People shine like diamonds. Like a diamond, they have facets and angles. Perspectives and economic interests they seek to promote and reflect. The best diamonds show brilliance, scintillation and fire as they intensify and integrate light through the reflections of facets. So too with leadership. The role of the leader is to integrate different perspectives and align competing economic interests for the benefit of the common good.
Feriel Zerouki, our esteemed cover personality, is providing leadership across many platforms. Her creation and management of the De Beers GemFair program in Sierra Leone is transformative and highly commendable. Ms. Zerouki plays an important role in our industry as the De Beers senior vice president for corporate affairs and has extended her influence as president of the World Diamond Council (WDC), honorary treasurer and member of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) executive committee, and most recently as a director of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC).
It is important to recognize Ms. Zerouki for the leader she is and to learn about her views. Ms. Zerouki and I strongly disagree about a number of critical industry issues, such as the relationship of the diamond trade within the Kimberley Process (KP) and the WDC System of Warranties.
Whatever our differences, the role of Rapaport Magazine and Rapaport information services must be to honestly communicate the diversity of views within our industry, even and especially those views that we may strongly disagree with.
Ms. Zerouki, De Beers, the WDC, the RJC and the JVC will face serious unprecedented challenges over the next few months and years. Synthetics, sanctions, and the bifurcation of the diamond trade as we enter a global economic world war will demand attention. It will be interesting to see how the current industry leadership confronts these challenges.
Leadership will require the merging of different perspectives and economic interests for the common good. It will also require the exclusion of unethical members of the industry from trade organizations. Ms. Zerouki seeks to be all-inclusive, but she cannot be everything to everyone everywhere. Tough decisions lie ahead.
As the Rapaport Group enters its 46th year of publishing diamond prices, we devote ourselves to promoting better communication and the exchange of ideas that can help the diamond industry grow and prosper.
This article is from the July-August 2023 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.