Inner Mastery, Outer Impact - Leadership Program - Mentora Institute

Inner Mastery, Outer Impact

Approach leadership moments with authenticity and agility by activating the 5 Core Energies in yourself and your team.

What is Inner Mastery, Outer Impact

Inner Mastery, Outer Impact is a transformative approach to life and leadership, developed by Mentora Institute’s founder Hitendra Wadhwa. It emphasizes the importance of aligning one’s inner self with their outer actions to achieve both personal fulfillment and professional success. The approach is rooted in the belief that everyone possesses an Inner Core, a space of highest potential within, characterized by five Core Energies: Purpose, Wisdom, Growth, Love, and Self-Realization. By activating and expressing these energies in everything we do, we can operate from our Inner Core – free from ego, attachments, and limiting beliefs. This approach not only helps individuals to live authentically and at peace with themselves but also enables them to bring out the best in others, creating a Common Core that fosters deep resonance and collective success.

Inner Mastery, Outer Impact addresses the challenges of modern work life and offers a sustainable and fulfilling path to success. This redesigned approach to leadership development has received extensive media attention.

The Case for Inner Mastery, Outer Impact

Leadership needs a serious overhaul.

A staggering 78 percent of employees believe they are not getting as much purpose from work as they want. This suggests a disconnect between what employees seek from their work and what they are currently experiencing. Inner Mastery, Outer Impact, with its focus on personal growth and purpose, can help bridge this gap by aligning work with individuals’ core values and principles.

Only 20 percent of employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that inspires them to do outstanding work. This suggests that traditional performance management methods may not be motivating employees effectively. Inner Mastery, Outer Impact emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility and self-motivation to inspire employees to perform at their best.

Only 4 in 10 U.S. employees strongly agree that their work gives them the opportunity to do what they are best at every day. This indicates a potential mismatch between employees’ skills and their job roles. Inner Mastery, Outer Impact encourages individuals to align their actions with their strengths, which can increase job satisfaction and performance.

Nearly one-third of employees wish their organizations would act with more empathy. This indicates a need for leaders to better understand and respond to the emotional needs of their teams. Inner Mastery, Outer Impact helps leaders to cultivate empathy and emotional intelligence as key components of effective leadership.

While 86 percent of leaders believe that they role-model desired behavior changes – allowing others to take cues from the leaders’ own behaviors – only 53 percent of people who report to these leaders agree. This discrepancy suggests a gap in leaders’ self-perception and how they are perceived by their teams. Inner Mastery, Outer Impact emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and authenticity in leadership, helping leaders better align their actions with their intentions.

How the 5 Core Energies Drive Outer Impact


People who are “living their purpose” at work report five times higher levels of well-being than those who are not. They are also: 

  • Healthier. 
  • More productive. 
  • More resilient. 

Emotionally agile people are able to:

  • Alleviate their stress levels. 
  • Reduce the errors they make.  
  • Be more innovative. 
  • Improve job performance. 

Employees who feel empathized with at work are: 

  • More innovative.
  • More engaged at work.
  • More successful at navigating the demands of their work and life. 
  • Less inclined to leave their organizations. 

Decades’ worth of data has shown that people with a growth mindset

  • Are better mentally primed to take on challenges. 
  • Take advantage of feedback. 
  • Use the most effective problem-solving techniques. 
  • Offer thoughtful feedback to others. 
  • Are persistent in pursuing goals. 

Mindfulness leads to an increase in emotional intelligence. This contributes to our ability to: 

  • Manage conflict. 
  • Communicate more effectively. 
  • Tap the “smart” part of our brain to bring out our best in all situations. 

Behaviors Learned

  • What success looks like, for a feedback conversation Gain intrinsic commitment by activating people’s values and purpose
  • Help people direct their emotions to achieve high performance Help people direct their emotions to achieve high performance
  • Mindset vector icon svg Move people away from limiting mindsets to drive big leaps in performance
  • Engage in trust-building behaviors that grow your influence over time Build strong, trust-based relationships
  • Move people away from limiting mindsets to drive big leaps in performance Move your team from conflict to collaboration
  • Create a climate of inclusion and belonging Create a climate of inclusion and belonging
  • open book vector icon. Use challenges and setbacks to promote learning and growth
  • Develop a feedback-friendly culture Develop a feedback-friendly, growth mindset culture

Core Ideas


Within each of us is a space of highest potential — our Inner Core. When we are at our Core, we feel most authentic — most true to ourselves. We are beyond ego, attachments, and insecurities.


Leadership is about bringing out the best in ourselves and the best in others in all situations. We are at our best when we operate from our Inner Core. That’s where great leaders seek to take their people — to the Common Core that gets formed when everyone in a team is activated at their Core and aligned in their purpose.


At our Core, we have access to five Energies: Purpose, Wisdom, Growth, Love, and Self-Realization. Leadership, at its essence, is about activating these energies in ourselves and others.


We can activate these 5 Energies in us and in others by using a set of 25+ simple actions. By mixing-and-matching these actions, we can create countless behaviors (action-paths) that help us respond in the best way to the relentless demands of our work environment — by being “everything, and the complete opposite.” The 5 Core Energies keep us anchored on the inside, while the actions keep us adaptive on the outside.


We can develop people into becoming exemplary leaders by helping them develop atomic habits — practicing and applying simple actions to improve their performance at work in small steps, week upon week.


Leading from the Inside-Out


Mentora partnered with SAP and Dr. Jamil Zaki of Stanford University to deliver a widely successful and highly-rated Inner Mastery, Outer Impact program for new managers. Built from the ground-up for SAP’s unique needs, this program offers a combination of experiential seminars, action-based learning, group work, reflection, and opportunities for direct and immediate application. The program has been impactful in increasing management performance and building trust in leadership.

Historically, SAP’s success was, in large part, due to the strength of its engineering department. Over the years, however, the organization slowly transitioned into a product-based company — selling products, instead of making them. To pivot and go back to its roots, SAP built and started the Academy for Engineering. The organization recognized that leadership development had to be a key focus area in the Academy to bring out the best in its engineers who had just stepped into managerial roles.


SAP invited Mentora to be a part of the Academy’s Code to Success leadership development series meant to inspire its engineers to go beyond coding and transform into compassionate, courageous, and curious leaders with the potential to build strong and inclusive communities. This series would also help SAP address its most frequently faced leadership challenges — i.e., the absence of management skills, leaders’ inability to bring out the best in their people, managers not knowing how to inspire collaboration, and so on.

Mentora designed a 4-month long learning program — based on our unique Inner Mastery, Outer Impact approach — to help managers from SAP’s engineering department develop the right leadership mindset, attitude, and skill-set.


  • Purpose
  • Wisdom
  • Love
  • Growth
  • Self-Realization



Mentora delivered this program in partnership with Dr. Jamil Zaki, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, in four global regions, through an immersive learning journey, which included:

  • Opening webinars to help participants from each cohort create a foundation of leading from the inside-out
  • Action-Learning Lab to help participants use their learnings to overcome a current challenge, with peer-to-peer feedback
  • Individual and group work
  • Opportunities to transfer their learnings to real life
  • Closing webinar

In total, participants received a total of 20 hours of live training from Mentora.


Inner Mastery, Outer Impact was offered in 4 global regions to over 200 managers.

On a scale of 1-10, participants across the 4 regions rated the program an average of 9.3.

The impact of the program has been published in leading media

  • From an HBR cover story by Dr. Jamil Zaki (Sept-Oct, 2022): In 2020 I teamed up with the SAP Academy for Engineering and Mentora to create a multidisciplinary leadership training program [for SAP]. SAP’s academy is renowned for teaching technical skills, but it had done less teaching of soft skills such as empathy and anticynicism. We challenged managers to think of those practices as just as important, and just as learnable, as any type of code.One pillar of the program is building trust. Leaders learn about the perils of cynicism and pick up practical strategies for combating it. We show them that the best way to inspire trust in employees is to demonstrate it first. The results have been remarkable. Managers in our program saw their Net Promoter Score on leadership trust — a core index of how they are viewed by direct reports — increase by more than 10%.
  • From a forthcoming Fast Company article: We are an interdisciplinary group: three leaders of SAP’s Academy for Engineers, the founder of Mentora Institute, and a professor of psychology at Stanford. The program we created has now graduated over 200 engineering managers across India, China, Brazil, and North America, who in turn lead 4,000 employees. It’s had a remarkable effect: increasing management performance about twice as much for managers who participated in our program compared to a control group of similar managers.
Participant Voices

I would make this program mandatory for leaders — especially new ones!

Manager | SAP

Participant Voices

This program was very inspiring. It had simple but powerful concepts to help us become the best version of ourselves as leaders.

Manager | SAP

Participant Voices

We touched upon a lot of important topics and it was very encouraging and inspiring to see how colleagues opened up and shared about very vulnerable moments of their lives.

Manager | SAP

Participant Voices

Leading from my Inner Core means I do not have to struggle anymore in searching for different tools, frameworks, concepts, or philosophy. Instead, I really need to activate my Inner Core and then use the energy-actions to express it in daily life.

Manager | SAP