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Personal Leadership (Online)


Inspired by Professor Hitendra Wadhwa's teachings on Personal Leadership in Columbia Business School's MBA Program and Executive Education courses, Personal Leadership (Online) uses breakthrough research in psychology, neuroscience, and psychotherapy to provide powerful techniques for tangible personal improvements and greater leadership skills. The online program offers a distinctive set of video-lectures, delivered with a flexible learning schedule, and self-reflection exercises that maintain engagement among participants and faculty members.

Personal Leadership (Online) is a unique leadership program based on research and focusing on a rigorous study of the inner lives of great leaders. The program provides powerful insights and tools to help you gain mastery over your goals, values, purpose, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, mindsets and motivations, so you can operate at your best in all moments, become a more effective leader, build stronger relationships, and experience greater fulfillment at work and in life.

The program runs for 10 weeks, in three different versions (see more, below). Participants go through two to three sessions each week. Each session has around 60 minutes of video lectures and 30 minutes of reflections and group discussion. There are also rich opportunities to connect, share, discuss, and practice with other participants. All participants can interact with faculty members in live sessions where they discuss participants' experience, ideas, and questions.

Program Options
The Essentials Edition is designed for participants who want to take a convenient (anytime, anywhere) learning journey with the opportunity to build connections and collaborate with other participants globally. It provides a 10-week, 18-session journey through the Five Pillars of Personal Leadership: Purpose, Wisdom, Self-Awareness, Love and Growth. It is ideal for participants seeking to invest in themselves so they can seek to operate at their highest potential in work and in life.

Included in the course are two live-streamed classes with the faculty, and a range of opportunities to interact with other participants online. You will walk away with practical insights and techniques you can implement immediately in your professional and personal life.

The Executive Edition includes all of the above and adds 12-month access to the online classroom and videos, a portfolio of all your notes and discussion postings, plus written feedback from associate faculty.

The Premium Edition includes everything in the Essentials and Executive editions plus two one-to-one coaching sessions of 45 minutes each and online Q&A with associate faculty on your specific Personal Leadership questions during the program.

Click here to download a full explanation and chart outlining all three editions.

Learn about how recent participants have benefited from this program.


Personal Leadership (Online) provides a number of learning benefits: Each week, participants learn at their own pace and time by watching video lectures, doing reflections, and interacting with other participants — all on their own schedule. They can deep-dive on, or fast-track, course content based on their individual interests. They can form collaborative relationships with other participants online that will continue to stay active beyond the program.

The program delivers powerful insights and practical techniques to gain greater success in your professional and personal lives through an enhanced understanding and mastery over your inner environment. Lectures are supplemented by exercises involving introspection, self-evaluation, and the application of specific techniques.


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Summary of Benefits

  • Learn what impact your internal environment has on your success
  • Understand your current level of mastery over different aspects of your inner environment and how it compares with top performers
  • Discover practical techniques to cultivate a winner's mindset that will allow you to perform at your optimum
  • Implement techniques that further develop your personal leadership skills
  • Personal reflections, group discussions and applications of personal leadership techniques
  • Gain a deeper understanding of your core values and how to align your day-to-day behavior and priorities with these values
  • Find ways to turn personal and organizational adversities into unique value-creating opportunities

Upon completion of this program, you will earn one day towards a Certificate in Business Excellence. Learn more. Participants also receive a Certificate of Completion from Columbia Business School Executive Education and the Institute for Personal Leadership.


Personal Leadership (Online) introduces you to a powerful set of frameworks, tools and insights for mastering your inner environment – your values, goals, beliefs, thoughts, emotions, mindsets, and habits. It is grounded in rigorous scientific evidence and case studies from the lives of great leaders.

For a complete program schedule and curriculum, download the program curriculum and structure.

Audience & Testimonials

Personal Leadership (Online) is designed for all levels of executives and is a convenient option for teams within an organization to learn together. We can train your internal facilitators in conducting a blended learning program that integrates online, high-quality video lectures with in-person team discussions, and exercises.

Alumni and up to four of their colleagues are eligible for a 25 percent tuition benefit for programs lasting up to seven days. More on the Alumni Tuition Benefit.


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Hitendra Wadhwa, Faculty Director
Professor of Practice

Hitendra Wadhwa is Professor of Practice at Columbia Business School and the founder of the Institute for Personal Leadership. He teaches MBA courses and such Executive Education programs as Personal Leadership and Success, and Driving Strategic. In 2012, he received the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence. He is regularly involved with many Fortune 500 corporations in strategy consulting and leadership development. Recent clients include American Express, Pfizer, Godrej Group, Microsoft, Standards & Poors and Lend Lease. His widely acclaimed research and teaching on leadership have been covered by Fortune, Psychology Today, BBC World Service, Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal. In addition, Wadhwa has been at the forefront of bringing executive education online with the launch of his two online programs on Personal Leadership and Driving Strategic Impact.

Wadhwa was a consultant at McKinsey & Company and the CEO/founder of a Silicon Valley start-up, Paramark, which was twice recognized as a Top-100 Internet technology company by Technologic Partners/Venture Wire. He received his MBA and PhD in management science from the Sloan School at MIT, and his B.A. (Honors in mathematics) from St. Stephens College, University of Delhi, where he graduated top of his class.


Related Programs

Other Online Programs:

  • Driving Strategic Impact (Online)
    Delivered in a flexible learning schedule, participants use video-lectures, exercises, and online engagement to learn tools used by top-tier consulting firms for more effective analysis and resolution of strategic problems.

Other Leadership Programs:

  • Emerging Leader Development Program
    Participants focus on leadership, strategy formulation, decision making and negotiating, and change management, and use 360-degree feedback to become stronger leaders.
  • High Impact Leadership
    Offers executives a profound understanding of how they are perceived as leaders in the context of their organization through a dynamic mix of lectures, discussions, 360-degree feedback, one-on-one coaching and self-assessment tools.
  • Leadership Essentials
    During this two-day program, participants improve their abilities in such areas as team leadership, emotional intelligence, conflict management, and managing change.
  • Negotiation Strategies: Creating and Maximizing Value
    Through a hands-on approach, participants learn how to negotiate more effectively with various parties, from clients to internal constituencies.
  • Personal Leadership and Success
    Uses breakthrough research in psychology, neuroscience and cognitive behavior therapy to provide techniques for tangible personal improvements and greater leadership skills.
  • Persuasion: Influencing Without Authority
    An intensive three-day experience focusing on practical skills for real-world persuasive situations ranging from one-on-one negotiations to driving change in an organization's culture.


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Earn Your Certificate

The Certificate in Business Excellence (CIBE) is awarded to participants who complete a total of 18 program days within a four-year period.

Learn more about the benefits of earning a CIBE.