Leadership: Croatian Style
By Sheryl McAlister, a writer based in South Carolina
When Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović was captured on camera recently at the World Cup final between France and Croatia, her compassion, her leadership and her humanity were on display for the whole world to see. This middle-aged, blonde woman stood in the pouring rain, wearing her Croatian team jersey and congratulated every single member of both teams. No doubt she offered comfort to the young members of her own national team who had lost the title match. Even in defeat, she was positive. Even in defeat, she was proud.
I was fascinated by her and was moved to do a little more research on her and her country. What is presented in this blog entry are the words and visuals provided by other people and/or sources.
Writer Heinrich Hall wrote in a piece for Peter Sommer Travels: “Croatia is a country that personifies the complex hybrid that is Europe. Based on its remarkably varied topography and position between East and West, North and South, but based even more on the dazzling range of peoples and influences that resulted from those factors, Croatia is a country of extraordinary diversity in all regards, including its history.
“Due to its position “between” cultures, Croatia is only rarely visible as a central theatre of history. This is an issue of perspective to some extent, but it also reflects an element of truth. While other areas underwent the glories and disasters that centre-stage brings, Croatia laboured on regardless, uniting different cultural strands, contributing to historical developments on this side, that side or the other, and constantly absorbing, adopting and adapting whatever cultural developments affected it.”
My fascination with this country and its leader grew even more when an article written by Corinne Purtill and published by the World Economic Forum caught my attention. And, finally, The YouTube video here will give you an idea why I’m smitten.
President Kitarović has given us much to consider about leadership, including how to celebrate her country’s journey, even in defeat. And Croatia has given us much to consider about “uniting different cultural strands, contributing to historical developments on all sides and absorbing, adopting and adapting whatever cultural developments affected it ….”
Imagine being defined as a “…country of extraordinary diversity in all regards.”
What a concept.
Sources: Heinrich Hall for Peter Sommer Travels. Corinne Purtill for World Economic Forum. YouTube. Reuters photo by Carl Recine.
Copyright 2018. Sheryl McAlister.