Leadership in Action

Expand your boundaries to achieve leadership and followership success

> Target audienceKey benefitsKey topicsMeet the staff

For an entrepreneur building a company – or an entrepreneurial thinker strengthening an existing organization – moving beyond the leadership comfort zone is more than an option: It is necessary for survival.

The English language program Leadership in Action (LIA) shows managers how to achieve bold leadership skills and fresh paradigms to make effective decisions. A rigorous, three-day, total-immersion experience helps challenge, stretch, and push leadership skills in unexpected ways. Using the transitional approach to change, an action-and- review framework extends thinking beyond classic presentation and case-study methods. During the action program segment, participants are challenged to move, perform, communicate, and create during an innovative set of experiential encounters. During the review segment, participants are then engaged in collaborative peer feedback. The combined elements work together to accelerate personal and professional growth – breaking out of the leadership routine and into greater opportunity.


Target audience

Managers and independent collaborators interested in learning about leadership and followership, facilitated through an action-based learning approach.


Key benefits

  • Build bridges between people to generate greater value
  • Learn to better identify, define, and reinforce interpersonal strengths
  • Areas for further leadership development
  • Support participants’ pursuit of a critical balance in planning, action, and interaction during high-pressure situations
  • See and seize opportunity in a business and economic environment marked by rapid change with a fresh set of insights and skills
  • Solid network of global contacts


Key topics

  • Developing innovative leadership strategies for teams and industries affected by rapid change
  • Cultivating greater followership and developing one’s own strengths by focusing on the substance and character that people naturally want to follow
  • Collaborating within a learning, cooperative laboratory environment that generates true innovation
  • Fostering healthy group competition that enables achievement at both the personal and organizational levels
  • Supporting communication strategies that reach across organizational, cultural, and gender barriers to motivate people and move companies forward
  • Building teamwork concepts that transcend traditional hierarchies to address the diverse talent clouds that make up today’s workforce


 “The effective leader searches for the better question, accepts inexperience, stays in motion, crafts good stories, encourages improvisation. People who act in this way help others make sense of what they are facing; sense-making is about how to stay in touch with context.”

                                                 (Karl E. Weick)


Meet the teaching staff

Nora Grasselli (Program Director)

Nora pursues her academic interest in group dynamics, leadership, and organizational psychodynamics. She studied management, with a focus on organization, and completed her PhD on group dynamics at HEC Paris. During her doctoral studies, she was a visiting fellow at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne.

Prior to joining ESMT, Nora was a strategy consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, where she consulted for multinational corporations on organizational issues. She also worked as a lecturer for MBA and executive programs at various business schools including HEC Paris, Saïd Business School (Oxford), Reims Management School, and the Central European University.


Andreas Bernhardt

Executive Coach, ESMT Berlin

Andreas Bernhardt is executive development advisor and lead coach at ESMT Berlin, a founding member of ESMT's Center for Leadership Development Research, and manages ESMT's pool of executive coaches. He has over 20 years of practical leadership development experience with executives from more than 30 countries and has designed and delivered executive programs for several international companies. He is also an executive coach with the Global Leadership Centre at INSEAD, one of the world's leading business schools.

He teaches and coaches in the areas of leadership, organizational behavior, coaching, negotiations, and change in MBA, Executive MBA, Open Enrollment, and company-specific executive programs.