Dr. Ermira Babamusta, former Obama presidential campaign director
Dr. Ermira Babamusta spent her life working to improve the community as a civic leader, a legacy that she continued after her involvement as an AmeriCorps Vista with the US Department of Homeland Security and the American Red Cross in New York and as Campaign Director for the Obama presidential campaign in Florida (2008) and Philadelphia (2012).
That legacy extended to the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, for the Global Youth Leadership Conference (2009 & 2011), where Ermira served as a Faculty Advisor for an elite group of 400 distinguished scholars from around the world. During the conference in Washington DC, Philadelphia, and New York, Ermira helped the youth build critical leadership skills in a global context with site visits at the State Department, United Nations, WTO, American University, etc.
More recently, Dr. Babamusta held a professional training for the prominent members of the Leadership Development Association Balkan (LDA). Held on Thursday, June 4, 2020, the training titled “Effective Leadership and Governance” took place over Google Meet video conference for over 125 members.
“Building successful collaborations for leadership development ensures a community where young bright leaders are fully equipped to serve. I am thankful to Mr. Qëndrim Hoxha for the invitation which I gladly accepted, to support LDA’s mission in creating an international platform to ensure a better future where successful leaders thrive and shine,” said Dr. Ermira Babamusta, award-winning author and foreign affairs expert.
“I am especially proud that LDA offers a platform for all youth in the Balkans from various ethnicities and backgrounds. I believe a way forward is by celebrating what makes our life stories unique and beautiful and by appreciating each-other’s cultures. In front of God and Lord Christ, we are all made equal and for a purpose, and I hope that each one of us gets to fulfill that purpose that our life journey takes us on. I am blessed that United States has given me many wonderful opportunities to grow as a person and professionally,” added Dr. Babamusta, author of “Political Trust in Kosovo” and “The Legislative Journey of Employment Discrimination.”
Strategic Execution: Effective Leadership and Governance
The Effective Leadership and Governance Training held by Dr. Ermira Babamusta on June 4, 2020, focused on leadership principles, strategic actionable concepts, and practical skills to apply in government, organizations, business, and in management. Organized by the Leadership Development Association Balkan, the training drew participants across LDA Balkan branches in Albania, Kosovo, Presevo, Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro.
“Today's training organized by LDA showed the immense interest of the members to learn, advance and to engage in intellectual discussion. The training on effective leadership and governance by Ermira Babamusta was especially beneficial because it offered strategies and best practices to navigate complex challenges in today’s world. I am especially excited that LDA’s influence is expanding to more regions in the Balkans, including the newly opened branch in Northern Macedonia. I am proud to be part of an organization and movement that makes a positive difference in the lives of young people and the communities we live in,” said Dona Kuçi, LDA training conference moderator and LDA Balkan member, Albania Branch.
“Truthfully, I can say that the founding of LDA has not only been a milestone but an ideal, a dream realized by young people seeking development and prosperity, seeking peace and social justice. LDA has been a story to write, a starting point for a mission, a unified universal vision, together as world citizens for a better world, for a better future in peace, solidarity, and prosperity,” said Marilo Meta, President of LDA Balkan.
Marilo Meta, President of LDA Balkan
The leadership training was moderated by Dona Kuçi and it opened with the introductory speech by the President of LDA Balkan, Marilo Meta, followed by welcoming speeches by Qëndrim Hoxha, Vice President & CEO LDA Balkan Branch in Kosova, and Dr. Sedat Baraliu, HR Manager of LDA Balkan.
“My commitment to the organization, in addition to managing human resources, also promotes cultural heritage in the world through young people and their education for the preservation of Cultural Heritage,” stated Dr. Sedat Baraliu, HR Manager of LDA Balkan.
“I accepted the functions I have at LDA Balkan, to spend my time and energy serving the youth. We, with great courage and willpower, are committed for being successful with you through our projects, mainly international. But it also requires your commitment, because success is the result of the work and desires we have,” said Qëndrim Hoxha, Vice President & CEO of LDA Balkan Branch in Kosova.
The conference proceeded with presentations from leaders of various LDA Balkan branches, namely: Leona Jahiri of Kosovo, Bjondina Sherifi of Northern Macedonia, Arb Shabani of Montenegro, Leutrim Edipi of Presevo, and Evelina Rumi of Albania. They shared the importance of effective leadership, the role of the leaders and cooperation, based on their experiences and projects in their respective cities.
“A successful leader does not say “I” but “We” by giving equal importance to the associates. The team’s success depends on the actions and collaborations of its members. Slowly, by winning each match, the team can soon win the championship cup,” stated Evelina Rumi, Assistant Project Manager, LDA Balkan in Tirana.
“A leader is a person who supports, motivates, and listens attentively to all members of the team around a particular issue and seeks group solution,” said Leona Jahiri, Coordinator of LDA Balkan, Kosovo Branch.
Qëndrim Hoxha, Vice President & CEO of LDA Balkan Branch in Kosova
LDA Perspective: Global Leadership and Engagement
Throughout the training conference Dr. Ermira Babamusta addressed principles of Transformational and Adaptive Leadership, including four transformative factors: influence, motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized care. Dr. Babamusta also discussed effective leadership using formal and informal authority and adaptive leaders. The training highlighted five dimensions of the personality of a leader: (1) Extroversion, (2) Agreeableness, (3) Conscientiousness, (4) Neuroticism, and (5) Openness. The training ended with questions from the LDA members and an open discussion about the personality dimensions of an ideal and effective leader.
“I gained new knowledge during the leadership training from Dr. Ermira Babamusta. As a karate coach by profession, I believe that the ideal leader best advances the capabilities and interests of his/her team,” sated Fjona Xhelili, Administrator of LDA Balkan, Kosovo Branch.
“Investing in youth development means investing in the development of our society and the future generations. Youth must have the opportunity to decide for their future. We are in dire need of a new leadership that supports the strategic and effective mobilization of the youth, and provides new opportunities in education, professional advancement, training, and personal achievements,” said Arb Shabani, LDA Balkan Member, Montenegro Branch.
“Governments must take youth’s work seriously. Young professionals have the drive, the will, and the courage to bring in new innovative thinking to practical solutions. Strengthening youth involvement empowers the next generation of leaders. Youth matters!” added Arb Shabani.
“Being part of an organization such as LDA has been a great honor and a privilege for me. The best part has been exchanging knowledge, experiences, and skills from experts and well-known public figures that bring our youth inspirational energy and motivation to be their best self. My message to the youth today is: your commitment and engagement in pursuing your life dreams and ambitions is the definition of success,” said Qendresa Nikqi, Deputy Director of LDA Balkan, Kosovo Branch.
Qendresa Nikqi, Deputy Director of LDA Balkan, Kosovo Branch
Voices of the Youth: The Collective Power of Youth in the Balkans
LDA Youth leaders joined together with a clear message, “Youth voice should be included in decision-making processes!” The collective power of youth in the Balkans should be utilized by adults, institutions, and governments today to foster a system through organizing and advocacy. Dr. Babamusta said that youth organizing is a powerful strategy for large-scale change to drive successful transformational change. Mila Mihajlović from Lipjan, Leutrim Edipi from Presevo, and Marilo Meta from Tirana believe that youth is the central force in creating positive social change in today’s political and social affairs of nations.
“The importance of youth and their voice is not only an important factor for the development of society in the Balkans, but it is important for the whole world. Youth are a momentous part of every community, because for the most part, they weren’t included, harmed or damaged by the previous historical events, such as wars and fights, and they aren’t currently influenced by the harmful sociological organizations (such as patriarchy, hierarchy, religious discrimination) in grand measures like grandparents or other ancestors have been in the past. Keeping this mind, we start to notice that young people have a modernised state of mind that helps them to expand their thinking to make healthier solutions for growth and achievement of better relations with other people near them, in order to create ideas and methods for all kind of innovations.
However, the problem is that not every nation provides and manages a large support for their younger population, which is a big concern. This is the same case for the Balkans today. Youth are fighting for better opportunities, but not a lot of people hear their voice that supports their needs and wishes.
As a new member of Leadership Development Association Balkan (LDA) I have enjoyed being part of many trainings and session that aimed to educate its participants in different topics that are quite constructive and good to know. LDA has always encouraged youth to pursue their ambitions for a better life and gives them the opportunity to express their thoughts with others. This part of LDA is just great! To be sincere, I made a lot of friends, and I meet a lot of people that are very dedicated to their work. The whole cooperation with the teams of LDA Balkan is really satisfying in my view, and it’s a great honor to be part of it,” stated Mila Mihajlović, Lipjan, member of LDA Balkan.
Mila Mihajlović, Lipjan, member of LDA Balkan Association
“Many young Albanians today lack the motivation to make a difference in their country for a better future. Among the factors that contribute to this challenge are socio-economic ones. For this reason, there is an urgent need to restructure policymaking in Albania and Kosovo, to increase the level of credibility and trust in the government institutions and to create a unified political model. Young people should not be used as a tool to achieve personal political agenda goals; but rather they should be offered greater support for individual and professional advancement and development to succeed in their journey in order to serve the needs of today’s modern world,” stated Leutrim Edipi, professional collaborator of LDA Presevo and member of LDA Balkan, Kosova Branch.
“I strongly believe that today's youth needs more opportunities to participate in the political processes and contribute to development solutions. This would increase their civic engagement and social change. We need to break through the barriers, prejudice and discrimination of the youth that hold us back as a society,” said Bjondina Sherifi, LDA Balkan member, Macedonia branch.
“I sincerely believe that the youth from the Balkans has great potential, young professionals with extraordinary abilities who seek to improve, learn, explore, idealize more and contribute more,” said Marilo Meta, President of LDA Balkan.
“In order to have necessary long-lasting change, youth must be included because they are the voice of democracy. Their ambition is the vision of the future and all nations must unite their efforts in providing an environment where youth can contribute and excel. I would like to give special thanks to Dr. Ermira Babamusta who shared with us her valuable experiences to prepare the youth for a better future for them and the next generations to come,” said Shpat Iseini, LDA Balkan Member, Northern Macedonia Branch in Gostivar.
“The leadership training by Dr. Babamusta was very special and powerful. We are lucky to have successful strong women like Ermira to train LDA Balkan members. I am proud to be part of the LDA youth engagement efforts in Macedonia. Congratulations to all the speakers from Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Presevo and Northern Macedonia, who gave a unified message regarding the importance of leadership and youth empowerment. We the Balkan Youth, we really have the desire to develop and change things for the better in our countries. I encourage the young Balkan people to not leave their homeland but take advantage of many capacity building opportunities,” said Lutfije Nuhiji, member of the LDA Balkan Regional Board, representative of Northern Macedonia Branch.
Useful Links & Resources:
Leadership Development Association (LDA) Balkan
Dr. Ermira Babamusta
Political Trust in Kosovo - Print & Kindle on Amazon
The Legislative Journey of Employment Discrimination - Print & Kindle on Amazon
Dona Kuçi, LDA training conference moderator and LDA Balkan member, Albania Branch
Dr. Sedat Baraliu, HR Manager of LDA Balkan
Arb Shabani, LDA Balkan Member, Montenegro Branch
Bjondina Sherifi, LDA Balkan member, Macedonia branch
Shpat Iseini, LDA Balkan Member, Northern Macedonia Branch in Gostivar
Evelina Rumi, Assistant Project Manager, LDA Balkan in Tirana
Lutfije Nuhiji, member of the LDA Balkan Regional Board, representative of Northern Macedonia Branch
Leutrim Edipi, professional collaborator of LDA Presevo and member of LDA Balkan, Kosova Branch
Leona Jahiri, Coordinator of LDA Balkan, Kosovo Branch
Fjona Xhelili, Administrator of LDA Balkan, Kosovo Branch
Dr. Ermira Babamusta, Author & Foreign Affairs Expert, winner of the White House President Obama's Golden Award