George Kohlrieser creates impact on society in youth leadership program
IMD Impact Stories · Leadership

George Kohlrieser creates impact on society in youth leadership program

The IMD Professor gives back by contributing to younger generations
March 2017

IMD Professor, hostage negotiator and award-winning author, George Kohlrieser believes that it’s important to give back and create an impact for future generations.

For three years, Professor Kohlrieser has been a contributor at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where his teachings are helping a younger generation learn about leadership and how to steer the world in a better direction.

Coty Burke, an American citizen in his 20s, who participated in the four week youth leadership program led by George at Esalen said: “I think what George is doing is planting seeds among younger people like myself with more awareness of leadership. We learned about how our past and upbringing affects how we lead. I also learned more about how I operate in the world and how I can use my energy to have more of a positive influence over others.”

He is teaching us to be better leaders.”

According to Coty, George’s teachings at the retreat center focused on how today’s generation of youth have an unprecedented amount of information at their fingertips and a great deal of practical skills. But what they’re lacking sometimes is the ability to create successful bonds personally and professionally.

“In the end I think George’s message will help a lot of youth become more adaptable and break into the workplace. He is teaching us to be better leaders,” Coty said.

After being part of the program at Esalen, Coty decided to change directions and now wants to develop a career in the field of leadership.

Most recently, he has been travelling around Europe and made a stop in IMD’s home town of Lausanne to participate in George Kohlrieser’s High Performance Leadership program.

“I find it very inspiring working with today’s youth and I learn just as much from them as I teach them,” said Kohlrieser. “If we can create awareness of great leadership abilities now, then tomorrow’s leaders will be more equipped to face the immense challenges ahead of us.”

Learn more about High Performance Leadership the world reknown leadership program run by IMD Professor George Kohlrieser.

Learn more about Esalen’s Integral Leadership program for college students and recent graduates, July 2-30, 2017.


George Kohlrieser is a Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at IMD, where he directs the High Performance Leadership (HPL), Advanced High Performance Leadership (AHPL) and Learning Leadership programs.

Kohlrieser is author of the award-winning bestseller Hostage at the Table: How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others and Raise Performance, which was released in audio version by Talking Book on 24 June 2016.

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