Leadership Notes #12

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                                 Connect with Sam on Facebook, Twitter, Email, and LinkedIn

Must Reads

1. On How To Be A Rebel Leader

2. Why Teaching Improves Learning

3. Changing People By Listening

4. The Case For White Space


Great Books

Unsafe Thinking: How to be Nimble and Bold When You Need it Most, by Jonah Sachs

A story-fueled page-turner that drops surprising insights on how to take your performance to the next level.

Leonardo da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson

Isaacson's lyrical praise for the ultimate Renaissance man's curiosity is contagious.


Interview: Armen GrigoRyan



Armen Grigoryan is the Secretary of the Security Council of Republic of Armenia. He also serves as a visiting lecturer at Russian Armenian (Slavonic) University. Previously he worked at Transparency International Anti-corruption Center and Counterpart International Armenia. He is a co-author of a book entitled ‘’The Political Elite of Post-Independence Armenia: Characteristics and Patterns of Formation’’, which was published in January 2014. The book examines the patterns of political elite formation in Armenia since its independence. It also examines the evolution of self-perceptions, values and orientations, which dominate in various groups of the political elite.

Armen is also a columnist at EVN report, Mediamax Media Company and Civilnet Media Organization focusing on democratization, civil society, economic development as well as political development in Armenia. Armen has a diploma from Yerevan State University Faculty of International Relations, holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from the American University of Armenia.

Potolicchio: You are just 34 and will be running National Security for a country that has a number of geopolitical challenges. How did this happen?

The recent peaceful revolution in Armenia brought many young people inside the executive body of the government. Being one of the proactive leaders of the revolution I had a responsibility to take a position which is important for the country and where there are challenges yet to meet. Armenia needs new people and new perspectives that's why I am here to give a new breath to geopolitical processes.

Potolicchio: How have you prepared to become the chief national security official in your country?

I studied International Relations and Political Science, served in army, read lots of books, traveled, dreamt, participated in street protests, managed more than 3000 election observers and never stopped thinking critically.

Potolicchio: How do we train leaders to deal with uncertain geopolitical world?

The most important thing is to think out of the box, be courageous, not to be afraid of meeting challenges and focus on solving problems.

Potolicchio: What's a book you would have a young leader embarking on their career read?

It is difficult to choose one but if I have to, then I would recommend Carl Sagan`s Cosmos which is a good one to start with. The book explains 15 billion years of cosmic evolution as well as how science and civilization developed.

Potolicchio: What's something seemingly small that has made a big difference in your life? 

When I first watched the TV show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which is a science documentary television series presented by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, it broadened my worldview about the life and the universe.

Potolicchio: Who do you most admire and why?

I admire Neil DeGrass Tyson who perfectly communicates science with the public. He is a better communicator than Nokia was.