management responsibilities and experienced statisticians leading teams. We believe all data scientists and statisticians can be leaders.


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Enrollment for Leadership without Masterminds is now available !

Do you want business partners to honor your ideas more?
Do you want to play a bigger role in key discussions?
Do you want to increase your influence within your organization?


The Effective Statistician Leadership Program can help you:



1. Learn the foundations of leadership


The program will help you better understand leadership relevant to your role, and to build a foundation as an effective statistical or data scientist leader.  You will learn how to:


  • Better communicate in situations where you need to show leadership.
  • Build trust with the people you work with in other functions, so they follow your advice.


2. Increase your influence


You will learn how to build business knowledge and how to better influence projects and create positive change. The program will teach you:


  • Why it is so important to develop your understanding of your business–and how you can do this.
  • How to influence your colleagues’ thinking so the organization makes better decisions.


3. Implement an action plan to improve your leadership


The Effective Statistician Leadership Program will help you create and implement your personal action plan to continually improve your statistical leadership. We designed the program to:


  • Achieve improvements in building trust with collaborators;
  • Identify opportunities for statistical influence;
  • Implement actions for positive change and develop a plan to enact;
  • Continue your study and application of leadership concepts;

Who runs the program?

We are statisticians and leadership experts!

Alexander Schacht, PhD

I received my PhD in biostatistics from the University of Göttingen in Germany. I have authored more than 70 scientific manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and regularly speak at international conferences – both statistical ones like Statisticians in the Pharmaceutical Industry (PSI) and medical ones like the European Dermatology Congress (EADV).

In my 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, I focused on late-phase work. I’m leading a team of highly capable statisticians at a major pharmaceutical company. My team collaborates with a diverse set of people like physicians, marketeers, economists and many more. They leverage my leadership insights to influence widely across the business.

In addition, I serve on the board of directors of Statisticians in the Pharmaceutical Industry (PSI) as Chairman of the Communications Committee.

Gary Sullivan, PhD

I currently consult as a Leadership Specialist and Statistical Scientist for my company Espirer Consulting since March, 2018. Before this, I was the Senior Director for Non-Clinical Statistics at Eli Lilly and Company, where I worked for 28 years.  I also worked as a technical statistician in Non-Clinical Statistics for the first half of my career at Eli Lilly.

I led the development and instruction of the first leadership course at the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) of the American Statistical Association (ASA) in 2014..  I’ve provided leadership training to over 300 professionals in statistics and other fields, both at Eli Lilly and within the ASA. In addition, I’ve authored several articles and a book chapter on leadership for statisticians.

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from the University of Pittsburgh, and both a Master’s and Doctorate in Statistics from Iowa State University. 

What you will learn

The program comprises 3 modules. They build on each other and work synergistically. They cover:

  1. Leadership Essentials and Communication
    1. What is leadership, and how can you learn it
    2. How to communicate effectively in different settings
    3. How to present with impact, including how to visualize your data
  2. Trust and Teamwork
    1. How to build trust and connect with people
    2. What makes high-performance teams and what you can do about it
    3. How to negotiate and resolve conflict
  3. Business Acumen, Influence and Decision Making
    1. What is business acumen and how to develop it
    2. How to network and understand the bigger picture and politics
    3. How to influence and drive change
    4. Develop your leadership principles and personal action plan


How you will learn


No travel required

The program requires no travel and thus no additional costs for flights or accommodation apply. We do everything virtually.


Learn via videos and assignments

Each module contains self-learning videos to understand the topics (with nearly 13 hours of content in total) and practical assignments relevant to your day-to-day activities. This will ensure that you think about what you have learned and also apply it. The modules will become available sequentially to not overburden you with content.


Participate in Mastermind sessions (limited slots available)

If you would like to deepen your understanding of these skills and reflect on them together with others in the program, you may book additionally the moderated small group discussions (about 10 persons). These “mastermind sessions” will be available per module. The groups are intentionally small to increase interactivity, address individual challenges, and answer questions. They will also serve as accountability groups to follow up on implementing the training at work. We run them via zoom.




Private LinkedIn Group

As a first bonus, we have a private LinkedIn group. This will enable us to stay in contact and answer questions fast. We keep this LinkedIn group alive after completion of the program to stay in touch. You’ll also meet the alumni from The Effective Statistician Program there and thus join a bigger community. We’re also posting further content there.


Monthly office hours

As a second bonus, you will have access to the monthly office hours of Gary and Alexander. During this time you will have the opportunity to discuss any questions you have about leadership and get advice from Gary and Alexander and other participants.


What past participants said!

Both Richard Zink and Sam Gardner (see the comments) took part in this program, including the mastermind sessions.


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Quotes from The Effective Statistician Leadership Program participants


As we offer this training for the first time as a self-learning program as well, all the statements below refer to the combination of self-learning and mastermind participation.


“For me – besides the content of course – the concept itself is very helpful: the mix of smaller classes in combination with the webinars and the podcast. The repetition of communication styles, the regular reminders to apply it in our working environment and to talk about it in the mastermind groups is very useful (even with a more than fully engaged working schedule :-)). “


” The program really helped me to demystify and break down what leadership is.”


” The number one thing that was most helpful is that the structure of the program has helped me to go through the aspects of leadership and evaluate them one step at a time.”


“I really enjoyed the masterminds because it’s a safe place for us to explore and to sort of break down what happened.”


” I think that’s (emphasis on focus in last part of the program) really helping me to try to organize my life, and organize my time, and organize my thinking about what I do – so that I can be more effective in my work and be a better leader. “


” I found the assignments very helpful. We talked about different concepts and skills and directly translated this into practice within the assignments. And in my view, the structure of the program was very helpful: to have regular meetings and assignments –> I was forced to stay on track. “


“There was a ton of advice, all extremely useful.”


“(most useful were) the personalised advice and accountability of the mastermind groups.”


“Thank you to both of you for putting a great course together! The presentations were engaging with interesting practical examples from the trainers, and the Mastermind sessions really helped consolidate the learning and understanding. Since enrolling on the course I put myself forward for a team leader position, and I’m sure having an awareness of the concepts and principles which were introduced during the training helped me succeed at interview. I would happily recommend the course to any statistician interested to learn more about leadership.” – Euan Macpherson


Recent students have reported about the program also on the podcast (they participated in the combined version with the masterminds):



What does it cost – watch out for new prices?


Leadership Program with Mastermind 1149€ OPEN
Leadership Program without the Mastermind (available all the time) 699€ OPEN


If you would like to enrol 10+ participants, please contact Alexander Schacht.



Why your supervisor should support you attending this program


  • More and more, organizational decisions and strategy are being driven by data … how its generated and how it’s analyzed.  As the experts in design, analysis and interpretation of data, statisticians and data scientists need to not just be at the center of these discussions but also have the ability to influence direction and strategy, impact decision-making. Further, they must develop and contribute their own ideas to deliver greater value to an organization or cause.  This requires stronger leadership.
  • Quantitative scientists like statisticians have the raw skills to be strong leaders: We are deep thinkers, good at framing/structuring problems, able to synthesize and process information, adept at problem-solving, learning agile, smart and curious, and have high integrity.  This is a great foundation for leadership.
  • To be more effective leaders, we need to improve or develop other skills including communication and presence, conflict management, influence and negotiation, business acumen and business judgment, and courage.
  • To improve leadership, we as data scientists and statisticians must continually invest in our leadership development and apply what they learn.  This course will not only provide the relevant content for statistical leadership, but is designed both for study and application on a weekly basis for a period of about six months.  This will instill the skills and practice and create the habit of leadership study that will serve well beyond the duration of the course.
  • Finally, the positive outcomes will be numerous: value to the organization or cause, an increase in quantitative thinking across the organization, and greater visibility & reward for data scientists and statisticians to name a few.  Additionally, these new statistical leaders will serve as role models for their colleagues, which can begin a virtual cycle of improved leadership and impact across their group.  Simply put, it will make a big difference – for the statistician/data scientists, their function, their company, and their customers/stakeholders.


Frequently asked questions


How long do I have access to the material?


You will have life-time access to the course. We plan to offer this course continuously and will improve the content over time and add further material. Thus, as long as we maintain the site, you will have access.


How much time, do I need to invest?


Plan to spend about 1 to 2 hours per week for the content over about 5 months. The implementation of the training will happen in your day-to-day activities and interactions.


What happens to the small group discussions after completion of the course?


We expect that the groups will develop enough team spirit during the program to continue self-organized far beyond the completion of the program. 


What happens if I don’t like the course?


Oh no! We don’t want that! We offer a 30 days money-back guarantee. If you are unhappy with the course for any reason, let us know and we will refund your payment within 30 days.


How do I enroll a larger group of participants? Are there any benefits?


If you would like to enroll 10+ participants, please contact Alexander Schacht. We’ll be able to offer some additional benefits in this case or find individualized solutions for you.


When does the course start?


The next program will start in September 2022.


Here are the costs


Leadership Program with Mastermind 1149€ OPEN
Leadership Program without the Mastermind (available all the time) 699€ OPEN


If you would like to enroll 10+ participants, please contact Alexander Schacht.