Malcolm Fraser, Australia’s 22nd Prime Minister, died this week. I’m surprisingly sad despite not knowing the elderly statesman.
If you were to see Malcolm Fraser on the street, you’d never say: “Hi Malcolm”. Instead, an appropriate greeting would be more like: “Hello Mr Fraser”. He commanded respect.
What I admired was that, at least to me, he appeared to be true to himself. He stood for his convictions, he helped us as a nation embrace diversity and inclusion, and he even quit the party he led because he didn’t agree with their treatment of asylum seekers.
He taught us that even though we’re the lucky country we have to face reality. He was known for the phrase, “Life wasn’t meant to be easy,” and it’s commonly used now, whenever the going gets tough.
When a strong leader passes, it is a good time for reflection – on our personal lives and as leaders. With Mr Fraser as our guide, how much of a gap is there between where you are today and where you’d like to be?
How about in terms of:
- being a positive role model?
- being true to yourself?
- leaving a worthwhile legacy?
While we can’t all be a Prime Minister, perhaps we can all be a bit more Prime Ministerial. Mr Fraser-like. It’s not unachievable. He also used to say: “what’s important is that you always try to do your best”.
The question is… are you?