Discover leadership secrets and more

What is leadership? Gianpiero Petriglieri, associate professor of organisational behaviour at INSEAD, will conduct a masterclass in leadership at the Fiduciary Investors Symposium, exploring how and where people become mindful, effective and responsible leaders.

In a conversational meditation on leadership, Petriglieri will ask delegates to contemplate what they think leadership is, how to recognise it and whether it matters.

“How did we end up where we are, with distrust and disillusionment with leadership?” he asks from his Fontainebleau office. “One thing I will ask people is, ‘Do you know why people trust you?’ People’s trust is the main thing you need as a leader.”

Petriglieri will open the conference with a session that explores two related questions – a broad social query and another more personal one.

The first question concerns the nature of leadership, what it is, and how one gains it and loses it. Determining who gets to lead and who doesn’t is never easy to do when people keep moving around.

The second query will dig deeper. Despite copious investment in leadership development, Petriglieri says, organisations claim to suffer from a shortage of leaders. And those who do lead often struggle to connect with potential followers, facing resistance and mistrust.

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The session shall reach beyond superficial models and tales to address the key questions: What makes a leader in our times? What does it mean to lead well? What does it take for an individual?

Petriglieri’s interests bridge the domains of leadership, identity and learning. He is particularly concerned with the development of leadership in the age of “nomadic professionalism”, in which authenticity and mobility have replaced loyalty and advancement as hallmarks of virtue and success.

In this context, he contends, a narrow focus on the acquisition of new knowledge and skills is inadequate to develop competent and trustworthy leaders. His research casts a light on the psychological, social and cultural functions of leadership development.

His innovative teaching methods provide an example of how to perform those functions purposefully for the benefit of individuals, organisations and society at large. In addition to his academic background, he has the unique perspective of being a medical doctor and has practised as a psychoanalyst.

INSEAD has been rated the number one MBA school worldwide by the Financial Times for the second year in a row. Petriglieri directs the school’s management acceleration programme – which is its flagship executive offering for emerging leaders – and the INSEAD initiative for learning innovation and teaching excellence.

The Fiduciary Investors Symposium at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, will delve into these issues of leadership, organisational design and governance, alongside investment themes. Incorporating the school’s esteemed academic faculty, the program will explore business excellence alongside investment topics of risk management, environmental, social and governance integration, and illiquid investments.

Other faculty who will speak at the Fiduciary Investors Symposium include:

  • Macroeconomics – Ilian Mihov, Professor of Economics, dean of INSEAD, the Rausing Chaired Professor of Economic and Business Transformation
  • Digital disruption – Peter Zemsky, Professor of Strategy, deputy dean of INSEAD, the Eli Lilly Chaired Professor of Strategy and Innovation
  • Societal progress and the evolution of capitalism – Subramanian Rangan, professor of strategy and management, Shell Fellow in Business and the Environment, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court Endowed Chair in Societal Progress
  • Governance – Ludo Van der Heyden, academic director of the INSEAD Corporate Governance Initiative, professor of technology and operations management


The Fiduciary Investors Symposium will be held at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France from April 2-4. To access the program and to register click here.


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