Nov 28, 2023Liked by Alis Anagnostakis, PhD

Alis, you always bring topics that are playing on my mind, either simultaneously to your article, or for long period of time. One such topic is about this term ‘guru’, and how our professional society became attached to it. I noticed that LinkedIn, for example, became more of a platform for self-promotion, than network of equals, humble professionals, both teachers and learners. I am always triggered by the word ‘guru’, which implies to me someone who would like to stand out from us mere mortals, or someone who others put on a pedestal. It’s origins, ‘a Hindu spiritual teacher’, imply hierarchy. It is derived from Sanskrit guru: ‘worthy of respect’. To me, implying that respect is discriminate, and ‘guru’ is worthy of respect, but ‘not-gurus’ are not. My buttons get pressed by cycles of voting for ‘global coaching guru’, ‘global leadership guru’… as if those individuals are so exceptional that they cannot do wrong or cannot learn something from all of us non-gurus. Hence, I can never cast a vote for anyone wanting to be a ‘guru’. Everyone is equally worthy of respect, self-respect and other-respect, for being teachers and learners at the same time. There is light and shadow in all of us.

Expand full comment
Nov 27, 2023Liked by Alis Anagnostakis, PhD

Thank you for this insightful and personal article, Alis. I'm continuously inspired and warmed by your thoughtfulness and open heart.

One thing that comes up for me while reading this article is that it comes from the assumption that there is indeed a pedestal that is false or somehow exaggerated. I can definitly see that in my life, with my mentors and teachers, and the temptation to "throw them out" when I discover their shadows and weaknesses.... I've learned to hold those masterful people in my life in their imperfections and not throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.

One important inquiry that I've been holding and would like to offer is:

How do we show ourselves completely in our vulnerability while ALSO being unabashedly honest about our greatness? Not the egoic greatness that negates yours, but the deeper greatness that is the precise configuration of perspectives and capacities that unfold and shine more fully throughout one's life, able to respond to the needs around us in a unique way that no one else can.

Because by living our greatness, we can invite others into theirs, and show that there is no contradiction between our greatness and our vulnerability.

I wonder what thoughts you have on that?

much love,


Expand full comment