I find no words for the profound admiration for Chancellor Angelica Merkel who has completed her fourth tenure as Chancellor of the Republic of Germany. Only recently when she made it clear that soon she would be calling a day as Germany—nay Europe’s strongest ruler, she got an unprecedented applause that could have only outdone Hitler’s populist appeal in the worst of circumstances.
Angelica is a woman leader second to none in the world today. Educated as a scientist—unlike most of our leaders with fake degrees, she remains a walking treasure trove of knowledge and understanding of human beings. And one wonders what would happen to Germany when she quits.
Indeed there is no slightest doubt that the entire sum total of male leadership in the world today shall remain scum before her iconic qualities. Having remained Chancellor for 18 years leading her nation of 80 million with highest German competence and dedication minus any itch for lies or false pretences—she has rightly earned the pride and affection of her people as a multifaceted architect and a builder that made her country prosperous, respected worldwide and citizens of Germany happy and proud of her.
Unlike the mixed catalogue of crimes, follies and failings that mark most of the careers of contemporary leaders, through her eighteen years as the leader of the nation, no transgressions were recorded against her, nor was she accused of abuse of state power. Not only that she remained above favouritism or playing foul with merit. Unlike our country where most of the ministers or senior officers owe it all to the pleasure of their boss Imran Khan for their jobs, Merkel did not assign any of her relatives the post of a federal secretary etc like the army of her favourites in key position as is seen in the personally benevolent regime of their boss Imran Khan. Unlike Imran Khan who denied sharing of the World Cup glories with his well deserving colleagues like great batsman Miandad. Nor did she establish the cover of a charitable foundation to shroud all his black and white wealth. Merkel unlike Khan did not claim that she was the maker of national plaudits. Unlike Khan who has mastered the art of filling to the brim his Indian ocean-like bowl for collecting charity for his various needs. Angelica did not get millions out of her supporters and genuine fans, nor did anyone cheer her life, she did not receive charters and pledges, nor did she fight those who preceded her and did not dissolve her.
Unlike our leader ‘handsome Khan’ who refused to attend the funeral prayers of the Shia minors killed with impunity under his government’s sectarian reign of terror, Merkel did not seek cheap publicity by posing for selfies in the alleys of Berlin to be photographed later to be distributed in billboard size to show to his followers that she works hard without working at all. The most appropriate description for the Chancellor has been described as the woman to be rightly described as “The Lady of the World ” equivalent in strength to six million men.
Lately, this nation builder has not been too well and only the other day Merkel left the party leadership position and handed it over to those after her. According to her Germany and German people are her legitimate heirs to her legacy to keep it going. The news of her stepping down from the office of party leadership provoked a passionate and affectionate reaction from the entire German population that gave her unprecedented applause from up their homes hanging from the balconies, ramparts endangering their lives for the leader they love.
Octogenarians who have lived past Hitler’s era of massive populist rallies and are still alive, raise their hats in praise of their Chancellor Merkel who they say has done so much good for them that they don’t have good enough to praise her. Mind you eighteen years in unbridled power, she did not become a queen but a simple house wife who used to dress in ordinary working apparels, did her own household chores and lived happily so that her nation followed her simple living to imbibe high thinking as a way of life. Indeed, no leader would be as satiated as she for her achievements for her nation.
Often people at press conferences, asked Merkel about her dress: “We notice that your suit is repeated, don’t you have another?
Imran Khan and his ministers please note her response—she replied: I am a government employee and not a model or a film star. She would pick up a comb to set right her hair unlike Prime Minister Imran Khan who is believed to be spending a fortune to fix his hair, cover the fast thinning and greying patches. As reported at another press conference, they asked her: Do you have housemaids who clean the house, prepare meals and so on?
Her answer was: No, I do not have female workers and I do not need them. My husband and I do this work at home every day. This is indeed unlike our leader who has a whole Bani Gala Farming Castle over several hundred acres that need a huge army of servants to upkeep it with enormous supplies needed for his pets.
I remember when years ago Time Magazine rightly named her as the person of the year for her leadership qualities unmatched until now.
Merkel, who has served as Germany’s chancellor since 2005, earned this great honour along with the then President Hassan Rouhani. “Her political style was not to have one; no flair, no flourishes, no charisma, just a survivor’s sharp sense of power and a scientist’s devotion to data,” observed Time in its profile. Though the worlds of politics and business are profoundly different, Merkel’s leadership traits offer plenty of pointers for entrepreneurs who are fond of learning lessons from the larger stage of global government. Here’s a short list of Merkel’s outstanding attributes from Time’s writeup: It rightly say she has never been afraid to be a lone voice. In fact, Merkel is accustomed to minority platforms. She is a divorcee Protestant in a Catholic party. She is from East Germany, entering politics as “an Ossi in the newly unified Germany of the 1990s where easterners were still aliens,” notes Time. Her educational background is not in politics or international relations but in quantum chemistry. And of course, she’s a woman, another identifier in which she’s had to stand more or less on her own.
Angelica has the reputation of the quality of leading his country from behind. According to Time Merkel has “proudly practiced what Willy Brandt once called Die Politik der kleinen Schritte (the politics of baby steps), or as the Americans call it in the U.S., leading from behind and not Imran Khan’s politics of u-turns and volte faces. Time believes that ‘Reading between the lines, you can ascertain that Merkel has learned a thing or two from Nelson Mandela, widely acknowledged as a champion of leading from behind, which is to say, viewing leadership as a collective activity. Harvard Business School professor Linda Hill, an expert in Mandela’s techniques, believes leading from behind is the ultimate form of purpose-based leadership.
“Purpose–not the leader, authority, or power–is what creates and animates a community,” she writes in her 2014 book Collective Leadership. “It is what makes people willing to do the hard tasks of innovation together and work through the inevitable conflict and tension.”
Her values have helped to reverse and rescue Germany’s reputation from the past. “Germany has spent the past 70 years testing antidotes to its toxically nationalist, militarist, genocidal past,” reports Time. Merkel’s values–humanity, generosity, tolerance–are an antidote. In 2015, there have been several occasions when these values have come into play, whether it was in response to Vladimir Putin’s actions in the Ukraine, the Greek financial crisis, or the violence in Paris.
When events like this “revived the reflex to slam doors, build walls, and trust no one,” Time writes, she was unafraid to make her stand, even if it meant more time for Merkel as a lone voice. It was nothing she hadn’t done before. “Her approval ratings dropped more than 20 points, even as she broadcast her faith in her people: ‘Wir schaffen das,’ she has said over and over. ‘We can do this,'” Time notes.
The magazine concludes: “Leaders are tested only when people don’t want to follow. For asking more of her country than most politicians would dare, for standing firm against tyranny as well as expedience, and for providing steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply and where unfortunately leaders like Imran Khan with the reputation of a playboy, gambler and u-turners are seeking space for themselves.