Dr. Nico Rose

Dr. Nico roseI am a German human resources executive and Positive Psychology speaker. Mappalicious started out as a kind of diary while taking part in the 2013/14 MAPP (Master of Applied Positive Psychology) program at University of Pennsylvania. In August 2014, I graduated – yet I decided to go on with this page and to develop it into a more general resource on all things Positive Psychology.

If you would like to know more on my professional background, please scroll to the bottom of this page. But for now, I´d like to give you a so-called serious introduction. A serious introduction consists of telling a meaningful story about a specific moment in our lives. It could be a moment that is just very important to us, or a moment that shows us at our best, thereby displaying our unique blend of character strengths. To quote my lovely MAPP classmate Patricia De La Torre: It’s a fantastic way to learn about somebody else and to instantly connect with them in the non-cheasiest way possible.

A serious Introduction of Dr. Nico Rose

This is September 9, 2010. I have a glass of champagne in my hands and feel a one-of-a-kind combination of exaltation and relief. My dress shirt is soaked with sweat from the room temperature of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit – and from the 30-minute lecture I have given a couple of minutes ago. The first supervisor of my doctoral thesis at European Business School Oestrich-Winkel, has just pronounced I will be awarded the doctoral degree in business sciences with the best possible grade, “summa cum laude”. Now this evaluation consists of the grade for my thesis, which accounts for 70 percent of the total grade; and the grade for the disputation which has just taken place, which accounts for the remaining 30%. My thesis had been graded in-between the top marks – and in order to receive the overall “summa cum laude”, the disputation would have to be an absolute top-notch performance.

Let´s go back in time for a week…

During that final week before my disputation, I did something very unusual: I practiced. In fact, I practiced my ass off. I am used to lecturing regularly, either at conferences, or at the business school where I teach – which has given me a lot of confidence in that matter over the years. I typically will prepare my PowerPoint slides some days before due date alright – but I never ever really think about what to say in advance, let alone learn something by heart. That often results in entertaining but hopelessly overlong lectures. But for once, it had to be different. There are very strict regulations pertaining to the disputation process. You have exactly 30 minutes to convince the doctoral committee of your research, not one minute more, not one minute less.

So I practiced – and I learned my text by heart.

As usual, I prepared my slides. In the morning seven days before the disputation, I practiced for the first time – and went over 45 minutes. I practiced again in the afternoon, talking a little faster, and still went well over 40 minutes. So I cut out one of the slides, practiced again in the evening and finished at 38 minutes. I practiced again before going to bed and stopped at 37 minutes.

For the upcoming six days, I practiced four times a day, once in the morning, once in the afternoon, once in the evening and once before going to bed. I cut out further slides but never made in less than 33 minutes – until the day of the disputation.

I had thrown out another slide spontaneously in the morning and was a little nervous, but clearly not too nervous. I was wearing a tailor-made suit – and my wife, my parents, my parents-in-law and some of my best friends joined the audience to witness the culmination point of a strenuous 5-year period of my life.

Due to practicing hard (I believe), I was at my best that day. Speaking quite clearly, convincingly, seemingly without much effort, and most of all: according to the rules of this extraordinary occasion. I hit the mark in 30 minutes sharp.

Now all this accounts for the exaltation. But what about the relief?

The truth is: joining that doctoral program was – at least from a certain point of view – one of the worst decisions of my life. I´d had lost interest in my research topic during the first year. I felt out of place and out of tune with myself for most of the time. I knew this doctoral thesis was leading me (or someone else) nowhere. I wanted to quit at least once a year but my parents managed to convince me to go on over and over again.

Now it is over. I made it. And I made it worthwhile.

Dr. Nico Rose: Short Bio

Nico Rose (born 24 March 1978) is a psychologist (WWU Muenster) and holds a doctoral degree in business administration (EBS Business School, Oestrich-Winkel). In his main occupation, he´s Head of Employer Brand Management at Bertelsmann, Europe´s largest media corporation. Since 2008, in addition, he works as a Speaker and management coach at EXCELLIS. From 2011-2014, he lectured at International School of Management (ISM) in Dortmund/Germany. In 2010, he was awarded with the German “Coaching Award”.

Nico Rose has authored +45 professional articles and is a frequent interview partner on human resources and coaching topics in newspapers, professional magazines, and online publications. He is a regular keynote speaker at human resources congresses and coaching conventions.

In December 2012, his latest book “Lizenz zur Zufriedenheit – Positive Psychologie in der Praxis” (License for Satisfaction: Positive Psychology in Practice) was published.

He lives in Hamm/Germany with his wife Ina and two children.

9 thoughts on “Dr. Nico Rose

  1. Hah! This is great. I just finished MAPP and my capstone. If you would like to see a summary of my thesis, check out my blog, and please feel free to be in touch if you need help with anything. I trust you will have a great year!


  2. Hi Jeremy, the sounds great. I do know that a “Weltanschauung” does a have a lot of “power” – from my coaching clients. E.g., changing someone´s belief from “At the core, this world is a bad (or dangerous) place!” to the opposite can literally change everything. But I haven´t seen any objective measurements so far. I will dig deeper into that when I have the time.


  3. Welcome to the MAPPA community Nico! I look forward to meeting you at Summit.
    Katie, MAPP.8


  4. Congratulations for redefining MAPP to your person, career and discipline. Its truly worthwhile and I hope as I interact with you through the little source of my knowledge compared to yours, I may as well grow to build my database of career, person and Discipline.

    I wish you success in your teaching, psychology interactions and Summit and in the nurturing of your family.

    Congratulations and Thank you.


  5. Great work Nick! Your website is awesome. I just completed the MAPP in Melbourne, and its wonderful to have such a great resource for keeping us up to date with all of the amazing work happening around the world. Thanks, and all the best with your new book 🙂


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