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Executive Education

Nicolas de La Giroday AVIRA Participant
Nicolas de La Giroday AVIRA Participant
LEAP: Leadership Excellence through Awareness and Practice

Leadership is an evolution

Nicolas de La Giroday

VP General Manager

For VP General Manager with General Mills, Nicolas de La Giroday, self-awareness is the key to unlock genuine leadership. The LEAP: Leadership Excellence through Awareness and Practice programme gave him insights and frameworks that will also help him become a better version of himself.


For anyone looking to have a long lasting positive impact, there’s a real imperative to step back, to take that time away and to create the opportunity to fine-tune yourself. And to be at your most effective – to be the very best version of yourself – you really need to know who you are.

Leadership is an evolution. To have a positive impact around you, evolve yourself first.

When you reach the very top echelons of senior management, you may find an unexpected challenge waiting for you. According to Nicolas de La Giroday, VP General Manager of General Mills Yoplait in Southern Europe, that challenge is a shift in mindset.

“Very senior managers face an imperative: to move from a knowing to a learning dynamic. And core to that is building your self-awareness.”

This is the same imperative that brought de La Giroday to INSEAD’s Leadership Excellence through Awareness and Practice (LEAP) programme in 2020. A seven-month learning journey, LEAP was also an opportunity to step outside of the day-to-day and to “carve out some valuable time for myself.”

“I’ve been on the front line for many years, working in very senior management roles with large, multinational organisations for the last two decades. As you progress up through your career, there are plenty of development opportunities, but these tend to thin out when you get to the very top of your company. I was looking for something very special – a chance to truly reflect and to develop that self-awareness I needed to continue pivoting, to continue foster my learning mindset.”

INSEAD was a natural choice, says de La Giroday, partly because of the school’s international reputation; but also because the LEAP programme was “uniquely matched” to the specific senior leadership needs he felt. As a learning experience, it also struck him as “essentially pragmatic.”



“When you open yourself up to a deep, self-learning journey like this, you are going to want a learning partner that you absolutely trust. During my time in Singapore, I’d heard great things about INSEAD. My own experience has confirmed this reputation, a