A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of addressing the Reut Institute. Founded in January 2004, The Reut Institute was formed out of the conclusion that Israel suffers from a weak capacity for long term systemic thinking that is professional and non-partisan. Leading in Israel is no walk in the park. In most situations, there’s never a clear yes or no answer, or “right” decision. It takes an incredible amount of poise and esteem to lead in such a dynamic environment, challenging because situations change so quickly and hostility is ever-present.
Yet underneath Israel's command and control society is the art of collaboration. That true leaders today must blend decisiveness with engagement is a characteristic that is often overlooked.
When I met Efrat Duvdevani, The President of Israel Shimon Peres’ director general, she welcomed us on a sunny afternoon. Duvdevani has worked with Peres for over seventeen years, since the assassination of former prime minister Yitzkah Rabin, brings with her not only belief in the power of female management, but a sense of, in her words, “exemplary teamwork,” and the ability to “work together and put ego aside.”
When we were leaving her office, Duvdevani proved again that she isn’t just talk. When we asked to take a picture with her she deferred on the grounds that not all of her staff was present.
Inclusive leaders, or leaders that take into account all view points, aren’t just valuable in high-stress environments, like the Israeli government. As the YNet article discusses, millennials are looking to work at companies who don’t make decisions behind closed doors, as it is often times frustrating. They are looking to have their voices heard. With youth driving change across the Middle East, all leaders must understand that sustainable companies require continuous engagement and transparent decision making. Even when decisions are unpopular, there is benefit in giving people a voice as well as insight into how you think.