Renata Frolova


Diploma in Organisational Leadership





By Renata Frolova

The Making of Leaders at Saïd

The University of Oxford. Saïd Business School. All eager to learn, a cohort of 51 have taken their seats in the lecture theater six.

The topics of this week are: leadership, motivation, power, leading culture, building high performance teams, leading change, and institutional complexity. The amount of reading is overwhelming, but no sweat, we are here because we are all near-experts, right? No, turns out, in the changing world, not quite.

In the CEO report, Embracing the Paradoxes of Leadership and the Power of Doubt, Professors from the Saïd Business School and Heidrick & Struggles ask 150 CEOs how do senior executives develop the competence to lead in a changing world. The CEOs seem to agree that “past experience is no longer a reliable guide for future action”.

Very quickly it becomes obvious that it was a good investment to come here.

The professors are engaging and curious about our perspectives as much as we are curious about theirs. They patiently but firmly guide us towards the realization, that while many leaders may be successful intuitively, it is only to a point, while there is a great deal of help to gain from the academic world. The kind of help that makes intangible structured, and the unknown, if not obvious, then at least somewhat tamed.

We leave the first module humbled by each other’s insights and energized by the possibilities for personal and professional growth.

See you in May, Oxford!

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