100 years ago, South African anti-apartheid leader and president Nelson Mandela was born.
Leadership is subjective, however, it isn’t management, because leaders lead people.
As we look through the pages of history, we will come to find that Nelson Mandela, who was born on July 18th of 1918, is one of the authentic leaders humanity has ever had to offer. Madiba, as he was commonly known, stands out for his hard labor, constant worrying of bringing people together and opening the road for his country´s liberation, nevertheless, there are certain attributes authentic leaders posses and President Mandela is one of the very few to ensemble and impersonate a leader in all the right ways.
Nelson Mandela was self-made. He lived his life as a man who was seduced by the vision he established early on in his life, and although he faced severe and numerous limitations like racism, discrimination and no public voice, Mandela stood out and collected accomplishments all the while he exhibited courage in many ways.
His intuitive mind and romantic view of the future crafted Madiba into a master of the spoken word, as he once said his 27-years in prison helped him understand “how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die”. The knowledge to which he never closed to, the compassion of thinking of the responsibilities freedom creates, and the strong commitment he had towards contributing in the struggle for freedom stand out and presume Nelson Mandela as a the perfect leader who´s ideals become stronger as time goes by.
Compassion and forgiveness do more for leadership than authority or power, so, with that in mind, Nelson Mandela´s form of leadership will not fade anytime soon.
Books for leadership
Keeping up on the extraordinary career Nelson Mandela had is a great piece of homework, as it is guaranteed to find key elements that will help you start building on the ideal leader you want to be.
Here are two key books for you to understand Madiba´s learnings, ideals and the emotions that thrived him to become the leader we will never forget.
- “Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation”, By John Carlin.
This book tells the story of how Francois Piennar and Mandela used leadership to inspire South Africa to win the 1995 rugby World Cup and mend a racially divided country.
- “Conversations with Myself”, By Nelson Mandela; foreword by Barack Obama.
The book is a collection of letters, prison diaries, calendars and transcripts from more than 50 hours of recordings, giving readers a glimpse of the mind-set that Mandela set for himself enduring 27 years in prison. These notes were written in the process of putting together Long Walk to Freedom.