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Dr. John Kalogerakis: “We Can Build & Live in a Better World”

Featured Dr. John Kalogerakis: “We Can Build & Live in a Better World”

New Greek TV's Greek of the Week is Dr. John Kalogerakis.

Dr. Kalogerakis serves as an international speaker, whom emphasizes a unique ethical and anthropocentric approach to sustainable corporate development. The scholar who hails from Crete, has held numerous managerial positions across the globe.  

Dr. Kalogerakis currently presides as the CEO and main trainer of JMK Anthropocentric Corporate Training & Development, which specializes in Anthropocentric Human Resource Development in both Greece and Cyprus.

In our interview below, Dr. Kalogerakis discusses his vast international career, training expertise, inspirational sources, Greek background, and future goals. An on-air seminar, where Dr. Kalogerakis offers a TEDx speech, can be viewed at the very bottom of this article.

Maria Athens: Can you offer a brief background on your professional career?

Dr. John Kalogerakis: After residing in Scotland & England for 14 years, I embarked on a journey around the world. At Strathclyde University in Scotland, I studied Naval Architecture (B.Sc. in 1982), then Production Management & Technology (M.Sc. in 1983), and Applied Industrial Robotics (Ph.D. in 1988). During my 7 year work at Swan Hunter Shipbuilders in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I came to realize that Management = Applied Psychology.

As an engineer I had to enhance my knowledge and thought process, with Industrial Psychology and how to manage difficult employees. Many professional seminars prepared me for the next level, but at that time I had to return to Greece to perform my naval army duty.

Due to my educational standing, I was appointed to complete my military service at the NTUA (National Technical University of Athens) as a visiting lecturer. Following this, I worked as a Sales & Marketing Director at ZENON AUTOMATION for 5 years where we applied Industrial Robots in the Greek & Cypriot industries.

In 1994 while living in Jerusalem (General Manager of an Israeli company), I also embarked on a spiritual journey that led me back to Christianity. Upon my return to Greece, I studied at the Archdiocese of Athens and became a Catechist for the Christian Orthodox faith. (Sunday School Teacher). Throughout all of this this period (since 1982), I was running my company JMK Ltd, providing technical seminars and consultancy to industries at large.

The year, which followed, defined me. I changed my company name to JMK Anthropocentric Corporate Training & Development. I renounced all technical directions, to a more Anthropocentric & Spiritual path. Since then, Empowering & Motivational Speaking has taken off and I found myself 'strengthening' people via 2-3 days training seminars at a time, speaking to general assemblies, company gatherings and international conferences.

Maria Athens: What is your current position?

Dr. John Kalogerakis: Since 1982 I am the CEO and main trainer of JMK Anthropocentric Corporate Training & Development. My company provides in-house HRD (Human Resources Development) seminars. We empower executives, putting people at the center of attention, creating the climate and the conditions for their 'Self-motivation'. This yields spectacular results in both improved enterprise productivity and assists in enhancing the personal happiness of people.

Maria Athens: What are the main elements discussed in your training seminars?

Dr. John Kalogerakis: We address two major categories of professionals:
• All those who are in the front line and come in contact with clients and/or other employees
• and those who manage the above personnel

In the first category we have employees with different backgrounds, different cultures, varied educational levels and even different nationalities, ethnicity and religions. They must all work together harmoniously to offer quality services. The object of my training here is mainly the Quality Customer Service with Team Working. This essentially involves dozens of other training complimentary subjects such as: Verbal / Non-verbal Communication, Handling Objections and Complaints, Time and Energy management, Anger and Stress Management, 4 Generations Cooperating at Work and how to develop Emotional (EQ), Social (SQ), Ethical (EthQ), Spiritual (SpQ), and Creative (CQ) intelligence.

In the second category I train people on TEAM BUILDING & TEAM LEADING and exclusively the new and innovative seminar that combines Leadership & Management, I refer to as: "LEADERment". I also train the management team on how to create a climate in which every employee can be SELF-MOTIVATED, how to EMPOWER and INSPIRE their staff, and how to perform effective & successful COACHING, thus eliciting from everyone his/her best. And all this, is presented in an easy to understand, lively, simple and fun manner, aimed at touching the soul, in order to reach and open the mind.

Maria Athens: What nations have sourced your expertise?

Dr. John Kalogerakis: My expertise was sourced initially from the UK where I received my formal training as well as the first years of experience. Fourteen years later, I became active in Greece, then Cyprus (where we maintain an office since 1999), Israel, America, Canada, the Balkans, Spain, Ireland and the Middle East.

Maria Athens: What is the inspiration behind your work?

Dr. John Kalogerakis: My inspiration is embedded in the name of my company: 'The Human being' (O Anthropos = Ano Throsko = Looking up). All begins and ends here.

We always stress that: 'Systems make things possible, people make things happen'. We help people to believe in their strengths and abilities, discover their 'Element' (as described by Ken Robinson) and their skills and eventually achieve great things, leaving behind barriers of insecurity, diversity, different cultures, color, origin and even the prejudices of their manager or colleagues.

Eventually, people who find their inner strength, build their confidence, find happiness and develop inner peace, are those individuals who succeed everywhere!

Maria Athens: What are the main points that you want participants to take from your teachings?

Dr. John Kalogerakis:

Self-respect & self-esteem
Life is a journey not a destination (see 'My ITHACA' speech at TEDx)
Luck is where preparation meets opportunity
Ignorance is a voluntary misfortune
Today is the first day of the rest and best part of our lives
People don't change their behavior, people CHOOSE their behavior.
Excellence is a habit
Happiness is a state of mind
Happiness is a choice
We are our choices

Maria Athens: Can you elaborate on your publishings?

Dr. John Kalogerakis: Our publications span from regular contributions from various magazines for Human Resource Professionals, to specific interviews, cover-stories and various articles on 'HOW TO ....'. In order to cater to the younger generation, who are not as passionate about books as their older counterparts, I have produced my work in a series of DVD type lectures [22 DVDs in total, on various subjects, such as: Anger Management, Stressless, Time & Energy Management etc.] recorded in two-hour sessions each. (www.jmkdvd.com).

Maria Athens: What professional and personal feats are you most proud of?

Dr. John Kalogerakis: I am indeed proud of two things, which I will convey via the words of the participants to my seminars and those closest to me. Primarily, the former recognize in me a genuine and true interest to help, guide and support them. They refer to me as their 'energy boost' and this in essence is what gives me the strength to continue.

My wife on the other hand, is constantly stressing to me the danger of falling into the trap of letting all this public recognition go to my head, but I believe I am modest as an individual and I aim to honor my roots.

Maria Athens: Can you tell us about your own Greek background?

Dr. John Kalogerakis: I was born in Agios Nikolaos in Crete where I finished elementary school. In Athens, I completed my secondary schooling in Kallithea and continued at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland with a Bachelor, Master & Doctorate degree. Today I live with my wife Perry and our 16-year old son Michail, in Argiroupoli, a suburb in the south of Athens. At the same time I also feel that I live in dozens of hotels around the world, which I have come to call my home, as I have the honor to have trained many of their management and staff. (Westin -Sheraton, Hilton, HYATT, etc.).

My office is in the center of Athens and from my window I have a privileged view of the Parthenon. But what I always keep in mind, is the small mountain village in Crete where my father was born, Nipiditos, where he and his other eight siblings shared a single bedroom. My father was eventually university educated, my mother was only grammar school and my brother was an admiral at the Hellenic Navy. My father guided me in finding my purpose in life. My mother taught me to do it with love and my brother with honor.

Maria Athens: What's next for Dr. John Kalogerakis?

Dr. John Kalogerakis: I dream that I can leave a small footprint in this world conveying any knowledge I have gathered together with my experiences, in a simple and understandable manner, on three foundations of society: parents, teachers and children . The former two, help the latter to improve the world. All CSR (Corporate Social Responsibilities) of JMK activities are also aimed at this principle.

At some point in the future my dream is to leave to others my corporate work, and dedicate myself exclusively to leaving my stigma to the origin of corporate deficiencies, which are the family and teachers of our youth. Yes I really think we can build and live in a better world.  As Kazantzakis says in ASKITIKI: "We have an obligation to do so. Me and every single one of you".

Thank you Maria for your inspiring questions.