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Being an innovative educational entrepreneur Jean-Pierre Bal founded the Thierry Graduate School of Leadership, in the pivotal year 2000. By its "humanity's hopes of leadership" legacy component THIERRY is a genuinely unique leadership school, the first of its type in the entire world. 


In the mid-2000s faculty members of other institutions and universities stated: "The successful creation and existence of the Thierry School and its programmes is equal to - if not surpasses - any other thesis Jean-Pierre would have formulated at an earlier stage (of his career)"; and "an extra-ordinary and live thesis", and "exemplary post-dissertation"


He is since 2010 also the statutory (pro bono) executive president of the leadership sister-institute INSIL France, and the Institute Chair in Leadership.


Latest: in the arts and craftsmanship


While he nonetheless continues to guide CEOs in fully personalised leadership development tracks, he is preparing his retirement in future years into being an active one. Large timeslots are now already allocated to his very own creative-artistic, and manual talents that find expression in, for example, his malletier art of craft, and in the conservation and restoration of antique travel trunks and related areas. He also coaches or mentors talented individuals active in the fashion, design, or arts professions, as well as trainees and apprentices in his atelier. Venturing into the field of craftsmanship education, he initiated in 2018 the start-up and is now leading his Ecole des Malletiers in Belgium, and in 2021 a counterpart school in France. > more


Building a career: multiple realms, towards leadership as an art


Jean-Pierre's wide-ranging career spans more than four decades. He first held positions in multinational corporations and small business enterprises alike, in Europe, as well as in consultancy. Thereafter at institutions of higher education, in designing and delivering leadership programs, and in creating training centres and educational institutions that are specialised in leadership studies and practice. He is active in leadership training and leader development since the early 1990s, internationally, and across many organisations and sectors of society. 


His educational style is said to be somewhat unconventional at times, though anchored in a simple and down-to-earth approach. He stated, for example: "I know this may sound somewhat paradoxical because I'm active in higher education, but degrees per se don't really matter to me, only expertise and mastery do". Further: "Leadership is an -art- and art requires forms of mastery, of self first and foremost". The sum of his expertise for leaders, in leading, and of leadership in general, is reflected in his having guided and coached programme-participants, students, and executives of more than 70 nationalities, as well as in the programs, curricula, and courses he designed. "I will write an entire book on leadership, when I will have walked on a series of paths, and often enough to know them really well, plus the ones that will meanwhile appear". 


By the research he had undertaken in previous decades, and since the English word leadership did not have an equivalent in the French language, he introduced in 2011 the French term leudance. It is a so-called portmanteau that combines the word leude (from the root-word the Anglo-Saxon term leader also derives from), and the word guidance (same word in French and English). 


Jean-Pierre had in 2014 initiated the i2LN - Icare Institute for Leadership and Nature, an INSIL-THIERRY virtual and symbolic joint-venture that beacons leadership and environmental challenges, to embed the Earth Value in education, ethics, and intra-societal dynamics. In 2002 he already launched a masters program in environmental leadership, the very first distance education one in that field in the entire world. 


Continuing education: blending forms of learning


Blending formal education with self-learned expertise, Jean-Pierre demonstrates deep knowledge in other fields than leadership; for instance in some of the sciences, arts, and in craftsmanship. Over the years his interests ranged from biology to quantum physics, from sculpture to painting to photography to landscape design, from travel equipment design to fashion trends to industrial strategy, and from classical literature to foreign languages. On various occasions during his life he earned prizes, awards, or tributes; among others from the Shell Company (biology), the US government (science), the Ericsson corporation (strategy), and the National Library of France (craftsmanship). 


Jean-Pierre Bal has been a board member of other organisations, mainly educational ones. He was honoured by a number institutions (and as a part-time or guest lecturer or thesis supervisor, until 2014, or external jury-member, until 2018), for instance at the Université Paris X Nanterre, Georgetown University, University of Utrecht, Catholic University of Louvain, University of Surrey, UN Leadership Institute, University of Rennes, Charles University Prague, University of Vienna, Humboldt University of Berlin, and Free University of Brussels. 


Related pages, and other sites:

About leadership (excerpts and quotes)      

On Leading, with Earth at Heart (at i2LN)

President's courses (at INSIL)                      

Enguerran's Odyssey (at THIERRY)

Artwork (selection, pastels paintings)

Malletier style and restoration of trunks (bio)  

Ecole des Malletiers Nicolas Gilbert (background)  





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