By EVA CHRISTODOULOU
I spent almost six years at university learning about economics and political science. Through my studies and my own explorations, I came to appreciate – and be concerned – with the complexity of decisions this world is putting us through, day in day out.
When looking at the political systems and ideologies, each is aiming to overcome these complexities in a distinct way – and even though I do have my preferences for some, I can appreciate that each of them made sense for the environments in which they flourished.
When looking at the leaders that countries, communities and tribes have seen over time, there is a surprising range. Some were good and some were evil. Some were highly ineffective, and some rallied the nation (or a collection of nations) to achieve amazing things.
Some became loved, and some became feared. Some were seen as heroes and freedom fighters for their people, and terrorists and criminals by the ones they opposed. Some went down in history as role models, and some went down in infamy.
It seems, though, that there is a right time and place for any type to flourish, and for it to be necessary, too.
There was a time for Abraham Lincoln. There was a time for Winston Churchill, and there was a time for Nelson Mandela.
Would Churchill be the leader he is recognised to be if he had led at a time of peace and stability? Perhaps the war and the extreme crises the world was going through at that stage is what propelled him to thrive.
That is what the world needed at that point in time, to rally the people and get them to work towards an ideal vision of themselves.
If you look at the progress of civilisations, their successes and demise, ultimately, it all comes down to leadership – its successes and its failings.
And the same goes for other areas outside politics. Corporations, religious organisations, even family units would face similar fates and cycles.
A serendipitous encounter
Every individual is unique – with unique ideas, strengths, preferences and styles. And there is a time and space where these unique combinations can be highly useful, effective and needed, especially if the individual learns to harness them.
The questions that remain (which are big ones), are how to harness them, and how to find that unique, ideal space.
After working for a while as a political researcher, I met the founder of Leaderonomics at a conference.
What Roshan talked about on the importance of leadership and how it is something that can be systematically learnt and developed in people, reminded me of my own realisations earlier on.
And with that, I thought I’d give it a shot. This is how my journey in Leaderonomics began.
Leaderonomics turned 10 this year and I feel privileged to have been part of this magical journey for the better part of the decade (six years).
Even though I did not join from the beginning, I did join at a time of great growth and realisations, at a time when we were still setting the direction of the organisation.
I’ve been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to move around the company quite a bit over these six years, something that led me to appreciate even more the work that we do and the impact that we have in many facets of society – currently, as well as the potential for further impact in the future.
Through the different teams we have, we aim at developing leaders at every age, and at every stage of one’s life. Youth development is really the core of Leaderonomics – the heart.
Our research has led us to believe that certain foundational elements of leadership are set at the initial years of a person’s life. This highlights the criticality of starting to work with people as early as possible.
And if we cannot do so, we have to help parents and teachers to work on these elements from their side. It is easier, in a way, to start early and lay the right foundations, as this will mean smoother sailing later on in life.
It’s never too late to develop talent
However, for those who missed the full development of certain elements, these need to be identified and developed in a different manner that is suitable for the individual’s stage in life.
And as you grow, other things also need to be looked at and nurtured in addition to the foundational elements; much like building a home, one brick at a time.
I’d like to think that Leaderonomics can help everyone. And I truly believe that everyone here has a strong passion to do just that.
We work with youths, and we work with organisations. We help the organisation, and we develop the individuals within it. We try to help NGOs, students, and any community interested in growing in their skills, abilities, and attitude.
We have programmes that are in-house, close to corporate organisations, and we have other means to bring leadership to everyone who wants it (our pull-out, our website, and some learning events we organise).
We work with parents, teachers, schools, students, universities, and, we like to do all this by collaborating with anyone out there who is willing to join us in our efforts and has similar passions and objectives. As the saying goes, it takes a community to raise a child; the same goes for leadership, and this is not something we can do alone.
In the end…
Why do I stay? Because the passion, energy, and genuine interest in helping people, companies, parents, managers, leaders, and anyone interested in helping their company, people, or themselves is just refreshing.
Through the years, with all our ups and downs, it is great to say that I still work for a cause that I truly believe in, and with people whom I feel have the same passion and interest in mind.
Prefer an e-mag reading experience? This article is also available in our 24th November, 2018 digital issue. Access our digital issues here.
Eva is the Research & Development leader at Leaderonomics. She believes that everyone can be the leader they would like to be, if they are willing to put in the effort and are curious to learn along the way, as well as with some help from the people around them.