Positive Impact is our Purpose, and Lasting Change Our Goal – Kim J. Baaden

“Nepal – is an opportunity!”. That’s what Kim J. Baaden from Germany says. While masses of young people are fleeing the country for better fortunes, Kim came to Nepal to help the country thrive. Kim combined his love for Nepal with his commitment to the growth of youth, professionals, businesses and the nation as a whole.

Kim Baaden holds an M.Sc. in Geography and Psychology from the University of Mainz, Germany. He has been certified by Microsoft and Harvard University and received training and insights from prestigious institutions such as the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the German Government and the International Leadership Institute that led to a deep understanding of leadership principles.

With his extensive experience in leadership, Kim is the founder of Plus Leader and Impact Yes, did military service within the German Air Force, led trainings for TEDx speakers and worked with prestigious institutions such as the Marriott Hotel. He has demonstrated his leadership skills on an adventurous expedition through the Borneo rainforest and is well known through television appearances and newspaper articles.

Nepal Travel Post Editor Manoj Kumar Giri has taken his Interview.

 What is Leadership training for teachers?

Leadership training for teachers involves an innovative approach that combines leadership principles and youth psychology. Through a self-assessment, teachers determine their individual leadership style in the classroom and can thus uncover and remedy deficits in their leadership skills.

Being a leader in the classroom also requires very specific skills that we train, such as neuroscience, artificial intelligence, generation gap, and post-pandemic pedagogy.

Our seminars are based on research that we operationalize, teach and practice in an understandable way. 20% of our training is theory and 80% is practice. We emphasize interactive and action-oriented learning experiences that teachers can put into practice the very next day. We also offer post-seminar support.

Why is this needed?

The need for a leadership-first approach is to empower teachers to inspire and motivate students. Corporate leadership strategies are aligned with classroom dynamics and the psychology of young people. As a result, educators, students and school management experience profound change. Effective leadership, as seen in corporate settings, leads to enriched teaching, greater satisfaction, improved performance, higher student numbers and ultimately increased revenue for schools.

What is relevant in Nepal?

In Nepal, our customized trainings target the common deficits in youth education, classroom management and educational technology among teachers. Because we understand the diversity and technological differences between regions, our seminars adapt to local conditions and specifically address the different needs in Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal.

Is Leadership training useful for Hospitality and tourism?

Leadership development is essential to the hospitality and tourism industry and is the cornerstone of successful business ventures. Recognizing the central role of positive leadership, our courses offer unparalleled skills development that is deeply rooted in scientific principles and sought after by industry leaders for its uniqueness and effectiveness.

Give me some examples.

A General Manager in the luxury hotel industry is an example of effective leadership by fostering a positive and inclusive workplace culture. They inspire and support staff development, lead by example, are always innovating, ensure guest satisfaction and skillfully manage revenue, creating a holistic and successful hospitality experience.

What is your future plan?

Our future plans include two important visions:

With ‘Plus Leader’, we will revolutionize the educational landscape in Nepal to contribute to the country’s progress and prosperity.

With ‘Impact Yes’, we will redefine luxury hotel spaces to create immersive environments that appeal to different cultures and offer guests a “home away from home”.

Kim, why did you choose the subject of leadership as your life’s work?

My interest in leadership can be traced back to personal experiences that repeatedly brought me into unexpected leadership positions, even though I had not actively sought them out. Here are a few examples:

While I was serving in the German Air Force, the group was looking for a leader and considering various candidates. Unexpectedly, they turned to me and said: ‘Kim, please lead us!’. That surprised me, because I hadn’t aspired to a leadership position at all. At 18, I didn’t feel sufficiently prepared to lead other fellow soldiers. But then I accepted my role and was even awarded and promoted for it afterwards.

Another case happened when I was part of a team that led a youth camp for about 50 socially marginalized young people with difficult family backgrounds. These young people often exhibited behavior that was considered antisocial or even criminal. Shortly after the camp began, chaos broke out. The young people behaved unpredictably and our team began to falter. Even our team leader realized that she was unable to keep the camp together as she had failed in team leadership. Suddenly the whole team agreed that I should take over the leadership. This was also unexpected. I accepted the challenge and turned the chaotic scenario into a positive camp experience. It became one of the most successful and impactful youth camps our organization had ever experienced. Our team worked exceptionally well together and made significant positive changes for the youth.

Such unexpected requests from others to take on leadership roles have come again and again in my life, many times. These experiences have shown me that effective leaders are not necessarily the loudest ones, but those who act with integrity, collaboration, and a positive mindset.

What motivated you to delve deeper into leadership research and train people about it?

I have seen many people who suffered distress as employees. They were more often under bosses than with leaders. The difference is that bosses command: “Go!”, while leaders encourage: “Let’s go!”. As I could no longer stand by and watch this suffering, I took action. My goal: To educate decision-makers about the use of positive leadership. This initiative not only brought joy to employees, but also changed leaders by aligning their behavior with a more human and contemporary approach to leadership – an approach based on both research and practical application. Training leaders in leadership results in “performance beyond expectations”.

(Kim Baaden and Kovid Panthy, Founders of Impact Yes, USA, jointly conduct specialized LEM seminars focusing on Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Marketing. Their seminars deal with intraorganizational and cross-cultural aspects of Luxury Hospitality around the World.)

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