Amanda Gorman: 5 Leadership Qualities to Adopt From the 22-Year Old Poet

Last week, Amanda Gorman became a worldwide sensation after reciting her poem The Hill We Climb at Joe Biden’s inauguration.

She exhilarated viewers with her vision, spirit, confidence and eloquence and shared an important lesson on how to find hope and resolve for the year ahead.

In this case study, we take a look at her leadership qualities, what we can learn from them and why she should be the future President!

1. Hope

After an agonising and turbulent year, Amanda wrote a poem full of hopeful messages including:

“And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us…

The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light”

Amanda radiated joy and conviction and spread her enthusiastic vision across the globe. In an exceptionally difficult moment, she was an exceptional individual spreading a message about growth and opportunity.

In December 2020, she noted:

“I’ve come to realise that hope isn’t something you ask of others. It’s something you must first give to yourself.”

(Harper’s Bazaar)

In this past year, any optimism has often been downplayed and people are quick to tell you that the “lockdown won’t be lifted any time soon” or “it will take the economy years to recover”. And while it is important to manage and shift your expectations during these events, it is also a strength to be hopeful for the future.

As Amanda details in her poem, it’s important to find the light and hope in ourselves and put our own aspirations and values first when we plan for the future.

She envisions a new, brighter chapter and spoke with such resonance and force that it’s hard for us not to think more confidently about our own roles and future.

2. Generation Z Mindset

It’s hard to steal the show at a Presidential inauguration, especially with fellow performers like Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry. But that is exactly what Amanda did. She was the star performer, speaking with such assurance and intelligence that left many surprised by her young age.

At the inauguration of a 78-year old President, it was the voice of the New Generation that was heard. She made us pause and think about the future and our place in it.

There is a lot we can learn from Gen Z...

As a whole, they are more socially conscious and politically astute than generations before them. They also have a greater understanding of the importance of sustainability and a determination to leave the environment in a better place than they found it.

Often, they are more tolerant and open-minded of others than we were at their age and there is less of a ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ attitude and more of a ‘Fight Injustice and Affect Change’ one.

Amanda highlighted that great leaders don’t need years of experience to inspire others and there is no age requirement for wisdom. She radiated purpose and conviction with every word of her powerful message and showed a level of emotional maturity many never reach.

One key lesson we can learn from Amanda is that wisdom comes from spending less time thinking about the mechanics of the world and more time understanding how it makes us feel.