Executive Education Heroic Leadership

Purpose-Driven Leadership

Upcoming Dates

September 14, 2021 - September 21, 2021
Program Cost
Online Live
+ Details


Trust in institutions and confidence in 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 accomplishments.

This program will provide you with the tools necessary for becoming the influential 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

Check out other courses on the Humanistic Leadership Series webpage

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 three 2-hour sessions 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.   For more details:  https://www.nathanaelfast.com/




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Articles & Research

Nathanel J. Fast (Web Site)
Associate Professor of Management
What will power look like in the future? What are the implications for leaders serving in a changing world?

Power and Decision Making: New Directions for Research in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Nathanael J. Fast and Juliana Schroeder, Current Opinion in Psychology, ScienceDirect.com,  2020

When the Boss Feels Inadequate: Power, Incompetence, and Aggression
Nathanael Fast and Serena Chen, November 1, 2009 
Psychological Science  20, 1406-1413.

How Powerful, Low-Status Jobs Lead to Conflict
Eric M. Anicich, Nathanael J. Fast, Nir Halevy, and Adam Galinksy
Harvard Business Review, February 11, 2016

The Psychology of Technology
Nathanael J. Fast, February 19, 2020

How is Technology Changing Humanity?
Nathanael J. Fast, Juliana Schroeder, Kamy Akhavan, Jake Orthwein, Peter Gonnerman, Roshni Raveendhran, Larry Rosen, and Hannah Tecott

Technology and Social Evaluation: Implications for Individuals and Organizations
Roshni Raveendhran and Nathanael J. Fast, October 28, 2018




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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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