Connected leading – Tilburg University

Within Tilburg University, the Connected Leading philosophy forms an important basis for the Recognition & Rewards programme. Increasing self-awareness based on the strengths approach is a central element in this philosophy. Other important elements are: reciprocity, feedback and dialogue based on safety, trust and transparency, listening, and alternating leading and following. 

The Connected Leading activities – developed in the period 2018-2021 – focus on leadership development, personal leadership and team development.

Social safety and well-being

In 2023, Tilburg University will structurally embed the Connected Leading philosophy through the development of a leadership programme in which, in addition to the elements of Connected Leading, themes such as recognition & rewards, social safety and well-being will be given a central place. Leadership development is essential to achieving our objectives in these areas. The goal is for all those in leadership positions as well as those with the potential to fulfil leadership roles to participate in this programme.

Change in behaviour

The evaluation of the Connected Leading programme in mid-2021 showed that for about two-thirds of the respondents, participation led to a change in behaviour (in line with the Connected Leading philosophy). Three-quarters or more (between 75%-88%) of respondents indicated that participation has led to a greater awareness of the importance of the individual Connected Leading behaviours. For 88% of respondents, participation in one or more Connected Leading activities has led to a better understanding of their own preferences and/or talents.

More information about Connecting leading, please contact Stefan van der Meer (project leader Connecting Leading) at or Elke van Cassel (project manager Recognition & Rewards) at

In this video Jaap Paauwe, (former) chair of the Recognition & Rewards programme at Tilburg University, explains his vision on the Recognition & Rewards programme and leadership as an important element in this programme.

Central elements

With the Recognition & Rewards and Connected Leading programmes, Tilburg University gives substance to its vision on talent development and leadership: Use (y)our Talents. The following elements are central to this vision:

  • Talent development and personal leadership
  • Recognising and rewarding diversity and talent
  • Stimulating employability and mobility
  • A culture of continuous feedback and dialogue
  • Leadership development focused on openness, transparency and trust, with attention to the individual, the team and the organisation
  • Strengthening team collaboration and team development
  • A focus on quality in the assessment of research and teaching