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INSEAD Business School

The Challenge of Leadership

Jan 13—Dec 4, 2020
20 daysModules info
Fontainebleau, France
EUR 38500 ≈USD 42458
EUR 1925 per day

How it works


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In business, executives often focus on models of rational analysis, paying far too little attention to the idiosyncrasies and irrational processes that make up individual human behaviour. At the heart of success however, lies a true understanding of the emotional side of decision-making.

The Challenge of Leadership aims to improve your understanding of how human behaviour affects the functioning of an organisation. By focusing on conscious and unconscious behaviour, as well as rational and irrational action, you will learn to manage irrational and dysfunctional processes in your company. You will explore your personal leadership style and address ways of dealing with processes that fall outside recommended models.


  • Build a foundation for effective leadership. Discover the forces behind authority and power, increasing your confidence at the most senior levels.
  • Develop a leadership style for the future. Evolve your leadership style to improve the health and effectiveness of your organisation.
  • Build teams with a collective mission. Gain the capability to diagnose toxic organisational cultures and dysfunctional processes in companies, enabling enhanced group dynamics and the creation of high-performance teams.
  • Better work-life balance. Determine when to pull back and how to share responsibilities, thus creating a better work-life balance.


The Challenge of Leadership combines the characteristics of being group oriented, reflective and clinical. First, this means that the personal experiences of the select community built during the course get frequent airing. This in turn helps leaders consider their behaviour, increasing their ability to act, reflect and then refocus their actions. They thus become what we refer to as ‘reflective practitioners’. Lastly, the programme uses a clinical framework, drawing on psychoanalysis, family systems theory, developmental psychology and cognitive theory among other disciplines, and applying them to business. The modules will cover the following topics.


  • Understanding national and corporate culture
  • Dealing with the ‘undiscussables’ of organisational life
  • Group dynamics and team building
  • Creating a coaching culture
  • Social defences
  • Personal and organisational change processes and transformation processes
  • Interpreting non-rational processes
  • Empathetic listening
  • Dealing with transference and countertransference issues


  • The dynamics of power and influence
  • The failure factor in leadership
  • Authority problems in management
  • Regressive behaviour in organisations
  • Defensive reactions and coping styles
  • Stress symptoms in organisations
  • Managing disappointment
  • Emotional intelligence
  • The leader as coach


  • A better understanding of your leadership style
  • Uncovering ‘blind spots’ through multi-party feedback
  • Process consultation – ‘critical incident’ method
  • Managing interpersonal conflict
  • Learning how to coach
  • Life and career planning: establishing a balance

Who should attend

Participants of this select programme are senior leaders from large and medium-sized firms; entrepreneurs, or senior executives in the public sector. Typically CEOs and board members, participants hold top level positions and are in the mature phase of their career.

In the confidential application form, candidates are required to detail their objectives and personal profile. Acceptance is very much influenced by the quality of responses to these questions. Successful candidates will be interviewed by the Programme Director. It should also be noted that acceptance to the programme implies a full commitment to be present for the duration of the four modules.


Elisabet Engellau is Adjunct Clinical Professor of Management at INSEAD Business School in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi and a Founding Director of the Kets de Vries Institute (KDVI). She specialises in one-on-one/group coaching and leadership development, for “C” level executives, as well as ...
Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries is the Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organisational Change and the Raoul de Vitry d'Avaucourt Chaired Professor of Leadership Development, Emeritus, at INSEAD. He brings a different view to the much-studied subjects of leadership and th...


Detailed Description
Detailed Description

Next dates

Jan 13—Dec 4, 2020
20 daysModules info
Fontainebleau, France
EUR 38500 ≈USD 42458
EUR 1925 per day

How it works

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