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Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Facing the Unexpected - Leading in the "panic Zone"

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About the course

Two Cities. Two Challenges. This exciting and rewarding program – jointly designed and delivered by highly-renowned faculty and experts of Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien and Frankfurt School - offers new perspectives on and unique experiences with crucial leadership skills. Facing the Unexpected is an innovative and advanced leadership programme.

Frankfurt: We start with exploring the relevance and irrelevance of leaders and the role of self-leadership through established and distinct leadership logics: 1) The logic of consequence, 2) the logic of appropriateness and 3) the logic of absurdity. (The “CAA-logic“). Through mini-lectures, case discussions and exercises we draw implications and explore opportunities for leading in situations where leaders are pushed into the panic zone (e.g., where the demands of the situation exceed the knowledge and experience of the leader).

Vienna: Building upon and challenging your insights from the Frankfurt program, we expose you to the immediate experience and understanding of your individual leadership impact: Conducting the Leadership Orchestra will improve your poise when facing the unexpected. Through additional mini-lectures and exercises we further strengthen the convincing and non-contradictory communication of expectations to your team.

Overview Modules

Module 1 in Frankfurt

Day 1 with the Leadership Expert Prof. Claus Rerup The next zone of proximal development

  • Comfort vs. stretch vs. panic zone
  • Knowledge, experience and beyond
  • Leading in the panic zone

Self-leadership and fall from grace

  • Exercises

Reflection: How are you going to lead when you face the unexpected?

Case Study and Discussion: Leading in the panic zone: Sensegiving and sensemaking during the Pearl Jam concert accident

Team exercise

  • Building team skills in the panic zone
  • How to pool resources of not knowing
  • Debrief

Taking it back home Key lessons from the day. The logic of CAA

Day 2 with the founde of the Leadership Orchestra Lorenz Huber Jumping into cold water: Leadership Orchestra I

  • Conducting exercises with very short preparation
  • How to lead an expert team in an unknown field
  • Learning from conductors, orchestras and performers for self management in front of the audience

Interval exercise: MP3-training for conducting

Module 2 in Vienna

Day 1 with Lorenz Huber

Swimming in the cold water: Leadership Orchestra II

  • Conducting session with professional string quartet
  • Using team’s informal leadership for managing troubles
  • The role of personal appearance for establishing trust and stability
  • Developing an individual ritual for being confident in challenging situations

Day 2 with Prof. Claus Rerup

Case Study and Discussion

Orchestrating support when there are doubts and unknowns: The Nelson Mandela-way

Wrap up The relevance and irrelevance of leaders and leadership


Lectures, Case Studies, Exercises, Conducting

Who should attend

Bold Leaders

No prior musical training required!

Trust the experts

Claus Rerup

Claus Rerup is Professor of Management at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Germany. Before joining Frankfurt School in 2017, he was an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Ivey Business School, Western University, Canada. He has also been a visiting professor at Un...


Lorenz Huber

MA, is founder of the Leadership Orchestra and pioneer of the Conducting Training Method. Since 2001, he has been giving international trainings, keynotes and lectures for all leadership levels and is part of the faculty of WU Executive Academy. Inspired by orchestras and conductors, his work is ...


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