In November 2016, twelve students and alumni spent five days together in a little mansion in the Black Forest investigating how leadership skills can be cultivated through consciously developing one’s own personality. Taking place for the third time, the 2016 course was once again organized by the Institute for Philosophy and Leadership of the Jesuit School of Philosophy in Munich in collaboration with the Leadership Excellence Institute | LEIZ and the Karl Schlecht Foundation KSG.
In addition to technical competence, a leader – particularly in top-level positions – needs to have a mature, stable character. Without a high degree of self-reflection, self-awareness, and a personal capacity for critical analysis of existential and ethical questions, no leader will be able to take responsible decisions and provide guidance to others. Learning the art of self-leadership is therefore a key task for anyone wishing to bevome a top-executive. Consequently, the course focused on critical self-analysis rather than traditional academic teaching.
The statements of two participants illustrate their experiences at the compact course:
"This seminar was a great opportunity in the right place at the right time. Beforehand I was a bit sceptical if we would be exposed to deeply religious or philosophical doctrines, but the supervisors were nothing short of extremely helpful and professional indeed. I could sort out urging questions regarding future career plans while not only thinking but also feeling through my life and experiences. Equipped with supportive tools, boosted backbone and new understandings I look forward to upcoming challenges. Am I a leader? Yes, at least a leader of my own self-determined life. It starts with us.“ – Anika Rehder, M.A. Student, November, 2016
"The ‚Personality and Leadership' - Seminar taught in a calm atmosphere an ontology to think about oneself. Self-determination as a key competence of leadership perceived as satisfying was practiced on an individual basis. Thoughts upgraded through group exchange about the dynamics of self-reflexion rather than the finite results. How was this experience for me? Surprising, to sit down and listen to an inner voice, which has more tunes than expected. Ruthless, to fight for independence of thoughts and self-detemination as a first-semester Master's student, whose life is often crowded with far-reaching decisions. Powerful, because exchanging in a seminar situation on private questions enabled a comparison to previous reflexion-processes." – Lukas Törner, M.A. Student, November, 2016