Strong Leadership, in Spite of Potentially Deadly Consequences

Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani girl who has fought women’s oppression all over the world is now opening her newest school for girls for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Born July 12, 1997 in Swat Valley Pakistan, young Malala would soon learn how difficult it was going to be to get an education as a girl in her country. After the Taliban moved into her region, they soon started to ban many things; things such as girls attending school. Malala then starts to blog for the BBC under a different name to tell her story about living under Taliban rule shortly before they close her school that she so loved to attend. When the New York Times hears about her story, they decide to make a documentary featuring Malala herself. She soon became the face for the opposition of the Taliban, and in turn, became their next target. On October 9, 2012 a Taliban fighter boards her school bus and shoots her in the head at point blank range. Miraculously, Malala survived, and has been an unstoppable force in the fight for women’s education all over the world.

Her ability to amass such a following is directly related to the leadership theories that she employs: trait theory, and transformational leadership theory. Trait theory suggests that leaders are born with certain traits that make them successful leaders. Malala demonstrates many of these traits such as: initiative, determination, influence, and a willingness to accept consequences. The initiative that Malala showed at such a young age, in the face of such a violent and oppressive group is truly incredible. Her continuing determination even after an assassination attempt is revered by all of her followers. One trait from this theory that is deeply imbedded in the transformational theory as well, is influence. Her ability to influence girls all over the world to take a stand, and fight with her in order to change the status quo is extraordinary. She motivates all of her followers through the telling of her story; because her story is often the story of the millions of other girls throughout the world suffering from the same oppression. Her determination in the face of danger, and her ability to motivate and empower young women all over the world have been astonishingly effective in creating change for a better world for her and her followers.



Malala Fund. (2018). Retrieved on Jan 27, 2018 from


Thomson, N. B., Rawson, J. V., Slade, C. P., & Bledsoe, M. (2016). Transformation and

transformational leadership. Academic Radiology, 23(5), 592-599.


Zaccaro, S. J. (2007). Trait-based perspectives of leadership. American Psychologist, 62(1), 6-

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar