Empathetic leadership | Pakistan Today

Empathetic leadership

The positive role of the NZ PM

Perhaps after Abraham Lincoln, the world received a great lesson in leadership. All leaders and managers learnt first hand on how to face the toughest of challenges and adversity with Himalayan resolve and clenched teeth. This lesson was given to all in the global village, by the second lady Prime Minister who gave while in her office. This lady with nerves of steel is no other than Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand.

Almost 20 years back, having roamed Auckland and Christchurch I had concluded I was in Paradise. I have romanced since about retiring there. The people are friendly, the weather comfortable and the society calm. Last Friday, it took one lunatic to cause a shudder amongst the peace loving people of New Zealand. Fifty worshipers in a mosque were martyred ruthlessly. The killer hasn’t shown any remorse.

New Zealand’s citizens have never been in the news for a wrong reason. It was the first time that terror had struck its peaceful foundations. Faced with this grave tragedy, Ms Ardern moved swiftly to handle the crisis. She was sad, but not weakened. She was critical, but wasn’t foul in condemnation.

She was at the mosque swiftly, with the bereaved families, right in their midst, wearing a black scarf. She was full of grief and so was the entire nation. This grief would have been the same, if such an incident had happened at a church, synagogue or temple. The people of New Zealand possess goodness of heart, so the reaction was not specific to Muslims only. Such a tragedy anywhere else would have evoked no different reaction. The grief, conveyed through troubled eyes, was not for cameras. It was real. The Prime Minister revealed her upbringing by declaring the killer “terrorist”. She did not relent to please anybody. Jacinda Ardern is blessed with that amazing ability to put herself, in the place of her grieving compatriots, to recognise their situation and identify with their feelings. Many of the world leaders may take a lesson or two, from her empathetic leadership style, which the world of today needs the most. Nothing is sweeter than empathy. In the last several days, she has handled the tragedy with grit, determination and compassion. While the New Zealanders were grieving with their Muslim citizens, what was the Ummah doing? Caught as usual napping! What did the OIC do? Issue a statement! To welcome Sushma Swaraj, the nominee of the ‘butcher of Gujarat’, who killed thousands of Muslims, just as the terrorist did, the OIC members were busy at the recently held OIC meeting. Will the OIC hold a session to honour Ms Ardern, for her nobility, which is the hallmark of Islam?

Why doesn’t Imran Khan’s government push through a resolution in the House condemning the terrorist and all his brethren globally, whether in hiding or holding public office

The television interview of the lady, who lost her husband and son, to the assassin’s brutality, was heart wrenching. The interviewer, a New Zealander, was choking, while the lady in grief was composed and at time smiling. She is Islam. A paragon of virtue. She seemed to have best understood the verse, “to HIM, we belong and unto HIM, we return”. The teenager, whose best expression of anger, revolt and revulsion, resulted in breaking just an egg, on the thick neck of a petty politician. This was an act of innocence.

New Zealand’s Parliament began its proceedings with a recitation from the Holy Quran. This was unparalleled. These parliamentarians set up new record of tolerance and maturity. The Prime Minister began with an Islamic greeting of “peace be upon you” in Arabic. She spoke most vehemently, in the Parliament and said, “I implore you, speak the names of those who were more lost than the man who took theirs away. He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist, but he will, when I speak, be nameless”. This resolute attitude to not let the terrorist have his way in employing the dastardly act for promotion of white supremacist views, is commendable. For more comfort, it was good to see The Canberra Times carry the sketch of New Zealand’s fern, where each leaf is shown as a Muslim offering salat.

The livestreaming on social media was not only deplorable, but calls for full enquiry, on how it could pass the test of filters, if any. If the OIC is sleeping, is our Parliament also napping? Why doesn’t Imran Khan’s government push through a resolution in the House condemning the terrorist and all his brethren globally, whether in hiding or holding public office, and simultaneously praise the noteworthy role of Prime Minister Ardern and the people of New Zealand? Our Prime Minister should bestow the highest civilian award on her, Remember, she hugged and consoled our people when they needed it most.

If Lady Diana was the Princess of Hearts; Ms. Ardern is emerging  as a ‘Queen of hearts’. God Bless the Martyrs, the bereaved and the people of New Zealand.