Three brothers are writing a book together about “leadership” – and it landed on my desk a few weeks ago. The title immediately made me curious, also because I had not known the term “peripety” – I confess openly and honestly. It’s a good thing that the blurb immediately enlightens me about the meaning of the word:

Peripety comes from the theater, the classical drama – a term from Aristotle’s theory of tragedy that refers to the “usually sudden reversal of dramatic action.” Yes, we also experience such a turnaround again and again in our consulting projects and so we approach the subtitle of the work.

… and what about the reference to effective leadership?

The use of peripety for successful management is explained in this entertaining and diverting book with the help of many vivid examples from music and theater and is repeatedly related to classical management.

The different perspectives from which the three brothers approach the subject and some methods and impulses from the artistic field that were previously unknown to me make it a particularly exciting read:

  • The conductor Raphael illustrates how it is important in the orchestra to touch the audience at its core and that this can only succeed when “music is made” instead of “notes are played” and thus change is made possible.
  • Severin, a psychologist and actor, describes the “moment of genius” that actually always precedes the achievement of a goal – but can often only be identified in retrospect.
  • And Alexis, the physicist with international top management experience, uses practical examples to explain such peripetetic moments: That crises often make “moments of genius” possible in the first place – for example, the actual abilities of managers often only reveal themselves in “crisis situations”.



A recommendable book for all those who sometimes find the classic management literature too dry. But even for hardened connoisseurs and advocates of the standard literature on “leadership”, this change of perspective should bring additional insights and welcome impulses.


© Murmann/Free Mockup

The Peripetia Principle

The Art of Effective Leadership,
2017, Raphael, Severin & Alexis von Hoensbroech
Publisher: Murmann Publishers GmbH



The deadline for the competition is July 15, 2018, the winners will be informed personally!