The Vice President to the new BSoP class: education is the foundation of leadership

“Education is the foundation of leadership because a leader has to make decisions that affect more people and therefore has to be well educated and informed.” This is what the Vice President Iliana Iotova told Class 2023 of the Bulgarian School of Politics (BSoP).  She was the last lecturer in the first course of the National Program “Governing Skills” 2023. It was held from 23 to 26 April in Borovets and marked the beginning of the training of the new cohort. According to Iotova, among the qualities of a leader is also the ability to listen to different opinions.                                                                                           “Many of those who make the decisions today do not want to listen to others, and so there is no way to reach a compromise,” the Vice-President said and raised the issue of the limits of compromise. “It is a great art to compromise in a way that remains true to your convictions and do not show lack of character,” she stressed. Iotova noted the ability to take responsibility for mistakes and failures as an indispensable characteristic  of a true leader. During the conversation, which lasted over three hours, the Vice President and the trainees discussed a wide range of issues – the question of leadership and taking responsibility, the current political situation in Bulgaria and the problems facing the country, relations with the Republic of North Macedonia, Schengen and eurozone membership, the war in Ukraine.

In the previous three days, the freshmen listened to lectures and worked on case studies in small groups on many different topics. These included the functioning of the political system, generational discrepancies and public management, message formulation and public speech writing, successful negotiation and conflict management, and successful written communication.  Speakers in the curriculum included professors, leading experts and proven practitioners.

For 21st consecutive year, BSoP organizes and conducts the National Program “Governing Skills”.  In 2023, a total of 40 politicians and people from the civil sector found a place in the program after a test and an interview. Among the trainees there are five MPs, chairman of a municipal council and municipal councillors, head of a department of a representation of a European institution in Bulgaria, people from NGOs and professional organizations, business, etc.