Blog & News


New Book on Leadership in Sept 2023

Leading with Depth: The Impact of Emotions and Relationships on Leadership

This accessible book guides us through the emotional and relational fallacies of organisational leadership while offering practical routes out of them. Professor Claudia Nagel explores the leader as an individual and the context of leadership within organisations, covering concepts such as attachment theory, women in leadership, and hybrid working.

Claudia has invited several experts to write case-studies - they include Gilles Amado, Birgitte Bonnerup, Phil Boxterk, Halina Brunning, Annemette Hasselager, Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, Olya Khaleelee, Fiona Martin, Ajit Menon, Rose Mersky, Mal O’Connor, Larissa Philatova, Martin Ringer, Rob Ryan, and Kalina Stamenova.


Read more


President and CEO for ISPSO

Prof. Dr. Claudia Nagel is now President and CEO  of ISPSO. The International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations is the only global organization that brings together psychoanalytic and psychodynamic consultants, coaches  and academics in the context of organizations. In annual global symposia and regional meetings, research results as well as consulting experiences are shared.In her term she will focus on three main strategic objectives:

Connection with the outside world - sharing with others what we do and how our work may positively impact organisations and their people

Integration - creating openness for all different schools of psychodynamic and sociodynamic schools as well as for members with their variety of backgrounds (academics, coaching, psychotherapists and all others interested)

Governance - a number of good governance practices need to be established


Read more


Prof. Nagel as panel speaker in Peace Studies

The Peace Studies in The Netherlands invite for a zoom meeting and discussion on the 21st of December at 4 pm CET.

Prof. Nagel is invited to join the panel "The State of Affairs " which will be hosted by the Stichling vredeswetenschappen and the University Leiden. She will explore how her chair and her research will contribute to peace studies and might contribute to prevent societal conflict.

Other panelists will be 

Joachim Koops, Chair of Security Studies and Scientific Director of the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University’s campus in The Hague – and co-organizer of this symposium

Jaap de Wilde is professor of International Relations & Security Studies at the Department of International Relations & International Organization and the Centre for International Relations Research at the University of Groningen

Abbey Steele, associate professor of political science at the University of Amsterdam and Director of the Amsterdam Center for Conflict Studies.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Eduard Nazarski, former Director of Amnesty International and the Dutch Council for Refugees


For more information, please get in touch via 





Michael Pain interviews Claudia Nagel on "The Psychology of being the CEO"

Michael Pain interviews Claudia Nagel on leadership for newly appointed CEO's

Michael explores with Claudia the 'psychology' of being the CEO - including the transition of mindset and approach required for the role and ask questions about leading at scale (diverse teams of people many of whom you rarely meet), working with an expert team, managing the demands of the role, maintaining a learning mindset, balancing strategic and operational demands, managing crisis, and much more.


Michael Pain is the founder and managing director of Forum Strategy, a strategy and membership organisation in the UK for trust and school CEOs – with an emphasis on executive leadership training and coaching; organisational development and strategic planning; and leadership development networks. We support leaders and organisations to plan, grow and thrive.

Forum’s reach is national. They run six regional CEO leadership development networks across England and have provided highly-valued strategic consultancy support for many dozens of organisations, including academy trusts.


Appointment as Full Professor at the VU

Claudia Nagel appointed as full professor at the VU with a chair on change and identity in PPP

Organization scientist Claudia Nagel has been appointed full professor by the Faculty Board of Social Sciences with effect from November 1st 2020.

Nagel is a leading expert in strategy and change processes.Since March 2016, she has been appointed Visiting Professor within Hull University Business School in the United Kingdom.In addition to her academic appointments, Nagel runs her own consultancy, Nagel & Company Leadership Consulting. Department head Issy Drori:"The unique combination of high-quality scientific expertise with extensive practical experience in the financial sector makes Claudia Nagel a unique personality. With her arrival, knowledge development toward public-private partnerships will receive an important impulse, both for science and for decision-makers and leaders in administrative practice."

Criminal money

The chair is the core of a new research program called "Public Private Partnership in the Financial sector" that focuses on public and private relationships in the financial sector. In particular, the research program will focus on the issue of public-private partnerships around criminal money, financial resources used for terrorist purposes and money laundering practices.

Special collaboration

The research program is an initiative of the Department of Organization Studies and is led by Professors Marcel Veenswijk and Issy Drori. “We will investigate how public and private parties work together on this issue. Not only banks contribute to this, but also the police and the Ministry of Justice. That is a complex issue, because in practice parties can also be each other's opponent. Consider the investigation that is now being conducted by the FIOD into ABN Amro. ING was previously discredited about money laundering practices. We see it as a promising fact that these parties, despite their conflicting interests, are working together in this research and sit at the table together to look for connecting factors for better collaboration, ”says Veenswijk.

Nagel's appointment is for five years and as is based on an open recruitment procedure. It is partly funded by the Ministry of Finance (FIOD), the Ministry of Justice and Security and ABN AMRO. Two fully funded PhD projects are also linked to the program.
Dr. Claudia Nagel says: “I am proud and happy to have been appointed full professor at this renowned University and this unique new research program. I am looking forward to working with the faculty and partners to meet the challenge of strengthening our understanding and knowledge of this socially very important and extremely relevant subject”.



COVID19 – To get from fear to hope you need to build trust – take up your responsibility

Whenever you open a newspaper these days you mostly find voices of pessimism. The economic downturn is the end of our economy, the end of democracy and maybe even of civilization per se. Also lobby-groups of all kind of professions talk about the support their clientele need to survive (don’t get me wrong, I am not against economic support, it is definitely needed) – the total collapse of the world we know is getting closer and closer and no light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. (see my first essay on leadership and containment) The only light for most of the people comes with the actual reducing of the lock down. And even this light is darkened by the (realistic) worry that the opening up comes to soon and too fast.

By pessimism I rather mean a state of then a character or personality trait in contrast to optimism. This kind of pessimism seems to serve all of us well in the current crisis.

First is a good protection - against further disappointment and despair. Since you are prepared for the worse you feel safer whilst reducing your expectations to lowest possible level. You are preparing for the loss of income, your job, your money, luck – maybe now you are preparing for the loss of individual and societal freedom and even democracy. Only then you get the feeling of being in control – because you are preparing yourself. In this way pessimism also protects you against the underlying fear and the connected helplessness and powerlessness.

Please find here the full text: COVID 19 - How to get from fear to hope


Not only leaders need to recollect their human qualities

COVID19 is not only a still rather unknown virus, it is also a threat to humankind in general. Only enormous precautions, an almost complete standstill of public and economic social life, seem to be the choice of the actual moment to contain the virus and its infections. Until so far this virus entered the human world through a Whuan animal market – so wildlife and animals are as nature in itself not to be managed as easily as thought. A little virus, also part of nature, takes over and governs the rulers of the biggest countries. Hence, we can see the virus as a contingent rupture which might entail a new notion of our relationship with nature and earth. The virus and its effects demonstrate the frailty and fragility of humankind which can be easily and completely disrupted. (Of course, this virus or other viral diseases are one of many disruptions, others with also large effects could be Vulcanic explosions or meteorites coming from the Universe - included in the concept of nature). It seems that the virus is telling us and teaching us that we, the human race, are not the ruler of nature. In that sense the virus can be attributed a symbolic function. Neither our technologies, global networking and globalization, are helping us, rather the contrary. And in addition, our moral capacity is deeply questioned on different levels. I propose that we can understand the effect of this (and other)virus as an expression of the 4thblow to human narcissism: we are not the ruler of nature.

Please find here the full paper:COVID 19 - The 4th narcissistic blow to humankind


Leaders need to deal with paradoxes in times of COVID


Two possible outcomes of the pandemic are discussed in public – the negative idea of complete destruction and the developing of something new and better. The results of the pandemic seem to oscillate between the two opposing developments of either the apocalypse comes over us or a newborn and thus better phoenix comes out of the ashes. Interestingly both images are Christian symbols once connected with the Bible, however they have left that context and entered ordinary language. They represent on one side night and destruction and on the other side sun and resurrection - the world will go under or the world will completely renew itself. We can call this a paradoxicalor a dialectical moment in time.

Before we start to look at how to deal with paradoxical problems, I would like to share my observations about the two opposing perspectives.

Please find the full paper here: COVID 19 A dialectical moment in time - Embracing paradox


Leadership in times of COVID19

When working in a leadership role you have a very clear task – you give guidance, set a frame, distribute work and monitor results. You work with and for human beings, you motivate, encourage and develop them, give them respect and appreciation – in short you take care of the people you work with.

In addition, each leader carries social responsibility  for the organization. For your coworkers, leaders like you represent an important human social authority. Thus - during this difficult time - entrepreneurs, CEOs and all other leaders have to make a significant contribution to social stabilization. This is crucial since pandemics on a physical level lead to pandemics on a psychosocial level


First, I would like to suggest what to do and in the next step I will explain, why this is so important.

Containment is key for leaders in the actual mode of crisis. Containment provides people with the feeling of "I’m taken care of" – this is especially critical when no one knows what to do next and what the outcome of the pandemic will be. In psychology, containment refers to the interplay with another individual that helps a person to process and endure existential fears. Now, we all are exposed to these fears and have to deal with them.


Please find the full paper here: COVID 19 - Leadership and Containment



New book comes out in July 2019

The internationally renowed publisher Routledge had commissioned Dr. Claudia Nagel  to write a book on "Psychodynamic Coaching". This book presents thirty distinctive features of psychodynamic coaching, half of them referring to theory and the other half to praxis


Read more