Port Executive Leadership Circle

Rapidly changing market dynamics present ports with major challenges. Port planning and development is no longer a long-term game. Product life cycles become shorter and circular, while industries are confronted with less determined futures. Ports within global supply chains are digital accelerators for efficiency and enablers of timely and reliable deliveries, instead of inevitable gateways where goods pass through. A mind shift is required to look critically at existing business models, while simultaneously developing new ones. Leading transitional change requires a different type of leadership. An executive in today’s port or port logistics industry should have ambidextrous leadership capabilities. Where issues are not perceived as dilemma’s, but as ‘both and’ considerations and solutions.

Leadership skills for port executives and captains of industry

This brand new Port Executive Leadership Circle in Rotterdam allows you: an executive from a port authority, port stakeholders or a captain of industry, to be part of an ongoing cycle of learning journeys, while enabling you to partner with other ports in a growing international network of port executives. These port executives will be the frontrunners who will drive ports towards the next level of competition.

This unique and specific educational programme has been developed by Erasmus University Rotterdam and Port of Rotterdam, using their combined knowledge and expertise. The programme builds leadership skills for port executives, based on their existing knowledge and expertise, and is specialised for the environment of port-based industries: The Port Executive Leadership Circle.

What makes this programme exceptional is the way it presents the educational experience. Its goal is to collect and share best practices and experiences of people already addressing ports’ challenges, and combine them with theories and knowledge from management research using RSM’s well-established framework of leadership education.

Port Leadership Circle 2020

Learning objectives

The Port Executive Leadership Circle programme will: 

  • inspire you and other participants by showing you the latest developments within the port industry. This includes visiting innovative and forward-looking activities around the Port of Rotterdam
  • document, analyse and begin to solve some of the wicked problems you and your organisation are working with
  • learn to use a leadership compass tool to tackle wicked problems
  • make a detailed assessment of your leadership capacities and deliver individual coaching directed at addressing your personal and/or port-related challenges
  • create a learning network around port excellence that connects you with an international network of industry peers
  • provide you with access to documented best practices to use in future.

Why you should join this programme

  • our approach to this leadership programme for port executives is different because it captures and makes use of the knowledge and expertise that exists within Rotterdam’s port, one of the world’s leading maritime capitals. It combines this with the latest insights into strategic leadership from RSM
  • the programme is tailored to participants’ unique learning goals because of the intensive and detailed admissions procedure
  • participants experience the purposeful combination of an issue-driven, case-based approach to leadership development
  • a week of coaching by experts in leadership training and port executive training to explore motives, risks and opportunities
  • learn best practices from leading port industry professionals while developing your strategic leadership skills
  • tackle your organisation’s wicked problem: learn and create innovative approaches for existing and potential issues for port industries
  • build a personal goal-setting plan for dealing with wicked problems; by considering your motives and potential actions, and how to mobilise the people involved to work with you. At the same time, inspire and be inspired by other participants
  • become part of an exclusive network of port executives and make use of a circle of continuous learning for the future.

Faculty Staff

  • Mr. Maurice Jansen
    Maurice Jansen is a senior researcher, lecturer and business developer. At the Erasmus Centre for Urban Port and Transport Economics, Maurice researches how ports and port-cities can be developed sustainably with economic and societal values in mind. He develops and provides education that teaches port, supply chain and transport professionals how to deal with wicked problems such as zero waste, carbon neutrality and digitization. Previously, he directed the MSc Shipping and Transport at the Netherlands Maritime University of Applied Sciences. He was also supply chain solutions developer at freight forwarding company UTi Worldwide, and transport consultant at KPMG Consulting. 

  • Dr Hannes Leroy
    Hannes Leroy is an associate professor at RSM, and academic director of the Erasmus Centre for Leadership. His expertise is in authentic and inclusive leadership, and how to develop it. His talent is  facilitating personal development by bringing people out of their comfort zones. He has published research on effective leadership in organisations, particularly on how to develop leaders. A particular interest is authenticity and the development of authentic leadership, a leadership style that is anchored in the unique identity of each leader. He taught at Johnson School of Business, Cornell University, and has a PhD in applied economics and organisational leadership from the University of Leuven in Belgium.


June 2021


€ 7,500 (excl. VAT) including course materials, lunches, and snacks. This fee does not include hotel accommodation. 10% discount for alumni from Erasmus University Rotterdam and RSM. More information about the discount.

General terms and conditions

Our general terms and conditions apply when you register for an open programme. Please review them to learn more about our policies for cancellation, deferral and substitution. Upon registration, your personal information will be shared with Port of Rotterdam, please review their privacy conditions here.


The programme takes place in the Bayle building on the Woudestein Campus of Erasmus University Rotterdam. 

Hotel accommodation

We recommend Novotel Rotterdam Brainpark Hotel, adjacent to the university and less than five minutes’ walk from campus. Participants benefit from special rates.

Apply now or request your brochure

The programme Port Executive Leadership Circle runs on several dates. Please select the one that suits you most to register

Our partners

  • Global trends such as changes in international trade, energy transition & digitization require innovative solutions on how to make ports and organizations ready for the future. These challenges require staff with a deeper and more understanding of the complex dynamics of the port industry. Rotterdam is one of world’s leading maritime capitals. The port of Rotterdam is internationally often seen as one of the best practices for efficient and sustainable port development and socially responsible port management. The knowledge and expertise captured in Rotterdam’s port ecosystem is highly valuable for (future) experts and leaders in the (international) port industry.

  • With its mission to be a force for positive change in the world, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) has firmly established its reputation over almost 50 years as one of Europe’s most international and innovative business schools. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class portfolio of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage people to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. We believe that leadership can be taught through a combination of intellectual and practical challenges like those encountered when working in diverse teams that can foster creative new approaches in business.

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