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Gail S. Williams
Leadership administrator

Gail S. Williams

Gail S. Williams directs the Leadership Alchemy Program at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Same Methods, Same Results

I draw an important distinction between disagreement and distrust. Complex challenges -- or what I like to call wicked problems -- as a rule involve a multitude of others both in their solution and their creation. Israel's political scene and the quest for a lasting and equitable peace in the Middle East is among the most wicked problems facing humankind at the moment. Even though Tzipi Livni disagrees with Benjamin Netanyahu, rivals must collaborate if they agree on the ultimate goal. President Lincoln is the most popular example of this collaboration in the news at the moment, as is President's Obama's similar commitment.

Now, distrust is a tougher concern. Whether or not I choose to interact with someone whom I distrust depends on many factors. When all previous attempts at resolving the conflict have not worked, then too much is at stake not to try. Through genuine collaboration one can, even in the tiniest of steps, learn to better understand another person, find some common ground (however small), and build from there.

Any alternative to not joining the unity government will likely not succeed. It will appear to be just more of what's failed in the past. I strongly believe there is more than one right answer and I do not know what that answer is in this instance. But I do feel strongly that continued polarization within Israeli politics will not succeed. Try something, however different, if you agree on the desired outcome.

I am reminded of an Albert Einstein quote that defines insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I am all for avoiding more "insanity" in an effort to achieve a lasting and equitable peace for the Middle East and the world!

By Gail S. Williams

 |  February 23, 2009; 11:06 AM ET
Category:  Followership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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