11Jan 3 Lessons In Leadership From Nelson Mandela
I was incredibly lucky last week. Whilst working in South Africa, I was privileged to visit The Apartheid Museum and then Soweto, the township of Johannesburg, and visited the home of a truly great man and leader.
Nelson Mandela was an inspiration, not just to his people, but to the whole world. He touched people in places way, way away from his own ‘world’ – and that was before all this new fangled internet and social media stuff we have today!
His struggle against apartheid was the first real thing that touched me ‘politically’ and really raised my consciousness and awareness of what was happening in a place a long way from my day to day life. What he stood for got me as a young, stroppy teenager on all sorts of marches and campaigns, and actually doing stuff! His release from prison and long walk to freedom in February 1991 is a memorable moment that is totally embedded in my mind.
It was what happened next that really showed him for the great man and leader that he was – he changed his country, and he changed the world. He’s a great example of true leadership – creating and sharing a clear vision, inspiring and engaging others and actually working with them to achieve that vision.
There are far better people than me who have written amazing tributes to him as a leader, and I just thought his own words say it best…
“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership”
“It always seems impossible until its done”