Assoc. prof. Christina Vidinova, Bulgarian-American Eye Institute “Prolight”, Scientific secretary of Bulgarian Society of Ophthalmology
When it comes to leadership people often say that either you are a leader or you’re not. Years ago I had the same thinking, when I heard of EuLDP for the first time. I never consider myself a natural born leader and I was really perplexed when Bulgarian Society of Ophthalmology (BSO) nominated me to the EuLDP Class 2015-2017. I thought at first that I am completely out of place among people who are “born leaders”.
What I was completely unprepared of was that my perception of leadership was totally wrong, and it was about to be changed from top to bottom.
Being in the environment of future leaders makes you see the world differently.
The EuLDP Innsbruck module made me think about the way I organize my work at the Hospital, the way I present and motivate others. It made me want to learn more about leaders what made them the way they were, to think about what success is and how to be successful.
When I started my project on INTRODUCING AN INTERNET BASED SCREENING PROGRAM FOR MACULAR DISEASES in Bulgaria it was just an idea that we have worked on with the American Keep your sight foundation. It was not greatly implemented in the reallity.
The project is about a computerized screening programme Spasiochi.com for early detection of changes in the Macula, which could be done with a help of computer, at home without the need of going to a doctor. The results from the screening are send via Internet to a reading center, where ophthalmologist evaluate them and give feedback, directing the patient to visit the nearest to him Eye center, when necessary. The need of such programme is vital as some distant villages in our country are not well supported with eye care at all. At the beginning we had only one reading center, where the results should be sent in “Prolight “Sofia. During the EuLDP class I managed to enlarge our network from one center in Sofia to two and also, we created a center in Varna. Now the screening programme is completely running and we have checked over 950 patients with macular diseases in the past year. The greater majority of eye disorders found were those with AMD and Diabetic retinopathy, whose early detection strongly accelerated the course of their treatment.
As I have learned in the EuLDP class it is important not to push your ideas on to others in a bossy style, which I did not like anyway, but to motivate others to help you.
Leadership I have learned is about giving chances, believing in yourself, presenting your ideas and looking sideways, where no one has looked. It is about standing up for your ideas and negotiating for your success.
These are the things which helped me promote my career during the time of EuLDP and become an Assoc. prof. in Ophthalmology at the Sofia University.
When I look back now to the beginning of the EuLDP, I really see it as a fantastic opportunity for everyone to find the true leader in themselves. This programme gives you the chance to be discover yourself.
The most brilliant diamond will remain just a stone in the dust if there is no one to polish it and give it the chance to shine. Likewise, leaders, who can never develop their potential if not taught how to express their leadership skills. EuLDP is a programme for finding the “Diamond “in you.
For me the concept for leadership is different now. It is not about what you are born with, but about inspiration and motivation, it is what J.Q Adams wrote “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”
And I am really glad and thankful to the EuLDP programme and to all the people involved in it, who have really inspired me to do more with my life and made me believe I can motivate others with my work and provoke them do better.