Written at a time of global pandemic, when we have been forced to confront age-old existential questions—Why are we here? Where are we going?—perhaps for the first time, Quo Vadis? is extraordinarily relevant to leaders, managers and anyone who wants to bring meaning and authenticity into their work and life. Manfred Kets de Vries argues that we need to address these fundamental and disturbing questions if we are to live fully and meaningfully. Too many people wake up on a Monday morning and do the same things they have done every Monday. They go to work and function on autopilot without questioning their purpose. But how can we make sure our lives are rich and fulfilling? How do we know we’re on the right track?
This is a book about death and the fear of death, about angst and absurdity; but it is also about endurance, honesty, well-being, responsibility, living with hard truths, creating meaning—and happiness.
Quo Vadis? makes us look full on at the things we prefer not to see. It is a short book that pulls no punches but is far from bleak. Instead, Kets de Vries shows that our life is enriched, and our ability to make meaning and find happiness is increased, when we acknowledge the inevitable price we have to pay for knowing our own mind and understanding our inevitable end.
The Palgrave Kets De Vries Library, 2020Purchase
"Insatiable desire for more can be destructive"
Published on 8 Apr, 2016
This essay addresses the question of what makes for happiness. An attempt is made to deconstruct this elusive concept.
Published on 1 Jun, 2000
A young prince who resists the spell of the evil goblin with the help of a raven, a king who turns into a bear to expel the monster in him, four brothers, each with a unique gift, facing a common dilemma—these are some of the characters in this collection of fairy tales, each story reflecting our deepest fears and desires. Join author Manfred Kets de Vries as he takes you on a journey where heroes and heroines face dragons, crones, lions and wicked stepmothers in their search for the elusive “happily ever after”.
Published on 25 Jul, 2016
"Fairy tales explore the boundaries between reality and fantasy and between the animate and inanimate world. When we enter these “other worlds,” there is good possibility that we will return to our own world with a new awareness, and with a new sense of energy, and hope." - Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
"High achievers who feel they are complete fakes"
This article describes that "neurotic imposture" a kind of behavior that causes a great many extremely talented, hardworking, and capable executives—men and women who have achieved great success by the world's standards–to believe, deep down, that they don't deserve it.
Published on 17 Nov, 2006
At this critical junction in the history of humankind, leaders that are proficient in magical thinking aren’t going to solve our problems. Creating alternative realities is not the answer. We need a very different kind of leadership―leaders who can resist the calls of regression and whose outlook is firmly based in reality. We need leaders who analyse and draw conclusions from, or use their own experiences as a development tool, face their strengths and weaknesses, and critique their own experiences in order to build new understandings.
Published on 30 Nov, 2020
This book presents eclectic advice on how things really work in organisations, by combining the dismal science of management and the impossible profession of psychoanalysis.
Published on 16 Aug, 1995
"Is it possible to know oneself?"
This blog explores the question of whether it is possible to know oneself when so much of that knowledge is beyond conscious awareness.
Published on 21 Jan, 2015
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
"What do executives want out of life?"
This article is based on the responses of 160 senior executives to questions of what success means to them.
Published on 9 Jan, 2009