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Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
Photo of Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, ESMT Berlin
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Manfred Kets de Vries is a clinical professor of leadership development, he holds the Raoul de Vitry d'Avaucourt Chair of Leadership Development at INSEAD, France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. He is the director of INSEAD's Global Leadership Center. He is also associated with ESMT Berlin and was named ESMT's first distinguished affiliate professor on March 1, 2008. In addition, he is program director of INSEAD's top management program, "The Challenge of Leadership: Developing Your Emotional Intelligence," and "Consulting and Coaching for Change" (and has five times received INSEAD's distinguished teacher award). He has also held professorships at McGill University, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Montreal, and the Harvard Business School, and he has lectured at management institutions around the world.

Kets de Vries brings a different view to the much-studied subjects of leadership and the dynamics of individual and organizational change. Bringing to bear his knowledge and experience of economics (Econ. Drs., University of Amsterdam), management (ITP, MBA, and DBA, Harvard Business School), and psychoanalysis (Canadian Psychoanalytic Society and the International Psychoanalytic Association), Kets de Vries scrutinizes the interface between international management, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and dynamic psychiatry. His specific areas of interest are leadership, career dynamics, executive stress, entrepreneurship, family business, succession planning, cross-cultural management, team building, coaching, and the dynamics of corporate transformation and change.

The Financial Times, Le Capital, Wirtschaftswoche, and The Economist have rated Manfred Kets de Vries both among the world's top fifty leading management thinkers and one of the most influential contributors to human resource management. He has also been given the Lifetime Achievement Award (the Leadership Legacy Project of the International Leadership Association), being viewed as one of the world's six founding professionals in the development of leadership as a field and discipline.

Kets de Vries is the author, co-author, or editor of over 30 books, including The Neurotic Organization, Leaders, Fools and Impostors, Life and Death in the Executive Fast Lane, The Leadership Mystique and The Happiness Equation and Are Leaders Made or Are They Born? The Case of Alexander the Great, The New Russian Business Elite, Leadership by Terror, The Global Executive Leadership Inventory, The Leader on the Couch, Coach and Couch, The Family Business on the Couch, Sex, Money, Happiness, and Death: The Quest for Authenticity, Reflections on Character and Leadership and Reflections on Leadership and Career. Four new books are in preparation: The Coaching Kaleidoscope; Reflections on Organisations; Tricky Coaching: Difficult Cases in Leadership Coaching and High Performance Teams and Authentizotic Organizations: Caring for Schopenhauer's Hedgehogs.

In addition, Kets de Vries has published over 300 scientific papers as chapters in books and as articles. He has also written approximately a hundred case studies, including seven that received the Best Case of the Year award. He is a regular writer for a number of magazines. His work has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Business Week, The Economist, The Financial Times, and The International Herald Tribune. His books and articles have been translated into thirty-one languages. He is a member of seventeen editorial boards and has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Management. He is a founding member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations. Kets de Vries is also the first non-American recipient of the International Leadership Award for "his contributions to the classroom and the board room" by the International Leadership Association (ILA). In 2008 he was one of the six recipients of the International Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Leadership Association's 10th conference in Los Angeles for his founding work in the development of leadership as a field and as a discipline. In 2009 he became a Lifetime Distinguished Member of ISPSO.

Kets de Vries is a consultant on organizational design/transformation and strategic human resource management to leading U.S., Canadian, European, African, Australian, and Asian companies. As a global consultant in executive leadership development his clients have included ABB, Aegon, Air Liquide, Alcan, Alcatel, Accenture, Bain Consulting, Bang & Olufsen, Bonnier, BP, DMGT, Ericsson, GE Capital, Goldman Sachs, Heineken, HypoVereinsbank, Investec, KPMG, Lego, Liberty Life, Lufthansa, Lundbeck, McKinsey, National Australian Bank, Novartis, Nokia, NovoNordisk, Russian Standard, SEB, Shell, SHV, Standard Bank of South Africa, SABMiller, SpencerStuart, Troika Dialog, Unilever and Volvo Car Corporation. As an educator and consultant he has worked in more than forty countries.

The Dutch government has made him an Officer in the Order of Oranje Nassau. He was the first fly fisherman in Outer Mongolia and is a member of New York's Explorers Club. In his spare time he can be found in the rainforests or savannas of Central Africa, the Siberian taiga, the Pamir and Altai Mountains, Arnhemland, or within the Arctic Circle.
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Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

The Netherlands

Distinguished Affiliate Professor, ESMT Berlin and The Raoul de Vitry d'Avaucourt Chaired Clinical Professor of Leadership Development, INSEAD

  • DBA (Harvard University)
  • MBA (Harvard University)