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STEP Leadership Programme

Strategies, Trends, Executive Excellence & Personal development

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A fresh start – a flying start!

Very few resumés or careers develop in a straight line. In response to innovations, transformative technology and geopolitical changes, companies and the individuals who work for them must often reinvent themselves by acquiring additional or brand-new skills and competencies. Sometimes, it may be appropriate to seek out entirely new areas of professional development. Changes in personal circumstances – such as a family-driven relocation or a professional hiatus – may also impose new professional or personal life choices, including a change of career.

Now Frankfurt School offers graduates a compact leadership programme that focuses explicitly on strategies, trends, executive excellence and personal development.

In the mornings, you deepen your knowledge of relevant fields such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, changing markets, agile organisations, complexity and strategic implications by immersing yourself in interactive case studies led by established experts. In the afternoons, you work on developing your own strengths, potential and personal effectiveness. You also take part in one-to-one coaching sessions, during which you review and (re)define your personal or professional objectives and work with the coach to develop a realistic strategy for achieving them.

The course is taught by eminent Frankfurt School professors, with additional support from specialist career coaches. Over a very short period of time, the course gives you the opportunity to earn a highly respected certificate from Frankfurt School, one of Europe’s best-known business schools. Taking you a major step forward in your professional – and personal – development.

Personal check-up interview and status assessment

Using scientifically proven techniques, we identify your specific preferences, values and stress factors based on your personality. Together with your coach, you review and analyse your own unique strengths and potential. And develop tangible development objectives so you can continue to build your leadership effectiveness and skills step by step.

Dates: to be arranged individually

Programme structure

Module I

Day 1:
Morning: Artificial intelligence: technologies, opportunities and business cases
Afternoon: Workshop – Identifying your own skills and building on your strengths

Day 2:
Morning: Blockchain: future prospects and possible applications
Afternoon: Workshop – Identifying your own skills and building on your strengths

Day 3:
Morning: Market changes and customer focus revisited

Dates: August 27-29, 2020

Module II:

Day 1:
Morning: Global economy and geopolitical changes: trends, indicators, implications
Afternoon: Workshop – Developing your personal potential: two steps forward!

Day 2:
Morning: Strategic management
Afternoon: Workshop –Developing your personal potential: two steps forward!

Day 3:
Morning: Complexity and decision-making

Dates: September 24-26, 2020

Module III:

Day 1:
Morning: Agile organisation: developing flexibility and improving performance
Afternoon: Workshop – Presence and personal impact: incisive, clear, inspiring

Day 2:
Morning: Innovation: opportunities and methods
Afternoon: Workshop – Presence and personal impact: incisive, clear, inspiring

Day 3:
Morning: The new executive – authentic, agile team-player

Dates: October 22-24, 2020

Final interview & awarding of certificate

Working with your coach, you define your personal to-dos and plan your next steps and goals. Finally, we validate your newly acquired competencies and the investment you have made in your future by awarding you a Frankfurt School certificate.

Dates: to be arranged individually

STEP Ablauf


Key Facts

Target group

With at least five years of professional experience, you have already taken steps to advance your career.

You want to

  • empower yourself to tackle new positions and challenges
  • improve your grasp of the big picture and future opportunities
  • show your willingness to change, innovate and actively pioneer
  • acquire the methods and mindsets you need for future success
  • further develop yourself and enhance your personal strengths
  • share ideas with your peers and network more effectively.

In discussions with leading experts, you will explore the latest trends, future challenges, key tools and methodologies and, of course, the best practices of pioneers in their fields.


Case studies, workshops, lectures, coaching sessions, check-ups, peer-to-peer advice


  • 3 x 2.5 days of classroom-style training (lectures, case studies, workshops)
  • 1 x personal status assessment at start of course
  • 1 x final interview
  • 2 x one-to-one coaching sessions
  • Peer-to-peer advisory sessions throughout
  • Completed in just 3 months


The programme will be held on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Personal check-up interview and status assessment: dates to be arranged individually

Module I: August 27-29, 2020

Module II: September 24-26, 2020

Module III: October 22-24, 2020

Coaching sessions and final interview: dates to be arranged individually


  • Regular course fee: EUR 6,200
  • Course fee for Frankfurt School graduates (degree and Executive Education programmes): EUR 5,500
  • Course fee for Alumni Association members: EUR 4,960

Your experts

Strategic Management                  

Professor Dr Nils Stieglitz has been President and Managing Director of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management since April 2018. In 2012, he was appointed Professor of Strategic Management at Frankfurt School and in 2015, he became Head of the Management Department.

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Before he joined Frankfurt School, Professor Stieglitz worked as an Associate Professor in the University of Southern Denmark’s Department of Marketing & Management, researching strategic organisational design. Among other areas of interest, Professor Stieglitz’s research focuses on strategic decision-making, entrepreneurial risk behaviour and organisational learning.


Complexity Management & Decision-making

Professor Dr Jörn-Henrik Thun is Professor of Operations Strategy at Frankfurt School. His fields of research include high-performance manufacturing, operations strategy and supply chain management. He also heads the German working groups participating in two international research projects: the International Manufacturing Strategy Survey and High-Performance Manufacturing.

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Professor Thun has published in international journals, including Production and Operations Management, International Journal of Production Research, International Journal of Production Economics, Journal of Supply Chain Management and System Dynamics Review. He has been awarded several prizes for research and teaching excellence.


Artificial Intelligence

Vahe Andonians is an entrepreneur and Senior Lecturer at Frankfurt School. He recently founded a new startup specialising in the AI-based processing of financial documents. Previously, he had successfully founded and sold a number of machine-learning startups (most recently to Deloitte in 2017). Vahe Andonians is an engineering graduate and has an MBA from the University of Liverpool.

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Additionally, Vahe is a partner alongside Moody's Analytics at Traidum, which is building a blockchain based negotiation platform for trading Structured Credit products.

In 2017 Vahe sold his startup - SCDM, an AI-based analytics company specialized in the fixed income market, to Deloitte. Having started as a data provider for investors in structured credit in 2003, SCDM had broadened its services from data management to bespoke IT solutions into reporting, business intelligence, and cash flow simulations for investors in structured credit. Early 2017 SCDM had sold its structured credit business to Moody's Analytics and was focusing on its valuation business, putting a value on over 40.000 financial instruments on a daily basis.

Clients included, among others, Deutsche Bundesbank, KfW, EAA, Berings, BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Deloitte, KPMG, and Creditflux. Vahe was leading the product development and research arm of SCDM, with a strong focus on Machine Learning and Blockchain 2.0 technologies.

Before that, Vahe has successfully founded, raised and sold several start-ups in the area of Machine Learning. Prior to that, Vahe was co-managing a Statistical Equity Arbitrage Hedge Fund for Erstebank in Austria.

Vahe holds an Engineer title in information and high-frequency technology from the Federal Higher Technical Institute for Education and Experimentation in Moedling, Austria and an MBA from the University of Liverpool, England.



Moritz Strube is the founder of ChainLabs, a consultancy specialising in blockchain technology and smart contracts involving the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and mobility. He also cofounded technology startup botconnect, a chatbot and AI services provider. Previously, he worked in various leading roles in business development, technology management and IT project management.


Market & Customer Focus

Professor Dr Christian Schulze is Professor of Marketing at Frankfurt School. Before embarking on an academic career, he worked as a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Professor Schulze is an expert on digital media and electronic commerce. His research has been featured in print and online, with articles in publications such as The Economist,, Jyllands-Posten, People’s China Daily, Harvard Business Manager, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, WirtschaftsWoche Online and Manager Magazin Online.



Human Nagafi is cofounder and CEO of 1789 Innovations AG. Whether dealing with fast-growing startups or businesses in transition, the Frankfurt-based company is one of the very first to espouse a creative, successful culture of innovation. Human Nagafi gained his exceptional expertise while working as a New Ventures Manager in PwC’s startup accelerator in New York and setting up the PwC Experience Center in Germany.



Professor Dr Horst Löchel is Professor of Economics and MBA Programme Director at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. He is also Visiting Professor of Economics at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai, China. He serves on the Supervisory Board of the Shanghai International Banking and Finance Institute (SIBFI), and heads the Sino-German Centre of Finance & Economics.

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Professor Löchel is an alumnus of the Global Colloquium on Participant-Centered Learning at Harvard Business School, Boston, and works as an EPAS reviewer for the European Foundation of Management Development (EFMD) in Brussels. In his teaching and research, Professor Löchel focuses on applied macroeconomics and financial sector analysis, specialising in China and the global economy in particular. He publishes regularly in academic journals and other media, and is a sought-after conference speaker. 


Change Management & Leadership

Professor Dr Erich Barthel has been teaching students about corporate culture and leadership at Frankfurt School since July 2000. His research interests include leadership, change management, corporate culture and skills management. Previously, he held various positions at BfG Bank AG (now SEB AG), including Head of HR Development, TQM Project Manager and Head of Human Resources. During his time there, he also worked as an assessor for the European Foundation for Quality Management.

Erich Barthel

Agile Organisation

Björn Ruland is founder and Managing Director of 4craft GmbH, a consultancy specialising in agile project development, business model review and revision, and product and innovation development. While working as a Vice President at Deutsche Telekom AG, he was responsible for, among other things, building the workplace of the future. Björn Ruland is a Certified Scrum Professional and Certified Scrum Master.


Personal Development & Coaching

Anke Stein-Remmert works at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management as a trainer and lecturer focusing on executive coaching and mediation. She also lectures on mediation at the FernUniversität of Hagen, a distance-learning institution. In addition, she is a partner at Syspo excellence GbR, based in St. Ingbert in the German federal state of Saarland. After qualifying as a legal practitioner, Anke Stein-Remmert spent ten years working in international finance. In 2009, she embarked on a career as a coach and trainer specialising in personal development, crisis and conflict management, business mediation, negotiation training and change management.