Leaders Who Turn Conflicts into Opportunities

What does it take to create a win-win deal amidst the conflict in the Middle East?

Sustainable development and conflict are mutually exclusive

Sustainable development can’t exist while conflict and war are flourishing.

No family, team, organization, or nation achieves sustainable development and enjoys its fruits while raddled with constant conflicts and wars.

Whenever there are conflicts and wars, you only get chaos, death, and destruction. Sustainable development can’t happen without the presence of peace and stability.

Thousands of innocent people have died

We all are saddened and heartbroken to witness the death of thousands of innocent Israelis and Palestinians, and the destruction of billions of dollars infrastructure since October 7th, 2023.

You must be a psychopath if you enjoy what is happening in the region. It doesn’t matter who you support, you should be against the death of innocent people from both sides.

A quick disclaimer

We at PRO Leadership, as an institution, we’re non-partisan. What is more?

  • Talking about it, let alone trying to fix the root cause of the conflict,
  • Who is to be blamed, and
  • How to resolve it is beyond the scope of the organization.

Our mandate is bridging the leadership gaps globally one community at a time through leadership development.

The 1st stage toward sustainable development is peace

We strongly believe that effective leaders can lead their communities out of poverty, chaos, and conflicts. They can transform their communities and achieve sustainable development.

However, these leaders can’t achieve the above if there is no peace and stability.

Therefore, the first duty of any leader whose community and nation are amid conflict and war is to bring peace. It is unlikely, if not totally impossible, to achieve any meaningful economic development and progress while conflict and war are raging.

Leadership crisis in the region

Right now, we’re witnessing a leadership crisis in the region. Leaders of Israel and Palestine are not talking. Yes, it may be hard for them to agree and broker a peace deal right now and immediately. But they should, at least, begin talking.

What is also disappointing is that the Security Council is unable to reach a resolution, at least, to prevent a humanitarian crisis, which further aggravates the already dire situation.

Key regional and international stakeholders are also not talking. Previously arranged multi-party discussions among nations were canceled.

There is a clear leadership gap

As you can see, there is a clear leadership gap both at:

  1. National,
  2. Regional, and
  3. Global levels…

This is my hope that key stakeholders will soon find common grounds to negotiate, and ultimately agree how to bring a cease fire, and in turn, avoid further bloodshed and humanitarian crisis.

Everything rises or falls on leadership

That being said, the main purpose of this blog is to remind all of us of the popular saying “Everything rises or falls on Leadership.” This crisis wouldn’t have happened, once it happened, it would have been addressed quicker than what it has taken so far if there had been effective leadership at multiple levels.

Here is a fact: Great leaders prevent conflict and war from happening. Even if these things happen in their presence, they’re skillful to turn conflicts into opportunities quickly.

We desperately need leaders who turn conflicts into opportunities

I wish if the death of innocent people never happened. I wish there was no war not just in the Middle East but also in Europe and Africa. But we’re dealing with many wars globally. Humanity hasn’t made enough evolutionary progress to solve differences through dialogue.

Since this conflict has happened and we didn’t have any ability to prevent it from happening, now we must deal with it. For this to happen, we need leaders in the region and beyond who can turn this conflict into opportunities. Leaders at all levels who are committed to bringing peace through a win-win deal.

Without peace, there is no sustainable development.

With your help, we may expand to raise world-class leaders in the region

For your information, PRO Leadership’s vision is to raise world-class leaders in emerging economies including in the Middle East who bring sustainable development to their communities.

Right now, we don’t have resources to play any meaningful role to raise enough world-class leaders throughout the hierarchy who excel in preventing, and once it happens, turn conflicts into opportunities.

Who knows, with your and other stakeholders’ support, we may be able to play a constructive role in the near future in raising world-class leaders who are skillful to turn conflicts into opportunities.

That said, here are a couple of considerations to reach a win-win deal and resolve the current conflict between Israel and Palestine:

  1. Create an atmosphere of trust for talk. Experienced negotiators and mediators understand that their first job isn’t to broker a quick resolution, especially in a complex conflict with a long history where thousands of people died. They’re not naïve or ambitious to achieve a win-win deal right away. But they are realistic and seek to create an atmosphere of trust for talk as quickly as possible.
  2. Active and empathetic listening. It is unfortunate to witness some politicians and diplomats rushing to put forward preconditions and propose on how the conflict should be resolved without number 1 above is met. At this stage of the conflict, understandably emotions are high. People from both sides are grieving. The world is shocked by the brutalities that have been demonstrated. This isn’t yet the time to talk about the next steps, let alone the conclusion. Though it is tough, leaders at all levels and from both sides should listen to the pains and griefs the other party is going through right now. At this early stage, they don’t necessarily need to agree on the conditions and the steps toward resolving them to listen and express empathy.  There won’t be any meaningful discussion, let alone win-win deals that resolve the conflict once and for all without both sides and other stakeholders listening to each other.
  3. Far-Sightedness. Unless you live under a rock for the past several decades, the Israeli-Palestine conflict hasn’t started on October 7th this year. Leaders from both sides and their respective supporters around the world should calm down and restrain from gaslighting the already flaming situation. You don’t want to say and do certain things that will haunt you and the next generations. This isn’t time to be short-sighted and be led by emotions alone. This is time to project into the future and engage in a win-win negotiation that leads to stability, peace, and ultimately sustainable development in the region.

The rest of the steps to reach a win-win deal become a little easier and doable if the previous three steps are done properly. This is my hope that the relevant regional and international institutions will soon come up with a clear roadmap to charter the way forward to reach a win-win deal acceptable by all parties involved…

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about PRO Leadership and:

  • How we may help you raise world-class leaders in your communities who can turn conflicts into opportunities, and in turn bring peace, stability and ultimately sustainable development,
  • How you can become part of our team, and/or
  • How you may become a strategic partner or a sponsor, reach out via [email protected]

Hoping to hear from you soon…

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