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 Watson Institute Vision, Mission, and Principles


Develop young leaders and entrepreneurs to solve the toughest challenges facing the world.


Draw out the fullest potential of entrepreneurs and leaders to create impact and lead successful careers.

Impact Is Our DNA

Impact is our DNA and forms the foundation of our strategy, team, partners, programs, and values. With impact at our core, we never forget why we exist: to help leaders and entrepreneurs achieve humanity’s fullest potential.

Protect your Courage

We as people are driven by an unshakable desire to make the future better than the past. Doing so requires great strength in the face of challenges, taking the road less traveled, and steadfast courage. Watson Institute is the place, the community, and the education that aims to protect the courage of next generation entrepreneurial leaders.

Go the extra mile (or 37…)

We strive to go above and beyond each day in things great and small to create a transformative culture for our students, partners, and team. We believe the magic is in the details and are inspired by moments when we witness the transformation, meaning, and impact created by going the extra mile (or 37…).

The Power of Relationships

We believe at the root of all growth are powerful relationships with mentors, peers, partners, friends, co-founders, and family. Therefore, we lead our lives and make decisions based on what is going to strengthen our foundational relationships. It is these powerful relationships that equip each of us and the entrepreneurs and leaders at Watson Institute with the community to lead impactful lives and successful careers.

Operational Excellence

We strive for excellence in all that we do – from the big things like building a new partnership to the small things like daily communication – because we believe if our organization is run with excellence our impact will be amplified. Operational excellence shows up in always following up, always following through, and well designed, efficient organizational processes and systems. We recognize that when something is done with excellence, the magic is often in the details.

A Culture of Coaching

Whether it’s the transformation of the individuals in our programs or the continual growth and professional development of everyone on our team, we constantly invest in building our people, growing ourselves as leaders, and actively seeking out coaching and opportunities to learn because the stronger our people, the greater our impact. Our culture of coaching extends throughout all levels of the organization and manifests itself in our belief that the best team members are both great coaches and extraordinarily coachable.

Come to the Window

Based on a story from Watson Institute’s early days, ‘Come to the Window’ represents the principles of our communication including:

  • Obligation to Dissent: If someone on our team disagrees with a decision or our direction as an organization, our team encourages disagreement and brings attention to challenges because true leaders believe dissent is an obligation.
  • Disagree and Commit: To complement Obligation to Dissent, there are times when we need to Disagree and Commit. Once all concerns and criticisms are shared, the course of action must be committed to by all involved.
  • No Drama: We prioritize purpose and don’t involve ourselves in the drama created by backroom chatter, hearsay, and unnecessary focus on issues that do not place impact first.
  • Go to the Source: Our culture is defined by direct, honest, and frequent communication. We expect team members to ‘go to the source’ of concerns by speaking up, communicating frequently, and taking issues directly to the individuals involved.