"The triumphs and foibles of Alexander the Great"
Visionary, team builder, mentor, Alexander the Great shows us some timeless leadership lessons but also some glaring failures. Although the ‘Great Man’ theory of leadership belongs to the scrapheap of history, its allure continues to mystify. Underlying this theory is the assumption that if the right man (yes, it is often assumed to be a man) for the job emerges, he will almost magically take control of a situation and lead a group of people into safety or success. While such leaders are rare, there are times when a singular individual steps out from the crowd and serves as a paragon of leadership. This blog entry explores the triumphs and foibles of one such individual.
INSEAD Knowledge, 2014Read more
"Fairy tales for today’s executives"
This blog looks at the leadership journey as a fairy tale and cautions against the five deadly dangers of leadership.
Published on 18 May, 2015
Our journey together through the pandemic can lead us down a path of division or a more hopeful path of mutual responsibility, reconciliation and true renewal, ensuring healthier organisations and a better society for our children and future generations. In his latest book Journeys through Coronavirus Land, Manfred Kets de Vries takes us through his ruminations during confinement, widening his explorations into group phenomenon, leadership and organisational dynamics and economic and environmental crisis. The central question is, how have each of us responded to this adversity and where will this journey lead us, individually and collectively?
This book is available as a free download. A donation to Unicef Save Generation Covid i strongly encouraged..
Published on 3 Jul, 2020
"Leadership lessons from Alexander the Great"
This article explores what makes for effective leadership and what contributes to leadership derailment, using Alexander the Great of Macedonia, as an example.
Published on 1 Jun, 2003
Five key lessons for entrepreneurs and leadership
As an organisation, the Virgin Group has been of great interest to the public and business experts worldwide, especially given Richard Branson’s creative leadership style in running and growing the enterprise. We dive into Professor Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries and Robert Dick’s case titled, “Branson’s Virgin: The Coming of Age of a Counter-Cultural Enterprise,” and explore five key lessons for entrepreneurs and leadership.
Published on 28 Jul, 2020
This book is an easy-to-read overview of all the key events and people in Alexander the Great's extraordinary life, and provides lessons on effective leadership.
Published on 13 Oct, 2004
"Donald Trump’s new American brand is a cautionary tale for all leaders."
Published on 12 Apr, 2017
Good leadership requires self-aware and vulnerable leaders
The coronavirus crisis facilitates the rise of autocratic and narcissistic leaders just when we least need them.
When asked what the post-Covid world might look like, French author Michel Houellebecq said, “The same – only worse.” While the quip is funny on the surface, there is indeed reason for all of us to wonder where the world is headed.
Published on 29 Jul, 2020
"A large chair doesn’t make a king"
Africa is a cautionary example of the need for checks and balances against the abuse of power.
Published on 5 Oct, 2016
"How to manage brilliant but tumultuous leaders"
Thrill-seeking employees' addiction to risk can create havoc in the workplace. Managed correctly, their fearlessness can be a great advantage to any organisation.
Published on 7 Jul, 2016
Take a look at your strengths and development areas through the eyes of others.
Many of today’s leaders lack self-knowledge. They are not very reflective of their actions; they may even suffer from hubris, lacking a sense of humility that allows them to clearly see where their weaknesses lie. Asking others what they think of our actions is not the best way of finding out. People are not always straight-forward and executives may be reluctant to be seen “seeking approval”. The INSEAD Global Leadership Centre has taken the findings of its leadership development work (gleaned over 10 years of leadership coaching), to develop the Global Executive Leadership Mirror (“The Global Mirror”), providing a lens through which executives can take a closer, 360 degree look at their own personal leadership behavior.
Published on 23 Oct, 2014