Does leadership favor age, gender, or race? Is leadership confined to business and politics?
If you answer “yes” to either of the questions then you are not just biased but definitely naive. Leadership exists where there is a cause. Leadership echoes specially in worthwhile undertakings. And in the case of our 15-year old heroine, Malala Yousufzai, she fought for the right to education of Pakistani girls through blogging… exposing the negatives and, suggesting change that in doing so, she got shot in the head. If you have not heard of her story then you must have been living under a rock.
Malala showed signs of activism as early as September 2008 when she spoke of education rights. Then in 2009, when Malala had a chance to blog for BBC, she displayed curiosity and genuine concern that opened doors to an early political career, an opportunity to develop her Leadership skills by being Chair of District Child Assembly Swat. With her continued fight for women’s rights and education, her star rose that the Taliban took notice… and where the inevitable happened.
At any rate, her courage has brought inspiration to her countrymen and around the globe while carving a name for herself in this discriminating world. Then was even considered for Time’s Person Of The Year 2012 as well as petitioned for the Nobel Peace Prize of 2012. In all, does one need to be a dissident or something to get noticed? To be an inspiration? For some parts of the world, yes. But what’s more important is the worthiness of what you’re exactly fighting for.
Great Leaders don’t just sit, they start the wheel and make sure it keeps turning. Their power doesn’t come from an army but from a noble conviction. Their strength doesn’t come from guns but from pens and microphones. Their durability doesn’t come from money but from their followers’ trust. And real trust is only gained if you understand the effects of an iron curtain. Do MBA schools teach these perspectives? No. For many schools, it’s just about business and acceptability, this is why discrimination exists… and Great Leaders are few.
What’s next for Malala? Opportunities and challenges on an incessant struggle for change. Can you imagine how much better the world would be if there were more Malalas?
What’s your take?