Literature, like a frigate in Emily Dickinson’s words, sits on the horizon of our lives to take us lands away. It is the perpetuum mobile that turns the cogs of our existence: it inspires, enables, and transforms you into the person you will dare to become. It opens the future like a golden key. It allows you to experience other lives, other cultures, and other worlds, and grow with this knowledge. Fear not its magnetic allure: allow yourself to take the step along the literary journey, and remember: “We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

Subcategories: Poetry, Drama, Novels, Short Stories.

You are expected to do research on the theme of the year, “Leadership: Inspire Change”, in the context of Literature & Culture. You may find the recommended resources below.

The study resources contain several movies and videos to watch, books and articles to read, topics to research, and questions to sharpen your knowledge.


  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell (2008)


  • The Chorus (2004)
  • Gladiator (2000)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)



  • Follow The Leader by Suli Breaks 
  • Great Literature for Great Leaders by Scotty McLennan 
  • Speak Like a Leader by Simon Lancaster 
  • Great Leadership Starts With Self-Leadership by Lars Sudmann
  • Creating Organizational Cultures Based on Values and Performances by Ann Rhoades 
  • What to Look for in Great Leaders by Gary Bertoline 
  • Culture and Leadership by Joseph Trimble


  • Leadership in Literature by Diane Coutu
  • 12 Fictional Characters That Leaders can Learn From by Shane Schutte
  • Being the Boss in Brussels, Boston and Beijing by Erin Meyer
  • The True Meaning of Leadership – Taught by Our Children by Rasmus Hougaard 
  • Are Athletes Good Role Models? by Frank L. Smoll
  • Culture and Leadership: They’re Simply Two Sides of the Same Coin by Tim Kuppler
  • Leadership Style – How Does Culture Influence Leaders? by Irina Budrina


Explore the following people:

  • J. K. Rowling
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Rumi

Thought-Provoking Questions

  • What is the connection between literature & culture and leadership?
  • Why should leaders know about literature & culture? 
  • What aspects of literature & culture are relevant for leaders?  What can it teach them? 
  • What are the different categories of literature & culture that the participants can learn about in relation to leadership? (For example: classical/famous literature, modern genres of literature, pop culture, film culture, leadership/business culture… etc) 
  • How does geography affect the literature & culture – leadership connection?
  • Who are some historical figures that we can learn from about the connection between literature & culture and leadership? 
  • Who are the leaders in literature & culture today that are role models for leaders?


Art & Design


Literature & Culture


Economics & Business


Science & Technology


Social Sciences


Common Ground


Are You Ready For The Challenge?