"With great power comes great responsibility"
This is more of a fact than being a proverb or one of the commonly used ancient sayings. Leadership is indeed more synonymous with the discharge of duties than a pedestal of privileges. Time and again, the world has produced inspiring and transformational leaders to remind us of this significant reality. One such leader of contemporary times is Angela Merkel, the incumbent Chancellor of Germany.
You will be amazed to know that she is serving her fourth term as the Chancellor of Germany. Having risen to power in 2005, she is Europe’s longest-serving elected female leader. In a world largely driven by patriarchy and male dominance, she has made her presence felt in a redefining way.
Goes without saying, a leader with such massive experience has some enchanting leadership lessons to offer. It takes exceptional leadership potential to be at the helm of a nation like Germany for four consecutive terms. For sure, she is a leader with proven mettle and that is what has made people elect her time and again. In this post, we shed light on some incredible and crucial leadership lessons that we can learn from her aura.
Not to forget, she is fourth on Forbes list of the world’s most powerful leaders and people. She supersedes some of the top leaders of the world and dominates the tally of astounding female leaders. Learning from her aura can hence be extraordinarily rewarding for us. Without much ado, let us delve deeper into the leadership virtues we can grasp from her.
For your perusal: 9 skills to Being a More Effective and Impactful Leader
Enchanting leadership lessons to learn from Angela Markel
I. Leadership is gender-neutral
Even the most advanced nations are still battling with stereotypes on gender roles. The perception that men and women have different roles in society is prevalent even today. But Angela Merkel’s inspirational success story of leading Germany confronts such rudimentary notions. Having led Germany to be one of the five largest economies of the world, she has proved that women can be great leaders too. She is acclaimed for her leadership to manage Europe’s debt crisis with great efficiency. She is celebrated for having brought positive changes in the lives of people.
She has never let her gender come in the way of her achievements. She is a fine epitome of women empowerment and feminism. She has shown the world that a leader is defined by potential and character and not by gender. So, the next time you doubt a female’s ability to lead, learning from Angela Merkel’s example will be a great idea! Leadership is a way of life and not a gender trait.
Leaders will seem so hollow without resilience, isn’t it? What makes leaders outshine others is their resilience and their conviction. Angela Merkel’s journey and her persona are brimming with teachings of resilience. She came into politics in the year 1989 and for many years, she remained a responsible and active leader of the opposition. Her resilience paid off and she rose to power in 2005 proving all those wrong who would have argued that she is not fit for the post. Resilient people do not quit and in fact, they inspire grit and strength in others. She is full of resilience like a great leader should be.
Hence, she exhibits resilience as one of the most significant leadership qualities. As a leader, when you strive to make a change, many will tell you that you are wasting your time. People will discourage you, try to pull you down, and try to oust you from the competition. In such a scenario, your qualification or your interpersonal skills would not matter much. What will matter the most will be your resilience and perseverance. Keep doing the best that you can and destiny will bow to make way for you!
Further reading: Perseverance is Key to Making Your Mark
How can someone win four straight terms unless she does not have a vision? You look at any successful leader of the world, you will find that all of them have visions. They know what they want to achieve and they know the path to it. If they were to get confused in the middle of their journeys and struggle for answers, they would not reach where they are! Angela Markel portrays the true prowess and charm of being a visionary. You may be a great orator or a great socialist but for being a leader you need vision.
She has had a vision, and that vision has led Germany to attain such a powerful position in the world. Today, with a GDP of over 3.8 billion USD, Germany is the fourth on the list of largest global economies. She also has the vision to make Germany play an active role in environmental sustainability. She has devoted a lot of her time to developing renewable sources of energy. She is leading Germany to create abundant green energy for the future. All of this is possible because she is a visionary. Every leader should be a visionary before anything else.
Leadership is about service and selflessness however, this virtue is often ignored. People believe that leadership is about enjoying unparalleled power and ruling others. Angela Merkel all her life has vowed to serve the people of Germany with humility and has personified service. From the welfare of her countrymen to infrastructural development, she has always been keen to serve with selflessness. She knows how to win the hearts of people by working for their interests and rights.
It is a well-known fact that arrogant and self-centered leaders are voted out of power soon. Because they keep their own interests over the rights of the citizens, they seldom get a second chance. The world is full of such examples of leaders being ousted. On the other hand, Angela Merkel has been the most important person in Germany since 2005. Her selflessness has given her a competitive edge over all her political rivals. She is a fine endorsement of democratic leadership.
V. Critical Thinking
Angela Merkel is a deep thinker who has a loyal belief in strategic planning. With ardent strategic planning, she has been able to neutralize the geopolitical challenges of Germany. Whether it is about economic policies, the creation of contemporary job opportunities, or strategic foreign policy, she believes in critical thinking and informed choices. She understands the cause and effect relationship of every policy and likes to think deeply about it. She does not draw inferences on intuitions but she relies on information.
She has proved that with critical thinking and intellect, problems can be overcome without going to war. She believes in constant dialogues and discussions with allies as well as leaders of nations that Germany has disputes with. She endorses amazing problem-solving skills based on critical thinking abilities. She thinks ahead of her time, prepares well for forecasted challenges, and resolves conflicts with analysis. She has all the traits of a leader’s coaching manual!
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∴ To recapitulate, it takes strong character and class apart leadership to be the most powerful lady in the world.
Angela Merkel is an optimistic leader and a thinker who is constant in finding ways to bring about changes for the better.
From her resilience to her altruistic nature, there are multifaceted attributes of leadership that we can learn from her. Besides, she is a metaphor for outstanding courage to challenge a patriarchal system that resents the rise of women to power. She teaches us that as long as one has dreams, follows up those dreams with perseverance, one can achieve whatever he or she desires. Every great leader is an extraordinary teacher and so is Angela Merkel.
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