Rethinking Leadership: The Leipzig Leadership Model

“You manage things but you lead people,” the American leadership psychologist Warren Bennis once said. In times of high complexity and dynamic change, the demand for a holistic and easily accessible leadership model, which connects responsible entrepreneurial leadership with effective management in a practically oriented and scientifically-founded manner, has been growing for years.

teaserTo fill this gap in leadership science and practice, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management will present the Leipzig Leadership Model, which was developed by the faculty as a result of a dialog between theory and practice spanning several years, at the HHL Forum titled “Rethinking Leadership” on December 6 and 7, 2016. In doing so, it reacts to new challenges facing leaders in a digital, extremely volatile and complex world.

HHL aims for a re-orientation of management and leadership theory in the sense of an intentionally interdisciplinary and practically-oriented approach which ties the increasingly important fields of innovation and ethics to effective management as well as purpose and contribution-oriented understanding of leadership. It is also suited for enthusing students to take on leadership tasks as early as possible and teaching them how to complete these tasks in an entrepreneurial and responsible manner.


Compass in turbulent times

pinkwart_blog“The Leipzig Leadership Model is centered upon the individual who acts in an innovative and entrepreneurially responsible fashion instead of upon abstract systems and offers executives reliable orientation in complex, rapidly changing contexts using central leadership dimensions,” says HHL Dean Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart. It serves as a compass for management students as well as active executives – from start-ups to family businesses and DAX-listed enterprises. The model explicitly addresses organizations of different sizes, types and industries with a global relevance.

In his opening address, which actually was his last speech as President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Ulrich Grillo emphasizes, “In times of constant change – whether it is caused by rapidly progressing digitalization, far-reaching societal changes or the latest ecological challenges – we as entrepreneurs do not have time to wait and see how things develop. We also have to demonstrate within the company what ‘economy with a stance’ demands from us to be accepted by society. Modern-day leadership also requires honesty and reliability in our actions as well as openness towards new things. It is good to know that we are on the way of actively rethinking leadership thanks to your valuable work, the Leipzig Leadership Model.”

Prof. Joseph Maciariello, one of the foremost Peter Drucker researchers worldwide and new honorary doctor of HHL says, “The Leipzig Leadership model very much reflects Drucker’s vision. By putting the deeper question of purpose at the models’ center stage, it perfectly frames leadership as what is according to Peter Drucker: a liberal art.”

Germany’s first business school did not approach the topic of “Rethinking Leadership” through the latest daily channels alone but pursued a systematic and sustainable dialog about the theory and practice with leaders from the economy, science and politics over the last five years. With the publication on the Leipzig Leadership Model, which is available now, HHL makes the findings of the interdisciplinary discourse available to leadership theory and business practice as well as leadership research and invites all stakeholders to continue to develop the model. For this purpose, HHL is developing its own academic programs as well as its executive education offer and research program.


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