Citizen Skills Part 1

Let’s start with the very beginning! At least since Ancient Greek times, “know thyself” is a known, yet underestimated basic skill. “If you want to lead others, learn to lead yourself” is therefore the first module of any professional leadership development programme.



What are your core beliefs? Where do you (unconsciously) follow social norms you would actually like to overcome? Which of your behavioural patterns have helped you in life, which have not? Etc.


Sounds like bullshit bingo, but is nonetheless crucially important!!!

So, what to do to make things happen in society? Well, it's like in your job: Start with increasing your self-efficacy - only this time in your role as a citizen (also check "Manifesto: Citizen Skills Matter"):

a)     Take more time to strengthen your self-awareness and practice regular self-reflection.

b)     Be a sparring partner for friends and colleagues who ask for your reflection support.

c)     Create self-reflection spaces for others within your circle of influence.

Just to illustrate the latter, two concrete cases which I am currently co-creating with others:


1)     University MBA programme: Offering a reflection circle around “Basics in Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology” instead of introducing the 7th compulsory marketing or finance course. Why? The marginal utility of time spent seems to be much higher – both for society AND for the graduates’ future careers.

2)     Private equity and consulting firm: Investing in the self-reflection skills of all professionals in order to challenge the mindset and behavioural patterns deeply embedded in their industry. Why? Those pioneers are convinced that with the increasing VUCA challenges threatening their own business models, being a subject matter expert and a “confident idiot” (David Dunning) won’t be sufficient any longer.