Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur who is known best for founding The Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. He is a visionary whose leadership style is similar to that of a transformational leader. Transformational leadership develops followers by challenging them to think outside of what they are accustomed to or believe was possible. They motivate them to do so by keeping up with high morals and values that help guide their performance (Avolio, 1999).
Most outstanding leaders derive their core values and qualities through crucible events. Thomas (2009) defines crucible events as those trials or tests which force individuals to question who they are and what is most important to them. For Yunus, it was the mentoring relationship that Yunus had with his mother, Sofia Khatun, along with the poverty that he was surrounded with that inspired and pushed him to be the leader that he is today (Yunus, 1998). His mother had always put away money for any poor relation that would visit them from distant villages. She was known to continuously be generous towards the poor by helping anyone who knocked on their door with food and shelter. It occurred to him how a single person could have an effect on so many lives and this influenced him to devoting his life to abolishing poverty (Black, 2012).
Bennis (2002) states that everyone is challenged or exposed to some form of crucible event in their life, however, only a few people extract strength and learn from these experiences. Those people, like Yunus, who do learn from experiences, are the ones that eventually become great leaders. At just the age of seven, Yunus experienced a major crucible event in his life. The Pakistan Movement which was a political movement that aimed for independence of Pakistan from the British Empire had reached its peak. Yunus states that on one particular day whilst on a bus trip, he remembers his teacher crying when they stopped at The Taj Mahal.