Navigating the political and war-torn history of Israel and Palestine is no easy task. Political opinions aside, it's easy to see why young Ahed Tamimi has become the face of the Palestinian revolution. History's greatest leaders--in terms of politics, technology, entrepreneurship, and everything in between--are remembered by the ways they inspire us to lead with patience, passion, and resilience.
Entrepreneurs and leaders around the world can learn from the way that 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi continues to teach us those values. If you haven't heard of her before, Tamimi is an activist from the West Bank who started making headlines after a video of her slapping an Isreali soldier went viral.
According to Tamimi, she lashed out against the soldier because she had seen an Isreali Defense Solider shoot her 15-year-old cousin point-blank in the head with a rubber bullet earlier that day. Tamimi and her mother were both arrested for the incident. Which sparked international controversy and disapproval.
She was released from jail over the weekend after serving an eight-month sentence.
"I learned how to stay patient, to be in a group. I did my best to use the time to study. I came out more educated, and understand the world better than when I went in." she said hours after her release.
Her statement displays the important role that emotional intelligence plays in leadership.
Being a reliable leader means you need to put your cause and your audience first. To do this you need emotional intelligence and patience. From the boardroom to the picket line, every leader should be able to encourage their group by being a powerful example to follow.
Have you ever had a boss that didn't practice what they preached? Or who cracked under pressure and would then lashed out on their subordinates? This not only creates an unproductive workplace, it creates an unhealthy one.
This is especially important for first-time startup founders and entrepreneurs. Since your team will be small you need to be able to rely on them and inspire them. This starts with being a leader who can pay attention to your employee's needs while juggling 12 million other things. This means you should practice patience and take the time to understand your own feelings and the feelings of those around you.
Chances are if you're overwhelmed you will make your employees feel overwhelemed too. When you choose to take a calm and collected approach your team will feel that too, and instead of feeling flustered they can focus on the task at hand.
Ahed Tamimi shows us why leaders should never stop learning.
Entrepreneurship is about embracing the pivots. Successful leaders and entrepreneurs learn as they go and adapt as needed. This skill starts with understanding that you (always) have so much more to learn, and being okay with not being right the first time.
Tamimi says she plans on studying international law so she can peruse injustice through the courts. "I'm going to invest in my studies because knowledge is the strongest weapon for a struggler," she explained.
If you want to be a strong leader you need to crave knowledge. You need to continuously be expanding your education. No matter how high your position is, there is always something new that you can learn.
Ahed Tamimi says the time she spent in jail was "difficult but meaningful."
As Tamimi shows us every moment to be a learning opportunity. Resilient leaders learn from the times they were defeated. The moments where everything is falling apart doesn't break them, it turns them into better leaders. Ahed Tamimi shows us that above all emotional intelligence and resilience breeds powerful leadership.