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Michael Ensser

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+49 40 32 32 40 20

Michael Ensser, based in Hamburg and Zurich, is a member of the Board of Directors of Egon Zehnder. He previously led the Firm’s German Practice as Managing Partner. Michael advises leading technology and media companies. In addition to finding and preparing suitable candidates for top executive positions, he supports large-scale transformation projects by carrying out management appraisals, analyzing the potential of organizations, and leading development efforts. He also chairs the Board Academy, a high-caliber professional training platform that was jointly established by McKinsey & Company, KPMG, and Egon Zehnder for preparing executives to meet the challenges of senior leadership positions.

I’ve always been a curious person, and what motivates me most is striving to understand the people behind a business. Having opportunities to help improve leadership is what makes it easy for me to get out of bed each morning.

Before joining Egon Zehnder, Michael was at the Treuhandanstalt, the agency that was set up to privatize East German enterprises following reunification, where he attained the post of chief of staff. He launched his career as a journalist at Münchener Zeitungs-Verlag, a leading publishing group.

Michael studied political science and law at the University of Munich before earning a PhD in political science from the University of Konstanz. Outside work, he is passionately interested in history and politics, an avid book collector, and an enthusiastic soccer fan.

Michael Ensser, Hamburg und Zürich, ist Mitglied des Board of Directors von Egon Zehnder und war zuvor Managing Partner der deutschen Organisation. Er begleitet Unternehmen der Technologie- und Medienbranche bei der Besetzung von Top-Führungspositionen und in umfangreichen Transformationsprojekten. Zu seinen Aufgaben gehören unter anderem Management Appraisals, Potenzialanalysen und die Konzeption von Entwicklungsprojekten. Er ist außerdem Vorstandsvorsitzender der Board Academy, eines von McKinsey & Company, KPMG und Egon Zehnder gegründeten Forums, in dem sich Top-Führungskräfte auf die Herausforderungen in Organfunktionen vorbereiten.

Vor seiner Tätigkeit bei Egon Zehnder war Michael Ensser bei der Treuhandanstalt in Privatisierungsprojekten im Einsatz, zuletzt als Leiter des Vorstandsstabes. Seine Karriere startete der promovierte Politologe (Studium der Rechts- und Politikwissenschaften in München und Konstanz) als Journalist beim Münchener Zeitungs-Verlag.

In seiner Freizeit liest Michael Ensser Bücher, insbesondere solche, die sich mit Geschichte und Politik befassen. Außerdem ist er ein leidenschaftlicher Fußballfan.

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Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership by Michael Ensser

Harvard Business Manager – Command and Control Is Obsolete

Harvard Business Manager – Command and Control Is Obsolete

What’s it like being at the helm of a company these days? Insights into what it actually feels like to be a CEO are… Read more

Manager Magazin – Potential Is What Counts

Manager Magazin – Potential Is What Counts

In an interview with Manager Magazin, Michael Ensser, Managing Partner for Germany, talks about what companies should look for in candidates in the era… Read more

Handelsblatt – Michael Ensser: “Leadership is a major strategic topic.”

Handelsblatt – Michael Ensser: “Leadership is a major strategic topic.”

Digitalization, automation, robotization, artificial intelligence – our society is in the midst of a fundamental transformation. It impacts on companies and of course on… Read more

Where values can grow

Where values can grow

How can music contribute to the development of leaders and organizations? What does leadership mean in today’s world? Egon Zehnder in dialogue with Kent… Read more

“The success or failure of every change depends on good leadership” – Michael Ensser in the brand eins special issue: “Consulting”

“The success or failure of every change depends on good leadership” – Michael Ensser in the brand eins special issue: “Consulting”

“Like many of our clients, we are just setting off on a digital journey of discovery.” These are the opening words of a brief… Read more

Handelsblatt – Leaders Need Bold Vision to Banish Uncertainty

Handelsblatt – Leaders Need Bold Vision to Banish Uncertainty

“Leading a company is definitely a lot more difficult now thanks to rising volatility and insecurity,” warns Michael Ensser, Managing Partner of Egon Zehnder,… Read more

Digital Deutschland?

Digital Deutschland?

The digital revolution doesn’t merely impact markets and products; companies are also undergoing far-reaching change at many levels. Read more

Handelsblatt – Directors in Germany: Dare to embrace diversity

Handelsblatt – Directors in Germany: Dare to embrace diversity

This year, German business daily Handelsblatt has again presented a ranking of the leading directors in Germany (supervisory board members in the German two-tier… Read more

What is the “ideal job”?

What is the “ideal job”?

What is the “ideal job”? Michael Ensser, Managing Partner of Egon Zehnder in Germany, outlines key issues, motivating factors and early warning signs when… Read more

What is the perfect job?

What is the perfect job?

A series of questions springs to mind when I am asked about the ideal job. What drives me? What am I passionate about? How… Read more

FAZ – “Today’s Managers are Looking for Meaningful Challenges”

FAZ – “Today’s Managers are Looking for Meaningful Challenges”

A growing number of managers are unhappy with their working conditions, reports the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Read more

Greater than the Sum of its Parts: Professionalizing the Supervisory Board

Greater than the Sum of its Parts: Professionalizing the Supervisory Board

In the current business environment, supervisory boards are responding to significantly higher expectations by professionalizing their operations. What are some of the steps boards… Read more

International Executive Panel: who will lead?

International Executive Panel: who will lead?

Egon Zehnder’s International Executive Panel finds that increasingly disruptive, unpredictable business environments make past performance an unreliable predictor of executives’ future success. Read more

Die Welt – Sabbaticals Gain Growing Acceptance

Die Welt – Sabbaticals Gain Growing Acceptance

With the psychological strains and time pressure of leadership growing steadily, more executives are looking for ways to ease the load, reports Die Welt… Read more

Audit Committee Quarterly – Building a Better Board: Beyond Brilliant Minds

Audit Committee Quarterly – Building a Better Board: Beyond Brilliant Minds

Building a strong supervisory board involves more than just bringing together brilliant minds, write Egon Zehnder consultants Jörg Thierfelder and Michael Ensser in the… Read more

VBKI – Leadership: Creating a Culture of Ownership and Diversity

VBKI – Leadership: Creating a Culture of Ownership and Diversity

In today’s complex and uncertain world companies need creative thinkers who can implement out-of-the box solutions, notes Michael Ensser, a consultant at Egon Zehnder,… Read more

A Call for More Career Crossovers

A Call for More Career Crossovers

“Individuals willing to crossover careers can help to bridge the growing gap between politics and business”, writes Michael Ensser, Managing Director at Egon Zehnder… Read more

WINConference 2014 - Time for Women to Take Center-Stage

WINConference 2014 - Time for Women to Take Center-Stage

Diversity and the challenge of anchoring women in business were the key topics of a speech given by Michael Ensser, Managing Partner of Egon… Read more

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