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Helping senior leaders to grow to their full potential – that's our purpose and passion! As DierkeHouben Leadership Partners we make successful top executives and their teams more effective. 

Knowing the top teams' world from within, we leverage internationally leading coaching expertise and 20+ years of business experience for helping our clients to make their leap – from good to great leadership.

As a trusted partner to the top team we engage the soft levers to deliver superior hard business results. Through Top Executive Coaching, Executive Team Development, and Culture Transformation from the Top we create positive, lasting and measurable impact on the leadership performance of our clients. 

Our approach

Leadership performance as a hard business issue

We turn the often avoided soft factors of leadership performance into hard managerial issues – thus helping our clients to improve their leadership and collaboration behaviours in the context of their business issues at hand. This is why we have impact. We support our clients to focus on the underlying perfomance challenges, rooted in personal, interpersonal, systems dynamics – and the interplay in-between.

Short, impact-driven interventions

Effective top executive or team coaching is a contact sport – an action-learning experience with a focus on real world results. We enable lasting behaviour change by engaging our clients in challenging interventions, in the boardroom or offsite. We mirror back the unique dynamics in individual and team behaviours – in order to initiate meaningful, impact focused dialogues amongst our clients. We believe that top executives' attention and commitment to leadership development is a scarce resource.

Challenging, to-the-point analytics

Getting from good to great leadership starts with confronting the brutal facts. In our head-on approach, we combine clear managerial language and consulting-hardened analytic rigor with the insights from psychodynamics and systems thinking. Based on our diagnosis, we customize our actions to the situation at hand, ready to take risks and challenge our clients' thinking and perceptions.

Tailor-made, effective techniques

We believe that the most important leadership challenges today are adaptive challenges. Performance is not driven primarily by technical solutions like structures and processes. Thus, we do not provide standard programmes or checklists, but support our clients in developing adaptive leadership capabilities: an "inner leadership compass" that helps navigating through non-linear personal, interpersonal, and organisational dynamics in the specific business context.

HHL - No. 1 Business School in Germany

It is an honor to be part of the HHL faculty as HHL once again is named the No. 1 Business School in Germany 🏆. In a comparison of 107 universities in Germany, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management reached the top rank in five out of eight categories, once again leaving behind a large number of private and public business schools. The empirical basis of this year's trendence Graduate Barometer "German Business Edition" are the responses to a survey from 13,646 students during the 2017/18 winter term.

Digitization and "good old things" at HHL

At HHL Forum on "Leadership in the Digital Age" at Leipzig Graduate School of Management, we had the pleasure to talk to Prof. August-Wilhelm Scheer, "the" pioneer on digitized processes. Scheer was just appointed to the "Hall of Fame of German Research" for his unique Integration of innovation spirit and entrepreneurship. He highlighted that digitization will have one major impact, not to be underestimated: to gain time and energy for "the good old things", like sharing experience, personal coaching, building relationships, talking to each other. This hits the core of our work: For us, leadership in the digital age is all about enabling and empowering individuals and people networks throughout the organization to collaborate for innovation and superior results.

Great to learn from Jim Collins in London

"OK – so, who has looked in the mirror this morning and saw one of those visionary, larger-than-life leaders?" In his first interactive Leadership Session in Europe since 20 years, Jim Collins got it straight at the start! NOBODY, nobody should ever stop learning. Exactly this learner’s attitude and curiosity enabled him to define The #1 differentiating step from "Good to Great" – "Level 5 Leadership". Indeed, he wanted to take "Leadership" off his research agenda and had to question his own basic assumptions as he learned quite the contrary from his team: It is Level 5 Leadership, framed as Personal Humility, that makes a Great Leader – quite a challenge to the heroic leadership attitudes that we often observe. To create motivation and buy-in effectively and lasting, leaders have to neglect their ego and focus on the purpose: "Personal Humility channels the energy to the cause, not the person. Thus, make people follow the cause, not the person!"

Integrating Google's Mindfulness Practices

"Search Inside Yourself", an awareness training developed for Google to enhance personal growth, is nowadays an integral part of our clients' Leadership Camps and Leadership Teaching. We had the privilege to take part in the first European training in Berlin, today offered in multiple major cities across Europe. It is a refreshing practical reference to Daniel Goleman who taught us years ago about the power of Emotional Intelligence. What sticks still in our minds? Well, learning to be in the "here + now" takes time, endless efforts, it doesn’t come easily – thus, it's best if you do it with a benevolent "grandmotherly mind"! When your thoughts start wandering around and you need to refocus your attention to the breathing, do it with a light heart and a smile. Remember: What was your grandmother’s reaction when she found her sofa covered with coloured hands from your paintbox – while you were hiding, feeling guilty? "Oh, never mind, that’s alright, my darling, you creative little artist". Yes, that's a "grandmotherly mind", forgiving, generous, tender, loving!

Our Executive Training on Leadership at HHL

Leading your Self; Leading your Team; Leading your Organization - this is the core of our Executive Programme on Leadership at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management that we lectured in May 2018. Our next Leadership Training at HHL will be in February 2019. Again we focus our teaching and interactive learning for a group of international executives on our major goals: The executive students learn... to reflect one's personal contribution to effective/ ineffective leadership; to understand the strengths and weaknesses of specific leadership styles; to analyze real-life leadership challenges within teams and organisations based on state-of-the-art theory. The programme uses a combination of lectures, group discussions, self reflection, case studies, small team assignments and action learning – highly effective and appreciated by the executives as the high gradings in course evaluation feed back!

7th series of our Top 100 Leadership Camps

In 2018 we will run our next Leadership Camp series for another one of our clients. Again, we design and run this Leadership Camp in 6 waves with our client’s Top 100. We will work with small cross-functional groups of 15-20 managers, focussing on two major goals: 1. "Aligning the Top 100 Management Team" to jointly reflect and adapt behaviours according strategy and to collaborate more effectively; 2. "Developing the individual’s leadership capabilities" to enhance self-reflection and personal growth and to connect on a personal level for trustful relationships. Enriched by state-of-the-art knowledge and Insead Group Coaching, the Camps are a unique, highly appreciated and effective blend of small team assignments, group discussions, self-reflection based on 360° feedback reports, open peer feedback, case studies, action learning, and Google’s Mindfulness Practices. As "culture is behaviour", our Leadership Camps serve not only as a powerful engine for culture transformation. The Camps serve also as a highly powerful lever for bringing and keeping strategy alive, recalling Peter Drucker’s famous warning "culture eats strategy for breakfast"!

Coaching for NGO Aiducation in Kenia

Just returned from our 10 days pro bono coaching of young entrepreneurs and graduate students in Nairobi. What an exciting experience. Most impressive was the attitude of the young Kenyans, all former AiduFellows benefiting from a scholarship for highschool education: all were blessed with a rare mix of eagerness to learn plus personal humbleness and a strong passion plus a fierce will to manage their start into professional life. Thus, the coaches from abroad could learn a lot in the „Aiducation Mentorship Academies“ for Entrepreneurship and Corporate Career, here both sponsored by Swiss Re: leading in agile situations, adapting their style to support the Kenyan future leaders best and reflecting their own attitude. It was a perfect example of a win-win-learning. We will intensify our support for Aiducation International in 2019 and keep you updated.

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