First Seminar of the Leadership Academy

Titelbild 1.ILA Seminar ENG

International Leadership Academy of the Lazarus Union


1st Leadership Seminar of the

CSLI for Dame Expectants 

and Knight Expectants


Martha FichtlA report by Martha Fichtl


Prospective members of the CSLI Knighthood of Honour were sent written invitations to the leadership seminar well in advance by the President of the LAZARUS UNION – CSLI, Senator h.c. Wolfgang Steinhardt. In total, ten candidates took advantage of this opportunity and came to the Krainerhütte, a conference hotel near Baden bei Wien in the famous “Helenental”.

Before the arrival of the candidates and judges, the conference room was prepared ahead of time by Andreas Menhardt (our “technology officer”). The technology, i.e. a microphone, headset and laptop were set up and chairs for the judges and participants were arranged. After the rooms were all ready, all those present gathered in the conference room.

Of course the candidates and their “foster parents” appeared in uniform – a wonderful sight of “corporate identity”.

To begin, all were welcomed by the President, who opened the seminar.

Dean Rudolf Murth then announced that technical aids such as headsets, the microphone and the projector were operational and also explained everything that one should consider before speaking to an audience. In a very humorous way he went over the most common errors to be avoided. This didn’t dull the excitement and eased any tensions.

Afterwards, all candidates received a piece of paper with a name and a number on it. This lottery determined the order in which candidates introduced themselves to the judges.

All seminar candidates managed this first “test” with flying colours, so we proceeded to the next segment. It was now the judges’ turn to be interviewed. After all, it would be good to get to know them a little better, too. Once again, each candidate presented a judge and you could see that they were all confident and charismatic in their appearance in front of an audience.

For this reason, all attendees had earned reinforcement! The buffet was excellent, the weather fantastically beautiful and the fresh air on the terrace did everyone good. (Especially the smokers!)

The break was kept short since we had to continue with the presentations the candidates had prepared. All had to tackle a specific topic, elaborate on it, make a PowerPoint and present it on a laptop. Our technology officer Andreas Menhardt set up the presentations and the first candidate got going.

The presentations were all of high quality and were praised by the judges in the highest terms.

There were so many interesting facts presented that the time flew by. Prof. Dr. Schramm and President Steinhardt were particularly impressed and they never expected that they would have such good presentations!

No one thought during the performances to physical needs such as hunger and thirst, even though the dinner had to be postponed by half an hour because the individual presentations took longer than planned.

After the sumptuous dinner, each candidate was asked by the judges to give a reason why they believe they were worthy of being included in the elite community of the Knighthood of Honour.

After all their reasons were presented at the lectern on the microphone, candidates were sent to the fireplace room. The judges withdrew to deliberate. The candidates would be individually invited to a closed-door session where they would get their results.

It was really an intense deliberation because the candidates had to wait until 11 p.m. for the outcome.

At this late juncture the candidates were all asked to assemble in the auditorium in front of the judges and Mr. Hanns Rudolf Gries, who made the results known – but not with words but with a special “white flag.” The joy was great and the applause of the judges was a relief for all of the candidates.

The day concluded with open-ended informal discussions in front of the fireplace.

The next day began after breakfast with a last task for the candidates. Dean Rudi Murth posed a question to each candidate, based on his or her presentation on Saturday. Responses should be spontaneous but discussed in detail. It was clear that any fear of the microphone or speaking had given way to a certain self-confidence before the audience. Everyone had learned something.

At the end of the day, new badges were presented for passing the seminar. It was noted by the judges that the CSLI had also passed the equality “test” because half of the recipients were female.

This first leadership seminar was a really successful event; it was informative, interesting and even a little “exciting”. It also helped us to get to know one another better.

Now nothing stands in the way of inducting the successful candidates into the Knighthood of Honour on 23 April 2016 in the Palais Augarten, the home of Vienna Boys’ Choir!