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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.

Participants will take a 12-week, 20-session journey through the Five Pillars of Personal Leadership: Purpose, Wisdom, Self-Realization, Love and Growth. The program includes two live-streamed sessions with Professor Wadhwa plus the opportunity to customize your own learning experience and connect, share, discuss, and practice with other participants.

See the Curriculum tab for more details.


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.

You will receive:

  • A 12-week, 20-session journey through the Five Pillars of Personal Leadership: Purpose, Wisdom, Self-Realization, Love and Growth:
    • 14-session Personal Leadership Foundations program
    • Opportunity to customize your own 6-session Advanced Personal Leadership experience by selecting from our extensive library of 20+ online sessions
  • Two live-streamed sessions with Professor Hitendra Wadhwa with live chat/Q&A
  • On-the-go access to program content on your mobile device
  • Extended access to program content for 6 months
  • Opportunities to connect and collaborate with a global community of executives
  • Access to the Personal Leadership toolkit: frameworks, templates, tools, Great Leader studies, and more
  • Certificate from Columbia Business School Executive Education and the Institute for Personal Leadership

Customize Your Learning Journey

Columbia Business School Executive Education, in collaboration with the Institute for Personal Leadership, has developed an extensive library of online content on Personal Leadership. These sessions feature Prof. Wadhwa as lead faculty along with experts he brings in on various topics.

Personal Leadership (Online) gives you a unique opportunity to customize your learning journey based on your specific personal leadership goals.

Over the first 7 weeks of the program, you will participate in a collective journey with other participants through the foundations of Personal Leadership.

In weeks 8-12, you will take another 6 classes – personally selected by you from our collection of 20+ advanced Personal Leadership sessions – to strengthen your Personal Leadership skills in areas of interest to you.

And while we encourage you to keep to the 12-week schedule, the 6-month extended access to content allows you to learn at your own pace.

For a complete program schedule and curriculum, including a list of the customizable sessions, download the program curriculum and structure.

See how recent participants have benefited from this program.

Coaching Sessions

You will also have the opportunity to receive 1:1 coaching from an Institute for Personal Leadership coach to guide you on how to use Personal Leadership insights and tools to address your specific challenges and goals. This service is available for an additional fee.

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.