“It is our responsibility to encourage responsible leadership”: TUM Institute for LifeLong Learning at the „Summer of Purpose“

As part of the TUM Learning Festival 2021, Prof. Dr. Claudia Peus, the Founding Director of TUM Institute for LifeLong Learning and several TUM researchers participated at the “Summer of Purpose” – a multi-day, innovative event taking place from June 21 to 29, 2021, at the recently opened Munich Urban Colab and online.

Its goal: Promoting creative dialogue to solve global challenges of our time and enable a society and economy full of ecological, economical and social sustainability. Thought leaders from science, business and society like Muhammad Yunus, Michael Otto or Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen presented their ideas and engaged in dialogue and discussions about our joint purpose and a sustainable and responsible future.

Responsible and ethic leadership is key for employees’ trust

In several panel discussions and key notes, Prof. Dr. Claudia Peus talked i.e. with Dr. Victoria Ossadnik, Member of the E.ON Board of Management or Prof. Dr. Dieter Frey, Head of Center for Leadership & People Management at LMU about the idea of responsible and ethic leadership and the effects of the Corona pandemic.

Prof. Dr. Peus stated: “It is our responsibility to support and encourage responsible leadership – in our research, to define what exactly contributes to that kind of leadership, and in raising awareness and spreading the word to our students and program participants at TUM Institute for LifeLong Learning.” According to her and Prof. Dr. Frey, due to the changes Covid-19 brought to all of our lives, now is the ideal time to reflect on ideas and decide on one’s own purpose.

Prof. Dr. Peus at the Summer of Purpose 2021.

Leaders have to find their role and purpose

But what leadership qualities are the ones that count? What does responsible leadership consist of? Prof. Dr. Peus’ answer: “The idea of ‘servant leadership’ will be an important concept for the time to come. Decision makers must put other people, their team in the center. They have to ask themselves: What is my role as a leader, how can I support others? What is our joint purpose as an organization or company? And which consequences does the implementation of new technologies have on my employees?”

In her speech and in an interview with Sven H. Korndörffer, Head of Group Communications at Commerzbank AG and part of the Board of Directors at Wertekommission – Initiative Wertebewusste Führung e.V. – she talked about the topic of values for leaders and decision makers. According to Prof. Dr. Peus and Korndörffer, respect and trust are the central values to consider during the pandemic: Corona led to a loss of control for team leads, but to try to control them via constant phone calls or even spy software is the wrong way. Leaders must always consider basic human needs, set clear boundaries and give orientation during stressful and chaotic times. They have to find their purpose as a leader and can use values as a compass for navigating in difficult situations.

The TUM Learning Festival 2021

If you are interested in more events by the TUM Institute for LifeLong Learning, have a look at the event section of our website. Over the year, Prof. Dr. Peus will engage with more personalities from science, business and society in panel talks and discussion.

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