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L.E.A.D.E.R. (Listening/Learning Empathize Accept/Artistic Diversity Empathy/Equality Recreating/Rewarding)

Written by Mike Petrakis.

On this article about leadership I express some of my personal beliefs for the elements, reactions and habits of creative, visionaire and successful leader.

Every leader must be receptive to any feedback, especially on the negative ones He/she should recognize that he/she don’t have all the answers and, he/she show-off his/her humanity starting by listening and caring for his/her colleagues.

Leaders in every organization should give to capable employees projects to develop their leadership character, involving them in decision-making and inspiring them to band together to accomplish something beautiful and great.

Especially due to current situation with covid 19 should show respect for each entity to enhance enrichment and diversity, equality and the development of innovation, through the right structures.





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'ESSI - European School of Social Innovation'

Written by Mike Petrakis.

In this article I would like to make a short presentation of the 'ESSI' - European School of Social Innovation  which I collaborate and I consider it a very important organization in the education and development for social innovation.


ESSI is an international network of organizations and scholars active in social innovation:

It aims at representing varieties of European thought on social innovation, yet is open to the world for wider comparison and collaboration. Educators and researchers in scientific institutions, promoters and intermediaries are welcome to ESSI, as well as practitioners in all societal sectors, i.e. public organizations, SMEs and corporations, and – of course – civil society organizations (NGOs/NPOs) and initiatives.”

More at the link   https://www.essi-net.eu/

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'About Diversity... again!

Written by Mike Petrakis.





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‘Culture and Diversity is the key for an Organizational Development - Leadership’ Part 2

Written by Mike Petrakis.

Leaders must know how to motivate, inspire and embrace their people and how to guide them in their decision making and growth.

I have seen leaders fail because they didn’t take the time to show people who they are… My suggestion to a leader is, letting your followers get to know you requires showcasing your strengths while also exposing vulnerabilities, people will support you, will embrace you as a person, as well (people) they can help guide you in your decision making and growth.

The most effective leaders understand that leading involves learning, and they encourage feedback from people around them to work on their weaknesses. Self-awareness, one of the key characteristics of high Emotional Intelligent, is a quality that can distinguish a good leader from a great leader. If you don’t know who you are, if you don’t know what your strengths and weaknesses are, you will have a hard time gaining people’s trust and growing as a leader.

Leaders must have deeper level of communication, of listening and understanding.

Leaders should grow the interest of connecting, collecting, earning, engaging, observing, questioning networking and to be opened, as well helping their people to have more affective responses to their surroundings.

EΔΩ link αρθρου με short phrase Adobe


Leaders must embody and communicate emotions, ideas, beliefs and values; to convey meanings through aesthetic forms and symbols and evoke emotive responses to life with or without words.

Leaders must not only embrace diversity but should reward it!

Great leaders of today are addressing these tensions head-on with a simple remedy: They ask for help. They trust that their teams will be motivated when asked to contribute their ideas on how to reconcile these and other tensions that confront their organizations. They have the humility to express transparently and authentically that together, as a community of leaders, they will put these issues into the proper perspective.

Great leaders are the ones who are preparing themselves not for the comfortable predictability of yesterday, but for the realities of today and the fantastic possibilities of tomorrow. They build great teams around them that are diverse, innovative and courageous, to help them succeed every day.

They care about the welfare of their employees and invest in safe working conditions. Their investment mentality leads them to deepen their commitments to.

Connection for Organizations and Leaders is building relationships with their team, with Ideas, Elements, Surroundings, Customers, Society, Innovation...

A  Leader must nurture the brilliance of his/her people and do everything he/she can to remove barriers to high performance. Avoid being too autocratic and allow time for the team to weigh in on decisions. Help build team connections across the organization. Give credit where credit is due and recognize team performance as well as individual.

The leader must adapt management style, roles, duties, and strategies in order to work with diverse people of cultures, other than his/her own.

Leaders need to know what to build into their culture to help implement change tactics into existing programs to produce the desired results for the organization, because employees want to feel they have worth and understanding and it is their work culture that can breed a sense of satisfaction into their daily tasks.

The leader must touch not only the “head” but also the “heart”, connecting with his/her emotions, which enables him/her to engage with others in a way that stimulates them to act.

Organizational leaders need to personify the different values of cultures inside the workplace, in order to be effective. Leaders especially in contemporary multicultural organizations must master context to understand culture while managing and leading in an environment where there are no common definitions of efficient outcome or effectiveness. It is imperative that organizations address cultural differences when managing diverse work forces

About people… To associate themselves with their organizations and define themselves as

organizational members must answer to the questions, “Who am I”, “Who are we” and “What does this organization stand for” to find their identity.

Identity is a construction of oneself (one’s group or organization), typically in a favorable light, in terms of key orientations, distinctiveness and some degree of continuity/coherence. Identity is commonly viewed as central to meaning, motivation, commitment, loyalty, well-being, work satisfaction, logics of action and decision-making, stability and change, leadership, group and intergroup relations, organizational collaborations, and so on.

 Below there are some suggestions through my collaborations, as a consultant, mentor, L&D specialist and trainer to use as a starting point for the organizations.

  •  Starting by asking clear, focusing, synoptical and debatable questions.
  •  Having empathy, resilience and controlled interaction.
  •  Increasing knowledge and confidence of people is the key of wealth and innovation.
  •  All learning experience they should know also that has an emotional base.
  •  Deployment of learning sessions will increase knowledge retention.
  •  Focused attention in fundamental to acquiring new knowledge.
  •  Enhancing brain capacity supports learning.·
  •  Should demand and embrace diversity, as well to be opened with equality. 


  •  A growth mindset searching for opportunities to learn and valuing failure as a learning opportunity.
  •  An open attitude on trust and respecting other perspectives and ideas.
  •  A way of working focused on co-creation, associating and experimenting.


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‘Culture and Diversity is the key for an Organizational Development’ Part 1

Written by Mike Petrakis.

Recently I read among other books, articles, reports etc a study by ‘MITSloan’ in collaboration with ‘Cognizant’ entitled 'The New Leadership Playbook for the Digital Age', finding several interesting facts about the present and the future in terms of the culture for an organization , agreeing with some elements and disagreeing with some others.


Through my career and involvement in personal, professional and in artistic level, I have always liked to socialize and connect with people with other interests, different knowledge, polymaths… with a variety of backgrounds. The recent situation and events with the global pandemic, shows us how important is the personal structure and investment for each entity, for a team, as well as for the organizations that benefit from their people, must focus and develop more of investing for the training in the characteristics of their employees and, consequently, benefiting themselves (organizations) earning better support and results with more structured bases and below I’m sharing some freely and random expressions of my ideas, thoughts and suggestions.  It turns out through the current situation with COVID-19, that personal structure, skills and development are very important, as well as for a leader to be able to control his/her team, people, as well as for an organization, beyond from its financial strength and security, to have a strong culture and connection with its people, where it will help it in every difficult circumstances to come out as untouchable and unaffected as possible.

Culture is the glue that holds an organization together and unites people around shared values and beliefs, the interwoven patterns of beliefs, values, practices, and artifacts that defines for members who they are and how they are to do things.

* You could read also my previous articles regarding the importance of culture in business titled, 'ABCD About Business Culture Development part 1 & 2' at the links... 



Pluralism and diversity in an organization has a lot of positive elements to give to itself, to society, to the market, to the connection and the development of all the previous ones. Organizations in any of their activities and sector could and should play a significant role for our society and for the planet, starting from their inside and their people, because the recent events show us that as a people, as organizations, that we need to redefine some of our values. 

People are the most important tool, part, element for every organization

Organizations today are changing rapidly due to technology, globalization, and cutting-edge production, subsequently morphing into new structures and workflow processes. Organizations should become more diverse in terms of gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, especially in cultural skills, knowledge and background, and other elements. The core of organizational composition worldwide still remains within the human resource realm for a shared and cohesive culture is behind the success of every company.

Companies should increase transparency, demonstrate authenticity and emphasize more in collaboration, resilience and empathy.

Organizations must understand that people don’t want to be just employees; but also an active citizens and important part in a workplace that are doing their best to change the world for the better. We must constantly remember how important the human factor is for building great teams, to working well with customers, and to creating amazing organizations, through listening, empathy, engagement, resilience, equality, etc, bringing in front of, more anthropocentric values.

*According to a research by Harvard Business Review, 71% of respondents rank employee engagement as very important to achieving overall organizational success, 72% of respondents, rank recognition given for high performers as having a significant impact on employee engagement but only 24% of respondents say employees in their organization are highly engaged.

Diversity helps organizations to become more resilient and flexible, to understand and communicate also more emotionally and with more basic human values, ​​from their employees to their customers and to our society.

We all talk about numbers and we always consider them indisputable judges, at least most of the times, but we forget what is hidden behind them ... People ... who are the ones who create them, influence them and control the large percentage and part of them. 

Organizations need to create a respect for every entity, to enhance wealth and diversity, equality, which it will help them also to develop innovation, through the right basics and structures, for social growth. 

‘Why is culture so important to a business? Here is a simply way to frame it. The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing.’ Brian Chesky. Co-founder and CEO, Airbnb,

Companies will have to invest even more in their people, to have a deeper level of communication and understanding, because the root of business is relationships, and dialogue is the basic unit of work in an organization and healthy relationships must be at the heart of every company.

Dialogue is the single-most important factor underlying the productivity and growth of the knowledge employee (the people who get paid to think). Ram Charan in his essay on ‘Conquering a Culture of Indecision’, (HBR 2001) said the Dialogue is characterized by incisiveness, creativity, and synergizing diverse points of view into a cohesive understanding that illuminates new insights, enabling decision-making and action. The quality of dialogue determines the quality of idea generation, problem –solving and how people make decisions. How people feel about one another impacts the outcome of these decisions.

For a team, getting the right people and understanding each of their specialized expertise is essential. A team is important and so are their ideas; this is what leveraging creative collaboration is all about.

‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’ Peter Drucker, Management Consultant, Educator, Author.

Millennials and Gen-Z expectations in work

More than 50% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, while 90% want to use their skills for good. And these trends are on the up. Deloitte’s 7th Annual Millennial Survey of 12,000 young people, for example–both millennials and gen Z–reports record low opinions of businesses. Fewer than half now believe that businesses behave ethically, and this directly affects how loyal they feel to their employers; 43% of millennials and a whopping 61% of gen-Zers expect to stay in a job no more than two years. And all this against a backdrop of general public opinion that is also looking increasingly unkindly on the economic paradigm we have.

Diversity of mindset, diversity of experience, diversity of skills, diversity of background, is the key which will boost organizations to a wealthy future and success.

End of Part 1

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'April 21st, World Creativity and Innovation Day'

Written by Mike Petrakis.


On April 21st, we celebrate the World Creativity and Innovation Day.

Creativity is one of the most wonderful elements that define and expresses as a humans our culture, having a significant role in our evolution.

Creativity is to see the world with a different eye, to create questions, to interpret and to simplify the elements around you and your feelings.

Below I have collect and present some of my most important quotes on creativity and innovation, and do not forget..

Don’t be afraid to constantly ask questions!










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'An Artistic Trainer'

Written by Mike Petrakis.

Artwork: Wassily Kandinsky - 'Disintegrated Tension', 1930

A 2016 study, shows that Organizations spent $359 billion globally on training.  But…

  • 75% of 1,500 managers surveyed from across 50 organizations were dissatisfied with their company’s Learning & Development (L&D) function;
  • 70% of employees report that they don’t have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs;
  • Only 12% of employees apply new skills learned in L&D programs to their jobs; and
  • Only 25% of respondents to a recent McKinsey survey believe that training measurably improved performance.

So what (in my subjective opinion) are the elements of a good and successful trainer? How a trainer needs to function to get the best results by his/her trainees?

In this article I present my personal opinion, methods and view, through the tutorial that I deliver in my courses and workshops in organizations and my open courses for individuals, as a Trainer and Learning and Development Specialist and always adapted trough significant scientific researches,

Companies spend a fortune on training every year and in every industry. Another study by The Conference Board of Canada estimates that more than $12 billion was spent on employee training in 2012. The question remains: If training is the answer, what does an effective training program look like?

Great trainers drive change. They introduce new techniques and elements to the training – a blended learning or virtual learning element for example.

A great trainer will feel the reward of delivering something that really adds value for the participants. Great trainers are passionate about what they do. They will always must to experiment with new ideas and activities, each time reflecting on the success and development.

I always aim to use and express my innovative methods and practices by thinking that, in order to influence and develop also an innovation way of thinking, it should be the trainer himself/herself to set a prime example in order to convey the philosophy of innovation. In my training courses I tend to use also surreal titles and connections to inspire imagination and creativity, on how to frame and reframe ideas.

As well use context-relevant pictures, as these help people understand concepts better. Doing this in a clever learner-centered manner, one where the technology and the content have been built around proven learning methods provides an optimal learning experience, key to learning.

And connecting learning with real-world practices resonates with learners, as they are motivated and inspired by their ability to apply theory effectively in practice, even if they don’t know that is what they are actually doing. Even when teaching very complex materials this method works by giving the learner practical relevance through explanations using stories that revolve around known real-world examples (their own business, job roles, offices, etc.).

Very important is that a great trainer should have done a research and to know about, what the client does, what their challenges are, and how they expect the training will help them reach their goals.


90% of info transmitted to the brain is visual

70% of our sensory receptors are in our eyes

50% of our brain is active in visual processing

40% of people respond better to visuals


Below I present my beliefs for the elements of a great trainer.

  • Good Knowledge about his/her topics
  • Creative and Innovative Enough
  • Balance and Equality between the Trainees
  • Embrace, Inspire & Motivate
  • Knows how to Observe, Accept, to Receive and to <Collect>
  • Critical Thinker
  • Leader
  • Flexible
  • Diversity and Enrichment
  • Balance between IQ & EQ
  • Connect and Interact
  • Asking a lot of questions and motivate the participants/trainees to ask questions as well
  • Cs – Collaborate, Communicate, Conciliate, Cognitively flexible
  • Approachable
  • Create a Constructive Dialogue
  • Is a Trainer and Trainee at the same time

‘A Trainer’s job is not only to teach trainees. A Trainer’s also responsibility is to teach trainees to know how to learn, as well to give them the motivation at the same time to constantly want to learn’.

In the beginning of my training courses, I always starting by asking questions, as an example below…

What if…?  (Invites imagination), What else…?  (Starting asking questions over and over again) Why not…? (Starts to explore, creating and framing)

In my courses I always aim to <share > the period  of time , so to make the courses more productive, to better structured in the minds of the trainees, for much longer period of time, so to become a mode of functioning and behavior, because…

Studies also show that by using spaced repetition, we can remember about 80% of what we learn after 60 days which is a significant improvement.

A key point for the success in training sessions is to have in mind that people retain things better when they can connect a new ideas to old ones.

A good trainer should have a wide range of activities be flexible and use different learning styles to adapt in any situation. Also needs to vary the training approaches and the interaction patterns in the training room and to know how to make sure participants get the most from the training.

As well the more personalized and interactive the activities are, the more immediately transferable the results will be. A great trainer will feel the reward of delivering something that really adds value for the participants. Great trainers are passionate about what they do. They will want to experiment with new ideas and activities, each time reflecting on its success and development.

Artwork: Wassily Kandinsky

Images in training sessions

In my training methods I use drawing cause according to Association for Psychological Science , drawing improves memory across a variety of tasks and populations.

Pictures can help act as ‘anchors’ to something we have already learned / been exposed to. They aid memory recall. We know that we remember things 65% better when they are attached to pictures.

Also why images have more impact in training in the link below


In constantly evolving society and market with many new training trends, new technologies, and the ongoing cycle of change in business, the trainer’s ability to adapt will make him/her/the training more effective. Great trainers drive change. They must be able to introduce new techniques and elements to the training.

Artwork: Arthur-Dorval-Sans- ' Titre'

‘Education/training through art/creative industry also expressing that cultural and social progress is essential for economic growth’


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