Having completed an online leadership programme for EBRD’s network of highly experienced consultants in Lebanon, I feel motivated to share a few of my insights.

I worked in Beirut in 2019 and was there when the mass demonstrations started. Due to the situation on the streets I was not able to complete my programme at that time but have returned to Lebanon via ZOOM!

Lebanon is not only suffering from a dire economic situation, political turmoil, the consequences of the devastating explosion in August but also COVID-19. The resilience of the people I have worked with is phenomenal and their strength of character an example to the world. The participants were punctual for every session and they made their active participation work exceptionally well despite sometimes faltering internet connections. All participants used their cameras and contributed to the conversations whenever possible. A few of the participants had lost all their home possessions (including their computers) during the explosion. Others had lost their homes. It is a godsend they were not home at the time of the destructive blast. One participant shared his view with us. His otherwise stunning panorama of the port was now one of devastation. His home windows that were blown out on August 4 were being replaced during one of our sessions.  This did not derail his commitment to participate in the programme. This was an amazing example of the choice to become resilient in the face of hardship.

The attendance of all at this time of hardship was incredible and their commitment, professionalism, insightful contributions and creative perseverance are a testimony to their world class competencies as consultants.

Janet Poot