New Zealand - Lesson in Leadership

  • Friday 22 Mar 2019
  • by Simon Phin
Simon Phin - New Zealand - Lesson in Leadership

All eyes have been on New Zealand, for the nation has forever changed.

We have over the last week witnessed the city of Christchurch, and the nation of New Zealand bear the burden of an unspeakable act of violence, of terrorism. The betrayal of humanity.

We have all seen our news feed describe the inhumanity of racism, hate and xenophobia. We have observed the community gather round to support those who seven days before may not have felt support, love, compassion and inclusiveness within our community.

What we, the global community, have seen is leadership.

New Zealand’s youngest ever Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has shown the world how to lead. Her language is simple, her message direct, her understanding of her nation and its people, unquestionable.

Jacinda Ardern’s language, actions and initiatives, have empowered a nation and I hope a global community. We must accept that all forms of racism and discrimination, in any form, cannot be tolerated. We cannot turn a blind eye to a lazy comment, an act of subtle prejudice. Ingrained historical precedence.

It is not how we are wired. It is a learnt behaviour, a learned belief.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister has, in this last week, led a nation in mourning by embracing the weakest and confronting the bullies. She has done so without bluster or bravado, no raised voice, no beating of the chest — no word games. Prime Minister Ardern has led by the innate ability of humankind to be compassionate towards, and of, one another.

We have seen New Zealanders, of all ages, spreading the depth and width of NZ culture of some 100+ origins and descents, take ownership of their community. Of, and for, one another. They have embraced each other without divide to creed or colour.

People of all ages, school children, teens and adults, have provided impulsive Haka to reassure a community and take back a nation that was never ceded to intruders*. A nation that forever has been the bastion of inclusiveness and compassion.

What can we do? Embrace those who do not feel part, as the Prime Minister put so well, of ‘us’. We need to build teams and build resilient communities.

What can you do next? Visit New Zealand; it is a nation like no other. Pure, Beautiful, Stunning. It is simply a magnificent nation, an awe inspiring vista.

And lessons in leadership? Jacinda Ardern provides a shining light when we need it most.

Reference Points:

*Christchurch school children mourn victims through Haka https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP-gcuxtzF8

*Treaty of Waitangi https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/treaty/the-treaty-in-brief

*Students farewell retiring teacher through Haka https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFGort3K9W8