The Leaderonomics Show: “Be Hard Of Hearing, But Not Deaf,” Says Jean-Francois Manzoni

Jan 24, 2017 1 Min Read

Professor Jean-Francois Manzoni, dean and president of IMD Business School shares his expertise on leadership research and his nuggets of wisdom when it comes to facilitating behavioural change in senior leaders, exclusively on The Leaderonomics Show, together with host Roshan Thiran.

Manzoni, whose passion is in teaching, accidentally discovered leadership research, and has never turned back since. He has come quite far since his career as a chartered accountant.

Here are some key takeaways from the interview:

  • People are often the stumbling block to many new initiatives and solutions. Leaders need to start looking at behavioural and organisational aspects of these initiatives, rather than the technicalities.
  • Speaking about Asian and Western leadership, practices are different but fundamentally, the principles are the same. Focus on what is similar as humans, rather than the differences that divide us.
  • Leaders need to have the capability of ‘hard hearing’, but not to the point of becoming deaf to your people. It’s an important skill to be able to ‘mute’ certain noises to help leaders self-preserve and stay focused on what really matters.
  • Leaders who can’t connect to their own emotions will not be able to connect to the emotions of their people, resulting in severe disengagement.
  • As a young professional, focus on what you can give first before thinking of what you’ll be getting. Learn to create value first before you capture it.
  • Leaders need to be very clear in setting the direction of the team/organisation. There are a lot of signposts out there, but hardly any destination.
  • Leaders ought to be reflective about their days. Start cultivating some kind of rituals to reflect and internalise insights that come from those experiences.

This might interest you: Be A Leader: It’s Reflection Time!

Share with us your rituals of reflection at For more episodes of The Leaderonomics Show, click here. To engage with Leaderonomics to help your organisation accelerate and innovate, email us at

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