Kellogg-WHU provide resilience under pressure

There is increasing pressure on the business leaders of today and tomorrow. The Kellogg-WHU EMBA programme advocates resilient leadership and safeguards against the dangers of burnout

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Some managers fail even with the best knowledge and skills. Some create work environments that stress people out. And some managers eventually burn out themselves.

Truly successful leadership requires managers to be aware of their impact on others, the working climate and on their own resilience. But why do management practices still break down, even with the best skills and knowledge?

Today in the globalised economy, companies and their management put themselves under enormous pressure to succeed, given that demonstrable results must be achieved quarter after quarter – often with diminishing resources. The faster pace of work, increasing complexity and ambiguity of the tasks involved often lead to insolvable assignments. This pushes many managers to their mental, physical and emotional limits. This, when met with an unbounded willingness to thrive and constant accessibility, can create a downward spiral ending, ever more often, in manager burnout.

Follow the leader
However, manager burnout is not an entirely individual phenomenon, but in equal measure, a structural problem. Fire accelerants affecting teams and departments can, over the long run, cripple the productivity and capacity to innovate in entire businesses.

Safeguarding the so-called resilience of executives and organisations must therefore constitute a core competence of modern management. As a manager’s personal aspects impact their social and emotional interaction with their teams, their professional development must coincide with personal development too. The necessity of this cooperation for true successful leadership is why Kellogg-WHU’s Executive MBA has continually focused on leadership development.

“As Shakespeare put it: ‘Know thyself!’ Before one can be a good leader of others one needs to be a good leader of himself,” says Kellogg-WHU Executive Coach Karsten Drath.

“Knowing your strengths and potential downfalls helps improve your leadership and emotional health.”

Leadership development can be considered a skill area by providing a process of observation, reflection, and action. The most effective and inspiring leaders are those who continuously make their personal development a priority and acknowledge it as essential to their professional excellence. These professionals know that being open to growing and exploring outside their comfort zones enhances their ability to innovate, communicate, and stay afloat in tough times. Resilient leadership helps you seek to learn information about yourself – being a unit of mind, body and soul – that will help you become more enduring, successful and happy in both your personal and professional life.

Challenge and crisis
Resilience of managers describes the capacity of individual leaders to cope with the pressures to perform, changes and crises, while continuing to be capable of action and even coming out stronger than before. Resilience in organisations describes the ability of a company, division or department to cope with global and economic changes, reorganisations and crises in such a way that its managers and employees remain fit for work in the long term.

“The Kellogg-WHU’s executive coaching programme takes leadership and resilience
theory from an abstract level down into the individual level of each participant,” says Drath, who is also Managing Partner at Leadership Choices, a European professional services firm focusing on executive development.

The programme takes place in an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidentiality.

Managers can gain insightful feedback into their personal management strengths and weaknesses to help improve their communication and resilience. These leadership skills are perfected with practical experience, where managers cement their coaching with outdoor training. Specialised instructors take study groups through challenging leadership tasks to assist their personal development, promote team building and provide managers a unique opportunity to crank up their resilience.

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