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Connecting and Inspiring Executive Program

Critical Dates

Fall 2017: Sept. 11, 2017 to Dec. 3, 2017
Spring 2018: Jan 29, 2018 to Mar. 11, 2018
Summer 2018: May 21, 2018 - July 1, 2018
Fall 2018: Sep. 10, 2018 - Oct. 21, 2018

Program Pricing


We have limited scholarships available.
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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 and 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.

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

Connecting and Inspiring Executive Program

Course Info

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


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 Professor Hitendra Wadhwa, Professor of Practice at Columbia Business School and Founder of the Institute for Personal Leadership. You can read his bio on the on the Founder’s page.

Connecting and Inspiring Executive Program

Who It is For

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.

Connecting and Inspiring Master Classes

Inspirational Leadership

How do you get your people to do what you need them to do? Poor leaders command their people, good leaders persuade them – and great leaders inspire them. Today’s employees are increasingly looking for a more authentic connection with their work. Traditional rewards-and-punishment tactics are becoming less effective in motivating employees as they increasingly look for a workplace that can provide them with autonomy and fulfillment.

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Power of Storytelling

Our ideas, aspirations and plans, however brilliant, carry no weight unless we can win over other people. Great leaders have recognized the power of storytelling to go beyond the sharing of facts and logic in winning their audience’s hearts – not simply in their formal speeches, but also in everyday conversations. And yet, storytelling remains one of the most under-tapped tools in leadership, one that most leaders have not formally tapped as a key tool for personal impact.

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Speaking with Impact

When we take center stage – in moderating a discussion, facilitating a workshop, delivering a speech, or teaching a class – we get a pivotal opportunity to shape other people’s views, build trust, cultivate our personal brand, and inspire people to action. Mastering public speaking is therefore critical to maximizing our impact as leaders. But many of us suffer from public speaking anxiety, and even those who are very confident with public speaking may not be that effective at it.

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Begin your journey of a lifetime to become a more authentic leader in both your personal and professional relationships!