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At the 32nd EACE Leadership Conference, the most recent and important trend in modern management, that of the Heartfelt Leadership, was discussed.
The Heartfelt Leader conveys positive energy, passion and inspiration for the future by combining many conflicting concepts. This was the central message of the 32nd Leadership Conference with the theme: “HEARTFELT LEADERSHIP: When everything becomes an algorithm” which was held with great success and the participation of more than 300 business executives who attended in person and online.
Accredited business leaders and internationally recognized speakers from abroad who inspired us by talking about the authentic and humble Heartfelt Leader who communicates with the team in a spirit of mutual trust were given the floor at this conference. They shared with us knowledge, ideas, concerns and reflections, illustrating the features and elements that make up the personality and the value that modern leaders should have. A common finding and a shared view was that the Heartfelt Leader knows how to listen and can bring out the best in his team, through collaboration and open dialogue.
This Conference was opened by the ACEO Chairman, Mr Vassilis Rabbat, Chairman and Managing Director at XEROX HELLAS. “The successive challenges of the COVID-19 crisis have highlighted the need for a different type of leadership, based on cooperation and collegiality,” he emphasized, among other things, in his opening speech and he added: “The Heartfelt Leader, listens, cares, communicates, motivates and cooperates. Now is the time for leaders to focus on their employees, their needs and aspirations.”
The value of empathy and compassion shown by the leaders was addressed by the first speaker, Dr. Carol Kauffman, Harvard Medical School assistant professor, who is considered top be the #1 Leadership Coach by Marshall Goldsmith. “The framework of compassion and empathy leads to high performance. Without compassion, resilient leaders fail,” she said.
Mr. Emmanuel Gobillot, internationally recognized business consultant and author, referred to intimacy as a building block of trust, the building of which is a timeless pursuit in human relationships. In more detail, Mr. Gobillot referred to the fact that every leader when communicating, in any way, has to ask himself or herself this question: “Did I make my interlocutors feel stronger and more powerful?” If the answer is “yes”, then, that relationship of trust and confidence that is in line with the achievement of goals and he emphasized that: «The right mix of trust, confidence and effectiveness leads to success”!
Then, there was a productive panel discussion on heartfelt leadership with the participation of Mr. Alexandros Angelopoulos, Managing Director of Aldemar Resorts Group, Mr. Paschalis Apostolidis, Managing Director of AbbVie Pharmaceuticals SA and Ms. Lena Triantogianni Partner & Co-Head of Egon Zehnder’s partnership with Mobius.
Mr. Angelopoulos emphasized that “The leader should be adapted to the different situations and conditions even minute by minute”. Mr. Apostolidis, in his statement, explained that he is inspired by his children and believes that “subconscious prejudice has to be overcome so that the leader acts and manages respecting equal opportunities and professional merit.” Ms. Triantogianni,finally pointed out that “there is a need for authentic leaders and not arrogant ones. Every leader should make a small shift that will bring a big one, for a better world.”
Mr. Alain Goudsmet, globally recognized as one of the best executive coaches, with several references to the similarities of Management with sports, addressed the leader’s contagious positive energy, pride and passion to inspire the future. Mr. Mr. Goudsmet highlighted that “the hearfelt leader creates positive team energy in the workplace with two main pillars of action, efficiency – performance, where he acts to achieve goals, implement plans, develop loyalty, etc. and the redemption – recovery during which he or she supplies his or her team with energy to relieve the pressure of performance”.
The second day of the Conference was devoted to issues of personal development – this time in light of the uncertainty that has worsened in the times of the pandemic. The first speaker was Father Nikolaos Loudovikos, Author, Doctor of Theology and Professor of Dogmatics and Philosophy at the University Ecclesiastical Academy of Thessaloniki, who referred to the issue of arrogance and mentioned that the meaning of life is ‘universal’ and should concern us all.
Then, there was a presentation of Mr Athanasios Alexandridis, Doctor of Medicine and Philosophy, Psychiatrist, Child Psychiatrist and President of the Hellenic Psychosomatic Society, about the way we perceive the world.
The series of speeches on the second day of the conference ended with the “melodic” approach of the beloved lyricist Ms. Lina Nikolakopoulou, in an extremely interesting discussion that was coordinated by the Chair of the Organizing Committee of the conference, Dr. Lefteris Anastasakis, Vice President of the Board of PRIORITY QUALITY CONSULTANTS SA. With music playing in the background from many of her favorite songs, Ms. Nikolakopoulou emphasized that despite the uncertainty, we must continue to envision the world and our future.
The conference wrapped up its work with the speech delivered by Mr. John Anastasopoulos, Advisor to the ACEO Board, who, summarising the conclusions of the two-day conference, stated that “The way we approach change and uncertainty is the one that can turn the threat and the risk into a gift and this power is in our hands!”
For yet another year, the conference was coordinated by the ACEO Scientific Advisor, Mr. Haridimos Tsoukas, professor at the Universities of Warwick & Cyprus.
The Board of Directors of ACEO warmly thanks all those who, with their support, contributed to the successful conduct of the 32nd Leadership Conference, and especially the ACEO Organizing and Advisory Committee, the sponsors, the ACEO partners and the communication manager, Mrs. Efi Pintzou, who had the duty of organizing and promoting the event.
ACEO Conference Organizing Committee for 2021
Vice President of the Board of PRIORITY QUALITY CONSULTANTS SA.
John Anastasopoulos, Advisor to the ACEO Board
Babis Georgakopoulos, Creative & Communication Partner
Nasos Bikas · Managing Director at Valsamidis SA
Konstantinos Moraitakis, President and CEO at UNISON FACILITY SERVICES
Elena Papadopoulou, OTE Group Chief Human Resources Officer
Giannis Papachristou,Deputy CEO-Commercial & member of BOD. Chipita S.A.
Vasilios Stavrou, CEO – AB Vassilopoulos S.A.
ACEO Conference Advisory Committee for 2021
Nikos Drivakos, Director, Country Manager Greece, Cyprus & Adriatic Region, S.C. JOHNSON HELLAS LTD
Vassilis Exarchos, General Manager, VIOKYT PACKAGING SA
Dimitris Zarkalis, Regional Sales & Operations Director, TRENKWALDER JOB CENTERS HELLAS SA
Petros Zorapas, CEO – Commercial Director, AVIN
Elena Kallona, Managing Director, JUNGHEINRICH HELLAS LTD
Kalliopi Leontaridi, Managing Director at ITF HELLAS SA
Georgios Maroutsis, General Manager, Central Eastern Europe & Israel, BARD Hellas
Dimitris Papanikitopoulos, President of LINKAGE HELLAS
Manto Patsaoura, General Manager at Kariera SA
Andreas Halbes, Head of AUDI, BENTLEY, KOSMORIDE & LUXURY HIRE at Kosmocar S.A.