Stefan Wills

BA, MSc, CPsychol, AFBPsS

Stefan is a faculty member at Ashridge and his particular interest in leadership focuses on the social and psychological aspects of how leaders connect with their followers. He uses the term 'emotional creativity' to describe what is possible when leaders and followers express themselves fully to create authentic and high-performing units. Stefan has developed this work into several areas including leadership during uncertainty, charismatic relationships, the 'dark side' of leadership and personal happiness. He works internationally, running management development programmes, consulting and speaking at conferences.

After qualifying as a mechanical engineer at Rolls Royce Aero Engines, Stefan gained a first-class honours degree in Social Sciences and an MSc in Organisational Psychology. He is also a chartered organisational psychologist.

Stephan is a Visiting Professor at Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden, Sinopec Management Institute in China and Warwick Business School in the UK.

Stefan is also an Ashridge accredited coach.

Stefan Wills


A leadership point of view: key principles

Wills, S. (2011) A leadership point of view: key principles, Strategic Direction, Vol. 27, Issue 10, pp. 3 - 4

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Perspectives: Leadership challenges

Over the last eighteen months of economic turmoil, leaders, their ethics, morals and judgement have been scrutinised and questioned. Indeed the whole topic of leadership and its role in business, politics and wider society has been the subject of great debate. 360° brought together three of Ashridge’s leadership experts, Dave Bond, Narendra Laljani and Stefan Wills, to get their views on how the broad subject of leadership is evolving – and importantly – what are the leadership development challenges for business schools and other learning providers.

Bond, D., Laljani, N. & Wills, S. (2009) Perspectives: Leadership challenges, 360° The Ashridge Journal, pp. 33 - 36, Winter

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Perspectives: happiness - a primary source of effective leadership

Stefan shares his thoughts on why leaders who connect through happiness are creating more sustainable relationships with their followers.

Wills, S. (2007) Perspectives: happiness - a primary source of effective leadership, 360° The Ashridge Journal, Spring, pp. 36 - 38

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Getting to the Heart of Change

Leading a change initiative inside an organisation is both an intellectual and an emotional experience for all of those involved. It's intellectual in as much as it demands extensive knowledge of the issues and a vision which represents genuine not pseudo change. It's an emotional experience in as much as it inevitably evokes feelings.

Wills, S. (2004) Getting to the Heart of Change, Communique, Winter, p.2

Communicating Leadership Credibility

Communication lies at the heart of leadership, but communicating the right message at the right time in the right way is a minefield. Steve Watson and Stefan Wills chart a way forward.

Watson, S. & Wills, S. (2004) Communicating Leadership Credibility, Innovations, pp 34-38.

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Crafting Genuine Learning

Bob Stilliard and Stefan Wills uncover the reality of designing and running executive education programmes.

Stilliard, B. & Wills, S. (2002) Crafting Genuine Learning, Directions - The Ashridge Journal, pp 38-44.

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Developing Global Leaders

Wills, S. (2000) Developing Global Leaders, in Kirkbride, P. & Ward, K. (eds) Globalization the Internal Dynamic,

European Key Leadership: Key Issues

Wills, S. (1996) European Key Leadership: Key Issues, European Management Journal, Vol 14, No 1

Being an International Manager

Wills, S. (1994) Being an International Manager, European Management Journal, Vol 12, No 1

Signposts for Success: A Guide to Self-Managed Development

Dent, F. Macgregor, B. & Wills, S. (1994) Signposts for Success: A Guide to Self-Managed Development, Pitman Publishing

2001: A Research Odyssey: Teaching Different Types of Learning

Wills, S. (1994) 2001: A Research Odyssey:Teaching Different Types of Learning, Journal of Management Development, Vol 13, No.1, pp 60-72

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Management Development to the Millennium - 1994

Wills, S. Heath, L. & Barham, K. (1994) Management Development to the Millennium, Ashridge Management Research Group, commissioned by the Institute of Management

Management Across Frontiers

Wills, S. & Barham, K. (1993) Management Across Frontiers, Foundation for Management Education, AMRG

Evaluation Concerns: A Systemic Response

Wills, S. (1993) Evaluation Concerns: A Systemic Response, Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol 17, No 10

Ashridge: Shaping an Integrative Approach to Management Development

Wills, S. & Beddowes-Dean, P. (1993) Ashridge: Shaping an Integrative Approach to Management Development, Executive Development, Vol. 6, No. 4

MCI & the Competency Movement: The Case So Far

Wills, S. (1993) MCI & the Competency Movement: The Case So Far, Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol 17, No 1

Management Across Frontiers - 1992

Wills, S. (1992) Management Across Frontiers, Third Conference on Internatiaonal Personnel & Human Resources Manaagement at Ashridge Management College, July 2nd - 4th. Also presented at ConferenzaEuropea su Le Competenze di Successo, Verona 25 - 26th June

Inter-Disciplinary Reflections on Learning

Wills, S. (1991) Inter-Disciplinary Reflections on Learning, EFMD Researach Conference: Rethinking Management: Implications for Organisations in the 90s, Isida Palermo, October 9th - 11th