Leadership redefined

Based on the title you probably guessed I will be talking about Donald Trump, the new president elect of the United States.. Just kidding!
I feel compelled to talk about leadership and redefine its meaning purely because of the wide range of leadership styles we witness everywhere in life, such as politics, business, universities, local communities and even local restaurants.
However I do think that there are five common denominators that distinguish a leader from the rest of the people. I will outline them on this article because essentially what I want to do is challenge your idea of leadership. I would like you to think what is your philosophy of leadership, when was that philosophy formed and whether is it up to date in 2016 in a world of information, social media and transparency.
A leader is not necessarily someone that has one million subscribers on youtube, it is not necessarily someone that leads a company or even leads a country. We all know those unfortunate examples a very obvious one is the current Prime Minister of Greece.
A leader is always someone that takes full responsibility for his life, he is never a victim of circumstances or other people’s decisions. For him it’s not about the struggle, his life doesn’t end there – it’s about endurance instead.
A leader knows very well that for a relationship to built and flourish there are two main ingredients: trust and integrity. That’s is true for all kinds of relationships, between a mom and a daughter, between colleagues and friends as well as between the government and the public. That’s the only way to build lasting relationships with allies, a leader knows very well.
People with low energy levels very rarely can inspire people forward. A leader has a tremendous amounts of energy that he accesses by serving a higher purpose, he has a sense of responsibility that comes from within. He always sets a new standard for himself therefore he doesn’t try to control people to perform better. People are inspired by the standards and values are embodied in him.
He is also got the ability to communicate a clear compelling picture of the future, resulting in people being pulled forward by the vision to give more of themselves, to take action and stand up. A true leader never creates followers, he creates more leaders!
To conclude with, a leader doesn’t have to have a position of power and influence, leader is also someone who leads a happy and prosperous family as well as someone that leads a life of joy and service to others.
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My 1st encounter with philosophy

I remember very clearly during my secondary school year in Volos, Greece where I was born and grew up, the first class we did about philosophy, we got introduced to some of the greatest philosophers that have ever lived. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle started becoming my heroes at the age of 14. It was a completely new world that I felt so strongly and passionate to explore and learn. I felt that in a sense there is a place inside my soul that lives and breaths for examining ideas. 
It was during the same time I had a lot on my plate as I was a beach volleyball player. While I was playing at a national level, we were gathering every year from all cities around Greece to select the two girls that would represent Greece abroad for international competitions. My coach had very high expectations from me and he was disappointed when I wasn’t giving my 120% in every training session as he insisted. Those high expectations made me feel pressured and also developed my desire to win and prove to myself and everyone else my worth – that’s how I was measuring worth at the time!
To make a long story short my beach volleyball career lasted about 5 years. From the age of 14yrs up to 19yrs when I left my country for pastures new. Those 5 years were full of frustration due to the high expectations that people had from me since my performance didn’t always match. I played countless times on a national final tournament in Greece, only to find my team at the second place, I hear you say that’s not bad. Well. that depends on your effort and capabilities, as I was giving 120% of myself and I was solely dedicated to win, the second place felt like a failure, especially because it happened more than 7 times in a row.
Through all those failures and disappointments, not to mention all the existential questions that I was going through as a teenager – philosophy was always my anchor. Every time I was frustrated about my failures, I would sneak to the nearest bookstore in Volos and start reading about sports psychology or existentialism as I was trying to find strong enough reasons to continue fight through all the struggles and pain of failure I was experiencing. Quitting was never an option for me, I was going to hit my goals first no matter what- then maybe quit.
And yes the day came – I hit my goal of getting the first place at a national championship in Greece twice in 2006, right after that my beach volleyball career ended and my priorities shifted forever. I had learned what I needed to learn and I was ready to move forward. However, I knew one thing, that I’m completely open to a new level of growth and philosophy will help me through whatever the level of the challenge maybe..
To be continued..
p.s. It feels very cathartic to share pieces of my soul with you here, thank you for reading and please share your thoughts.

An educated (wo)man

Nowadays the hype around education is tremendous. There is a huge conversation taking place, numerous educational start ups and long conversation about disrupting the educational system. It’s vital to create a new educational system that would more effectively accommodate the needs of the workforce & marketplace in the society we live in 2016.
Gary Vaynerchuk– the entrepreneurs in the audience will be already familiar with him. He very often talks about how the educational system is failing entrepreneurs everyday due to the fact that it is simply not designed for entrepreneurs. There is clearly a need to redefine what education is and who is an educated man.
I searched and searched everywhere to find a clear and concise definition of an educated man. Is maybe someone that has got a college degree? Or maybe a Phd? Someone that graduated with cum laude? Okay. Any other guesses? Education is not just to understand and master an academic or professional field. For example, if someone is a lawyer, is he educated if he has all the qualifications and skills of a lawyer but has no compassion for elderly people? Emotional and ethical education is even more important than skill sets.
The best definition of an educated man I could possibly imagine I found by Napoleon Hill. Napoleon Hill for those who haven’t heard about him, is an American author who dedicated 24 years of his life studying the most successful people and their formula for success. His initiative was funded by Andrew Carnegie one of the most powerful industrialist and philanthropist at the time. I found the finest definition of an educated man in his book ‘Think and grow rich’ (1937).
“An educated man is not, necessarily, one who has an abundance of general or specialised knowledge. An educated man is one who has so developed the faculties of his mind that he may acquire ANYTHING he wants, or its equivalent, without violating the rights of others”- Napoleon Hill
Therefore, anyone would benefit from learning about the mind faculties because that’s the key to design the best version of yourself and thus a fulfilling life full of joy! I know it sounds exciting, so stick around and we will walk the personal growth path together. Hand in hand if you wish.
Cheers to that X
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