Three Leadership Lessons from Aung San Suu Kyi

Sunday, April 1, 2012 | comments

“Human beings in the world over need freedom and security that they may be able to realize their full potential.”       Aung San Suu Kyi

 Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader, Nobel peace prize laureate had won a seat in parliament on Sunday, raising the prospect of her first role in government after a two decade struggle against dictatorship. People worldwide will cheer for Burmese people, for the progress they made, for the new chapter in humanity.

What can worldwide political and business leader learn from Aung San Suu Kyi:

1. The Leadership Authenticity

  •  A Heron, not a Politician:
Aung San Suu Kyi has spent most of the last two decades in some form of detention because of her efforts to bring democracy to military-ruled Burmar.  Being a hero or heron means you intend to stand out to lead because you see something obvious wrong, it’s the responsibility; you make a significant sacrifice to lead the transformation; Being a politician only means you take the “status quo” too seriously, with ignorance of real problem solving.

Though Suu Kyi try to perceive herself as a politician, to quote her “ I think I should be active politically. Because I look upon myself as a politician. That's not a dirty work you know. Some people think that there are something wrong with politicians.”, we see her more as a heron.
  • Symbol of Hope
Like the South African leader Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi has become an international symbol of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression. The Nobel Peace Prize committee chairman, Francis Sejested, called her "an outstanding example of the power of the powerless". Her victory on Sunday brings the new hope for Burmese people , to have freedom, justice and the right to pursue happiness.

 2. The Leadership Essential

  • Essential Influence: Suu Kyi’s power is her influence and popularity, Suu Kyi's role in a reforming Myanmar will be no less essential after her strong performance in Sunday's historic by-elections. “Aung San Suu Kyi should bring us democracy. She should lead our country into a happy future” many people expressed from bottom of heart, every Burmese love her.
  • Pursuit of Universal Happiness: In the last couple of decades, SuuKyi gave up her own personal happiness, to pursue the higher level of universal happiness for people in Burma, for justice, for democracy, for love, for opportunities, for humanity. With years of practicing& learning, SuuKyi’s leadership is also politically astute to handle essential tension:  becomes more realistic and ready to compromise between her principled and pragmatic sides

 3. The Leadership Style

  • Eastern Charm, Western Eloquence: Aung San Suu Kyi was educated in Burma, India, and the United Kingdom, she well blends western eloquence and eastern charm,. influenced by both Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence and more specifically by Buddhist concepts, Aun San Suu Kyi's ability to integrate Buddhism with western democratic ideals & religion has been crucial to her success at inspiring and motivating the Burmese people and to gain global recognition and popularity with her intelligence and style, like Martin Luthor King, Gandi, or Mandela, her strong convictions, perseverance and relentless efforts for social justice have inspired and garnered the respect of many around the world.

  •  Inspirational Message: She has won numerous international awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament and the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom. She has called on people around the world to join the struggle for freedom in Burma, saying “Please use your liberty to promote ours.”
 The people of Burma chose Aung San Suu Kyi as their leader. People worldwide also truly admire her strength and determination to stand up for what is right, to unite the difference and inspire the courage. 
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