Sovereign at the top

We enable managers to lead with the utmost inner sovereignty

About us

For more than 20 years now, Dr Kai Dierke and Dr Anke Houben are executive coaches and leadership advisors to the top echelons of DAX40 companies and international corporations. They both know the executive world of corporate leadership from the inside: in a “former life”, Kai was an Executive Board member of a global Swiss financial services company and a consultant with McKinsey. Anke was a manager at Bertelsmann and a consultant with Arthur D. Little. Beyond advising top managers, the development of new, sovereign leaders for the next-gen C-suite is close to their hearts … as founders of the DierkeHouben Leadership Academy in Nairobi and as lecturers at the HHL Graduate School of Business.


Kai Dierke and Anke Houben are provocative game changers at the top management level and inspirational “thought-in-practice” leaders for a new leadership paradigm: sovereign leadership. They lead top managers, their teams and top 100 to personal growth. They compare their work with top managers – which can be confrontational at times – to full-contact sports: it is demanding, close to the individual, outside the comfort zone, and always appreciative … in their open or corporate Leadership Programmes like SOVEREIGN! Leadership, Purpose-driven Leadership in Kenya, or Leadership in Transformation as well as in their Top Team Coachings and individual Executive Coachings.


Learning to lead with sovereignty – where it really matters. With their Leadership Academy in Nairobi, Kai Dierke and Anke Houben empower students and young entrepreneurs to take the lead in their society and community.


Managers are only human – they think and act much less rationally than they like to believe. Too many follow unchallenged myths of leadership, deeply rooted basic principles of behaviour that sabotage sovereign leadership. This is more the rule than the exception in top management. In their books “Die 7 Mythen der Führung. Ein Neuanfang” and “Gemeinsame Spitze. Wie Führung im Top-Team gelingt”, Kai Dierke and Anke Houben radically dispel the myth of the rational manager and inspire executives at the top to lead with the utmost inner sovereignty.


Managers are not born to be sovereign leaders – they have to develop and grow. With their corporate and open Leadership Programmes, Kai Dierke and Anke Houben offer inspiring personal growth journeys for top managers on eye-level. The programmes are hybrid formats which combine “Off-site Leadership Camps” with webinars and a proprietary digital “Daily Leadership Workout” – daily inspirations to master the critical “knowing-doing-gap” in the hustle of business.

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