Logo for the Warren Bennnis Leadership Experience.

The Warren Bennis Leadership Experience is an annual event designed to develop students into leaders through the teachings and principles of Warren G. Bennis, leadership author, expert and the 22nd president of the University of Cincinnati (1971-77). 

This event brings nationally recognized leaders and experts in management to campus to discuss leadership principles applied to educational and professional settings to inspire an authentic leadership movement in Cincinnati.  

2022 Warren Bennis Leadership Experience

The 2022 Warren Bennis Leadership Experience, planned by 13 undergraduate students, was held at Lindner Hall on April 4. The event brought 150 student leaders from across campus together in breakout rooms of 15. Each breakout room had an engaging discussion inspired by a conversation between WBLE co-founder Jack FitzGerald and renowned psychologist Daniel Goleman, PhD.


WBLE student team member Matt Toigo (far left) and WBLE co-founder Jack FitzGerald (far right) pose with 2022 WBLE attendees.

Goleman is an internationally known psychologist whose 1995 book, “Emotional Intelligence,” was on The New York Times' bestseller list for a year and a half, with more than 5 million copies in print worldwide in 40 languages. Goleman also wrote a book with Bennis — “Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor” — which was just one of the subjects covered in the conversation between Goleman and FitzGerald.

Students gained insight from Goleman’s groundbreaking work as well as from Bennis’ rich legacy, which they can use to advance their UC organizations and communities.

Previous Warren Bennis Leadership Experiences

Four male students stand in front of a sign.

From left to right, student organizers of the 2021 Warren Bennis Leadership Experience: Lou Langen (BUS ‘23); Alex Mason (A&S ‘23); Tyler Durr (BUS ‘22); and Nick Albers (BUS ‘22, ‘23).

Speakers such as Howard Schultz, former CEO and chairman of Starbucks; Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times No. 1 best-selling author Doris Kearns Goodwin; David Gergen, a political analyst for CNN who has worked for four U.S. presidents; and Paul Polman (BUS '79, HON '09), co-founder and chair of IMAGINE and the former CEO of Unilever, have attended previous Warren Bennis Leadership Experiences. Attendees have benefitted from meaningful discussions around how to apply Bennis’ lessons on leadership. 

Since 2016, the WBLE has hosted an annual event planned and led by students.

Learn more about past WBLE events and WBLE co-founder Jack FitzGerald's story from UC Magazine, Centennial Inc., the Cincinnati Business Courier and TEDxUCincinnati.

Three men and a woman speak on a panel.
Two women and a man speak on a panel.

Support the Warren Bennis Leadership Initiative

Honor a legacy of leadership and help develop the leaders of tomorrow by contributing to The Warren Bennis Leadership Institute Fund.