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Art for Leadership and Entrepreneurship

Written by Mike Petrakis.

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'Every Great Leader & Great Entrepreneur is an Artist'

Written by Mike Petrakis.




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‘All are Cs, from Critical thinking, Complex problem solving, Communication, Collaboration to ….Curiosity, Criticism, Cognitive flexibility and Connection’. (Part 3)

Written by Mike Petrakis.

Joan Miro - 'People in the Night', 1949

‘Collaboration and Connection’

In my latest posts with the 'All are Cs', I refer to all skills, concepts and terms that start with C and are fundamental keys fostering Leadership, Innovation, the wellbeing of organizations and furthermore have a positive impact on an individual level.

In this article I will deal with Collaboration and Connection and their interdependence, Collaboration is Connection and Connection is Collaboration.

I will repeat one more time the importance of creativity in Collaboration and Connection mentioned also by two very significant personalities who said the following about connection-s and creative process:

” Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.'‘ -  William Plomer Author, Novelist, Literary Editor

” Creativity is just connecting things.‘‘ –  Steve Jobs

About Collaboration…

Starting with the term collaboration, in my opinion Collaboration needs balance, equality, respect and continuous conciliation. The world has evolved through the collaboration of 2 and more creative minds, through collaboration

Collaborating is about receptiveness, acceptance and <collection>. I will mention the essential elements for a successful collaboration.

Let’s have a look at the elements of collaboration, some are obvious and some are more complicated.

'Elements of Collaboration'

  • Goal/Target – This step is especially for a team the first step. The purpose of collaboration. Starting with Why we decided and need to collaborate.
  • Communication – Means listen, balance and equality for the team. Everyone must have the voice and the time needed to communicate.
  • Receptiveness and Acceptance – Comes from diversity, enrichment and people from different backgrounds. Acceptance must be mutual for the team.
  • Collaboration Roles – The questions and expression of opinions must be like “Yes” and not “Yes but”. Tell me what you think? Collaboration also includes individual roles like agreement and disagreement.
  • Trust and Honesty – All the people in any collaboration must trust one another, be honest and accept input at all levels. Selfish and egos must leave outside.
  • Validation – The team must create and proceed to ways for the target of collaboration. They should be clear for the <object> and the goal of the collaboration.
  • Emotional Intelligence – Human elements must help and enrich the collaboration. Bad behaviors and feelings must be left outside of the procedure, using as much as possible basic elements of the Emotional Intelligence.
  • Decisions – The decisions to be taken must be acceptable, clear and ready for implementation. Important elements for the substance and success.

*Key element - Creativity

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.

Creative collaboration is simple when you have leverage. When you utilize the ideas and assistance of others, it takes less time and even the most significant dreams become obtainable.

Leader and Collaboration

A good leader is able to unite and motivate a team while also possessing the ability to make an authoritative decision. When working collaboratively, a final decision will need to be made at some point. As a leader, your ability to follow through with that decision will be what sets you apart from others. Provide a clear mission objective.

As a Leader nurture the brilliance of your people and do everything you 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.

Talent, Healthy relationships are at the heart of collaboration, a guiding vision and clarity of purpose are key to collaboration. Connect the project with big picture company objectives, make your ideas visible and tangible. Provide an infrastructure and resources.

About Connection…

Connection is building relationships with Ideas, Elements, Things, Customers, Colleagues, Society, Innovation...

Connecting is more about understanding than it is about talking or listening

The point is to Connect your brain and thoughts with the motivation and action.

To connect you must use all the elements and characteristics of creativity http://www.mikepetrakis.com/index.php/art-inside-business/a-b-c-art-business-creativity/36-disciplines-of-creativity  and a proper Learner http://www.mikepetrakis.com/index.php/art-inside-business/a-b-c-art-business-creativity/38-disciplines-of-a-learner 

Two elements to connect and collaborate is the function of creativity and critical thinking For a team to achieve the co-operation they should have common goals 

The human brain cannot deliberately concentrate on two separate objects or ideas, no matter how dissimilar, no matter how remote, without eventually forming a connection between them. 

Our genius as humans is our ability to create elaborate architectures in our imaginations to invent patterns and make new connections.

For innovation, you must connect through polymath, diversity, constant communication and contact with various people and elements. 

In connection and collaboration interaction is a necessity.

Leader and Connection

Great Leaders connect and bridge the present with the past and the future, the old with the new.

Leadership is the craft of working with other humans to get things done and great leaders know how to use tools and techniques to work their connections with others to develop beautiful and functional relationships.

No matter what medium you use on interpersonal connections, you can only master your craft through disciplined action, and learning a set of skills as a means of achieving the desired outcome.

leadership as a practice is to connect to yourself to understand your behaviors, and interactions, and figure out how they contribute to a situation, especially problematic ones.

Peter Liversidge - 'Everything is Connected'

Connection is about to understand completely the purpose, as a team or individual.

-  What do you want to achieve as an entity, as a team?

-  What are the bases and situations at the moment?

-  What do I/we have to do?

-  How it should be done to succeed?

-  How much flexibility is there?

-  What do I/we choose to achieve? 

Real connection is more than just talking to others or sharing interests…

Through my seminars and courses I use elements of Brainstorming, Creative Team Building, Design Thinking to develop collaboration and connection.


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Creative Leadership seminars

Written by Mike Petrakis.

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Art InSide Business topics

Written by Mike Petrakis.

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'Creative Leaders'

Written by Mike Petrakis.

Rene Magritte - 'Le Principe Du Plaisir'

What are the main features that distinguish creative leaders?

Creative leaders:      

  • Explore - express and try new trends in society, whether it is technology, art, even new products, services, etc.·        
  • They steal an idea, as the artist does, recreating and repositioning, presenting it through his/her own vision.·        
  • They operate through critical thinking, because their mind is always in a creative process.·        
  • They connect and bridge the present with the past and the future, the old with the new, and they are curious about what is surrounding them by seeking the unexplored, as artists do. ·        
  • They try to transform others by setting an example.·        
  • Create space for shared experiences.·        
  • They can change our lives virtually, having the ability to come up with ideas to solve problems and exploit opportunities.·        
  • Convert creative ideas into new products and services.·        
  • They have imagination, curiosity, authenticity and are reformers.·        
  • Approach and attract the right people, at the right times, to the right level for the implementation of the project.·        
  • They allow their team to be more creative and they set the right example for their group. ·        
  • They constantly ask questions, have their own identity and are not afraid to argue with the traditional thinking.·        
  • Accept the inevitable and the value of failure, create psychological security to maximize learning from failure, recognize the different levels of failure and how it can be useful, and the value of the second chance.
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‘All are Cs, from Critical thinking, Complex problem solving, Communication, Collaboration to ….Curiosity, Criticism, Cognitive flexibility and Connection’. (Part 2)

Written by Mike Petrakis.

Wassily Kandinsky - 'Transverse Lines', 1923

‘Complex problem solving and Communication’

According to the Oxford dictionary, Problem Solve is to find a solution to a difficult or complex question or situation; to engage in the actions or thoughts necessary to discover solutions to problems. Also with the aim: to think out, grapple with, or solve (a problem).

Problem Solving is the process of finding solutions to difficult or complex issues whose origin is back in 1950s was found in The New York Times. From problem + solve, after problem-solving [adjective], problem-solver.

 “Problems are nothing but wake-up calls for creativity” – Gerhard Gschwandtner *Author of ‘The Sales Question Book’).

It is not a matter of not having a complex problem (I think this is completely reasonable), but not having to deal again with the same problem that you had to deal in the past, proving that you didn't resolved it.

There is no solution without a problem and there is no problem with no solution, in business, art, science...

Solving problems requires enrichment and diversity in the people who will work together, on how to approach the problem-s through the conciliation environment and to view it from different angles. The problem in companies - organizations and at individual level, is that they start to look for answers rather than to find initial questions. Furthermore companies and all of us at personal level should be receptive to every question and point of view.

 “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

In my opinion, problems are opportunities and the canvas for creativity to be painted on/over.

A very significant part is to understand of the complex situation in which the problem occurs, so that we can pinpoint exactly what the problem is. We observe these situations, and then review some useful, well-established problem-solving frameworks.

There are four basic steps in solving a problem:


Having good, strong problem solving skills can make a great difference for organization and at individual level.

Problems are at the center of what we do at work and in our everyday lives. Whether we are solving a problem for a client (internal or external), supporting those who are solving problems, or discovering new problems to solve, the problems we face can be large or small, simple or complex, and easy or difficult.

Keys and steps for a team on approaching and resolving the problem-s.

  • Use people who want to challenge themselves and are able to take risks.
  • Create a staff with diverse backgrounds.
  • Embrace and motivate people/employees/team to enrich their education.
  • Challenge people/employees/team with projects beyond their comfort zone.
  • Add Creativity on every level!!!
  • Be opened to every possible question and solution.

The key to a good problem definition is ensuring that you deal with the real problem – not its symptoms.

In many cases at collaborative level, I use tools like Brainstorming and Design Thinking as a basis for finding solutions… and of course Creativity, with many creative processes and workshops.

But I will repeat it… Questions, questions, questions…Through the 5 basic elements of research questions.


Focusing on the most important words, concepts, elements of soft skills starting with the letter C, next is communication and if we move beyond C to Com, apart from Communication, is Commercial, Company, Commute, Come, Community, Compare, etc, which are also Important words and elements in Entrepreneurship and Business. Communication in Business is about the sharing of information between people within an company that is performed for the commercial benefit of the organization. In addition, business communication can also refer to how a company shares information to promote its product or services to potential consumers. 

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.“ – Epictetus (Greek Stoic Philosopher). 

According to a recent study, companies with good communication practices are three and a half times more likely to outperform their competitors and possessing or developing excellent communication skills will help business leaders and their teams in every facet of business operations.



1.  Source

The source is the person (or thing) attempting to share information and the ability to transmit this information, through a channel, to a receiver.

2.  Ideas

This may be an opinion, attitude, feelings, views, orders, or suggestions.

3.  Encoding

Encoding is the process of assembling the message (information, ideas and thoughts) into a representative design with the objective of ensuring that the receiver can comprehend it. It's realization requires the use of certain symbols such as words, actions or pictures etc.

4.  Channel

An encoded message is conveyed by the source through a channel.  There are numerous channel categories: verbal, non-verbal, personal, non-personal, etc.  A channel is the material and texture and a good communicator is one who understands which channels to use under different circumstances. 

5.  Receiver

Receiver is the person who receives the message or for whom the message is meant for and tries to understand the message in the best possible manner in achieving the desired objectives

6.  Decoding

The person who receives the message, symbol or picture from the communicator tries to convert the same in such a way so that he may extract its meaning to his complete understanding. Decoding is impossible if the decoder cannot even understand the message.

7.  Feedback

Feedback is the process of ensuring that the receiver has received the message and understood it in the same sense as the sender meant it. Similar words might be “reaction” or “responses” and the source judges its success based on the feedback it receives, so pay close attention.

For a successful personal communication, an important role does also play the way people interact, including elements like the tone of the voice they use, how much they gesture, and their ability to listen or interrupt.

To communicate also needs to be-come a Good Learner with elements as I mentioned on a previous post, such as Critical Thinking, Receptiveness, Acceptance and <Collection>, Emotional Intelligence, Cognitive Flexibility, Focus and Respect, Connection (with Ideas, people, things and things etc).

I will write more about these two topics in following posts.

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