Executive Education Heroic Leadership

Heroic Leadership: Creating Impact Through Purpose and Power

Upcoming Dates

May 18, 2021 - May 27, 2021
Program Cost
Online Live
+ Details


Trust in institutions and their leaders is in peril. Based on a 2020 report by Edelman, none of the four major institutions – government, business, NGOs, or media – are trusted to be both competent and ethical. These findings serve as a wake-up call to existing and aspiring leaders who seek to stay relevant in the future while charting a successful path toward significant and lasting career success.

This program will provide you with the tools necessary for becoming the leader your current and future employees are most willing to follow. Through a unique approach that is both backed by science and has been widely tested with groups of executives, you will develop insight into your personal narratives, hone your sense of higher purpose as a leader, and develop and strengthen new tools and strategies associated with power and influence. This program will simultaneously help you get in touch with the “why” of your leadership while guiding you to find and maximize your unique sources of power through which you can turn your purpose into reality.


Through a hands-on, interactive course environment that incorporates both rigorous ideas and practical exercises, you will learn:

  • How to get in touch with and draw strength from your personal narratives
  • How to identify and articulate your purpose to inspire others
  • The key elements of successful storytelling
  • How powerful leaders think and what mindsets they adopt
  • How to build and protect your access to resources
  • How to position yourself within relationship networks in ways that improve creativity, provide access to novel information, and generate more influence
  • New strategies for honing your skills as a leader while engaging in ongoing improvement and mastery
Executive Education Heroic Business Woman


WHO SHOULD ATTEND?   This program is designed to maximize the impact and accelerate the careers of seasoned executives as well as leaders transitioning to more significant roles.

Teaching Methods

Live, Online:  This program will take place over 4 days, with 2 hours a day of live, synchronous class sessions each day that include small group breakout sessions and discussions. To maximize this collaborative learning experience for everyone, you are expected to attend every session, and contribute openly during the class and while in the small groups. This format allows for spontaneous questions and answers for immediate clarification.

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Nathanel Fast

Nathanael Fast, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management, USC Marshall School of Business

Nathanael Fast is a professor of management at the USC Marshall School of Business with expertise on power and influence in organizations and society. He first became intrigued by the concept of power while growing up under the regime of dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko, in Zaire, Africa, where his father served as a doctor in an NGO. His current research examines the determinants and consequences of hierarchy, the psychology of social networks, and how emerging technologies are reshaping humanity. He received his PhD in organizational behavior from Stanford University in 2009.

At USC, he directs the Hierarchy, Networks, and Technology Lab (HiNT Lab) and is an editorial board member for Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He has received recognition for his teaching and research, including the “Golden Apple Teaching Award” and the “Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research” at USC, as well as selection by Poets and Quants as one of the "World's 40 Best Business School Professors Under the Age of 40."

In addition to his academic work, he has co-founded three nonprofit organizations that unite leaders and influencers from across sectors to solve societal challenges. His work has been featured in top scientific journals as well as outlets like the Economist, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times. Additionally, he presently serves as Co-Director of the Psychology of Technology Institute, which brings leading scientists, technologists, and policymakers together to improve the technologies that are shaping our future.

Fast is a sought after instructor across USC Marshall’s programs and his rigorous scientific background, combined with a practical, interaction-based teaching style means you will leave the seminar with actionable tools, insightful techniques, and impactful action plans to take your leadership to the next level.  Click to read complete bio and CV

Ryan Cummins

Ryan Cummins, Founder and CEO of The Heroic Group

Ryan Cummins has spent over two decades launching purpose-driven companies and philanthropic campaigns creating global impact.

In 2012, Ryan co-founded Omaze, an online fundraising platform that makes giving fun and easy by offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences and dream rewards in support of critical causes. Omaze has disrupted traditional models of fundraising while raising over $250M for over 500 charities through campaigns with influencers ranging from Bono to Malala, Serena Williams, Will Smith, Julia Roberts, Robert Downey Jr., Jennifer Lawrence, Star Wars and many more.

Earlier in his career, Ryan was the executive producer of "Decade of Difference", a globally-televised philanthropic concert that enlisted Bill Gates, Tony Blair, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Usher, Ben Stiller, Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and other influencers in film, music, politics and sports to raise funds for the critical work of non-profits worldwide.

Before that Ryan created Untitled Thinkers, a media property based on a series of intimate conversations he filmed with 120 Nobel Prize and Fields Medal winners, MacArthur Geniuses, Pulitzer Awardees and Internet Pioneers.

Ryan began his career in cause content as the first director on “Live Earth,” the largest concert ever thrown, featuring 150 artists in seven major cities all on the same day, dedicated to raising awareness for the environment.

He’s served on the Cordaid North American Leadership Council for International Relief, the Los Angeles Mayor’s Council for Tech & Innovation, as an advisor to multiple mission-driven startups, and has been a delegate of both the Skoll World Forum and Bill and Melinda Gates Goalkeepers. He holds a BA in economics from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson where he was awarded the prestigious Wolfen Fellowship.


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Course Disclaimer

Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure this course runs as described on this web page. Please note that course dates and professors are subject to change. You will be notified by email in advance if there is a date or professor change. Additionally, this course also requires a minimum number of registrants in order to take place. You will be notified by email if the course does not meet this minimum.

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