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Leadership development program | Leading in the "Panic Zone"

Special Workshop: Leading in the "Panic Zone"

Joint program by the Frankfurt School of Management & WU Executive Academy

We tailor each of our Special Workshops to the specific needs and requirements of the organization in question and deliver it in collaboration with renowned experts as part of a wider training program or module.

Understand leadership by expanding your comfort zone

Two Cities. Two Challenges. This exciting and rewarding workshop – 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. Leading in the "Panic Zone" 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:

  • The logic of consequence
  • The logic of appropriateness
  • 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.

    • Schedule

      In total 3 days (1,5 Days in Frankfurt. 1,5 Days in Vienna)

    • Target Group

      Bold Leaders. No prior musical training required

    • Topics

      Frankfurt – Day 1

      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

      Frankfurt – Day 2

      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

      Vienna – Day 3

      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

      Vienna Day 4

      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


Lorenz Huber

Conductor, Trainer, Business Coach | Austria

- Conducting and leading
- Learning Organization
- Teambuilding

Prof. Claus Rerup

Professor of Management | Frankfurt School of Finance & Management | Visiting Professor of Strategy at University of St.Gallen (HSG), Switzerland

More information

Please contact our Program Manager Christina Knopf at christina.knopf(at) or schedule a consultation to learn more about the Leadership Development program.

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