The Slovenia Times

What worked yesterday can be totally ineffective today



He has been teaching leadership in various business schools and universities (IMD, Kellogg, Oxford), currently he is a full professor at the Moscow School of Management (Skolkovo) and he holds the leadership chair at IEDC-Bled School of Management.

In the preface of his latest book (co-authored with Prof. Claudel, published in 2015) one can read that leadership development ranks among the top three human capital priorities in most survey of executives. It is also reflected in the amount of money spent by corporations: US companies invest $14 billion annually to develop leaders. This clearly shows the extent of the concern about the existing gap between the availability and he current or future needs for leaders. In the interview for The Slovenia Times, Prof.Casse, reveals the importance of management education. This is also going to be stressed on the occasion of the inspirational lecture titled "Today's Challenges of Leadership", organized by IEDC-Bled School of Management, in Vienna on September 15, 2015 at the Novomatic forum.

1. In your latest book 'Testing leadership' (2015) you and prof. Claudel offer a compilation of tests for leaders in order to provide them with self-assessment. By stimulating thinking and self-reflection, reader could also understand the book as the invitation for education. Why is education so important for leaders?

Ongoing education is critical in the very fast changing environment that leaders (public and private sectors) belong to today. Nothing is stable. Everything is unpredictable. The environment is full of ambiguity and uncertainty. Leaders must question their basic assumptions, check them out and invent the news ones. Learning is the key. Actually what's critical is to learn how to learn how to learn. In that sense, leaders must become role models in four key areas:

Making a diagnosis of a given situation (where do we stand?)

Inventing new solution to new and old problems (Can we do better?)

Implementing or making it happen (Can we translate our great ideas into deeds and results?)

Learning from our actions (What do we get from what we have done?).

That's the kind of education leaders must promote in all organizations. They must keep in mind that success can be a trap in the sense that what worked yesterday can be totally ineffective today or tomorrow!

2. Leadership development ranks among the top 3 human capital priorities. How is this reflected in the money spent by the corporations for the business education (how much money is spent and what are the trends)?

Money is not the issue. No organization can afford not to invest in people's education and development. Of course the payoff exists. The most important one being the survival and the growth of the organization. Organizations like Nestlé, BASF. Google (and many others) have learned that without it they face the following problems: The company culture gets stale and conservative (it lives in the past); Outstanding people do not stay and the company loses great brains; People gets the message very quickly that management does not care about them and the impact on their internal commitment is very dramatic and in most cases irreversible.

3. In the book mentioned above, you also write about the Vitality Quotient (VQ). The majority of us is quite familiar with EQ, IQ , but VQ? What does it stands for and why is it relevant for the modern leadership?

There are three key success factors leaders must keep in mind to be very effective. They are:

IQ: A minimum of analytical and intuitive intelligence is critical but the research show that very bright people are not very good leaders (they miss the second KSF i.e. the EQ)

Leadership up-date: Most people acknowledge today that there are different forms of intelligence i.e. intellectual, artistic, manual...

EQ: The emotional Intelligence is the ability of the leader to establish and maintain good relations with other people. They care and they are able to pay attention to individuals' feelings and desires

Leadership up-date: Great leaders active their EQ in such a way that they are also able to focus on people's deep aspirations as human beings

VQ: Is the Vitality factor . Without is nothing happens. It is essentially the ability for the leader to energize himself or herself and to boost the energy levels of others, teams and organizations at least from time to time

Leadership up-date: A high VQ is not a condition for happiness. On the contrary, people who are full of energy can be over-self-demanding and exhausting for the people around them.


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