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As Renaissance Professor of Leadership, Jean-Pierre Bal ventures since 2015 into renewed explorations of his in the fields of creativity, design-thinking, self-leadership, and the multidisciplinary realms. He is also the pro bono executive president of the leadership sister-institute INSIL France, where he held from 2012 to 2015, and will again hold as of 2017 the Institute Chair of Leadership. Jean-Pierre had meanwhile initiated the much symbolic i2LN - Icare Institute for Leadership and Nature, an INSIL-THIERRY joint-venture  beaconing leadership and environmental challenges, and embedding the Earth Value in education, ethics, and intra-societal dynamics. 


While he also pursues personal projects that combine arts, design, and craftsmanship, he shares his expertise in talent development by offering special courses, coaching, guidance, and workshops to individuals active in many areas of society. Since mid-2016 major timeslots are reserved for his own creative-artistic and manual talents that come to expression in, for example, his malletier craft, and as a restorer of antique travel trunks and related tasks. In the late 1990s he had already entered the arts scene, and deemed to be one of the top-10 pastels-painters in Western Europe. He coaches or mentors a few very talented individuals active in the fashion, design, or visual arts professions, as well as trainees and apprentices in his atelier. 


Building a career: multiple realms, towards leadership


Jean-Pierre's wide-ranging career spans four decades. He first held positions in multinational corporations and small business enterprises alike, in Europe, as well as in consultancy, then at institutions of higher education, and 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. 


Being an innovative educational entrepreneur he 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, and in relation to the legacy concept of the school, faculty members of other institutions/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". 


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 and executives of seventy nationalities so far, as well as in the programs, curricula, and courses he designed. A major publication of his is still to come, and will encompass his extensive knowledge in leadership studies and practice, plus many decades of educational experience ("I will write a book when I will have walked on a series of paths, and often enough to know them really well, plus the ones that will appear"). Meanwhile, 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). 


Continuing education: blending forms of learning


Blending formal education with self-learned expertise, Jean-Pierre demonstrates deep knowledge in still other fields than leadership; for instance in science, arts, and in craftsmanship. His interests range(d) 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 is a board member at other organisations, mainly educational ones. He has been honoured by other institutions, as a part-time or guest lecturer, or as thesis supervisor, external jury-member, or other selective academic role, 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)





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