When Angela Merkel was named the Person of the Year by TIME magazine, it did not come as a surprise to millions in different parts of the world. Merkel had been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005 and she was praised for her role in managing the debt crisis in Greece and the European migrant crisis too.
Germany is the largest economy in Europe and it has a lot to credit Merkel for. She is hailed as one of the most powerful world leaders and there is a lot that can be learned from her leadership style. Here are eight takeaways from Merkel’s pattern:
- Resilience: If you study the history of Merkel, one of the first things you are going to notice is her absolute resilience, she never gives up. She joined the Christian Democratic Union as a politician in 1989. She remained active in politics and led the opposition until she emerged as the Chancellor of Germany in 2005.
Not many people can hold on tenaciously to their dreams for decades without losing focus or getting distracted. She is a genuinely convincing symbol of resilience and it is a part of her character and personae.
- Ambitious Streak: Merkel has taught the world that no dream is impossible. Her pattern of leadership and vision shows that she is ambitious and that has no limits. She always believed that she can achieve whatever she sets her mind to. That is how she was able to become the very first female Chancellor of Germany.
However, she did not even stop there; she would proceed to become the President of the European Council in 2007. She was widely recognized as the de facto leader of all of Europe. Merkel has always been ambitious and it is apparent considering all the roles she held before Chancellorship. She was a government deputy spokesperson, minister for women and youth, minister for nature conservation, environment, and nuclear safety, and even general secretary of her party.
- Courage: As a leader of one of the most powerful nations in the world, Merkel has had to make some controversial decisions. A very good example was during the immigrant crisis when she opened the borders for millions of refugees fleeing the troubled spots of the world. Millions of German citizens were not happy with this decision but she firmly stood her ground. Merkel is not someone to be intimidated.
- Competence: An excellent leader is a competent one. If there is anything that stands out in Merkel’s leadership and behavior, it is her competence. In her role as the President of the European Council, she has handled some of the most complicated issues with matchless competence.
She was central to the management of the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 alongside the debt crisis that gripped Europe. It is believed that if not for her intervention, things would have become even worse.
- Service: Merkel has lived almost all her life in the service of Germany and humanity. She is selfless and shows that the goal of a true leader is in service to humanity. Unlike some other leaders who are selfish, Angela Merkel does not do anything for herself; she is constantly onto one activity or the other for the benefit of everyone.
It is no wonder that her people keep re-electing her into office. She has been Chancellor of Germany for 20 years now in one of the world’s biggest democracies. A true leader is a servant of the people. A look at her policies, from health care to citizen welfare and protection of the environment all demonstrate this.
- Visionary Nature: Merkel is one of the most vocal figures regarding the phasing out of nuclear energy. She has pushed policies in this regard. She is thinking well into the future and this reflects in her mode of leadership. She is devoting a lot to the development of renewable energy sources and future energy development. A good leader does not think of just the present but also thinks of what will become of the future generations.
- Knowing When to Quit: Some leaders do not know that they have to leave the stage when the ovation is loudest. Some of them remain in power until they spoil the good works they have done. That is not going to happen to Merkel.
She has already become the longest-serving incumbent head of government anywhere in Europe. She knows when to leave the stage and that is why she is not going to go for another term as Chancellor in 2021.
- Be Strategic: Few leaders in Europe are as deft as Merkel. She knows how to handle the menacing threat of Vladimir Putin’s Russia while also managing to ensure the Greeks remain in the European Union. She is a deep thinker who knows how to appeal to different people with different views.