This Executive Program is offered in partnership with Columbia Business School Executive Education. You will receive a Certificate of Completion by IPL & Columbia. You will also earn one day of credit towards a Certificate with select alumni and tuition benefits from Columbia Business School. Learn more.

Connecting & Inspiring

domain: science of people 


Click on the play button above to watch a video excerpt from this class

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Getting people deeply committed and impassioned about the pursuit of a collective goal is critical to your impact as a leader. The conventional view is that people are motivated by outer rewards – compensation, power, and recognition. And yet, great leaders like Lincoln, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Steve Jobs and Churchill have been able to get their followers to passionately pursue a cause and make immense sacrifice – often without the promise of outer rewards.  Connecting & Inspiring introduces you to a powerful set of principles and tools for cultivating this force multiplier – the ability to ignite intrinsic motivation in your people to pursue the direction you have established.    

You will learn how to build a library of powerful stories that you can strategically use to guide, motivate and inspire others, how to organize your facts, ideas and recommendations into a persuasive storyline, how to use visual communication to enhance your impact, how to infuse your team with inspiration, how to maintain inspiration during times of turbulence, and how to win your audience’s hearts by communicating with authenticity in both everyday conversations and formal presentations. Drawing from the latest science of communication along with stories from the lives of great leaders, this program will equip you with a number of practical insights and tools to maximize the warmth, inspiration and resonance that your audience – whether it is an individual, team, organization or community – experiences from you. 

Connecting & Inspiring will show you how to cultivate inner resonance with your audience, to create the conditions for authentic expression, deep engagement and a collective journey toward your end goal. 

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
— Maya Angelou

What You Will Learn
Part I: Power of Storytelling
Win people’s hearts by communicating through stories

  • Powerful communication tool to help organize your facts, conclusions and recommendations in a persuasive story structure
  • How to use stories at work to inform, engage, persuade and build trust
  • 10 storytelling principles for collecting, developing, adapting and narrating stories for maximum impact
  • Storytelling template to guide you in preparing your next story
  • Highlights from IPL’s stories database – a collection of over 1,000 stories shared by past executive participants in IPL’s Personal Leadership classes – to help you start to build your own collection

Part II: Inspirational Leadership
Inspire your people to deliver their best

  • The critical role that inspiration and meaning plays in driving employee engagement, performance and loyalty
  • Why we typically fail at inspiring people
  • 6 principles for how to inspire others
  • Template for how to craft and deliver an inspiring vision
  • How to help your people derive greater meaning and fulfillment from work
  • How great leaders have ignited strong passion and commitment from their people even in the midst of challenging conditions
  • Recordings of real-life speeches + film clips that powerfully illustrate inspirational leadership in action

Part III: Speaking with Impact
Maximize your impact by building deep resonance with your audience

  • Inside-out framework for forging connection with your audience
  • Scientific principles to win an audience’s engagement, trust, and support
  • Practical techniques for developing a winning connection with your audience
  • Best practices on how to deal with moments of conflict, difficult personalities and detractors
  • Insights and tools for using visual communication to inform, persuade and inspire your audiences
  • Recordings of real-life speeches + film clips that powerfully illustrate how to speak with impact

Participant Profile
The Connecting & Inspiring program is designed for executives of all levels who are looking to drive the behaviors that are critical to building connection and inspiration with the people they lead – and also with their partners, colleagues, and leaders.

Course Structure 
This IPL-Columbia Executive Program allows you, over a 12 week timeframe, to build a broader personal leadership competency. 

  • Duration: 12 weeks
  • Time Required: 3 hours per week
  • Self-paced, high-quality video lectures
  • Online reflections and discussion
  • Opportunity to interact with a global community of executive participants
  • IPL’s proprietary myPL mobile learning platform for convenient on-the-go access
  • IPL’s proprietary Virtual Mentor platform for practice and feedback 
  • Certificate of Completion (Executive Program) from the Institute for Personal Leadership & Columbia Business School Executive Education.
  • One day of credit toward a Certificate with select alumni and tuition benefits from Columbia Business School.
  • Access to the IPL toolbox – tools, templates, and frameworks

Connecting & Inspiring is based on IPL’s scientific learning system, integrating breakthrough research in psychology, neuroscience, behavioral economics, sociology, medicine and psychotherapy, a rigorous study of great leaders and organizations, and a practical toolkit to drive tangible improvement in your personal leadership skills. 

This online course is taught by Prof. Hitendra Wadhwa, Professor of Practice at Columbia Business School and Founder of the Institute for Personal Leadership. You can read his bio on the Columbia website or here on the IPL Founder’s page.  

One of the most useful skills that I have cultivated through IPL’s Master Class is the art of storytelling. A few months ago, I launched a business venture with a partner. My partner and I have a very different approach to things, and our team comes from different walks of life. Storytelling has become the way to bridge our differences. We sit in front of a whiteboard and share the latest updates with each other, and how that would fit into our narrative of where we want the company to head.
— Alex Fan, Co-founder, Agora Foods
Alex Fan

Alex Fan