Talk Africa: “Everyday Leaders”

Leadership is about people. Looking out at the leaders in control of African nations, I wonder if they got the memo. Maybe they did, and they know the truth. Maybe leadership today is about something entirely different. Our history is riddled with what we call leaders, good and bad. When we hear names like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mother Teresa, and Margaret Thatcher, we imagine not just human beings, men and women made of flesh and bone, but we imagine superhuman gods. These individuals rose above their movements, the very intentions of their campaigns, and became the movement, the change, and the destruction.

Now, being a revolutionary is the standard for leadership. A little girl in a small village in Kenya going to school to learn to read and write is not a leader, even though her friends now accompany her to class everyday. A man who refused to cripple his young daughter for looking upon the face of a man in a conservative Muslim nation is not a leader, even though his small rebellion breathed hope into the lives of many young girls. Individuals around the world are living extraordinary lives, rebelling in small, yet invisibly powerful ways. We, the purveyors of social media may not read the tweet, see the post, or watch the youtube clip, but the power of those small actions reverberate through the world by instilling a sense of rebellion in others.

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Talk Africa: “Everyday Leaders”
Leadership is about people. Looking out at the leaders in control of African nations, I wonder if they got the memo. Maybe they did, and they know the truth. Maybe leadership today is about something entirely different. Our history is riddled with what we call leaders, good and bad. When we hear names like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mother Teresa, and Margaret Thatcher, we imagine not just human beings, men and women made of flesh and bone, but we imagine superhuman gods. These individuals rose above their movements, the very intentions of their campaigns, and became the movement, the change, and the destruction.

Now, being a revolutionary is the standard for leadership. A little girl in a small village in Kenya going to school to learn to read and write is not a leader, even though her friends now accompany her to class everyday. A man who refused to cripple his young daughter for looking upon the face of a man in a conservative Muslim nation is not a leader, even though his small rebellion breathed hope into the lives of many young girls. Individuals around the world are living extraordinary lives, rebelling in small, yet invisibly powerful ways. We, the purveyors of social media may not read the tweet, see the post, or watch the youtube clip, but the power of those small actions reverberate through the world by instilling a sense of rebellion in others.
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