Manfred Kets de Vries

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries brings a different view to the much-studied subjects of leadership and the dynamics of individual and organisational 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 (Member of the Canadian Psychoanalytic Society, Paris Psychoanalytic Society, and the International Psychoanalytic Association), Kets de Vries scrutinises 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 Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change at INSEAD, Kets de Vries has been the Founding-Director of INSEAD’s Global Leadership Centre. In addition, he is Programme Director of INSEAD’s top management programme, “The Challenge of Leadership: Creating Reflective Leaders,” and Scientific Director of the Executive Master Program “Consulting and Coaching for Change” (and has received INSEAD’s distinguished teacher award six times). He has also held professorships at McGill University, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Montreal, the European School for Management and Technology, Berlin, and the Harvard Business School, and he has lectured at management institutions around the world.

The Financial Times, Le Capital, Wirtschaftswoche, and The Economist have rated Manfred Kets de Vries among the world’s leading management thinkers and among the most influential contributors to human resource management.

Kets de Vries is the author, co-author, or editor of 48 books, including The Neurotic Organization, Leaders, Fools and Impostors, Life and Death in the Executive Fast Lane, The Leadership Mystique, The Happiness Equation, 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 Leadership and Character, Reflections on Leadership and Career, Reflections on Organizations, The Coaching Kaleidoscope, The Hedgehog Effect: The Secrets of High Performance Teams and Mindful Leadership Coaching: Journeys into the Interior. Two books of a new three-book series, The Palgrave Kets de Vries Library, were published in late 2015. They are You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger: Executive Coaching Challenges and Telling Fairy Tales in the Boardroom: How to Make Sure Your Organization Lives Happily Ever After. The third in the series is Riding the Leadership Roller Coaster: A Psychological Observer’s Guide.

In addition, Kets de Vries has published over 400 academic papers as chapters in books and as articles. He has also written approximately 100 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, BusinessWeek, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Harvard Business Review and The International Herald Tribune. His books and articles have been translated into thirty-one languages. He writes regular blogs for INSEAD Knowledge and the Harvard Business Review. 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 (ISPSO), which has honored him as a lifetime member. Kets de Vries is also the first non-American recipient of ILA Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to leadership research and development, being considered one of the world’s founding professionals in the development of leadership as a field and discipline. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Germany for his contributions to executive development. The American Psychological Association has honored him with the “Harry and Miriam Levinson Award” (Organizational Consultation division) for his contributions to the field of consultation. Furthermore, he is the recipient of the “Freud Memorial Award” for his contributions at the interface of management and psychoanalysis and the “Vision of Excellence Award” from the Harvard Institute of Coaching. In October 2015 INSEAD made him the first beneficiary of the INSEAD Dominique Héau Award for Inspiring Educational Excellence. He is also the recipient of two honorary doctorates.

Kets de Vries is a consultant on organisational design/transformation and strategic human resource management to leading U.S., Canadian, European, African, and Asian companies and has worked in more than forty countries. In his role as a consultant, he is also the chairman of the Kets de Vries Institute (KDVI), a boutique leadership development consulting firm.

The Dutch government has made Manfred Kets de Vries 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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