Skip to content
Leadership journeys inwards - Henley Business School Finland

Leadership journeys inwards

Leadership education is often based on the traditional belief that heroic leaders should inspire people, setting the goal and direction with visionary insights. Even though this is important, leadership today is much more.

International research has verified that heroic leadership is ‘out’ and coaching is ‘in’. Outstanding results will be achieved when leaders develop both the organisation and themselves in a systemic way.

1. Journey into yourself

Self-awareness is the basis of all leadership. A good leader is constantly looking inwards and has the ability to take a step back and look at his or her own actions from a distance. Self-reflection is crucial. When you get to know your motives and feelings, and are in discussion with your subconscious, leadership can reach a totally new level. Being genuine and sincere is what makes a difference in leadership; it is easy to trust a leader who is driven by the greater good.

2. Look at the big picture

Leading people is about much more than good communication. Leaders must also be able to understand the organisation and its dynamics as a larger total system. An organisation consists of several sub-systems, the elements of which every employee has brought along – from their families, their culture and their previous jobs. Systemic thinking brings a holistic view to leadership: if one part of the entity gets stuck, the answer often lies somewhere else than in the communication between individuals. Different types of people, coming from different ‘systems’, complement each other and are much more than only the sum of their parts. Systemic leadership development and the enablement of diversity are characteristics of leadership at its best.

3. Pay attention to strengths

I have learned from positive psychology that a person directs his or her energy into things where he or she is strong. An energetic organisation focuses on people’s strength and accepts making mistakes as part of development. Searching for failures leads to an atmosphere of fear, in which a person tries to cope with his or her everyday tasks by gripping the club with white knuckles. Sport coaches know how one negative stress impulse can get an athlete out of his or her right mind-set.

The school of life is often the best teacher. You learn to lead by leading. By personifying the classic virtues of trustworthiness, justice and kindness, you’ll already get far! 

PS. Even the school of life does not help if leaders are unwilling to develop themselves.

Anna Matula - Managing Director - Henley Business School Suomessa

Annu Matula

Annu has a strong passion for leadership development, she has spent most of her career in the consulting and education business. She has over 30 years of experience in management consulting, leadership training and executive education. During her career, Annu has designed and delivered various senior executive development, leadership and change management programmes. In addition, she’s specialised in career and executive coaching. Annu is leading the operations of Henley Business School in Finland since 2010.

Related content

Pia Forsell

Leader in spotlight: Pia Aaltonen-Forsell, CFO

  • 7 Jul 2023
Pia Aaltonen-Forsell is CFO of Outokumpu, the largest stainless steal producer in Europe. She does not have the most obvious background for a CFO: she is Master of Social Sciences in economics. She thinks that her background is a great asset, since as a CFO you need to understand the economy in general, not just business. 
The social aspect of learning - Henley Business School Finland

The work life value of research skills

  • 22 May 2023
One of the key sets of skills that are strengthened during the Henley EMBA journey are research skills. These are particularly necessary in the composition of the final thesis. But what is the work life relevance of academic research skills? How can I benefit from the research experience in my everyday work?

Henley #1 Executive Education provider in Finland

  • 22 May 2023
The Financial Times Executive Education Ranking 2023 places Henley Business School in the world top 20 for the combined ranking of open and custom programmes. The ranking also confirms Henley’s position as leading executive education provider located in Finland.