| What does it mean to have leadership or to be a leader among different peoples? Does it pertain to the ability to garner trust, to ensure your followers’ confidence, or to develop a personality that encompass and address the needs of various difficult peoples?
History has constantly reminded us that leaders do not always possess the qualities that define good leadership, yet the inverse is not necessarily true. Different scenarios require different forms of leadership, albeit its fundamental essence remains the same. No matter what position of leadership a person holds, the most basic requirement is an ability to make decisions for his/her entire constituent. For example, being a leader within a multi-national corporation necessitates a masterful command of business ethics, a vision, and the experience to entrust confidence into the company’s workers. On the other hand, being a leader for organizations such as political parties or interest groups entails having political experience, being able to articulate a political agenda, and knowing about regulatory laws.
The organization where I currently intern for is a non-profit group called The Eurasia Center. The organization’s founder, Dr. Gerard Janco, is an extraordinary leader who combines his cogent interpretation of the constantly changing Eurasian political landscape with personal initiatives aiming to expand The Eurasia Center’s audience. Without a doubt, being an expert in the Eurasian arena, Dr. Janco’s leadership philosophy rests largely on meritocracy, regularly finding people who are interested in foreign affairs issues, utilizing their talents to produce programs, literature, and activities that promote the link between America and Eurasia.
Established in 1988, The Eurasia Center has undergone numerous fundamental changes since its founding; namely with the Cold War’s demise, which dramatically shifted the geopolitics of the Eurasian continents. Dr. Janco’s vision for the organization, which started out as a volunteer group, is to continuously seek grants, funding, and donors to increase the organization’s activities and presence. Throughout the tumultuous two decades of various Eurasian turmoil, many other groups like The Eurasia Center have closed down. With this organization, however, Dr. Janco believes that only diligence can triumph obstacles, and one of the many ways to build trust is by working with various embassies in the metropolitan area. Even though there are many competitors to The Eurasia Center in the D.C. area, Dr. Janco considers them as partners, in the context that they help further research and coordinate the activities that help promote understanding between different countries. These competing organizations, however, do promote the pursuit of excellence in The Eurasia Center.
To empower and influence people into becoming more productive, Dr. Janco decentralizes the power hierarchy of The Eurasia Center so to make the interns more accessible to him; this in turn leads to increased feelings of accomplishment. To further enhance his profile and professionalism, Dr. Janco reads the Wall Street Journal and the Forbes magazine to gain extra insights into how other successful organizations manage their operations.
According to Dr. Janco, leadership within the workplace is highly valued. Yet without The Eurasia Center and its programs, there is virtually nothing to exert his leadership. Since 1988, the organization has been working to improve political and social aspects within Eurasia, and while there is more to be accomplished, The Eurasia Center’s members have been instrumental in creating the democratic revolutions in parts of Eastern Europe.
Within The Eurasia Center, Dr. Janco enjoys working with the interns, and measures success according to the number of people who request to be added onto the mailing list. Fortunately, the organization has not diverted resources towards other focus areas, such as researching other continents. In the future, Dr. Janco hopes to increase the organization’s involvement in various areas through developing sophisticated programs. Currently, the Freedom Computer Network is carried out with help from The Eurasia Center; its goal is to help fund computers that will be bought and sent to Eastern European countries to help promote sustainable growth in those areas.
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I was born in Hong Kong on June 13th, 1989. Having lived in this Asian metropolis for 13 years and witnessed its transfer of sovereignty from Britain to the PRC, I developed my critical thinking skills about governance and international relations from these life-changing events.
My educational experience is undoubtedly one of the more interesting aspects of my life. I was brought up in a Cantonese-speaking environment and began my formal English instruction in 1996. After 1997, however, my school ceased using English as the medium of instruction and instituted Mandarin as the former's replacement in situ. I did not learn English formally (though I did study English privately for 4 years) until 2001 when I started my 7th Grade education at a Catholic-Jesuit secondary school.
In April 2002 my family decided to immigrate to the United States, after my father had almost lost his job. It was the only choice my family had, given how woeful the economy had been at that time. With great reluctance we left Hong Kong in July 2002, and settled in Rockville, Maryland, USA, where I have been living ever since.
One of my greatest passions is International Politics. I would like to learn more about the human condition and the state of the world today; we are intrinsically born into this Westphalian state system and there's no way to escape it, given how rampant globalization is and how constantly it is affecting our lives on a daily basis.
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