"Aging and quality of life"
This working paper deals with a rather taboo subject: the consequences of prolonging life into extreme old age, now possible with advances in medical procedures. It poses the existential question about the quality of life in the final stage of the human life cycle. I suggest that most of us are more worried about the downsides of aging than about dying. We all want to live for as long as possible but none of us wants to get old. What meaning is left to life once we have completed our main evolutionary task—bringing up our children?
INSEAD Working Paper, 2015Read more
"Succession & when it's time to let go"
This blog entry with the Harvard Business Review discusses the three phases of a CEO's lifespan and what happens when leaders outstay their time and performance starts to decline.
Published on 14 Mar, 2014
"Death anxiety and executive mortality"
This blog entry with the Harvard Business Review explores the death anxiety and what happens when we repress our fear of death and refuse to confront it.
Published on 24 Mar, 2014
"How would you like to be remembered?"
Published on 5 Sep, 2016
Manfred Kets de Vries takes readers out of their comfort zone in this book. It intends to focus executives on what really counts in their lives and to shake academics down from their ivory towers and make them more attuned to the real problems of real people, instead of trying to impress each other.
Published on 15 Apr, 2009
a reminder that democracies are very fragile configurations
Following Jonathan Swift’s satirical example of a “modest” proposal, this paradoxical article examines the question of having leaders for life. Throughout, it employs the tools of satire to outline the presumed advantages of a leaders-for-life system, revealing that, in reality, it is fraught with danger. In a circuitous way, the article makes clear that having leaders for life is an invitation for social unrest and economic decline. By presenting a number of examples of leaders for life, it becomes clear that the overriding concern is the ever-present danger of the abuse of power. Without the existence of term limits, there will be an increased prevalence of rights abuses, secret or arbitrary arrests and detentions, restrictions on freedom of expression, and police brutality. Furthermore, it is suggested that kleptocratic practices are par for the course.
Published on 31 Jul, 2020
"What are the underlying dynamics of succession?"
This article explores the underlying dynamics of succession.
Published on 1 Jan, 1988
"Fairy tales for today’s executives"
This working paper looks at how fairy tales—when applied to the realm of executive leadership—act as a shortcut to moral lessons, illustrating the dangers of leadership and various ways in which executives can derail.
Published on 6 Mar, 2015
"Profile of Vladimir Putin"
This paper compares Russian President Vladimir Putin to effective business executives, studying his performance through the same lenses used to assess CEOs of large corporations, and reviewing the degree to which his various constituencies are satisfied with his performance.
Published on 6 May, 2005
"Leadership development as a transitional journey"
This paper describes transitional leadership development programs as the beginning of a journey, and propose that for this type of program, an integrated collaborative approach to evaluation is logical and appropriate.
Published on 8 Mar, 2008
"Play therapy as a means of individual reinvention"
This working paper argues that the proclivity to play remains an essential part of our make-up throughout our life and that we should make greater efforts to retain play as a mode of learning and the source of creative production.
Published on 5 Dec, 2012