” Leadership means give-and-take, not going into negotiations with your ego in play.”
Human beings are the most complex creatures on Earth. When it comes to the spectrum of our actions and feelings, we are capable of doing both great and destructive things. We can become the most caring, loving, compassionate and selfless individuals . At the same time, we are also capable of turning 180 degrees and carry out the most selfish, evil and barbaric acts ever imagined.
We are full of contradictive and conflictive emotions and actions. It is this combination of mixed and opposite extremes that makes us so complex. However, most of our actions are predictable because even the most unpredictable of us become predictable because of their unpredictability. Hence there is always a pattern to our behavior and actions.
Can you imagine a world where more than 7 billion people live in and where resources are “scarce” and each and everyone of those people are trying to survive and make a living. Where each community/individual is trying to get an edge over others so that they can secure their future and the future of many generations to come. This is exactly the world in which we live in today. No wonder that we always witness dirty politics which causes wars, suffering, despair and hardships since not everyone of us makes a living in a fair and balanced way. Everywhere you look at there are conflicts and constant struggles. I guess Charles Darwin was right when he said in his theory of evolution that “only the strongest will survive.”
There have been many talks, debates and books written on the clash of civilizations, Holy wars and the eternal struggle between good and evil. I believe that all these suggestions are pretexts for declaring and waging wars on those deemed less worthy and weak when in fact the major reason for waging those wars and creating conflicts is for basic economic interests. I am not denying that there are other factors too, but those are only part of the picture, not the full picture. For instance, lets talk about religion. What do you think and say when you see President Ahmadinejad of Iran saying that America are the enemy of Iran because Iran are an Islamic country and after few weeks flies off to Venezuela which is also a Christian nation and calls President Hugo Chavez his brother and ally? You see the irony that I am talking about?
Coming back to our country we always talk about the problems of tribalism and how it is the root cause of our divisions. However no one ever talks about what causes tribalism. You already know the answer. Our chronic tribalism and divisions are caused by our wrong believe and thinking that resources are scare. This thinking made us very greedy and led us to fight each other for the control of resources as each tribe wants to make sure its own survival and as result of that advance its own position. Since all of us have our own self interest at heart which of course you can say is understandable , it is always inevitable that our interests will clash and that is the main cause of conflicts.
What we need right now are leaders who can understand this dynamic and see things from this perspective. Only then can we work on how to match our interests or at least bring them closer to each other and as a result of that come to common grounds. We need leaders who don’t have “a winner-takes-all attitude” and don’t see things as a zero-sum game and finally don’t go to the negotiation tables with their ego.