What makes a great leader?
This is a question to ask Pepper de Callier, founder of Prague Leadership Institute, columnist, and best-selling author of the Common Sense Wisdom trilogy, who has been asked to lead an exclusive leadership tour in Italy for senior executives, in addition to other speaking engagements across Europe.
Hosted by Management Centre Europe (MCE), an international management training company operating throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, the five-day tour includes a visit to such manufacturing company icons as Lamborghini, Ferrero, and Versace. During these visits, de Callier will interview top executives at these companies and moderate interactive workshops through which participants can discuss effective leadership tools and management skills. The tour aims to provide executives with a unique opportunity by exposing them to a variety of businesses and leadership styles from which to glean insight into their own personal development.
“How can you use what you have learned on the tour to enhance your own individual and authentic style of leadership and become a better, more effective leader? That is what this tour is all about,” says de Callier.
“And, have fun,” he adds, with a smile.
Among the tour’s participating companies, there is a common characteristic that is unique.
“Italians are experts in creating the kind of long-term emotional link with their brands,” says Director of MCE, Patrick Faniel. “That is why we created this Italian tour.”
The tour’s approach toward forming brand leaders is less focused on expertise.
“I’m fully convinced that today it is not about the experience or knowledge you have. It’s about you’re adaptability to things you didn’t even know could happen. How do you manage a company when you don’t know what will happen next? Creating an emotional link with your brand is part of that equation.”
The tour’s target market is chiefly leaders from the Arab states of the Middle East as well as Central and Eastern European countries—regions that lack an abundance of brand leaders, according to Faniel.
“They have a lot of companies, of course, but not emotionally recognized brands,” he says.
De Callier reaffirms the power of the human element of emotion as an important tenet of leadership, such that leaders who learn how to inspire and harness it truly differentiate themselves and their companies in the marketplace.
“If you can create a connection with people, if you create engagement, people feel a part of something and become emotionally invested in it,” says de Callier. “This is how the ‘magic’ of top-performing teams and companies comes about.”
De Callier’s vast and varied leadership experience lends to his role as tour leader.
“He has a real talent to write and to speak,” says Faniel, with admiration. “His ability to recognize the kind of skills and talents senior executives need, coupled with an awareness of current challenges companies face, are the reasons we chose him to lead the Italian tour. When you put all these things together in the context of interviewing senior leaders, he can lead the conversation in the direction we want to go and then help the group learn something from it.”
De Callier, who was voted Top Leadership Coach in Europe by London-based AI Media, is also traveling for another European speaking tour in Madrid, Lisbon, Brussels, Bonn, Bucharest, and Zagreb, among other cities.
As an executive coach, de Callier’s intentions are clear:
“What I do is help people discover how to successfully integrate the knowledge and wisdom of leadership in ways that are genuine and authentic to them.”