Common Sense in Leadership: Prague Leadership Institute Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 1

The Prague Leadership Institute Newsletter

Developing Leaders for the 21st Century

Dear Readers,

Pepper de CallierWelcome to the January edition of the PLI Newsletter and please accept our warm wishes for a prosperous and personally fulfilling New Year.

Due to the response to our Leadership Series dinners, at which I interview three C-Level executives on topical leadership issues, we have been asked to hold them in Bratislava, Berlin and Warsaw.  I want to thank all of you who have supported these, especially the C-Level executives that have so generously given their time and participated as panel members.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite our newsletter readers to our next Leadership Series dinner event which will be held at the Augustine Hotel in Prague on 31 January starting at 18h.  The topic on the agenda for this program will be “Why do some executive development programs succeed and why do many of them end up a waste of time and resources?” I am happy to say that joining me to discuss this timely, interesting and critically important topic will be a most distinguished panel: Pavel Kavanek, CEO of CSOB, Renata Mrazova, CEO, ING Insurance and Tomas Visek, Managing Partner, McKinsey & Co., all proven leaders with a depth of experience and insights to share in what is sure to be a thought-provoking evening and rare opportunity. 

Here’s a link for more details and to make your reservation.

I would like to thank those of you who have sent me emails commenting on the articles written by our distinguished faculty and guest authors and I am glad that you find them useful and to be of interest.  This month’s contributors are no exception to the high standard that their predecessors have set.  First off, one of our distinguished faculty members, Jim Cusumano, whose career—from Rock Star to Director of Research, to Founding CEO of what became a publically traded company in the U.S., to owner of a 5 Star resort—would make a wonderful case study in itself, shares his thoughts on one of the most elusive, mis-understood and complex topics today: happiness.

Next up is one of our guest authors from the Vodafone Foundation’s Odyssey Program, Petra Grabmayer.  Petra is the Country Manager Czech Republic for Pedersen & Partners Executive Search and in her article she draws deeply on her experience in the field of executive search to offer her insights, opinions, and interestingly, two different perspectives on searching for C-Level executives.

I want to thank Jim and Petra for their wonderful and thought provoking contributions to our leadership archive which I know you will find to be of interest.

Each month two members of The Prague Leadership Institute’s faculty, or invited guest authors, share their thoughts on a wide variety of leadership-related topics.  To all of them go our sincere thanks for taking the time, and having the generosity of spirit, to share their wealth of experience.

Thank you, too, for taking the time to read our newsletter and for your support.


P.S. My book recommendation this month is highly engaging, deeply interesting and counter-intuitive: The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph From the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge.  The best way to describe this book is to share a quote with you from publisher, which I found to be quite true: This remarkable book will leave you with a sense of wonder at the capabilities of the human brain and the power to change which lies within all of us.  PdeC

If the topic of the limitations of knowledge is of interest to you, you’ll want to see our latest installment of Common Sense Wisdom: Thoughts to Live By, on our YouTube channel.

Guest Author
Petra Grabmayer

The C-Level Search: A View From Both Sides of the Desk

Petra Grabmayer
Country Manager Czech Republic, Pedersen & Partners Executive Search

Many people think that I have a very easy job these days. They think that because there are many leaders available on the market that it must be easy to find a candidate for my clients. Unfortunately it is never easy to find the right candidate that will be a perfect fit for both the challenges of the position and the company culture. 

If you have about ten to fifteen years of experience in leadership positions, if you are a natural leader, dynamic, positive, charismatic, communicative, if you have superior presentation and selling skills, if you are great at influencing the decisions of others—internally and externally--then you have the prerequisites to be a credible, and sought after, candidate for many manager/leader positions....
PLI Faculty Member
James A. Cusumano, Ph.D.


James A. Cusumano, Ph.D.
Executive, entrepreneur, technologist
Most of us would define happiness as a state of mind or consciousness characterized by feelings of contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure or joy, i.e., personal fulfillment.  As I pointed out previously, over the millennia, people have consistently sought happiness as a destination, but that approach never works.  Happiness is always an end product, the result of something we do, and nearly always for someone else or some good cause.  Long term happiness never results from a prime focus on money, beauty, or power.  Success along these lines may feel good for a brief while, but there is no possibility for long-term happiness, and more often than not, this approach has the opposite effect—long-term discontent and unhappiness.

As mentioned in prior discussions, I think we must recognize that there is no such thing as constant happiness.  Our lives are generally lived somewhere between  ...
Prague Leadership Institute
Copyright © 2013 Prague Leadership Institute, All rights reserved.