In a changing political landscape, it is increasingly important that government leaders adapt their style of leadership. Shimon Peres, President of Israel, and Leo Riski, a Finnish official operating out of the Felleshus, are at the forefront of a new way to think about political leadership and government.
As Israel’s President, Shimon Peres is a particularly astute student of the shifting dynamics of today's world. In a globalized economy, Peres stresses the importance of global corporations to act morally. Peres also stresses the importance of education and community involvement. He points out that peace in the Middle East would be more achievable if women were allowed to participate in political discussion. By refusing to educate their daughters and discouraging their wives involvement in society, husbands and fathers are inhibiting the progress of peace in the region. As Peres notes, one of the most important aspects to being a successful modern leader is serving, “Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to serve. If I go to sleep at night, and I can think ‘I served today’ then I feel good.”
Leo Riski is part of a unique collaboration of five governments. As a Finnish official at the Felleshus, he operates closely with officials from neighboring countries. The Felleshus, which means ‘house for everyone’ in Danish, is located in Berlin Germany, and houses the embassies for the five Nordic nations – Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway. This unique embassy structure makes collaboration and discussion between the nations seamless. As Riski states, “Economically and socially, there has been much easier integration. It’s much easier to do business.” In stark contrast to Europe’s experience during the Cold War, where isolation and conflict were rampant, the Felleshus allows these nations to connect and easily communicate about issues affecting them.
These new faces of government should serve as examples for effective and collaborative leadership.