Um texto muito interessante de alguém que admiro muito ;)
The world, for better or worse, is becoming more and more connected. Alliances and rivalries are ever more nuanced, based on a complex equation with multiple variables - political, economic, diplomatic, cultural, religious, ethnic, jurisdictional, etc - of random weights. The simplistic Maniqueism that permeated the international relations (Capitalism vs. Communism, good vs. evil) in the recent past is almost useless - and mostly dangerous - to the understanding of the current international context. In the contemporary world a leader needs a set of qualities related to sapience, empathy and diligence.
A leader has to be able to understand that each of those variables is related to a different balance of power. In this sense, there are many possibilities for the improvement of one's international profile and insertion, be it via hard or soft power policies. Likewise, given the complexity of the variables, a leader needs to acknowledge that changes on the overall balance occur gradually; besides, dramatics measures lead to unpredictable results, like how the weapons the United States gave to the Taliban to fight the communist are being used against the American soldiers.
The Taliban example is related to another quality that contemporary leaders should possess, extreme prudence regarding the use of force. As demonstrated by the seemingly endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict, violence generates violence. Nevertheless, the responsibility to protect is an international principle, which allowed, for instance, the recent incursion of a multinational peace force into Libya - to protect civilians from the ire of an autocratic regime. However, as the Brazilian leadership pointed out at the United Nations' General Assembly, in 2011, the collateral damage inflicted by that peace force ought to drive an international consideration about the responsibility while protecting.
Disposition to compromise in order to achieve a satisfactory solution in another quality that a leader should display. Condemnation and accusation, while being somewhat morally rewarding, are not effective means of changing one's behavior; as the economic theory proclaims, incentives are especially useful. Besides, compromise is not to be mistaken for appeasement; the goal is to improve one's behavior, not to ignore it. A leader should know that nothing constructive can be gained by refusing to negotiate because of some objectionable aspect of its counterpart.
In such a complex world there are no easy solutions. In this sense, a leader should be capable of grasping the overall intricacy of an issue and assessing the related variables. Also, a leader needs to be keen to help the needy but overly cautions regarding the use of force. Last but not least, a leader must be diligent in its will to negotiate and not give in to the Maniqueist mentality.