What Leadership Is! – Malala Yousafzai

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In recognizing International Women’s Day, I would like to start my What Leadership Is series with Malala Yousafzai.  For those of you that don’t know the story, Malala here is a quick version from her book:

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

When you read a story like Malala’s, it makes the leadership we talk about in our industry seem trivial.  We talk about a great leader having a vision, inspiring others, courage, and conviction. Typically, we are talking about respected business leaders who’s vision is to get us to buy something shiny.

After you hear Malala’s story, your vision of leadership may change dramatically.  Quite frankly, she sets the bar impossibly high.

I caught her interview with Jon Stewart several months ago and thought you might enjoy it as well.

Until next time…

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