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Facing the unexpected - Leading in the "Panic Zone"

For bold leaders

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Two Cities. Two Challenges. This exciting and rewarding program – jointly designed and delivered by highly-renowned faculty and experts of Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien and Frankfurt School - offers new perspectives on and unique experiences with crucial leadership skills. Facing the Unexpected is an innovative and advanced leadership programme.

Frankfurt: We start with exploring the relevance and irrelevance of leaders and the role of self-leadership through established and distinct leadership logics: 1) The logic of consequence, 2) the logic of appropriateness and 3) the logic of absurdity (the “CAA-logic“). Through mini-lectures, case discussions and exercises we draw implications and explore opportunities for leading in situations where leaders are pushed into the panic zone (e.g., where the demands of the situation exceed the knowledge and experience of the leader).

Vienna: Building upon and challenging your insights from the Frankfurt program, we expose you to the immediate experience and understanding of your individual leadership impact: Conducting the Leadership Orchestra will improve your poise when facing the unexpected. Through additional mini-lectures and exercises we further strengthen the convincing and non-contradictory communication of expectations to your team.

Overview Modules

Module 1 in Frankfurt

Day 1 with the leadership expert Prof. Claus Rerup

The next zone of proximal development

  • Comfort vs. stretch vs. panic zone
  • Knowledge, experience and beyond
  • Leading in the panic zone

Self-leadership and fall from grace: Exercises

Reflection: How are you going to lead when you face the unexpected?

Case Study and Discussion: Leading in the panic zone: Sensegiving and sensemaking during the Pearl Jam concert accident

Team exercise

  • Building team skills in the panic zone
  • How to pool resources of not knowing
  • Debrief

Taking it back home: Key lessons from the day. The logic of CAA

Day 2 with the founder of the Leadership Orchestra Lorenz Huber

Jumping into cold water: Leadership Orchestra I

  • Conducting exercises with very short preparation
  • How to lead an expert team in an unknown field
  • Learning from conductors, orchestras and performers for self management in front of the audience

Interval exercise: MP3-training for conducting

Module 2 in Vienna

Day 1 with Lorenz Huber

Swimming in the cold water: Leadership Orchestra II

  • Conducting session with professional string quartet
  • Using team’s informal leadership for managing troubles
  • The role of personal appearance for establishing trust and stability
  • Developing an individual ritual for being confident in challenging situations
Day 2 with Prof. Claus Rerup

Case Study and Discussion: Orchestrating support when there are doubts and unknowns. The Nelson Mandela-way

Wrap up
The relevance and irrelevance of leaders and leadership



Claus Rerup

is a Professor of Management at the Frankfurt School and a Visiting Professor of Strategy at University of St.Gallen (HSG), Switzerland. Before joining Frankfurt School, he was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, USA, a Post Doc Research Fellow at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA, a Visiting Professor of Management at Bocconi University, Italy, and an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Ivey Business School, Western University, Canada.

His research has been published in leading academic journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Journal of Management and Journal of Management Studies. Prior to his academic career, he worked as a management consultant, and board member.

Lorenz Huber

MA, is founder of the Leadership Orchestra and pioneer of the Conducting Training Method. Since 2001, he has been giving international trainings, keynotes and lectures for all leadership levels and is part of the faculty of WU Executive Academy. Inspired by orchestras and conductors, his work is focused on balanced leadership, personal appearance and effective alphateams. Regular interviews and articles for newspapers and magazines show his expertise in bridging music and leadership.

Lorenz Huber portrait

Key Facts

Target group

Bold leaders

No prior musical training required!


Lectures, Case Studies, Exercises, Conducting


This seminar consists of two modules. One in Frankfurt (1,5 Days) and one in Vienna (1,5 Days).

Customised Programmes

We would be glad to advise you and create a tailor-made company offer on request. Find out more about our corporate offers or write us an email.

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