Greeks must fight mediocrity and envy and start recognising each other for their achievements, Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos said on Tuesday at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) in the Athens area.
The annual two-day SNF conference which opened on Monday borrowed its theme from the victory of the Greek National Football team in the European Cup of 2004: "The Individuals in the Team's Service: Lessons and experiences from an unprecedented achievement."
Addressing himself to the team members, Pavlopoulos said their victory and commitment to team work became legendary because it was "an example of what we Greeks must do to achieve great goals." He also cited the work of "a true leader," German coach Otto Rehhagel, who led the team to the European Championship and to qualifying for the finals of the 2010 World Cup.
Hailing team work and realistic goals, he said that "great goals are achieved by powerful personalities, not by mediocre ones." He added, "We must fight what I have termed the worst dictatorship we have faced as Greeks, the 'dictatorship of mediocrity' - what makes us underestimate excellence when we cannot achieve it."
Among other things, the Greek president pointed out that Greeks "must fight our sense of envy if we want to move ahead. We must recognize a person for what they can truly claim. That is the only way to transform "Me" to "Us" and pursue large goals." A leader can only lead by example, in order to be inspirational, and this is a difficult 'sport', he said.
Accoding to SNF's site, the annual conferences In 2019, "bring together high caliber speakers from various backgrounds, and diverse disciplines and spaces, 'forcing' them to engage into conversations and debates about subject matters outside their areas of expertise" in order to "transcend traditional, linear, and comfortable modes of thinking, and in the process redefine, hopefully, the way we have been approaching and contemplating current complex issues."