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Nothing of the above is true since leadership is not about magical abilities. Leadership is basically the relationship between people who belong to the higher-rank and those who belong to the lower one. The relationship which shows that we understand one another and that we co-operate.
Being the leader is more about offering your services to others rather than ordering others. Overall, one person cannot have all the abilities necessary to the society to satisfy thoroughly the significant role of a leader. However, obtaining a leading position does not automatically make you a ‘leader’.
A leader can be found at all levels of society because leadership is both an individual and collective condition which develops throughout one’s life and not just at one stage. Proceeding, I will present the definition which Robert Terry has given for the notion of leadership, who was for years the principle of the Reflective Leadership Center and a professor at the Hioubert H. Hamfrey Institute of Public Relations of the University of Minnesota.
According to Terry, “leadership is a notion which everyone knows well however, it cannot be easily described because for each one of us it has a different meaning. Leadership is not only about abilities a person has neither specific features that describe a case. Leadership is the courage to take action in society with authentic and genuine goals.” When he refers to ‘genuine energy and action’ he means everything a person can do “to discover the truth about a situation which unfolds itself as a public case” influencing everyone.
However, the most important aspect for a real leader is to have a vision, followers, hence, people who follow and support him, share and maintain his vision as the years go by. A leader is someone who constantly has new ideas and innovations to achieve his dreams for the advantage of the group he is working for, without being discouraged whenever he is unable to materialize them.
The most important aspect that characterizes a leader is being authentic and constantly trying to learn more things in order to achieve what is good for the company or organization he is working for.
In the current essay I have decided to elaborate on the social and ethical issues in leadership. Therefore, it is worth-mentioning that to become a leader someone must have ethics which are necessary for him, such as morality and willingness to offer to the society.
It is of high importance for a leader to be moral and act in an ethical way as he sets the example to others, his followers and supporters. The leading position cannot be held by a person that is immoral and whose actions and desires are opposite to the principles of ethics otherwise, many problems will occur in the company he leads. For example, if he speaks in a rude way to the employees, does not respect their desires and selfishly demands his orders to be fulfilled without being able to solve any disagreements that may occur with a dialogue then, tension takes over and failure follows.
On the other hand, a moral leader must have the feeling of equality and justice developed and be familiar with the principles of business-ethics in order to bring about win-win situations and win-lose situations. Also, he must solve any disagreements occurring with dialectic-methods.
The principles of the dialogue have to do with the Socratic-methods, the ‘maieutic’ and ‘dialectic’ method. Consequently, a leader must see things from the point of view of a philosopher and combine many advantages together. Some people might be born to be leaders however, they must constantly cultivate their leading abilities in various ways for his professional progress.
Leading abilities come from the inner world of a person combining a philosophic approach with qualifications acquired. One of the qualifications a leader must have is the ability to constantly offer to his society in order to develop and improve it towards the best possible result.
The term ‘social leadership’ or ‘social leader’ denotes the part of the society or the social class , the ‘class of leaders’ as Plato calls it, which is responsible to organize effectively the productivity of the society and lead his/her society to a better situation for everyone. Briefly, he/she is responsible to bring prosperity and development to the whole.
In the case where a social leader is unable or refuses to fulfill his promises and lead the society to evolution, crisis of social leadership is created. Consequently, a proper leader must be moral and try to offer as much as possible to his society.
Continuing, I will describe something that happened to me that managed to convince me for the significance of the two principles a leader must have (social principles and morality).
It was the summer of 2009 and I had just finished my studies in Greek Language at the University of Athens and returned to Cyprus. Therefore, I began searching for a job permanent or temporary one. Having in mind that it would be difficult for me to find a job relevant to the studies I had completed, I applied to various companies and some private schools who advertised their need for teachers.
Therefore, I did not hesitate to go for a job interview at GC School of Careers, one of the biggest private schools in Cyprus, after being informed by the secretary of the Principle of the school, Mr Aimilios Hadjipetris. Mr. Hadjipetris secretary told me that I would have to speak with him after the procedure of the interview as he would be the one to judge if I was suitable for the position.
When the day of the interview arrived I went to Mr. Hadjipetris’ office and introduced myself. He began asking me some questions in order to see my personality and my abilities for the position available. After the professional procedure of the interview, I noticed a frame with a photo on the wall of Mr. Hadjipetris’ office and found the courage to ask him who that man was. He proudly replied that it was his father Mr. Stelio Hadjipetri and as a consequence, our discussion went to a more friendly level rather than a serious professional one.
Mr. Aimilios spoke to me about his father with all the respect and admiration he had in his heart. That lead me to the conclusion that we could easily include Mr. Stelio in the Cypriot leaders as he had all the characteristics a leader should have (vision, followers, goals, morals). Additionally, he was one of the pioneers of the foundation and development of private education in Cyprus and fought for the improvement and discipline in Cyprus’ educational system.
As he went on talking about the achievements of his father, I was paying attention to Mr. Aimilios’ words with great interest and admire wanting to learn more about Mr. Stelios Hadjipetris whom without meeting I greatly admired and began to consider him one of the most important leaders of Cyprus in the field of private education.
His admirable character and personality, justice, decisiveness and self-discipline were some of the morals that characterized and facilitated him to create and offer to his descendants one of the most well-organised schools in Cyprus, well-known for its success in every educational domain. It is worth to mention that an institution has been founded dedicated to the name of this man who envisioned and materialized quality and discipline as we conceive it nowadays, in the island’s private educational system.
Stelios Hadjipetris was born in 1936, in Agros, in a very poor family with many children. After elementary school he went to Apeiteio Gymnasium and because of his family’s financial difficulties he had to work hard both in Limassol and Nicosia, during his summer holidays. His desire to proceed his education at a University level made him work even harder so, in 1955 when he finished High School he was employed at the Water Supplying Council in Nicosia. Due to his qualifications he was then hired by the Government until the British troops discovered that he was a ‘terrorist’ and therefore fired him.
At the same time, he had passed the Accounting Higher Exams through correspondence he got his degree in Accounting from the ‘Kleismakis Accounting School’ of Athens. With his degree he worked at a private college in Nicosia and later at Apeiteio Gymnasium. During the difficult years of 1955-59 he was an excellent fighter for E.O.K.A. and his island.
After he got married he went to Athens with his wife to study from where he got the degree of Merchant and Financial studies as well as Journalism. During his return to Cyprus he worked for the Apeiteio Gymnasium and later on the College of Nicosia.
The most important point of his career in education and for the Cyprus’ society was the creation of GC School of Careers along with Mr. Pantelis Andreou. He was the first Cypriot who founded a private English school in Cyprus without ending his studies abroad via correspondence. In 1976, he obtained the degree of “International Accountants”. In 1978, he decided to dedicate himself to fulfill his dream: to create a school that would offer knowledge to its students and good people with morals to the society.
He went on working as a teacher and principle at GC School until his sad death in October 2001. To his village which he worshipped, he offered many services either as a president or a member of its committees or organizations.
In the memory of the school’s first principle an institution called ‘Stelios Hadjipetis’ has been founded which is responsible of organizing seminars for students, teachers and parents having to do with educational politics, technology and learning problems. Also, its goal is to continue Mr. Stelios’ work towards progress and cultivation of education and the Greek culture of Cyprus.
Moreover, it seeks to maintain the importance of books, education, freedom, democracy and peace amongst young people. Also, it offers prizes and all kinds of scholarships to students.
Proceeding, I will present the reasons Stelios Hadjipetris is considered to be a leader:
He had a vision: to set the basis for private education in Cyprus as he was the first Cypriot to create a private English school in Cyprus.
He had followers: After founding GC School of Careers, a lot of people imitated Stelios Hadjipetris by creating similar private English Schools, for ex: Pascal, English school, Grammar school e.t.c.
He never ceased to educate himself throughout his life trying to enhance his spiritual horizons.
He constantly tried to develop his school.
He always had a progressive point of view.
He was a pioneer in what he did.
He had strong personality as he was clever, authentic, progressive and confident.
It is important to note that Hadjipetris is an example of a moral leader with admirable social offer and a personality characterized by justice and equality. As his son told me, he was a lawful citizen with respect towards the rights of his followers.
At his work he was a perfectionist with high expectations and fought for the best results. As a person he had set ethical values which he always respected.
A leader must always share his values with his followers, as Ambert Svaitser said: “Morals maintain life at the top point of progress”. Concerning, Mr. Hadjipetris’ offer to the society, we have to highlight its importance since the foundation of his school is recognized as a social and educational offer in both private and public domains as one of today’s best English schools.
Mr. Hadjipetris is a proper leader because of his personality, his moral actions and his social offer in the educational domain. This was the end of our discussion with Mr. Aimilios with which we began a professional interview and ended up talking in a friendly way about his respectful father.
Therefore, I was no longer concerned whether I would be offered the position as I had already gained a lot from my discussion with Mr. Aimilios. Through this talk I learned a lot about improving my career and evolving as an individual, I gained useful advises which will be unforgettable for the rest of my life.
We should have in mind that you are born a leader however, one can cultivate his leading abilities for his professional evolution as leadership comes from the internal world of a person. Leadership therefore, is a philosophical approach as well as a variety of abilities that can be acquired.
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