Hitendra Wadhwa Profile Photo

Hitendra Wadhwa

Keynote Speaker

Author, Inner Mastery, Outer Impact ; Professor, Columbia Business School; Founder, Mentora Institute and Mentora Foundation

Hitendra Wadhwa stands at the unique intersection of things – Science and Spirituality, Profit and Purpose, East and West, Inner and Outer, Personal and Professional. In his keynotes, Hitendra shares powerful ideas and inspiration on how to pursue success in life – and how ordinary people can become extraordinary leaders.

Request Availability

Hitendra Wadhwa'S SPEAKING FEE $40K - $70K

Hitendra Wadhwa Profile Photo

As Professor of Practice at Columbia Business School and Founder of the Mentora Institute, Hitendra has coached dozens of Fortune 100 C-suite executives and taught 10,000+ MBAs and Executives. His class on Personal Leadership & Success is one of the most popular at Columbia Business School, for which he has won the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Hitendra’s mission is to discover, codify and teach the laws of success in life and leadership. His research integrates the latest science of human nature, ancient wisdom, studies of great leaders, and the personal journeys of everyday heroes. Hitendra brings a mathematician’s rigor and a truth-seeker’s spirit to some of today’s most vexing questions about authenticity, success, leadership, human potential, and more.

Hitendra’s research and teaching on personal leadership have been covered by Harvard Business Review, Inc., Forbes, Fortune, CNN, Psychology Today, BBC World Service, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal. His podcast, “Intersections”, features acclaimed thought leaders and practitioners in the fields of human potential and leadership.

Hitendra is the founder of Mentora Institute, which helps organizations thrive in today’s fast-changing world by growing their purpose, people and performance. Mentora offers a simple, personal and inspiring approach to developing leaders at all levels, based on universal, timeless laws of human nature. Hitendra recently described Mentora’s pioneering approach to developing leaders in a highly popular article in Harvard Business Review, “Small Actions Make Great Leaders“. Hitendra’s clients at Mentora include Accenture, Ericsson, Kraft Heinz, Lululemon, Morgan Stanley, SAP, Seagen, Siemens, United Healthcare and a leading global luxury-goods brand.

In the past, Hitendra was an Engagement Manager 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. Hitendra has an MBA and Ph.D. in Management Science from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. 

He combines a strong grounding in science and logic – with a PhD from MIT in quantitative business, with practical business judgement (he’s worked at McKinsey, founded a Silicon Valley startup, and today runs his own business, Mentora) and deep grounding in the world’s mystic traditions (he started to study these traditions and to meditate when he was ten). 

Featured Videos

Hitendra Wadhwa Profile Photo
Hitendra Wadhwa

Hitendra Wadhwa Speaking Reel 2022

Hitendra Wadhwa Profile Photo
Hitendra Wadhwa

Hitendra Wadhwa on Inclusive Leadership

Hitendra Wadhwa Profile Photo
Hitendra Wadhwa

Hitendra Wadhwa on Inner Science, Inner Experience, and Inner Faith

Hitendra Wadhwa’s Speech Topics

  • The Inner Game of Breakthrough Performance

    The behavioral skills needed to create high performance at work are hard to teach, and hard to master. But what if we’ve been searching for the answer in all the wrong places? What if high-performance and exemplary leadership are less about “fixing” people by having them develop new skills and neural pathways, and more about “sparking” them by guiding them on tapping underutilized skills and neural pathways that they already possess?  

    Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa will tap his research, teaching and experiments at Columbia Business School and the Mentora Institute which reveal very positive new findings on how professionals can accelerate their path to high performance by approaching this not as a trait to be acquired but as a state to be activated, and by shifting their focus from learning on the sidelines to leading in the flow of work. This work is the subject of Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa’s article, Leading in the Flow of Work, published as the cover story in Harvard Business Review in Jan 2024.

  • Inner Mastery, Outer Impact

    To maximize your personal and professional success, you need to let your true self shine through in everything you do. That’s what Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa, who has been teaching Columbia Business School’s “wildly overenrolled course” Personal Leadership & Success, has discovered from his 15 years of research on scientific principles of success. Hitendra blends masterful storytelling with scientific insights to show how to pursue happiness, health, high-performance and harmony in relationships from the place where our greatest potential is held, our Inner Core, by activating our Five Core Energies: Purpose, Wisdom, Growth, Love and Self-Realization. Empowered by these energies, you will discover how to create outer impact from a place of inner mastery. Hitendra’s inspiring message is both timeless and timely. 

  • Small Actions Make Great Leaders

    What’s remarkable about Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and Eleanor Roosevelt isn’t that they were extraordinary leaders, but that they were ordinary people. None of them studied leadership formally. Some didn’t even go to college, while others were indifferent students at best. How do ordinary people become extraordinary leaders?


    No question could be more central to organizations today. The wide-ranging disruptions that are upending business-as-usual make it impossible for a few leaders at the top to take on the full burden of envisioning the future and advancing change. Employees at all levels need to take on the mantle of leadership to maximize impact within their sphere of influence and adapt nimbly as conditions change. 

    In this talk, Hitendra will draw on the findings of a 10-year study done at Columbia Business School and Mentora Institute where his team analyzed 1,000+ moments of exemplary leadership to discover the common themes in how great leaders operate. He will offer a fresh model for leadership that is simple and inspiring, and that invites people to approach all situations with the intention of bringing out the best in themselves and the best in others.


    He will show how you can become the best version of yourself by going within to activate your Inner Core and then selecting the right action to take from one moment to the next instead of following rigid frameworks and checklists. You will discover the one root cause for all leadership failures, and learn the 5 Energies we all possess at our Core – Purpose, Wisdom, Growth, Love and Self-Realization. You will walk away with insights and inspiration on how you can drive big leaps in impact in small steps, by mastering a few simple actions that arise from the very core of your being.

  • Mastering the Paradoxes of Diversity and Inclusion

    Despite big investments in Diversity and Inclusion programs, organizations are falling short in driving behavior change and impact. Many employees and executives remain skeptical about these programs, and some are downright resistant. How can you create an inspired call for everyone in your organization to embrace the cause of diversity and inclusion, practice the right behavior, and drive tangible gains in key metrics?

    Hitendra offers a refreshing perspective on Diversity and Inclusion drawn from his research on great movements from history, the science of human nature, and his consulting and training work with leading corporations. He reveals how traditional approaches to D&I like unconscious bias training fail because they leave many people uninspired or unconvinced. After inviting you to reframe D&I as a way to bring out the best in everyone in the pursuit of an uplifting purpose, Hitendra offers five principles of D&I to drive organizational transformation:

    1. Recognize the Inner Core in each person
    2. Connect with everyone’s personal journey
    3. See things through a clear mental lens
    4. Assemble the diamond of truth
    5. Be a lotus in muddy waters


    Along the way, he helps you resolve the many paradoxes of diversity and inclusion, including how to help people dissolve boundaries and affirm individual differences, how to promote diversity and inclusion without compromising speed, quality, and ownership, and how to make an exclusive brand inclusive.

What other organizations say about Hitendra Wadhwa

Dr. Wadhwa’s stage presence, passion and energy is inspirational. The call to make leadership an inner choice and to shift the emphasis from learning on the sidelines to leading in the moment greatly resonated with our GMs in attendance and inspired them for a breakthrough performance. I deeply appreciate Dr. Wadhwa’s commitment to making our GM program a meaningful experience.


What other organizations say about Hitendra Wadhwa

As a featured guest speaker at one of our MY Journey® events, Hitendra brought a compelling blend of wisdom, thoughtfulness, and empathy to his message. His passionate discussion around transformational growth and inner mastery resonated with our employees, and they left with helpful insights and resources to begin making progress on what is most important to them. Hitendra recognized that everyone’s journey looks different, and it’s from within that we find the courage to consistently work toward our most meaningful dreams. His passion for individual leadership and growth was sincere, and his understanding of human behavior and organizational dynamics was remarkable. We enjoyed having Hitendra with us and appreciate his unique perspective and ability to motivate people to become extraordinary.

Business Consulting


Tell us about your event and the speaker you are interested in booking and we will be in touch right away.