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Sweden’s Centered Leadership Program

“The training program provides an excellent foundation for growing as a leader and is useful for both women and men. We were lucky to have extraordinary faculty leading the sessions, who were excellent and inspiring educators.”

—Johanna, associate, McKinsey Sweden

McKinsey passionately believes in attracting and developing outstanding leaders. Our Centered Leadership approach—based on extensive research into characteristics of successful leaders—has helped many of our consultants and clients make profound changes in their lives and organizations. It is also the subject of a book by McKinsey consultants Joanna Barsh and Johanne Lavoie.

We’d now like to invite you to take the next step of your leadership journey with McKinsey Sweden, through our Centered Leadership Program for students. The program includes four half-day sessions over the course of the year, each covering key aspects of Centered Leadership:

  • Meaning (March 31): Finding meaning in our environment and harnessing it to drive our motivation
  • Energizing (May 19): Finding and managing our energy
  • Framing (September 15): Learning to look at our lives in a positive way and understanding how this affects our behaviour and achievements
  • Connecting & Engaging (November 3): Cultivating our networks as a source of support and a driving force for leadership; and creating opportunities by talking, being seen, and taking the initiative

The format is a mix of interactive lectures, exciting speakers, and social events. During the course of the program you will challenge your limits, understand your sources of motivation, and learn to take advantage of opportunities.

The 2017 program is targeted toward Swedish-speaking students with 1 to 3 years left of their studies, and open for applications until February 6.

For questions about the program or the application process, please contact Jenny Lindh.
E-mail:, telephone: +46 8 700 6859

Q&A with Anna

Anna Bokberg

Anna is a junior associate in the Sweden office and a former participant in McKinsey Sweden’s Centered Leadership Program (CLP).

As a previous participant, what did you find most valuable about the program?

The CLP helped me identify the most important drivers of my development, and provided me with a toolkit to build the best possible foundation for growth. During the program I met many talented and inspiring people, with so many different areas of expertise. In the sessions, we shared both our successes and failures, and I was surprised to find how often we could all relate to similar experiences. I also gained new insight into how people can perceive the same situation in very different ways.

What was it about the program that led you to join McKinsey after you graduated?

I really enjoyed the open and relaxed setting, which helped all of us—students and consultants—to learn from each other. The McKinsey consultants participating the program shared personal experiences very openly, and together we discussed many challenging topics. I was also very impressed by how professionally the program was organized, and by McKinsey’s ability to identify such a warm, talented group of people to invite. My great experience with the consultants and the program itself, together with other interactions with the firm, left me with no doubt about accepting McKinsey’s offer to join after I finished my studies.

How did attending the workshops help you grow personally and professionally?
  • Meaning helped me identify what drives me and gives me purpose—a critical enabler for anyone to perform at their best over time
  • Energizing made me aware of what gives me energy and what drains me—and highlighted the practical steps I can take to boost the spikes and avoid the dips, both in the short term and long term
  • Framing helped me take a step back in stressful situations to understand the underlying drivers of pressure and negativity. This was my favorite session.
  • Connecting taught me both to value my relationships and to leverage them for my development—and it also encouraged me to draw on these relationships to support others in achieving their goals.
  • Engaging helped me prioritize the things I am passionate about and seize exciting opportunities, rather than doing less important things half-heartedly
What advice would you offer students about CLP?

Be open about sharing your experiences and perspectives, so you contribute fully to the open and welcoming environment. You will learn a great deal about yourself in CLP, and you will gain access to a powerful toolkit for personal development. These tools will be much more useful to you in “real life” if you take time during the program to reflect on actual situations when they would have improved the outcome. Also, knowing is not the same thing as doing.

At the end of every session, decide on one thing that you will change before the next meeting, based on what you have learnt. It will feel great to share stories of your growth with other participants—and to inspire each other to implement your learning in everyday life, as people and as leaders. CLP has provided me with valuable tools and experiences that I will take with me throughout my life. I wish you the best of luck in finding yours too!

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