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.

Building Your Leadership Foundation

Domain: Science of SelF  


Watch Prof. Wadhwa's introductory comments on this Executive Program

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Spring: Jan. 30, 2017 to Apr. 23, 2017
Summer: May 22, 2017 to Aug. 13, 2017
Fall: Sept. 11, 2017 to Dec. 3, 2017


Enroll Now by providing your contact details in the form on the right. Click on Proceed to Enroll to complete your enrollment.

We have limited scholarships available. Learn more





When we step into new roles in life and leadership, we typically have a clear view of what we need to accomplish – but rarely of how we should get there. What core principles should our path in life and leadership be illuminated by? What attitudes, beliefs and mindsets are critical to success? What behaviors will put us on the path to maximizing our potential?

Building Your Leadership Foundation invites you to examine, and, in many cases, rescript, your core beliefs about work, leadership and life. You will learn how there are in fact certain universal principles that drive success in life and leadership, and tools to put these principles into practice. You will gain powerful, and often surprising, insights on how to maximize your impact based on the paths that great leaders have taken. You will gain an understanding of the role of mindsets in driving behavior and performance, and learn how to cultivate a winner’s mindset. And finally, you will learn how to cultivate a powerful force – love – as a guiding force in life and leadership.

The principles, beliefs and tools you will acquire in Building Your Leadership Foundation will help you approach both challenges and opportunities in life and leadership with greater clarity, wisdom and love. And, at the deepest level, you will start to discover that to achieve your full potential in life and leadership, you have to see them as two sides of the same coin.  

The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this: that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws.
— Martin Luther King

What You Will Learn
Part I: Success Principles for Life and Leadership
Apply transformational principles to maximize success in life and leadership

  • 5 universal leadership principles
  • How to succeed by not trying – the principle of nonattachment
  • The power of paradox – unleashing your highest potential by embracing opposing ideas
  • Simplicity – the secret to success in a complex world
  • Practical tools to put these principles into action
  • Analyses and stories that show how these principles have played a central role in the success of great leaders throughout history

Part II: Cultivating a Winner's Mindset
Identify and vanquish self-defeating beliefs and mindsets to maximize your effectiveness

  • How your beliefs and mindsets affect your behavior and performance
  • Practical methods for surfacing beliefs that are limiting you today – and how to re-script them
  • Four mindsets that separate winners from average performers
  • Practical scientific techniques to help you and your team shift into a winner’s mindset
  • Insights on how the winner’s mindset has been practiced by great leaders and teams

Part III: Leading from the Heart
Cultivate the inner virtue that will help you multiply your impact and build a loyal following

  • A precise definition of love, as it applies to life and work
  • Four dimensions of love – and how the Personal Leadership view of love contrasts with the mainstream view
  • How great leaders have manifested love – in the form of compassion, empathy, kindness, selflessness and forgiveness – in the pursuit of their purpose
  • Costs and benefits of love in life and leadership – and how to maximize its impact.
  • Practical techniques to nurture and practice love in life and leadership.
  • Costs and benefits of forgiveness – and the winner’s path to forgiveness that is validated by science and exemplified by great leaders
  • Practical techniques for pursuing the winner’s path to forgiveness

Participant Profile
The Building Your Leadership Foundation program is designed for executives of all levels who are looking to approach the challenges of life and leadership with greater clarity, wisdom, and love.

Course Structure 
This Columbia-IPL 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
  • 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

Building Your Leadership Foundation 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.  

The [Science of Self classes] series delivers the profound insight that inner mastery is both a powerful multiplier of an individual’s core strengths, intellect and talent as well as a jumping off point for personal growth and organizational impact. These classes are a game changer!
— Catherine Gueli, VP, Strategy, Management Processes and Communications, Xerox Corporation
Catherine Gueli

Catherine Gueli