A Leader’s Courageous Call to Empower the World

This past weekend at the Global Goals conference in New York, 18 year-old Malala Yousafzai, recipient of the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, delivered a rousing message to the world about Youth and Education.

“Through Education, we can improve health, we can fight against hunger, we can decrease poverty and we can bring equality in Society. If Education is not there in Society, than we cannot ensure any of these goals, so I am hopeful that world leaders will listen to our voices and do something.”

Ms. Yousafzai consistently exhibits traits of a true leader, and her message of the importance of a quality Education for everyone reverberated throughout the globe. She first spoke at the UN at the age of 16, and her Social Activism efforts have empowered many Youth to take responsibility for their own lives and voice their ideas and values. As she continues to be a resounding force for good in the world, Ms. Yousafzai displays 4 key characteristics that can help propel more Youth into action:

Vision

Ms. Yousafzai has an innate ability to look far ahead and communicate her vision for a more fair and just society. She sees beyond the UN Sustainable Development Goals and understands that nations will not effectively solve these goals until they develop a solid Educational system for everyone.

Poise

In her UN Press Conference, reporters and key delegates asked Ms. Yousafzai highly challenging and controversial questions. But rather than answer these questions directly, she deftly redirected her answers back to her overall vision of providing Education for everyone. Furthermore, she did not get rattled or become visibly upset by the questioning, and remained calm and composed as she framed her answers.

Compassion

A strong leader speaks with conviction, and also understands how to convey a deep sense of caring for others. Ms. Yousafzai maintains the same tone, inflection and pacing in every speech she delivers or event she participates in, and her calm demeanour encourages others to act as well. She serves as a model for how a leader should carry herself, allowing Youth to not only continue to lead, but to do so with empathy and awareness for others around the world.

ActionMalala 2

As Ms. Yousafzai’s press conference continued, she spoke to the concept of creating action:

“You have to raise your voice, you have to speak up for yourself; do not wait for someone else to come and speak for you, it’s you, your voice that can really bring change…”

Indeed, for Youth’s unique voices to reach their right audience, they must use their words intelligently to create action. With numerous Internet outlets to communicate their vision, creativity and compassion, Youth have an International platform to be heard and educate others as Malala Yousafzai continues to do.

The best leaders are those who educate, empower and enlighten the hearts of others. We look forward to seeing more Youth raise their voice and become the next generation of caring world leaders.