Jarda Tusek, ILI President & CEO, has been writing about, studying, teaching about, thinking about and practicing leadership since his childhood in Nazi-occupied Prague in WWII. How do leaders gain control? Why do people follow some leaders and not others? What are the key qualities and skills of ethical, morally just leaders?
From this experience, Jarda became actively involved in leadership on a political level. His differences with the Czech style of Communism led him to emigrate in 1967 to Norway, then on to England and the US. He studied at Columbia University in New York City, looking for a peace process that could end the grip of Soviet-supported Communism in Central and Eastern Europe.
In 1989, the economically exhausted Communist system collapsed in the Soviet block. What took its place, though, has been good and bad: freedom and democracy in many nations, but the worst features of capitalism as well.
Now, Jarda has shifted his study of leadership from a political focus to a social justice focus, again taking up his deep interest in human rights and social justice.
Leaders in the "wired world" need to move beyond national and religious self-interest into a more tolerant view, allowing people of very different views to have their say. Repression has been discredited; freedom of expression is one key to peace in a world of strong, often contradictory, beliefs.
The new leader needs all the traditional leadership skills, but even more important is having an attitude that's flexible yet principled, open-minded yet clear in its own beliefs, and ready to accept small steps toward consensus and negotiated agreements.
Jarda currently lives and works in Florida, in the greater Orlando area. He offers leadership and career development seminars that focus on helping people recognize and responsibly act on their leadership potential while developing needed skills and know-how for success in their chosen activities. He is working on two books for ILIP: The Leadership Handbook and 21st Century Christianity.
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