IMI Masterclass 1: The Essence of Leadership

IMI Masterclass 1: The Essence of Leadership

With the aid of concepts from psychology, mythology, sociology and neurosciences, Gianpiero’s session will reach below superficial leadership theories to address the questions—what makes a leader, and what does it take to lead well if it is not just position and skill? It will encapsulate the dynamic essence of leadership and followership, purpose, ambition and responsibility.

Date:      3rd February 2015

Time:     8.30 -9.30 Registration     9:30 -12.30 Masterclass

Venue:   IMI Conference Centre, Sandyford Road, Dublin 16

Registration: Click here to register

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About the session

Leading groups and organizations is everything but a straightforward, rational affair. For all the models and theories out there, the question of who gets to lead—and who doesn’t—is never settled easily. Some people appear to have leadership position and skills and yet aren’t able to move their team and organizations forward. Other have neither high position nor appear to have all the requisite skills and yet are able to gather a large and devoted following. With the aid of concepts from psychology, mythology, sociology and neurosciences, in this session we shall reach below superficial leadership theories and tales to address the questions—what makes a leader, and what does it take to lead well if it is not just position and skill? We shall endeavor to reach towards, and ‘play’ with, the dynamic essence of leadership and followership, purpose, ambition and responsibility—considering both their bright and sunny as well as their darker, shadowy aspects. The session will be highly interactive and allow you to reflect on the source of your own leadership and how you can exercise it mindfully, effectively and responsibly in your everyday work.


Gianpiero Petriglieri

is an associate professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD and was short-listed for the 2013 “Future Thinker” award by Thinkers50 ranking.

His research explores the domains of leadership, in particular, exercising leadership mindfully, effectively and responsibly. His work on the personal foundations of leaders’ development received the GMAC Award for the most significant contribution to graduate management education.

Gianpiero is particularly concerned with the development of leadership in a day and age in which authenticity and mobility have replaced loyalty and advancement as hallmarks of virtue and success.

In this context, he contends, a narrow focus on the acquisition of new knowledge and skills is inadequate—if not detrimental—to develop competent and trustworthy leaders. His research casts a light on the psychological, social and cultural functions of management learning and leadership development, and his innovative teaching methods provide an example of how to perform those functions purposefully for the benefit of individuals, organizations and society at large.

His work has been featured in a range of media including the BBC, Financial Times, The Economist, BusinessWeek and Forbes. He writes regularly on the Harvard Business Review and is a member of the Wall Street Journal panel of leadership experts. He chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on new models of leadership.

Building on insights from his research, Gianpiero has contributed to refining a unique approach to experiential leadership development that aims to deepen and accelerate the development of individual leaders as well as to broaden and strengthen leadership communities within and across organisations. Alongside the Management Acceleration Programme, he directs customized leadership development programmes for multinationals in a variety of industries. He teaches in several other INSEAD executive programmes, including The Leadership Transition and Consulting and Coaching for Change. He also consults and speaks widely on how to develop and exercise leadership in fast-changing, uncertain and diverse workplaces.


Gianpiero taught the “Leading People and Groups” core course in the INSEAD MBA for five years, receiving the students’ Outstanding Teacher Award and the Dean’s Commendation for Teaching Excellence. He has held Visiting Professor positions at the Harvard Business School, and at Copenhagen Business School where he received teaching awards in the MBA and Executive MBA. Prior to joining INSEAD, he contributed regularly to executive education programs and to the MBA at IMD in Switzerland.


Gianpiero holds a Medical Doctorate and a specialization in Psychiatry from the University of Catania Medical School, Italy, and a diploma in Advanced Organizational Consultation from the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London. He has practiced as a psychotherapist and often serves on the staff of group relations conferences in Europe and the United States. He is past President of the International Transactional Analysis Association and a member of the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems.

IMI Conference Centre,
Sandyford Road,
Dublin 16