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A Student in an Ivy League University's Most Popular MBA Leadership Class Asked a Tough Question: What If Your Boss's Downfall Is Necessary to Get Ahead? The GenAI-powered coach from Mentora Institute, the global institute dedicated to developing exemplary leaders and accelerating performance, was ready to answer.

By Amanda Breen Edited by Jessica Thomas

Key Takeaways

  • Many employees avoid bringing up the prospect of a promotion or raise because they don't know where to begin.
  • The GenAI-powered coach Mentora LiFT can help with that — and just about any other challenging workplace scenario.
  • A demonstration in Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa's MBA leadership and success class showcased the tool's potential.

Seventy percent of employees avoid difficult conversations with their boss, colleagues or direct reports, according to a study by coaching and training firm Bravely. Unfortunately, awkward interactions in the workplace are often necessary to see positive results — including those in the form of a promotion or raise.

One recent study from UK-based Reed Recruitment found that more than half of employees surveyed hesitate to broach the subject of career advancement, with 16% admitting that they simply don't know what to say. What if someone could help them find the words and prepare them for any possible response?

A GenAI-powered coach from Mentora Institute, the global institute dedicated to developing exemplary leaders and accelerating performance, does just that.

Related: I Attended an Ivy League University's Most Popular MBA Leadership Class and Learned How Steve Jobs Became a Better Leader in 10 Minutes

The just-launched Mentora LiFT is designed to expedite performance breakthroughs at work with actionable and personalized coaching with "the path breaking leading-in-flow method," Dr. Hitendra Wadhwa, Mentora founder and professor at Columbia Business School, shared in Harvard Business Review.

The tool became available for enterprises on April 2, and individuals will be able to access LiFT in waves with priority given to those on the waitlist and those who sign up today and throughout the week. Its three-level price tier includes an individual version for $45 per month, a professional version for $195 per month and an annual subscription for $1,995.

How do you bring up the possibility of a promotion or raise when the path to career advancement isn't clear?

In January, I had the opportunity to sit in on Wadhwa's business course at Columbia and see the technology in action. Wadhwa, who also authored the book Inner Mastery, Outer Impact: How Your Five Core Energies Hold the Key to Success, teaches the university's most popular class on leadership and success. Wadhwa asked for some class participation to help show what Mentora LiFT could do — did anyone have a challenging situation at work they'd be willing to share and work through with the tool?

The student selected revealed a common problem: How do you bring up the possibility of a promotion or raise when the path to career advancement isn't clear? In this student's case, though, an industry-specific constraint added some complexity. As a professional working in academic medicine, he said the hierarchical structure and long-established trajectory of those working within it meant those who chose to stick around could expect a slow climb to the top, one that ultimately hinged on their superior's departure — by choice or otherwise.

What if the only way to get a promotion is for your boss to…die? Naturally, his question elicited some laughter, as did his admission of offering his boss cheeseburgers to speed the process up, but the general premise — how to start a tough conversation in the workplace — was just what Mentora LiFT needed to do its work.

Related: The Secret to How Businesses Can Fully Harness the Power of AI

The Mentora LiFT added possibilities — and a lot of them — to an otherwise stultifying situation.

The student prepared for a meeting with his boss that could change the trajectory of his career, and by inputting his specific goals, received recommendations for concrete actions and a custom plan complete with intention-setting, action-review and centering and visualization practices — and all in just 10-15 minutes. The tool also offers a simulated role-play option for those important real-world conversations.

The student still had a significant challenge ahead of him in shifting the status quo, but the Mentora LiFT added possibilities — and a lot of them — to an otherwise stultifying situation. And that's precisely what it was built to do.

In early testing of LiFT by executives from major organizations such as Google, IBM, Amazon, Citibank, Mastercard and more, executives mostly or completely achieved their performance goals 80% of the time with the tool, which also delivered an immediate average boost of 20% in achieving performance goals, increasing to 135% over time after 10 uses.

Related: Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.

"After fifteen years of scientific research and field-testing, we've devised a straightforward yet profound methodology which emphasizes that true leadership and performance begins from activating the right energy — the right thoughts, emotions and intentions," Wadhwa said in a statement announcing Mentora LiFT.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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