How do you teach leadership?
Here are three stories to demonstrate different aspects of leadership:
LEADERSHIP THROUGH COMPASSION
Princess Diana shaking the hands of an AIDS patient
In the 1980s, AIDS arrived on the world stage. It was a new, frightening disease with no cure and was rampaging through communities and countries. People believed that you could catch AIDS by touching someone who had it. Sufferers were shunned. In 1987, Princess Diana, one of the most famous people in the world, opened the first unit in the UK dedicated to treating people with HIV and AIDS. During her visit, she shook the hands of a patient without wearing gloves, and changed people’s perceptions of the disease forever.
LEADERSHIP THROUGH SURVIVAL
Malala Yousafzai’s campaign for female education
Malala grew up with northwest Pakistan, where the Taliban had often banned girls from attending school. From the age of 11, she was a vocal supporter of female education, receiving international praise for her advocacy work. A few years later, the Taliban attempted to assassinate her, with a gunman boarding her school bus and shooting her in the head. She survived, and the attack provoked worldwide outrage. In Pakistan, it led to the ratification of the Right to Education bill. Since her recovery, Malala has continued her advocacy work, and has become the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She has also addresses the UN, met world leaders, and founded the non-profit Malala Fund.
LEADERSHIP THROUGH INSPIRATION
Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech
Martin Luther King was the most prominent leader in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s until his assassination in 1968. He modelled his strategy of civil disobedience and non-violence on the successes of Mahatma Gandhi, and received the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1963, he made a speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. His speech continues to inspire people to this day. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”