playful leadership

For the past nine years, Annemarie Steen has been teaching a unique course on Playful & Creative Leadership to Master MBA students at the Estonian Business School. She was awarded "best visiting lecturer" for it. Annemarie has decided to make her program accessible for a wider audience in online format.

Welcome to Playful Leadership


Navigating these times of uncertainty, volatility and complexity needs a more creative style of leadership where different skill- and mindsets become increasingly important.

In an article published by the World Economic Forum in 2020, 4 characteristics of successful future leaders are selected:

Curiosity. Leaders need to cultivate a growth mindset, as described by the American psychologist Carol Dweck

Resilience. Most of us don't find constant and rapid change easy to deal with. Leaders need to be resilient in order to cope with these changes rather than get sidetracked or intimidated.

"We" mentality. This kind of mindset goes beyond collaboration across teams. Leaders need to be bridge-builders and lead beyond their own functions, units and borders.

Flexibility. Especially in global companies, adaptability both in terms of content and culture will be key.


PLAYFUL Leadership is acronym for the 7 skill- and mindsets, that will be taught in this course + the mindset of Playfulness in itself. These are closely connected to the 4 characteristics as mentioned by the WEF.








Being a PLAYFUL leader means to integrate these 7 skill- and mindsets in daily work and life. Participants to this program will get insights from literature and research around these topics, mixed with practical and playful exercises and assignments.

What makes PLAYFUL LEADERSHIP unique?

Annemarie is a passionate educator with over 20 years of experience in business and higher education, and is always finding and creating ways to teach/facilitate in more effective and fun ways. Her playful experiential learning methodology is unique and makes the learningexperiences fun, memorable and surprisingly insightful.

Annemarie is a TEDx speaker, owner of SteenTrain, founder of Play-Break and faculty at the Estonian Business School (Tallinn) and at THNK, Shool of Creative Leadership (Amsterdam). Read what others had to say about working with Annemarie.

The program takes 8 weeks with a weekly 90 minute online interactive live session.

  • Week 1: Introduction to Playful Leadership (about Playfulness as a mindset and building connections to your fellow students)
  • Week 2: Presence (about connecting to the NOW and showing up with Presence for impact)
  • Week 3: Listening Deeply (about connecting with self and others from listening deeply, experiencing different levels of listening, asking powerful questions)
  • Week 4: Adaptability (about dealing with change, acceptance and seeing and creating new ways of coping with unexpected situations)
  • Week 5: saying YES! (about discovering and jumping in emerging opportunities, stretching our comfortzones and expanding our courage to try new things)
  • Week 6: Focus Positive (about how leading with positivity creates more impact and learning insights from positive psychology about training our brain for positivity)
  • Week 7: Uplift Energy (about how to increase creative energy in ourselves and our teams, about the importance of fun and humor in the workplace)
  • Week 8: Learn Continuously (about Growth Mindset and Experiential Learning and powerful Reflecting techniques to take everything learned forward)

If you are interested in this program for a group of your employees, let us know your preferred times/dates/nr of people/ language (English/ Dutch), please contact us for options.