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7 Questions on Leadership with Themistoklis-Panagiotis Magklaras


Name: Themistoklis-Panagiotis Magklaras


Title: Technical Manager SCADA & EMS


Organisation: Power Factors


Greetings, I'm Themis. I commenced my academic journey at the University of Patras, specializing in Computer Engineering and Informatics. Despite my age of 26, I've garnered extensive professional experience, having worked in both domestic and international capacities.


Presently, I hold the position of Technical Manager in a multinational company. In this role, I oversee and drive technical projects, leveraging my expertise to navigate complexities and lead teams to successful outcomes.


Committed to continuous professional development, I maintain a proactive approach in staying abreast of the latest technological advancements. My professional trajectory underscores a fusion of dedication, a solid educational foundation, and an unwavering passion for innovation. I look forward to the continued evolution of my journey in the dynamic field of technology.


Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!


I hope Themis's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Cheers,

Jonno White



1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?


One of the most challenging aspects of leadership for me has been navigating the delicate balance between providing clear direction and fostering a collaborative, creative environment. As a leader, it's crucial to set a vision and guide the team, but I've found it equally important to encourage open communication and innovation. Striking the right balance between structure and flexibility can be challenging, especially in the dynamic tech industry where adaptability is key. Additionally, addressing the diverse needs and strengths of team members while maintaining a cohesive and motivated group has been an ongoing challenge.


2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?


Becoming a leader for me was a gradual evolution that stemmed from a combination of experiences and personal growth. It started during my university years at the University of Patras, where I honed my technical skills and began taking on leadership roles in group projects. The challenges and successes in these collaborative efforts taught me the importance of effective communication, delegation, and motivation.


Upon entering the professional realm, I actively sought diverse opportunities both in Greece and abroad, aiming to broaden my skill set and gain exposure to different work cultures. These experiences not only enhanced my technical expertise but also provided invaluable insights into leadership styles and team dynamics.


As I progressed in my career, I consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence, taking on responsibilities that extended beyond my technical role. Whether it was leading a project or mentoring junior team members, I embraced each opportunity to contribute to the success of the team.


Over time, my passion for solving complex technical challenges and my ability to inspire and guide others led me to the role of a Technical Manager in a multinational company. This journey of continuous learning, combined with a proactive approach to personal and professional development, has shaped me into a leader in the dynamic and ever-evolving field of technology.


3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?


I structure my workdays for maximum efficiency and balance. Early mornings involve reflection, exercise, and goal setting. High-priority tasks are tackled in focused work blocks, with breaks for lunch and recreation. Evenings are dedicated to winding down, reviewing the day, and preparing for the next. A technology detox before bedtime promotes quality sleep. This routine helps me maintain productivity while prioritizing a healthy work-life balance.


4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?


A recent leadership lesson that resonated with me is the importance of fostering a culture of psychological safety within a team. Creating an environment where team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas, sharing concerns, and taking calculated risks is essential for innovation and collaboration. This lesson served as a reminder that a leader's role extends beyond providing guidance on tasks; it involves cultivating a supportive atmosphere that encourages open communication and values the diverse perspectives of team members. This not only enhances creativity and problem-solving but also contributes to a stronger, more cohesive team dynamic.


5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?


One book that profoundly impacted my leadership is "Leaders Eat Last" by Simon Sinek. The book explores the concept of selfless leadership and the importance of creating a work environment that prioritizes the well-being of team members. Sinek's emphasis on building trust, fostering a sense of belonging, and placing the needs of the team first resonated deeply with me. This perspective prompted a shift in my leadership approach, inspiring me to prioritize the development and well-being of my team members over individual achievements. The book reinforced the idea that a leader's primary role is to serve the team, creating a positive and supportive culture that ultimately leads to collective success. This shift in mindset has not only improved team morale but has also contributed to a more collaborative and motivated work environment.


6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?


While I generally prefer sharing insights based on experiences rather than giving advice, if I were to offer one piece of guidance to a young leader, it would be to prioritize continuous learning and adaptability. The professional landscape is dynamic, and staying current with industry trends, technological advancements, and leadership methodologies is crucial. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, seek feedback, and remain open to evolving your leadership style. The ability to learn and adapt will not only enhance your leadership skills but also empower you to navigate the complexities of the ever-changing business environment.


7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?


One particularly meaningful story from my time as a leader revolves around a challenging project that required the collaboration of a diverse and multidisciplinary team. The initial stages were marked by differing opinions and a lack of synergy. Recognizing the importance of fostering unity, I initiated team-building activities and created a space for open dialogue.


During a pivotal meeting, one team member, who had been relatively quiet, shared a groundbreaking idea that addressed a critical aspect of the project. The idea sparked a domino effect of creativity and problem-solving within the team. Witnessing the transformation from individual contributions to collective innovation was truly impactful. It underscored the power of fostering a collaborative and inclusive environment, where each team member felt valued and empowered to contribute their unique insights. This experience reinforced the belief that effective leadership involves not just guiding the team but creating a space where everyone's voice is heard and respected, leading to remarkable outcomes.

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