Angelina Jolie’s Strengths and Influence

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What a leader looks like to one individual may be different to someone else. A leader can range from the President of the United States to even a parental figure. Leaders possess unique traits that distinguish themselves from other individuals. A leader deals with a variety of situations that allow them to interact with dissimilar people. Despite differences between leaders, each skill is purposeful and utilized at an appropriate time. Celebrities are often forgotten about when it comes to distinguishing who may or may not be a good role model. Angelina Jolie is one of a kind individual. She is not only a mother of six and an award-winning actress, but she is a committed humanitarian who strives to make the world a better place for people of all kinds of backgrounds.

Being called a leader or viewed as a role model is something that is earned; it does not just come to an individual. Behind Angelina’s acting gig is a generous heart that has contributed through many fundraisers, donations and humanitarian organizations. Angelina Jolie was born in Los Angeles, California in 1976 (Angelina Jolie: Charity Work & Causes, 2014). She was born a star who loved movies. At a young age, she began taking acting classes which then compelled her to pursue a career in acting. Although at a young age, her father abandoned her family, so Angelina and her brother spent most of their childhood years growing up with their mother. Her acting gig took off in 1997 and within a few years, she had won an Oscar. In 2001, she starred as Lara Croft in the blockbuster “Tomb Raider” (Angelina Jolie: Charity Work & Causes, 2014). It was the start of her international popularity. Angelina has not bounded her occupation to just being in front of a camera. She became involved in humanitarian work while filming in Cambodia. She became aware of a worldwide crisis that had to be solved. She visited refugee camps and met with displaced, refugee families. After multiple visits to impoverished countries, she decided to take action and notified UNHCR. Angelina is known as the UN Goodwill Ambassador who visits refugees in countries and seeks ways to help and bring their lives back to life (Angelina Jolie: Charity Work & Causes, 2014). According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (2009), she donates over one-third of her annual earnings to help the less fortunate. As much as she succeeds when it comes to humanitarian causes, her personal life has come to overshadow her other pursuits. The media has been found to care more about her relationship with Brad Pitt than anything else. The couple split in 2016, which put her down in the dumps for a while (Truman, 2019). Dealing with the loss of her mother and her own health issues, Angelina shows a great example of having strength through tough times. Helping other people is what truly motivates Angelina. In addition to multiple acting awards, she has received wide recognition for her humanitarian work. She became the first winner of the UN’s Citizen of the World Award. As a leader, Angelina Jolie is able to motivate people and executing plans because she acquires the following strengths: command, discipline, focus, significance, and relator.

Someone who carries the strength of command builds relationships, is confident in their work, capable of expressing emotions and trusted by others. People who have the commanding strength are able to take charge to reassure others in times of crisis. AJ visited the city of West Mosul which was held captive by ISIS for three years (Gulf News, 2018). She walked alongside the bombed-out buildings. She strolled through the silent street when she approached a family. A family a five was staying with their family friend for over a year after an airstrike hit their home which caused large destruction (Reardon, 2018). According to Reardon (2018), Jolie mentioned to the press, “This is the worst devastation I have seen in all my years with UNHCR. These people have lost everything, and the trauma and the loss that they have suffered is unparalleled.” Being so overwhelmed by the situation, Angelina turned to the UNHRC. They began by taking action and donating a large amount of money that would help over 1,500 displaced families rebuild their homes (Reardon, 2018). This is very important because many may not be aware that displacement still happening in our world. The lack of water, food, services, and shelter devastated Jolie. Her powerful step toward initiating a bond with these families is important. In addition, she met a few children when she was visiting an African refugee camp. She met with an eight-year-old girl that was traumatized after witnessing her parents and older brother get murdered in front of her own eyes (O’Driscoll, 2002). According to O’Driscoll (2002), “Jolie shared the story with her team during the Olympic Aid forum as she shed a few tears.” It shows her command come to action by expressing sentiments of forming a bond with the young girl. She was able to show her team the soft side she has. It is a skill underlined in the commanding strength. She took charge in order to help these families find their ground home. Jolie’s emotional expression allows her to show the genuine affection and protection of those in need.

Angelina possess the following strength of discipline. Someone who holds their strength is predictable and consistent with actions. This individual is respected and others feel safe entrusting you with a task when they see their words match with one’s actions. A disciplined person is detailed with their work, goals, and tasks. In 2012, Jolie was appointed Special Envoy as she has been devoting her time to help refugees (Munoz, 2019). Within this expanded role, she has been able to engage in the decision making process that deals with displacement issues. Jolie had delivered a speech at the United Nations where she was advocating for the women and kids of the world (Munoz, 2019). She highlighted the fact that a global necessity is gender equality because women are excluded from the peacemaking process. According to Munoz (2019), “There can be no peace or stability in Afghanistan or anywhere else in the world that involves trading away the rights of women.” She went to mention the international silence is alarming. Women have been fighting for equal rights in every aspect of life. Women are viewed as incomplete national subjects. Females live in male-dominated societies which continues to be a factor in today’s world (Munoz, 2019). Her speech was a combination of femininity and power. She addressed a message to the United Nations in a formal matter. Therefore, as a female, she did not need to wear a suit to command this attention or obtain codes of masculinity to have her voice be heard. There could be so many more achievements in our society with equal participation of females. Angelina is simply one example where her disciplinary strength allows her to be detailed, predictable and respected.

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Although Angelina works with over 30 foundations, her focus within her own foundation is what keeps her going. An individual who is focused on shares lifelong goals and makes sure loved ones are a part of it. Others are able to trust one’s judgment which increases a sense of team. In 2002, Angelina had adopted her first kid from Cambodia, Maddox- Jolie Pitt. One year later, Brad and Angelina started a foundation by name of Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation. Their foundation is aimed towards the people of Cambodia (Maddox-Jolie Pitt Foundation, 2016). According to the Maddox-Jolie Pitt Foundation (2016), their foundation’s goal is to provide clean water, easy access to education and gender equality. Cambodia holds a special place in Jolie’s heart since Maddox is from Cambodia, and she it was the country where her acting career kicked off. Pitt and Jolie’s foundation also focuses on the development of communities and providing basic needs for children (Maddox-Jolie Pitt Foundation, 2016) Her focus within her own foundation shows the strength she has to be influential. She uses her focus talents to target projects and people who are in need.

Angelina values family and relationships more than anything. She is a relator who builds relationships. Relationship building is fulfilling for realtors. Relationships build confidence, and it is a gift of generosity that helps one influence and connect with others. For a relator, one-on-one time with people they love brings them happiness. In 2016, her split from Brad Pitt dominated headlines (Truman, 2019). Jolie revealed that she leaned on her kids for support. Jolie spoke, “My strength is from my children” (Friedlander, 2019). In other words, through this tough time, she strived to be strong for her children. She labeled the split as a period of transition and claimed she lost herself for a bit. According to Friedlander (2019), “She stayed home with her children and put off work in order to focus on herself and well-being.” The one-on-one time with her children was very important to her as her name was filled across media sources. Family is a source of happiness for most people. Likewise, for Jolie, her children were her support system that was able to lift her up from a life crisis.

Angelina is a significant celebrity figure on her own, but her strength of being a remarkable leader shows the world how dependent she is. Someone with significant strength impacts the world. This individual stands out for the right reasons and wants to build something that makes a difference beyond the immediate moment. According to Troiano (2017), “In May of 2013, Angelina had undergone a prophylactic mastectomy, which is the process of removing one’s breasts to reduce the risk of cancer.” She was identified as a carrier of a BRCA1 gene mutation. This gene alteration can cause cancer; Angelina’s mother had passed away from cancer in 2007. Six years later, she had gone through those procedures. In 2017, Troiano claimed, “After Jolie shared this with the world, between 2011-2015, a total of 9,532,836 patients from America, Austria, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom had undergone tests which showed that there was a 285% increase in breast and ovarian cancer referrals.” There was no significant increase within the BRCA1 tests. This shows that Angelina Jolie was not an isolated case. In addition, celebrity disclosure often influences the behavior of their followers or the general public. Jolie was able to change the attitudes of individuals that dealt with their health. It is often called the Angelina Jolie effect on women.

Being a leader gives an individual the opportunity to provide others with direction, motivate, and support. Individuals combine their values and beliefs to provide a stable direction to lead. Strength and influence allow Angelina to stand out more than other female celebrities. She was able to take command when she visited the impoverished city of West Mosul. She presented a speech to the United Nations about gender equality which shows how disciplined she is. She had a vision to create a foundation in support of the people in Cambodia, so her strength of being focused allowed her dream to come true. As a relator, she was able to build a strong relationship with her six kids after her split from Brad Pitt. Lastly, she was able to influence thousands of individuals after she shared her health conditions with the world which only shows how significant her behaviors are. Nevertheless, Angelina Jolie has visions, and her visions make things happen. She is one of the most influential women in the world.

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