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Exceptional Leadership 

Make a Change

The course

Civil society has become a major force in bringing about social change and creating a positive impact. The civil society serves as a watchdog, an advocate for the excluded, a service provider and capacity builder for citizens, and even as an incubator for new ideas and innovations. Especially during this challenging times, civil society can use key insights and lessons learned from Covid-19 to embrace new opportunities and overcome challenges such as hunger, poverty, social injustice, and climate change. However, the pace of change and the influence of civil society highly depends on the capacity of Civil Society Organisations and their leadership. Therefore, exceptional leadership is ultimately the key to the success of an organization as well as social change. Some civil society leaders are good, while far fewer are truly exceptional. This course helps you explore what exceptional leaders do to make a difference.


This intensive course will include 3 modules that run over 3 months:

The new dates will be announced soon!

Each module will have 8 online sessions spread over 4 days in a row. Each day includes two sessions. One session is of 1 hour and 30 minutes duration.

For whom:

Leaders of Civil Society Organizations

Senior and Team Leaders of Civil Society Organizations

Course fees*:

EUR 1850/ person (Plus VAT)

*Special Discounts for groups and CSA alumni

15% group discount: 4 or more registrations from one organization

10% individual discount: For CSA alumni


  • Receive a Certificate of Recognition

  • Individual coaching by experienced coaches

  • Take part in practical online assignments

  • Learn key concepts and powerful tools

  • Meet and learn from like-minded people

​What you'll learn

  • Reflection on your leadership skills and attitudes – your organisational leadership, team leadership, and self-leadership

  • Address important leadership challenges, i.e. improve your communication skills, enhance your team and organisational performance, or redefine key strategies and processes.

  • Explore with the powerful tools to navigate you, your team and your organisation during the current challenging times

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Course Outline

Module 1

Session 1: Welcome and Introduction

  • Welcome and introduction
  • Get to know each other
  • Workshop Navigation Tool
  • How do we learn

Session 2: Creative Blend Between Leadership and Management

  • Differences between Leadership and Management
  • Self-Assessment

Session 3: Civil Society I

  • Definition and History of Civil Society
  • Roles of Civil Society
  • Interrelation of Civil Society with other sectors

Session 4: Self Leadership I

  • Tool for self-leadership
  • Your Personal Values
  • Psychological Needs and Motivation

Session 5: Organisational Leadership I

  • Helix Model

Session 6: Organisational Leadership II

  • Helix Model (continued)

Session 7: Self Leadership II

  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders

Session 8: Civil Society II

  • Eco-system for Civil Society
  • Importance of Civil Society
  • Civil Society Trendsetters

Module 2

Session 1: Team Leadership I

  • Key tasks of Team Leaders
  • Daily Operational Management
  • Phases in Group Development

Session 2: Human Rights Based Approach

  • Development Paradigms
  • Understanding the Human Rights Based Approach- definition, Principles
  • Differences between Needs Based and Rights Based Approaches
  • State Roles – Respect-Protect-Fulfill

Session 3: Self Leadership III

  • Responsibility Process

Session 4: Team Leadership II

  • The Social Art of Leadership
  • 4 Management Styles

Session 5: Performance Management I

  • Coaching using the GROW Model

Session 6: Team Leadership III

  • Decision-making process in teams

Session 7: Self Leadership IV

  • Exceptional Leaders
  • Credo on Exceptional Leadership
  • Speeches by Participants

Session 8: Self Leadership V

  • Life Cycle Model
  • Personal Development Plan

Module 3

Session 1: Organisational Leadership III

  • Phases of Organisation Development
  • Partnerships- power relations

Session 2: Human Rights Based Approach II

  • Advocacy
  • Social Accountability

Session 3: Social Entrepreneurship

  • Triple Bottom Line
  • Social Business/ Social Entrepreneurship/ Corporate Social Responsibility concepts
  • Types of Social Entrepreneurs

Session 4: Innovation

  • Innovation Processes
  • Creating Persona
  • Design Thinking Workshop

Session 5: Key Performance Management

  • Key Components of Performance Management
  • Role Clarity and Key Performance Indicators
  • Staff Appraisals

Session 6: Organisational Leadership IV

  • Reinventing Organizations
  • Holacracy- a case study

Session 7: Change

  • Organizational Change
  • Personal Change
  • Agents of Change vs Agents of Stability

Session 8: Evaluation & Closing

  • Evaluation
  • Certificates and Closing



“It was a brilliant opportunity, and I reflected and learned a lot during the course. It includes the balance of the international and external situations and coherence between the mandate and field practices. As a result, it contributed to the shift of Save Cambodia’s Wildlife towards developing its “Social Entrepreneurship Strategy” and a sustainable role in contributing to the protection of forest and wildlife habitat in Cambodia.”

Tep Boonny

Executive Director, Save Cambodia's Wildlife

RSVP Closed
Exceptional Leadership (Comprehensive Course)
Sep 08, 2020, 2:00 PM GMT+5:30
3 modules with 24 sessions & coaching


Petra Speier-Werner

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Petra’s mission is to be a source of inspiration and love that holds a space for everyone to grow and flow. She has been working in different sectors in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Being an organizational psychologist, economist, and political scientist with a doctorate in change management, her trainings, lectures, and coaching are nurtured with her interdisciplinary approach. She will facilitate the training courses in Africa.

Dirk Reber

Dirk is committed to the civil society sector for more than 25 years. With his passion, positive energy, optimism, and autonomy, he likes to see people grow and find their true meaning of values. His international experience in different leadership positions throughout Asia and Africa qualifies him as facilitator, trainer, and coach: preferably with you in one of the CSA courses, otherwise as an outdoor trainer. Dirk's center is his family and nature. He has the roles of facilitator and coach. With a professional background in economics, sociology, and rural development, Dirk is committed to the civil society for over 20 years. Being with Welthungerhilfe since 2003, he worked in consultancy and leadership positions throughout Asia: Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, and North Korea. He will facilitate the training courses in South East Asia.

Sohini Paul

Sohini has been working in the development sector for more than two decades, mostly on capacity building and human rights in the South Asian context. As a facilitator and coach of Civil Society Academy, she has focused on providing trainings and workshops on leadership and team management in several countries across Asia and Africa. She also facilitates trainings on advocacy and rights-based approaches as well as designing effective programmes and projects. Sohini is passionate about civil society strengthening, which is reflected in her facilitation style. She will facilitate the training courses in South & South East Asia, as well as in Africa.

Joachim Schwarz

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Joachim is passionate about social justice and is on a mission to support like-minded civil society actors and social entrepreneurs to become more powerful and innovative. Hence, in 2015 he left his NGO career to build the Civil Society Academy. He is an outstanding facilitator and coach with expertise in social innovation, leadership, organizational change, and advocacy. Joachim has spent more than than 20 years in Africa and Asia.

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