For this installment of our "Micro Management Stories" video series, we interviewed Kah Walla about leadership. Walla ran for president in Cameroon's 2011 elections, and she shared with me her story of being kidnapped before the election and the lesson she drew from it about letting go of your fears.
Watch her tell the story, or read the transcript that follows:
I think one of my greatest lessons in leadership was when I was kidnapped during my run for the presidency of Cameroon in 2011. When I was kidnapped, I of course panicked. I experienced the greatest fear I've ever experienced in my life. It took me about 15 minutes to realize, though, that I was being afraid of something I had no control over. I had no idea where these men were taking me, I had no idea what was going to happen, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
I let go of that uncertainty and of that fear, and I decided to focus on my interactions with them. Most interestingly with one of these individuals, we discussed my political program. And I honestly believe that I think he voted for me.
Even in the most extreme situation, you can have power. You can have leadership. As soon as I was able to let go of fear, to let go of what I could not control, and to focus on what I could control—which was my interaction with these men—I gained power.
Watch the previous video in our series: