Malala Yousafrazi – Lessons From An Inspirational 16 Year Old Leader!


Share on LinkedIn

MalalaGreat leadership is often seen as something that comes from years of hard work, experience and working your way to the top – and there are indeed many great leaders who have done it that way. There are also some on which leadership is developed at an early age, and one such person is the amazing Malala Yousafrazi.

Malala is the 16 year old Pakistani girl who was brutally attacked by the Taliban for standing up for educational rights for women. Although she has emerged as an inspirational leader in the last 12 months, and was demonstrating leadership tendencies before that!

When she was only 11 Malala wrote a blog detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the area where she lived and her views on promoting education for girls. She rose to prominence and appeared in many articles, documentaries and was featured in interviews in a number of TV programmes shown locally and internationally.

On 9 October 2012, Malala was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, and eventually was brought to hospital in the UK for intensive rehabilitation.

Her recovery has seen her demonstrate many of the characteristics we see in 3D leaders as she continues to campaign for educational rights for women.

She Has That ‘Vision Thing’!

Even though she is still at school she actively campaigns with a clear vision that ‘excites, stimulates and inspires’ – she demands that all children worldwide be in school by the end of 2015.

She Engages Others!

The list of people she has got on board with her campaign is amazing – they range from Desmond Tutu and Hilary Clinton to David Beckham and Beyonce! It was ex Prime Minister Gordon Brown who promoted the campaign ‘I am Malala’ that reiterated her vision: It said…

  • We call on Pakistan to agree to a plan to deliver education for every child.
  • We call on all countries to outlaw discrimination against girls.
  • We call on international organizations to ensure the world’s 61 million out-of-school children are in education by the end of 2015
She ‘Fishes In Other Pools’

This is all about ‘getting out there’ and Malala has certainly done that – ok she has been forced out of her country, but she has actively campaigned and travelled to see how things are done all over the world! She has even spoken at the United Nations and has been nominated as a Nobel Peace Price winner – if she weins this week, she’d be the world’s youngest ever winner!

She Challenges the Status Quo!

This is a young woman who is not afraid to question authorities and actively encourages others to do the same!

Her speech at the United Nations reinforced this. It was her first public speech since the attack and took place on her 16th birthday on the 12th July – dubbed Malala Day! She said:

“The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born … I am not against anyone, neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban or any other terrorist group. I’m here to speak up for the right of education for every child. I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and all terrorists and extremists.”

3D businesses create leadership at every level – it’s not just the ‘old ‘uns’ and if you ever need evidence that leadership can be lived and demonstrated by a 16 year old, look no further than Malala Yousafzai – a true inspiration!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here