Orientation for Leadership

Organized by Dr. Natalia Hartinger, Dr. Reinhard G. Mueller, George Ogata, and Dr. Bettina Stumpp

Weekly meetings will take place on Wednesdays 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (US Central Time) beginning on October 18, 2023. There will be 8 seminar sessions.


In our everyday and professional lives, people have different orientation abilities. The question of leadership arises when people having to cope with difficult situations are in need of a superior orientation, i.e., leadership. Situations of leadership span from parenting children or caring for those in need, via the relationship of professionals and their patients, clients, or customers, to those between team members with different specialties, those between organizational leaders and people who rely on them, and eventually to political rulers and the ruled. Since all situations of leadership are singular, they cannot be fully objectified and its principles cannot be universalized. But in reality leaders develop orientation routines in leadership situations that recur in similar patterns and whose structures can be grasped in orientation-philosophical terms. The greater the influence on and the responsibility for others, the stronger the demands for one’s orientation abilities and orientation virtues in leadership.

We will address, via an orientation-philosophical lens, the following themes:

  • Typical leadership situations
  • Vision as an orientation toward the future
  • Influence, power, responsibility
  • Communication, persuasion, negotiation
  • Ethical orientation: dealing with different moralities
  • Navigating change as the capacity for reorientation

Orientation is, in principle, the process of finding one’s way successfully in new situations, which requires special capacities. In this seminar, we will explore the question of which capacities are needed in situations of leadership or for leaders. We will consult passages from Werner Stegmaier’s What is Orientation? A Philosophical Investigation and relate them to contemporary leadership literature. This seminar is discussion-based; this means participants are expected to read the respective passages before the sessions. The seminar is free. But the number of participants is limited. Please apply by October 11, 2023, via the application form below by briefly explaining 1.) your professional and/or academic background, 2.) your philosophical interests, and 3.) your motivation for joining the seminar (max. 100 words per field).

Application Form

    To apply, please send a short text briefly describing: