Leading Prima Donnas

Kasper is a sought-after motivational speaker by businesses seeking inspiration from the way talent is recruited, developed and supported in the artistic world. In an era where more and more businesses depend on extraordinary talents who do not fit the traditional boxes and pose challenges to the organisation, a new kind of leadership is needed.

WHY are organisations afraid of divas? Speaking from his experience running one of the world’s largest leading arts organisations, Kasper Holten speaks about leadership in a way different from anything else you knew about it. In his world, divas are celebrated, even sought-after. And divas are not only found on stage.

But divas can be difficult to handle and to make fit in a traditional hierarchy. They are exposed and have extremely subjective success-criteria for their work. This pushes them into the exciting but also dangerous territory between megalomania and inferiority complex, and they require a different leadership to blossom. Leadership through love, applying empathy, embracing conflicts and facing demons - a leadership of inspiration, but also of fierce honesty.

True innovation happens only in the rehearsal room – a place where direct feedback is not only allowed or sought, but core business. Only there, in a safe space where conflict is not avoided or feared, can talent develop, news ideas blossom without fear, and only from there can the performance the audience sees ever take flight. Kasper speaks about risk, talent,  exposure, bullshit-management and true leadership through inspiration – the leadership of the future.

To book Kasper as speaker, please get in touch


“Kasper Holten is one of the most inspirational speakers that we have used. He brings extraordinary insight into the world of business and creativity and shows how directing one of the worlds greatest opera houses has profound insights into building a great organisation. The audience left with many thoughts and ideas about how they could use his incredible way of leading.” - Lynda Gratton, Future of Work/Professor, London Business School

“I thought I should write you a short note to share with you the impact that your talk had on my colleagues and I at PwC. First and foremost, a big thank you! Your talk was perhaps the most inspiring piece of advice and insight that I have ever received in my life. .. It made me reflect on my choices and take a hard look at what I really wanted to do. The reflection spurred me to take action. What I loved about the talk is that you wove in your stories from Opera, what it means to build effective teams, the power of being vulnerable and taking risks, the rightness of stepping out of the spotlight and letting others do their role.” - Jaya Deshmukh, PwC London