Aung San Suu KyiThe leadership legacies of Aung San Suu Kyi have not just inspired the Burmese, but also the rest of the world. Having won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and several honorary awards, Suu Kyi proved that her leadership principles are worth emulating. Despite being under house arrest, she continued fighting for democracy in Myanmar.

Suu Kyi grew up in the world of politics. Her father, General Aung San, is Burma’s independence hero. She did not see her father’s struggles because he died when she was just two years old. She continued the principles her father fought for as Burma struggled for genuine freedom. She worked at the United Nations in New york and traveled to different countries. For a while, she stayed in the UK to raise her children but her heart remained in Myanmar.

The success of her opposition party in 1990 could have instituted the awaited change, but prior to their party’s victory, she was detained. Suu Kyi was imprisoned for 21 years and was released in 2010. Although Myanmar still has a long way to go in pushing for democratic reforms, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi leads fearlessly and confidently, a worthy trait for an intergenerational population of Burmese citizens to follow.

LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES WORTH EMULATING

Aung San Suu Kyi-1▶ Don’t just say what you want to say or do what you want to do. As a leader, Aung San Suu Kyi believes that people follow every word a  leader says. Leaders have to be very careful. She learned the value of meditation and took insight meditation classes at Oxford University. She is now more patient because of this technique. She believes meditation helps in withstanding physical and mental pressure.
▶ Abhor hypocrisy but acknowledge shortcomings. Burmese people have always felt her sincerity. She keeps on searching for deeper truths. She has spoken in several rallies and campaigned for justice. However, she is known to be quick in apologizing when necessary.
▶ Willingness to sacrifice to fight for what is right. 21 years of political imprisonment is no joke. Many politicians claiming to be “just” won’t take this kind of sacrifice to take a stand. For Suu Kyi, despite being kept away from her family, she learned to deal with inherent  consequences” of her commitment and dedication. She knows that this kind of sacrifice will bear fruits.
▶ The value of love and forgiveness. For someone who was imprisoned for a long time fighting for justice, one can assume that anger and hatred ruled her life. The opposite applies for Suu Kyi. She said, “In some ways, I don’t think they did anything to me. They placed me under house arrest, but that gave me time to read.” In her heart, love and forgiveness still reigns.

In Myanmar, Suu Kyi seems to have a “rock star” status. People cheer and listen to her whenever she is around. This is the type of leader who has the genuine love and support of her followers.

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