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Presentation based on my new book on Aug 4th- @6 pm- Silver Spring MD

If you’re in the DC metro area and available, this is great news. I’m going to facilitate an interactive workshop based on my new book entitled ‘Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully’. In this one hour fast paced but engaging presentation, I’ll empower my audience to take their life, career, and business to the next level by sharing with them key insights, processes, and tools they can immediately use in the work and marketplaces.

Please note that as leaders, we need to work on our soft skills on a consistent basis. We need those soft skills vital to achieving personal mastery. Leaders who succeeded to lead (master) self, lead others better than those who lack personal mastery. Leaders who developed self-leadership can lead others successfully.

Though personal mastery is a foundation, it’s just the first step of a protracted journey. As leaders, not only we are expected to get along with our team members, but also we are obliged to get along and work with our peers, internal and external customers, and other diverse stakeholders successfully.

Besides, we need to equip ourselves with the soft skills that enable us to lead our team by motivating them to aim high, empowering them through coaching and mentoring, engaging them in constant win-win negotiations, and transforming the team to handle changes.

In short, if your desire is to take your leadership ability to the next level, you cannot afford to neglect your soft skills. And, this presentation provides you a high-level overview of the 12 soft skills that make or break your leadership.

The event is organized by 21st C Community. It’s going to be at the Civic Building, Veterans Plaza, Downtown Silver Spring (One Veterans Place, Silver Spring, MD 20910) @ 6 pm.

By the way, two of my books are door prizes. The first two persons who will come first will be rewarded. Be one of them!

For more info about the event, please check out this link:


PRO Leadership Global Inc. ( is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Maryland, US. PRO Leadership PROmotes leadership, PROduces leaders to bridge the leadership gaps (Geographic, Gender, and Generational gaps) to tackle the major ills worldwide one community at a time. If you would like to support what we do, feel free to reach out to us, and be part of the movement.

The one thing leaders need more than anything else- Trust

If there is one thing- more than anything else, leaders need is TRUST.
Without trust, it is unlikely to rally your supporters, partners, and other stakeholders.
Unfortunately, trust is a rare commodity.
Very few leaders consciously build, and sustain trust.
Building trust may take years, if not decades, but losing trust takes one wrong word or misstep…
Your passion, zeal, smartness, knowledge, communication, what have you, cannot substitute the place of trust in your leadership.
Without trust, you cannot bring impactful changes in your organization, community, and/or nation…

Join our mailing list!

Recently, I was asked to facilitate a leadership retreat session on building trust. The workshop was very interactive and we covered important points that were aimed at empowering participants to understand:
  1. The place of trust in building an effective and functional team
  2. How can they consciously and proactively generate trust
  3. How can they constantly maintain trust
  4. Things that may erode trust
  5. And more…
From one to ten, one being untrustworthy and ten highly trustworthy, how do you measure your trustworthiness?
  • Ask someone else to measure your trustworthiness.
  • If you scored below 8, do you know the reason (s) why?
  • Most importantly, going forward, what are your strategies to build trust? Remember, you can consciously and proactively generate trust.
If you need help in this regard, let’s know…
Good luck!
PRO Leadership Global Inc. ( is a non-profit organization based in Maryland, US. PRO Leadership PROmotes the right kind of Leadership, PROduces great leaders. PRO Leadership aspires to contribute its share in bridging the leadership gaps worldwide one community at a time. If you would like to support what we do, feel free to reach out to us, and be part of the movement.

Community forums to cope with anxiety and build resilience

Local community organizations including PRO Leadership are going to organize three community awareness forums in the DC Metro area.

These community organizations recognized the fact that uncertain times are in the horizon in the US and in Ethiopia.

They are convinced that they should arrange such platforms to prepare Ethiopian-Americans to cope with the anxiety that followed the recent US election, and ultimately to build the resilience of our community for such uncertain times.

The first forum is going to be on this coming Saturday Nov 26, 2016  between 3 – 6 pm.

Don’t miss this opportunity.

Don’t forget, you’re born to lead, and this challenging time calls upon you to step up your game as a leader.

Take leadership wherever your talent and experience is needed. But first, come and equip yourself to strengthen yourself so that you could be able to strengthen and support others.

For more info, checkout the flyer below:


The Necessity of Women’s Leadership in Ethiopia (Full content of the presentation on March 20, 2016)

A paper presented by Assegid Habtewold

Center for the Rights of Ethiopian Women (CREW) 5th Annual Conference

In memory of Dr. Miagenet Shifferaw

Theme: Women in Leadership

Place: Resident Inn Marriott Hotel

Date: March 20 2016


I. Introduction: Interview with Dr. Miagenet Shifferaw

Last year, almost this time around, I was looking for an interviewee to talk about why Ethiopian women aren’t at the front and leading. Everywhere I asked that question, Dr. Miagenet’s name came up again and again. After a few phone and email conversations, we did set a date to conduct the interview.

When I met her the first time, I found her a very considerate and fair leader who listens intently. She was fair because she was not angry with men and blamed them for everything J. Even if I never had any more chance to meet and work with her, the leadership qualities that I witnessed prior, during, and post interview convinced me that she was an extraordinary leader, and we all are going to miss her.

II. Who are (is) the culprits for gender inequality?

Coming back to the interview, for my first question: Who is (are) responsible why women are not at the front and leading, she pointed out that the culprits are our culture first, and then some men, and women themselves too.

Dr. Miagenet enlisted the culprits:

2.1.Our men dominated and patriarchal culture, the school system that favors boys over girls, men over women, and the different religious institutions that undermine the leadership participation of women.

2.2.Conscious and unconscious biases from men who think women aren’t capable to lead like men

2.3.Lack of awareness, education, and organization of women. She pointed out that only 33% women older than 15 years are literate.

III. What should be done to narrow and finally bridge the gender inequality?

Concerning the question: What should be done, she emphasized the importance of education. In this regard, she admired the teaching model of the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. She briefly explained his model:

3.1. The first stage of his model is creating awareness,

3.2. This in turn generates anger in the oppressed,

3.3. The latter leads them to organize themselves, and

3.4. Demand their rights.

IV. What women should do to bridge the gender inequality?

I agree with Dr. Miagenet, awareness and education are very critical. On top of that, I suggest the following recommendations for women to liberate themselves:

4.1.Be proactive

Women should be proactive in the process of narrowing both the gender inequality, and gender leadership gap. They shouldn’t wait until they are given the right to lead. They should take it by force J. They shouldn’t expect men to give them their rights on a silver platter. This is an insult to women. They can lead their own battle to claim their birthrights of leadership. Men’s main role should be supporting women in ways they could, especially those influential men in high places. What I’M saying is that women should lead the liberation by organizing themselves. Otherwise, as Paulo Freire said, “Attempting to liberate the oppressed without their reflective participation in the act of liberation is to treat them as objects that must be saved from a burning building.” 

4.2.Avoid Albright’s syndrome

In one of Hillary Clinton’s rallies, Madeleine Albright said, There is a special place in Hell for women who don’t help each other. As you may already be aware, it backfired. Women shouldn’t be supported because of their gender, rather, because of their competency, personality, and character. If women start to show gender prejudice, men too may follow suit, and that doesn’t help women’s right advocacy work at all. This alienates many men.

4.3. Don’t be neutral while others are oppressed

It’s a plain fact that the majority of Ethiopian women are absent from the struggle against oppression in Ethiopia orchestrated by the tyrannical government in Ethiopia. Except a few heroines, most women are at the sidelines and watching gross repression in the name of being neutral. Paulo Freire has been known worldwide for his pedagogical methods designed to educate the oppressed. Dr. Miagenet Shiferraw admired this scholar a lot. Concerning neutrality, here is what he had to say, “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.”

While the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia uprooting indigenous people from their ancestral land without their consent nor compensation, and while unarmed protesters including mothers and children are killed by live bullets, and citizens in thousands are jailed and tortured because of their ethnicity, and political views, women’s silence and taking neutral position is appalling, to say the least.

It’s understandable if women’s organizations taking non-partisan position to serve all women of diverse political viewpoints. They don’t need to endorse one single political party’s ideology and program. However, Fascism, Nazism, and Dictatorship are not parties, they are oppressors. Thus, those women who aren’t siding with the oppressed are siding with the oppressor. Complaining that they’re oppressed but failing to stand by the side of other sections of the society who are oppressed is paradoxical. It obviously denies them authenticity. They cannot rally a wide array of support from others in their fight against gender inequality.

V. The 3G Leadership Gaps

That being said let me give you quick background information about why I began showing interest in the necessity of women in leadership. PRO Leadership in its 2015 annual conference, which was held at Prince George’s Community College, recognized the 3G (Geographic, Generational, & Gender) Leadership Gaps.

5.1. Geographic Leadership Gap

No one disputes the existence of leadership gap in the Southern and Eastern Hemispheres than in the West.

5.2. Generational Leadership Gap

There’s a huge generational gap globally. Research shows that, in just the US alone, 33 million baby boomer leaders are going to retire by the year 2020. The same is true in our case. Who are leading both in Ethiopia and here in the Diaspora? The Ethiopian version baby boomer leaders J are in charge everywhere. Whether it’s within the ruling party or in the opposition camp; whether it’s in the NGOs or in the religious institutions, the dominant decision makers are members of the older generation. There’s nothing wrong with this as far as the contemporary leaders are conscious about the existence of the generational gap and proactively raising their successors. Unfortunately, that is not what is happening.

5.3. Gender Leadership Gap

Likewise, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we’re plagued by gender leadership gap. Regardless of their number, which is more 50% and their lion share contributions at family, community, and national levels, enough women aren’t at the front and leading.

VI. Prices we pay due to gender leadership gap

We pay dire prices at many levels.

6.1.   Individual

When individual women unable to take leadership, they couldn’t maximize their potential, and that means we are wasting more than half of our national potential.

6.2.   Family

What an opportunity for children to be raised by their mom who is a leader? They learn what it means to take leadership by watching her do it. And, it’s obvious that a leader mom raises her children teaching them practical lessons as they grow up. When they go out to the world, nothing could be able to make them put their head down. They claim their leadership birthright and serve their community using their unique talents boldly. No barrier could stop them.

6.3.   Community

Our community has so many issues that need the leadership contributions of women. We have a disintegrated community with so many challenges, and these cannot be tackled and defeated without the active leadership involvement of women.

6.4.   National

Ethiopia has been inflicted by constant famine, food insufficiency, conflict, and the lack of freedom, democracy, justice, and good governance. Bringing a lasting change through smooth transition require the leadership of women.

VII. What is next?

What should be the roles of women’s right groups like CREW, and other organizations like PRO Leadership that aim at empowering individuals including women to bridge the leadership gap?

7.1. CREW should

1. Continue to raise the awareness of both women and men about the gap

*      By arranging Leadership Conferences like this one

2. Build capacity by arranging

*      Workshops

*      Mentoring programs to raise women leaders in collaboration with other stakeholders

7.2. PRO Leadership could provide

*      Leadership Experts to speak at the conferences, and facilitate during workshops,

*      Leadership Mentors (both men and women) to mentor, especially emerging women leaders,

*      Frameworks and Models,

*      Contents,

*      And more…

Both CREW and PRO Leadership should team up and

  1. Arrange Conferences,
  2. Workshops, and
  3. Mentoring Programs by themselves or in partnership with other stakeholders

VIII. Killing 2 Birds, Using 1 Stone

CREW as a Women’s right advocacy group should continue to engage in increasing the awareness of both women and men concerning the existing gender inequality and things to be done to bridge the gap.

The existing advocacy works, however, aren’t adequate. The advocacy works shouldn’t be left to women and to those organizations that represent women alone. Both women and men who understand the inequality that exists, and the dire consequences of this disparity should continue to push regional and global institutions, governments, companies, and community and religious organizations to make changes- Tangible changes in their perceptions, policies, and systems.

While continuing to promote gender equality, the long term and lasting solution should be to raise competent women leaders at all levels. In my humble opinion, it’s possible women advocacy organizations like CREW to kill two birds using one stone if the lion share of such organizations’ priority, focus, and investment is directed toward building the leadership capacity of women.

The more women become leaders at home, in the neighborhood, work and market places, the more they will have real chances to influence and ultimately bridge both the gender inequality, and the leadership gap that exists at all levels.

Myself as women’s right advocate, and leadership expert, I’m committed to play my share. Our non-profit organization- PRO Leadership Global Inc. is also dedicated to play its share. We look forward to partner with you to bridge the gender leadership gap, and in turn empower women to play their contributions in tackling local, national, regional, and global challenges we are facing. It’s possible. We can use 1 stone (developing women’s leadership capacity) to kill 2 birds- gender inequality and leadership gap.

Women in Leadership is a serious necessity…

CREW's Conference Flyer March 2016

It’s an illusion to think that any effort at family, community, national, and global levels succeeds without the full involvement of women. Not just mere participation, when we allow women to be at the front and leading. That is then, we harvest the results of a smart choice as a society. It’s smart to empower more than half of our population, and those women who shoulder more than 75% of the responsibilities and tasks behind the scene.

But, both women and progressive men should make sure to increase the capacity of women. Mere positioning of women in leadership position is futile, to say the least. They cannot succeed in their leadership without proper empowerment.
Though the proactive roles of men in promoting women in leadership is necessary, women themselves should play a proactive role. They shouldn’t wait until they’re given the opportunity to lead. Leadership is their birthright! They should go for it. They should take it by ‘force’ :-)

This is especially important in Ethiopia. A county like Ethiopia, which is constantly challenged by chronic famine, poor governance, corruption, and so on, needs its women more than ever. Having our women in leadership is not a luxury. It’s a must!

Come and honor Dr. Miagenet (see the attached flyer for detail) who was an exemplary woman leader who dedicated her life for the rights of women. Honoring such committed women leaders, who are at the front and leading regardless of the odds that confront them, would inspire other women to take leadership. When we admire and appreciate those who have already ventured to take leadership, those who are tentative and behind the scene will come forth and join the movement.

The movement to empower our women in leadership is OUR movement, not just women’s movement…

VOL Volume 3, Issue 2: Embracing the Next Generation Conference Report, Video Footages, and Proposals

Dear Partners,
PanalistsJune27_2015_WebsiteSlide 3

PRO Leadership’s Voice of Leadership- VoL in its Volume 3 Issue 2 edition featured the results of PRO Leadership’s Annual Leadership Conference entitled “Embracing the Next Generation”.




Keynote Speaker 2 

In this edition, we would like to share with you the following info about the event:

1. Conference Report with some pics

2. Excerpt Video Footages

3. Project Proposals

Once again, we are thankful to all speakers, volunteers, sponsors, and participants. The conference wouldn’t have been successful without your support.

The report details what went down. If you missed the conference, the report gives you the glimpse of the event with some beautiful pics.

We are grateful to ESAT for creating a video ad, video recording the conference, andbroadcasting the coverage of the event via Satellite to the Middle East and Africa, plus for posting the video footages on its website. The coverage includes brief interviews with some of the speakers and panelists. The video was posted this past Wednesday. Over 11 thousand people have already viewed it from ESAT’s website.

As per our discussion, please read the brief description of the five projects that were proposed at the end of the conference from our website, and let’s know how you would like to involve. Below are the contact info to send us your preference: 


Tel: 703-895-4551

Note: Because of battery and SD card issues, the last parts of the conference such as the panel discussion weren’t recorded. Thus, the video footages from that parts of the conference couldn’t be included into the video excerpt. Apology to all panelists. 

Best regards!

Team PRO Leadership

Discussion on the theme Bridging the leadership generational gap

Almost less than two weeks before the conference on Bridging the Generational Gap, Dr. James Dula sat with Dr. Assegid Habtewold to discuss about the theme. Here is the video link to watch the discussion between Drs. James Dula and Assegid Habtewold:

June 27 2015 Leadership Conference Advertisement video

Here is the conference’s advertisement video:

You may please share it on your social media, and forward it to your network so that those who may greatly benefit from this event could be able to attend.

Thanks in advance!


Press Release- June 27 2015 Leadership Conference


Assegid Habtewold (Dr.)
Founder & Chairman,
PRO Leadership Global Inc.
Tel: 703-895-4551


Silver Spring, MD: PRO Leadership is pleased to announce its annual leadership conference, which will be held on Saturday June 27 2015 from 1 – 5 pm at Prince George’s Community College, Largo Student Center. The theme of the conference is “Embracing the Next Generation Leaders”.

We at PRO Leadership strongly believe that sustainable solutions are required for today’s global issues. New leadership and issue resolution models are needed to provide long-term solutions instead of Band-Aids. We need to change our thinking and our approaches. Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” We need to change our thinking about addressing the burning issues that confront us. Just a couple of examples:

  • Violent religious fundamentalism is increasing and threatening the harmonious co-existence of a religiously diverse world.
  • Loss of economic opportunity is deepening poverty in vulnerable countries, and spreading to others.
  • Real environmental degradation is threatening our air, land and water.
  • Poor political governance, corruption, and oppression of basic freedoms are becoming rampant.

These and similar challenges facing humanity cannot be addressed by using force alone or issuing legislation after legislation. It demands raising leaders at all levels. Raising leaders who are passionate about tackling these challenges; leaders who are well-equipped and able to lead by example. Unfortunately, we’re not ready. There is a growing generational leadership gap.

Recent research shows that close to 33 million ‘baby boomers’ retirements will occur in the U.S. alone by 2020. Canada, Japan and most of Europe have even older populations. This should alarm us! We need to identify, encourage and raise emerging leaders, and bridge the gap. That is why we arranged this timely conference, to focus on embracing and growing the next generation of leaders: By bringing together seasoned and emerging leaders, in this one of a kind leadership conference.

We have arranged for you an inspirational keynote address; three encouraging addresses by diverse leaders; followed by three breakout sessions, and a panel discussion entitled “Bridging the Gap.” This panel discussion is comprised of two tracks focused on Seasoned leaders on one side and Emerging leaders on the other.

Therefore, we kindly invite you to attend this timely conference and learn how to bridge the leadership gap in your community, organization, and nation. And also share your insights, experience, and stories to other participants.

PRO Leadership is a non-profit organization based in Silver Spring Maryland. It believes that leadership is the birthright of every individual who is birthed into this planet. PRO Leadership’s mission is to inspire, train, and mentor leaders who cannot access or afford formal leadership development resources and programs. PRO Leadership envisions ordinary individuals becoming leaders and maximize their potential, which in turn contributes towards individual and collective success at family, organizational, national, and global level. You may learn more about PRO Leadership and the conference by going to our website at

Leadership Development Workshop for YEP’s Leadership and Volunteers


ShimYEP- Young Ethiopian Professionals, requested PRO Leadership to provide a train to its leaders and volunteers on some leadership development topics. Accordingly, on October 26 2013, PRO Leadership’s volunteers facilitated a workshop on four themes at the library of Arlington, VA: Who is the leader and what is leadership, Visioning, Communication, and Teambuilding.

The first session attempted to answer questions such as what is the correct definition of leadership, who is the leader, what are the most important leadership attributes a leader needs to succeed continually, and more.

The second session addressed questions such as what is vision, how do you know when you have a compelling vision, what is the process of envisioning, what are the tools you can use as you articulate your vision, challenges that prevent the formation and fruition of a true vision, what are the indicators to measure the progress of your vision, and so on.



The place of communication in leadership, the three triads of communication, the various forms of communication, barriers of effective communication, cross cultural communication competency, and more were covered during the third session.

The fourth session addressed the significance of teamwork, why teams fail, evolution of team formation, criteria to recruit team members, considerations as you lead and manage your team, and how to measure the progress of your team.

At the end of each session, there were group discussions, and question and answer sessions.

Here is an excerpt video from the first section (Who is the Leader, and what is Leadership?):