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The Leadership Institute

Founder and Chairman:   Professor Warren Bennis


(213) 740-0728


(213) 740-3582



The media reports daily on the failure of the current generation of leaders to guide their organizations or countries in a world characterized by constantly accelerating change. New technology, for example, has transformed the workplace and created a global information superhighway challenging our most basic assumptions about everything from the way people communicate to the nature of national boundaries. These transformations have created a need for leaders with new skills and sensibilities. To address this critical need for new leadership, world-renowned leadership expert and author Warren Bennis founded The Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California in 1991 with a start-up grant from the Lord Foundation of California.

Devoted exclusively to the study and development of leadership, The Leadership Institute seeks to prepare the next generation of leaders in business, the professions and the public sector for a 21st century characterized by greater diversity, technological complexity, social and organizational democracy and global interdependence. In addition to the belief that leaders are made, not born, The Leadership Institute's underlying convictions are as follows: 1) the most important lessons of leadership are learned in real-life situations, therefore the Institute works with real-world organizations and institutions as models of leadership evolve, 2) learning to lead is an on-going process and the Institute will be a model for life-long learning, 3) leadership changes with the times, and the Institute will strive to be at the forefront of understanding the new demands on leaders, and 4) leadership transcends gender, race, religious beliefs, socio-economic status and nationality.

The Institute is fulfilling its mission in three ways, through Research, Leadership Programs, and Special Events. As the Leadership Institute grows, and new paradigms about leadership are developed, the Institute moves closer to its original vision "to become a world center for understanding leadership and finding new ways to develop it."