Our mission is to help individuals, teams and organizations achieve success by activating and expressing their highest potential in all they do.
Founder & President
Our work is informed by Mentora Research's findings on human potential drawn from a range of scientific disciplines, studies of great leaders and movements, and behavioral experiments run by Mentora Labs.
Our work is based on our founder Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa’s Inner Mastery|Outer Impact model developed at Columbia Business School over the last 15 years. Hitendra teaches the school’s most popular leadership elective, Personal Leadership & Success.
Inner Mastery | Outer Impact invites you to see leadership as the discipline of bringing out the best in yourself and the best in others in all situations, in the pursuit of a common positive purpose.
Our core beliefs
What is leadership?
Leadership is the discipline of bringing out the best in ourselves and the best in others in all situations, in the service of a common positive purpose. This form of leadership applies to all roles and all moments.
Our inner core
We are at our best when we activate and express our Inner Core. This is our true self, the space of highest potential within us. When we are at our Core, we are beyond ego, attachments and insecurities.
Our five core energies
We all possess 5 Energies at our Core: Purpose, Wisdom, Growth, Love and Self-Realization. These give us 5 Inner Metrics to guide our performance, moment by moment:
Am I leading from my Inner Core by being…
- Committed to a noble, uplifting purpose,
- Calm and receptive to the truth,
- Curious and open to new learning,
- Connected with the people I work with, and those I serve,
- Centered in my joyful and intuitive spirit within,
…and am I doing my best to help others around me operate from their Core as well?
A library of core-actions
Each of the five Core Energies can be activated in ourselves and others through a few simple actions. These actions serve as building blocks for all leadership behaviors.
From small steps to big leaps
Every action we learn that arises from our 5 Core Energies adds to our repertoire of potential ways to respond to situations. Just like the 26 letters of the English alphabet can generate a countless number of words, ideas and books, 25 actions can generate a near countless number of leadership behaviors.
Our team brings a distinctive mix of perspectives on leadership with their C-suite, consulting, research and training backgrounds.
Founder & President
Hitendra researches, codifies and teaches the “Inner Mastery, Outer Impact” principles that underlie our work. Hitendra is Professor of Practice at Columbia Business School, where his class on Personal Leadership & Success has for many years been the most popular leadership elective, earning him the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence and the Executive-MBA Commitment to Excellence Award. He has also received the Marketing Association’s award for the Most Dynamic and Engaging Professor, and the Lear Award for Service to Students.
Hitendra’s mission is to codify and teach scientific principles of success in life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in Management Science from MIT and a lifelong study of the world’s mystic traditions, 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. His widely acclaimed research and teaching on leadership have been covered by Inc., Forbes, Fortune, CNN, Psychology Today, BBC World Service, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal. His webcast, Intersections, features acclaimed thought leaders and practitioners in the craft of leadership.
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.
To learn more about Hitendra, visit his website.
Executive Director, Senior Executive Coach
Petra has been with Mentora since inception, having helped architect Mentora’s innovative digital learning programs and directed many of the company’s marketing, strategy and content-driven initiatives. She leads Mentora’s Coaching Practice, and Mentora clients she has recently served include Harlem Children’s Zone and The Holdsworth Center.
Petra brings to these roles a rich set of C-Suite experience. A former media and entertainment executive she has worked extensively with brands, has managed growth initiatives across multiple media platforms and has affected organizational change from the inside out. She held the roles of President of Time Inc’s This Old House Ventures, Executive Vice President at Bertelsmann Inc. and Head of Bertelsmann Content Network. She was also Vice President, Television in the early days of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group and an investigative TV reporter in Germany. Petra has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
In her spare time, Petra is passionately involved in her three kids’ school district and actively practices karate and meditation.
Raghu is a seasoned global executive with 36+ years of experience in driving business outcomes as a Human Resources professional. He retired from General Electric (GE) as the CHRO in early 2019, after 25 years with the company—doing work that spanned three continents, several multi-billion-dollar lines of business, and exciting corporate leadership roles. Raghu was also the head of talent and Chief Learning Officer of the company. At Mentora, Raghu serves as an Executive Director and Senior Faculty, leveraging his experience and expertise in driving pragmatic, application-oriented solutions in learning and transformational change.
Raghu is an expansive, creative thinker who leans into complex business challenges and garners trust through his authentic leadership style. He is often sought out to share his expertise at colleges and forums like Harvard, MIT, Yale, and the Economist, the Milken Institute, etc. He has authored a number of articles published in a number of publications, including HBR. He is a Fulbright Scholar from the University of Minnesota and has a management degree from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He was named as one of the top 50 Asian Americans in the world of business in 2009.
Raghu lives in Chicago with his wife, Bala and has two daughters who work in New York. In his spare time, Raghu likes to read, write, teach classical music and enjoys a good workout. A lifelong learner, he is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at UPenn.
As a writer, teacher, speaker, and coach, Josh studies and teaches about the mind and brain in multiple ways. He is the author of an international bestseller on time management, Two Awesome Hours: Science-Based Strategies to Harness Your Best Time and Get Your Most Important Work Done, now published in 10 languages. His writing has appeared in Harvard Business Review, strategy+business, Training + Development, Psychology Today, and others. He also trains individuals in techniques derived from psychotherapy at the NLP Center of NY and coaches people to love public speaking.
Prior to joining Mentora, Josh guided the translation of research on behavior change into leadership content as the Director of Research and Lead Professor for the NeuroLeadership Institute, during a period where the organization more than quadrupled in size. He also served as a professor in the Department of Psychology at Barnard College, as well as Columbia University and New York University. He holds a bachelors in engineering from BrownUniversity and a PhD from Columbia University, where he studied psychology and neuroscience.
In his spare time, Josh loves laughing, reading a lot of non-fiction books, and raising his kids with his wife.
Senior Director of Research
Faculty, Executive Coach
Natasha specializes in researching and developing Mentora training content. She is passionate about following the latest science on human behavior and leadership, and exploring the inner lives and outer impact of great leaders. She also leads program design for our clients, and facilitates virtual and live training & coaching sessions. The Mentora clients she has recently served include Ericsson, Siemens, Kraft Heinz, Accenture, Xylem, Chevron, Invesco, The Holdsworth Centre and Tata Consultancy Services.
Prior to Mentora, Natasha served as HR & Industrial Relations Manager at Canada-based Northwest Hardwoods, providing HR support to over 150 associates. This support included training and development, performance management and recruitment.
Natasha is a CrossFit athlete. In her spare time she likes spending time with her family and her golden retriever Rocky. She gets joy from her devotion to a path of yoga and meditation.
Paul Ingram is the Kravis Professor of Business at Columbia Business School, and Faculty Director of the Advanced Management Program, Columbia’s flagship residential program for senior executives from around the globe. At the Columbia Business School, Paul has received the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence, won the Commitment to Excellence Award, voted by graduating EMBA students six times, and thrice been chosen by graduating EMBA students to deliver the keynote speech at their commencement ceremony.
Paul consults on issues of leadership, organizational design, and strategy. The courses he teaches on management and strategy benefit from his research on organizations in the United States, Canada, Israel, Scotland, China, Korea and Australia. His research has been published in more than sixty articles, book chapters and books. His publications have received numerous distinctions, including the Gould Prize from the American Journal of Sociology, and best paper awards in the areas of Organization and Management Theory, and Collective Behavior and Social Movements. Ingram’s current research examines the intersection between culture and social networks.
Paul lives in New York City and enjoys spending time with his family in Central Park.
Senior Director, Client Development
Jake architects solutions with Mentora’s clients, designing and facilitating transformation journeys.
Prior to joining Mentora, he was a Lab Lead at Deloitte where he would design & facilitate executive-level workshops that would lead to breakthrough on pervasive, complex and emotionally-laden challenges. Jake served as the VP of Corporate Solutions at NeuroLeadership Institute, focused on helping companies apply neuroscience to their business, leadership and talent strategy.
He spent 8 years at CEB, where he built the membership business and advised executives in the HR, Legal & Sales functions. This included opening their Singapore office and eventually relocating to Hong Kong to support an integration and focus on the Greater China market. Jake’s work led to CEB publishing new research that was specific to the Asian market, which was profiled in HBR, among other outlets. Jake graduated from University of Virginia with a BA in Economics and Psychology. He is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in business development in the Andes of Peru.
His explorer’s mindset has enabled him to live across 5 continents, though he now lives in New York City with his partner and son. In his spare time he is either found with a book, guitar or exploring the great outdoors, from mountain climbing to scuba diving, and everything in-between.
Senior Director, Head of Europe
Sofie leads Mentora’s practice in Europe, and helps drive firm-wide strategy and growth.
As a purpose-driven business and strategic solutions architect, Sofie has used her leadership and entrepreneurial skills to develop and deliver influential projects and commercial partnerships across the Nordics, Europe, UK, Middle East, CIS, and Japan.
This international focus – combined with outstanding communication and cultural expertise – has established her as a trusted adviser to senior decision-makers ranging from global corporate leaders and institutional investors to academic policy heads and major media outlets.
At the core of Sofie’s approach to business and life is a strong commitment to bringing out the best in organisations, leaders, colleagues, and partners. This is reflected in a collaborative management style, a passion for continuous learning and determination to deliver results that make a tangible and positive difference to the companies, communities, and individuals she works with.
Her recent achievements include:
- Curating international dialogue and collaboration as the co-founder of the EU-Japan EPA Forum, arguably the most influential gathering of senior business executives, topic experts and policy stakeholders involved in shaping the investment landscape across Europe and Japan.
- Developing and facilitating cross-border business opportunities as head of NordBright, a London-based global boutique consultancy that delivers country-to-country advice on investment, human talent, strategy, and emerging global issues.
- Promoting innovation and transformative thinking through the collaborative exchange of ideas. Sofie has contributed to research projects and staged high-level Round Tables funded by the Danish government, industry associations and leading private sector companies. She is also the curator and co-founder of the Ei3 Summit, a pending leadership summit aimed at turning Europe into a sustainable economic powerhouse fuelled by investments in technology and human capital.
Sofie holds an MSc in International Management from Kingston University London with Distinction and a Postgraduate Certificate in Brand Management from London School of Business and Finance. In addition, she has completed a Non-Executive Director and Investor Relations course at The London Stock Exchange Group.
Cara is passionate about working with leaders to activate their collective and individual purpose. She works with clients on issues of leadership, strategy and innovation, and has been designing creative ways to unleash potential and catalyze behavior change within organizations for over 15 years. As a lifelong student of human relationships, she brings empathy and curiosity to all challenges, strives to nurture the creative within every leader, and believes deeply in the power of communication and collaboration to solve the toughest of problems.
Cara has built her career harnessing the power of insight to develop brands, products and business models for blue chip companies around the world. Collaborations led to the creation of multi-billion dollar business models for healthcare companies, published work on how millennials will uproot the concept of innovation, and the design and roll-out of innovation cultures within multinational organizations. Her experience with innovation leadership has led her to coach hundreds of Fortune 500 executives in Japan, Korea, China and the US/Canada to activate transformation initiatives.
Her career began at the Aspen Institute, after graduating with a degree in International Relations from Brown University.
She currently lives in Santa Monica, California and can often be found roller-skating and meditating — but, fortunately, not at the same time.
Pratyush leads the development of Mentora’s marketing strategy and content, and serves as Faculty for our digital learning programs. He is passionate about emerging approaches to leadership and organizational design that are rooted in the harmony of our inner and outer well-being. He enjoys engaging with businesses and non-profits to jointly explore this theme in their unique context.
In the past, Pratyush has led transformation in diverse contexts that include working onboard merchant ships, serving as a management consultant at McKinsey, and later advising start-ups and mid-sized companies on strategy and people development. He has also designed and facilitated youth leadership programs and actively supported rural community development initiatives. He holds a Bachelor’s in Marine Engineering from BITS Pilani, India.
In his spare time, Pratyush is part of a service community at the Sabarmati Ashram—where Mahatma Gandhi started his ‘Experiments with Truth‘. He likes to meditate and reflect on wisdom from the past and present, meet people and travel to experience fresh perspectives on life.
Faculty, Executive Coach
Nailah is passionate about empowering clients to navigate difficult leadership and career challenges, turn setbacks into successes, and achieve professional fulfillment and growth. As a coach, Nailahalso has a reputation for establishing nurturing and lasting relationships as both a trusted advisor and confidante. The Mentora clients she has recently served include General Electric, Harlem Children’s Zone, Kraft Heinz, Morgan Stanley, and Tata Communications. She also serves as a guest lecturer in Professor Hitendra Wadhwa’s award-winning Personal Leadership & Success course at Columbia Business School.
Prior to joining Mentora, Nailah worked as an Executive MBA career coach at Emory University Goizueta Business School. She also has extensive corporate experience having worked in brand management with Campbell Soup Company, and in Sales with Whirlpool Corporation where she managed key territories including New York, Washington, DC and Los Angeles. Nailah received her BA in Public Policy from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MBA from Columbia Business School in New York.
In her spare time, Nailah enjoys exploring different cultures, visiting new countries, hiking to waterfalls, and cooking with her husband and three young daughters.
Director, Client Development
Jen is passionate about strengthening human connection and potential. At Mentora, she serves as Director of Client Success, helping deepen key relationships and maximize program outcomes. She’s also an associate faculty member, facilitating learning journeys that invite people to lead from their Inner Core and empower others to do the same.
Prior to joining Mentora, she founded and operated MINDFRESH, a global organization responsible for leading thousands of virtual and on-site mindfulness sessions from tech companies in Tel Aviv to Fortune 100s in New York City.
She was an early stage team member at Pandora, opening the New York office and becoming the top national salesperson before exiting the company following the IPO to study the Science of Yoga.
Jen is an 800-Hour Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga and Meditation teacher with numerous trips to India under her belt to study harnessing and focusing the mind with masters.
She lives in NYC with her husband and two sons, whom she considers to be her wisest teachers.
Senior Faculty, Senior Executive Coach
Dan is a branding and leadership strategist, writer, speaker and ordained Zen priest. A lifelong student of human nature, technology and marketing, Dan has been able to apply these learnings in a variety of business settings. Mentora clients he has recently served include Harlem Children’s Zone, The Holdsworth Center, MetLife, Kantar and Tata Consulting Services.
Prior to joining Mentora, he served as Worldwide Creative Director on Apple Inc. at BBDO; Co-President, Chief Creative Officer and Chief Innovation Officer at Ogilvy & Mather; and CEO of COMMON. He has guided brand and organizational behavior, market positioning and messaging for Apple, IBM, Motorola, Cisco Systems, Communities in Schools, Vodafone and a bevy of social-impact startups and nonprofit organizations. His writing has appeared in Harvard Business Review, among others.
In his spare time, Dan interweaves his duties as husband, father, surfer, ultra-marathoner and student of Zen.
Executive Advisor, Strategy and Innovation
Derrick helps individuals and organizations make better decisions, build new skill sets and shift mindsets. He has served clients across multiple industries, including retail/CPG, technology, healthcare, insurance, banking and education. His recent engagements have focused on helping companies expand into new markets and develop the requisite new capabilities. Examples include helping clients build internal innovation labs to run startup-like “fast-fail, fast-learn” experiments and leading organization-wide digital transformations that include culture change, in addition to technology and capability shifts.
Derrick began his career as a technologist at various Internet startups, designing and developing software, leading project teams, and selling software products and services to a variety of Fortune 500 clients. Derrick was also a consultant at McKinsey & Company, leading initiatives on innovation, competitive intelligence, strategic decision-making, and wargaming. His 15+ years of professional experience in management consulting, venture capital, and software development have given him a unique and broad perspective on strategy and operations, best practices in innovation and organizational transformation. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.
In his spare time, Derrick can occasionally be found at a poker table, but his primary passion is exploring every nook and cranny of NYC with his wife and two children.
Judy has over 20 years of experience as an administrative assistant in the corporate world, including a decade at McKinsey & Company.
She jumped at the opportunity to work with Mentora because Mentora’s values and beliefs are the same values and beliefs that Judy holds dear. Through this work, she hopes to help change the world one person at a time.
In her spare time, Judy can be found shuttling her two young sons to their activities, playing with the beloved family dog, and dreaming of the beach, her favorite place to be.
John has devoted his life and career to furthering human connection and cooperation around the world through empathic communication. His work is at the intersection of communication, consciousness, and conflict transformation. His approach provides conversation “maps,” skills, and structures for navigating challenges and conflicts, inner and outer, in all aspects of life. John works with individuals and organizations as a trainer, coach, and mediator, and is a speaker and author. At Mentora, he serves as faculty, thought partner, and executive coach.
John is co-creator of the Mediate Your Life training program and company, based in the international work of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), which he has developed and delivered around the world for 20 years. Books he has co-authored include: Choosing Peace: New Ways to Communicate to Reduce Stress, Create Connection, and Resolve Conflict; From Conflict to Connection: Transforming Difficult Conversations into Peaceful Resolutions; When Your Mind Sabotages Your Dreams: Turning Your Critical Internal Voices into Collaborative Allies.
He received his undergraduate degree from the University of San Francisco, where he studied psychology and philosophy (and played for USF’s nationally ranked soccer team). He went on to graduate training in clinical psychology at Penn State University. After graduate school, John helped launch and develop a small commercial business before discovering Nonviolent Communication (NVC). He has been studying and practicing mindfulness, meditation, consciousness and spirituality traditions for over 30 years. He lives with his wife and children in the San Francisco Bay Area.
John’s vision and mission is that we humans bridge our differences and heal our divides to be able to work together to respond to the enormous challenges we face and create a healthy and sustainable world for all people and the planet.
In the media
We strive to live the principles and values we teach our clients – to do everything in service of our purpose, to be honest, open, supportive and genuine in all we do, and to create an environment where we all feel safe being this way. If this sounds like the kind of place that would energize and inspire you, then have a look at our open positions.
If you are interested in Mentora but do not see a job posting that is the right fit for you, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with more about your background and interests, and do include your resume, and we will be in touch.
Want to join in our mission to awaken individuals, teams and organizations to their full potential?
If so, we’d love to
hear from you.
Our Culture is our Mission
The culture we strive for at Mentora is the same as what we strive to build for our clients: to be inspired every day with our mission, to connect human-to-human and spirit-to-spirit, to partner in growing each other to our full potential, and to seek out the truth in all matters.