Hitendra Wadhwa, PhD

441: Inner Mastery, Outer Impact: The Essence of a Great Leader

What is the primary driver of effective and impactful leadership? Is it from science—or the soul? Is it a more practical, results-driven organizational practice? Or is it an inner, meditative sense of self?

This week’s Finding Mastery guest, Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa, has spent his career exploring these questions… and his answer is, well, both.

Hitendra fuses the mystical history of his Indian roots with the more results-oriented needs of Western business — bridging the gap between spirituality and science, leadership and personal growth. It’s a methodology that he teaches at Columbia Business School, the Mentora Institute (which he founded), on his podcast “Intersections” and in his book, Inner Mastery, Outer Impact.

He’s turned what he’s found into powerful tools that any of us can use to be effective leaders and masters of our own lives.

Hitendra’s message for us is simple and clear: when you cultivate your inner self, wisdom shows up in the outer self. And that wisdom can be used to lead. Hitendra does it with an engaging sense of story, and telling examples from the lives of Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, and Steve Jobs.

Today, we talk about cultivating inner awareness and outer engagement, unlocking human energy to lead, checking emotion before making decisions, finding meaning in every experience, and much, much more. 

This entire conversation was full of insights and I think you may just leave it thinking about success, leadership, and your relationship to it in a whole new way.

“For me, an ideal anything – an ideal piece of art… ideal human being, and certainly an ideal leader would be one where outer excellence and outer beauty is actually emanating from inner excellence and inner beauty.”

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