About the Warren Bennis Leadership Institute


Established in 2023, the Warren Bennis Leadership Institute impacts students from all disciplines on UC’s campus, continues to be a pioneer in the field of leadership research, and works with executives and community leaders across the greater Cincinnati area to empower and equip trailblazers in the region.

While founded and supported by the Carl H. Lindner College of Business, the Warren Bennis Leadership Institute is proud to be an interdisciplinary institute for all students from any college and major, as well as individuals and groups from all industries, sectors and disciplines. WBLI’s location on the third floor of the 1819 Innovation Hub allows it to be at the intersection of industry and UC’s talent and resources. The Institute is firmly rooted in the teachings of Warren Bennis and simultaneously seeks to develop new and innovative leadership development approaches.

Student impact

Throughout the 2023-2024 academic year, the Warren Bennis Leadership Institute has collected data to measure its impact on UC students. Over 1,000 students have engaged in WBLI extracurricular leadership experiences, workshops and events. This impact reaches all parts of campus and includes students from all 16 colleges at the University of Cincinnati, including UC online and both branch campuses (Clermont and Blue Ash).

Students impacted include undergraduate students (first year through fifth year), master’s students, and PhD students. Twenty-seven students were chosen for leadership positions within the Institute, serving as Student Fellows, Bennis Student Ambassadors and members of the Warren Bennis Leadership Experience student organization.

This year, the Institute has offered the annual Warren Bennis Leadership Experience reaching hundreds of students, facilitated over 15 workshops, piloted a four-month program to empower women in leadership, delivered six additional WBLI-specific programs, offered comprehensive mentorship training through coaching skill development, and taught two credit-bearing undergraduate honors seminar courses, for a total of over 25 experiences and opportunities for students to engage in.


The interdisciplinary hub for leadership development at the University of Cincinnati.

We are located at the 1819 Innovation Hub in suite 350D. Feel free to schedule a time to stop by, visit our space and interact with our staff!

Warren Bennis was the 22nd president of the University of Cincinnati, serving UC from 1971-1977. He was a world-renowned scholar, consultant, author, and leadership expert. 

We pride ourselves on three distinctive qualities. First, we are an interdisciplinary institute, serving all colleges and executives from different industries, sectors and disciplines. Second, we are rooted in the theory and practice of leadership espoused by leadership expert Warren Bennis. Lastly, we were founded by students and continue to be student centered, creating opportunities for community members to interact with the aspiring leadership talent found at UC and providing opportunities for students to lead within the institute. 

In short — everyone! Our programs, events, and leadership development tools are for all students, faculty and staff at the University of Cincinnati, as well as alumni, and organizational and community leaders. We have connections and partnerships with all colleges on UC’s campus, alumni from different colleges, and a variety of for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the region.

Check out our Student Leadership Development or Executive Education pages for suggestions on how to develop as a leader and be involved with the Institute! We understand everyone’s journey looks different and we are happy to meet and discuss your personal journey with you or determine the best learning options for your team/organization.

Everything we do at the institute is evidence-based, meaning that our programs and training opportunities are grounded in leadership research and theory. We also collect our own data to evaluate and ensure our programs are developing participants in the intended way.

  • The institute believes, as Bennis did, that leaders develop early and often, and that leadership does not necessarily reside within a specific person, title or rank. Rather than defining leadership based on a position, we define leadership as the presence of three key outcomes: direction, alignment and commitment. 

  • Direction — setting goals and objectives 
  • Alignment — coordinating resources to meet goals 
  • Commitment — motivating and holding members accountable to achieve goals 

We believe that leadership is a lifelong journey and each of us has the capacity and calling to be a leader at various points in time. We believe everyone has the potential to lead and solve problems.

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Contact Us

Warren Bennis Leadership Institute 
1819 Innovation Hub
Suite 350D
2900 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45206