Nelson Mandela: Leadership Virtues

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Nelson Mandela: Leadership Virtues


The legacy of Nelson Mandela enlivens a large amount of extraordinary initiatives that researchers, thinkers, government officials, and individuals will keep on investigating in the effort to understand what he has intended to say both to the mankind and every one of us individually. Nelson Mandela was one of the best leaders ever due to his mettle, quality, sympathy, modesty and compromise and a good example for South Africa as well as for the world. What are the leadership lessons we can gain from this extraordinary man’s legacy.

From childhood, Mandela knew what sovereignty is being prepared to emulate his dad’s example who was a counsellor for an official. From the early age, he admired his father’s way of life, conventions, and traditions. Mandela was one of 13 youngsters and the youngest of 4 boys. This family set-up solidified his conventional childhood and gave him a sense of community. Below are some of the leadership virtues we can learn from Mandela’s life.

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Auxiliary leaders get their work done, reexamine connections of the procedure, structure the environment and focus on execution undertaking investigation, assessment and adjustment as required. Mandela always depended on the structures of the ANC to know “his place”. He generally submitted to the conventional Xhosa authority structures and regarded those of senior positions inside of the ANC. Despite the fact that he was in a leadership position himself, he greatly valued the masses’ voice in making a democratic decision.


Mandela, similar to the leaders of the African National Congress, was sure that the guerrilla fight against the apartheid and racial segregation was an essential piece of their independence struggle. All things considered, apartheid was itself a savage framework; consequently, the measure of retaliatory savagery was advocated and apparently unavoidable.

Mandela was taking after these advancements from jail. He understood that outrage and disdain could ignite a bloody civil war in South Africa. These feelings were within each component of the South African culture. The Afrikaners (white South African Boers) dreaded the loss of power and the annihilation of their dialect and society. Blacks were looking for reprisal against their white oppressors and moving for tribal point of interest among themselves; and the Indian and mixed races agonized over Black African mastery.

Mandela believed that a fierce uprising against racial segregation would have awful results. In this way, discovering some approach to make a peaceful move to the majority’s rule was crucial.

Basic appeal would be sufficient. Mandela comprehended that he first needed to change himself before he could request that others also change. Mandela frequently cited the words of the Indian autonomy leader Mohandas K. Gandhi – “Be the change that you look for.”

Witty-Interpersonal Leadership

Alongside this astounding triumph over himself, Mandela set out on his campaign of influence and persuasion starting this work even before his release from jail. Since he aspired to national leadership, this obliged him to figure out how to identify with all South Africans including the individuals who thought of him as their foe. He engaged in many exceptional activities. In jail, Mandela learned’ the Afrikaans dialect and history. He bantered with his jailors and took interest in their dialect. He talked deferentially to his jailors, showed concern about their daily issues and family lives, and offered them advices when he could. He even trained rugby, the Afrikaner national game and extreme source of Afrikaner pride, and talked about the diversion’s subtleties with his captors.

After liberation, Mandela kept on moving in the same direction. During the negotiations with white leaders over the state of the new racially mixed government, he drew upon his insight into South African history to allude to Afrikaner heroes like their commanders this way awing and satisfying those on the opposite side of the table. When he was chosen as a president in 1994, one of those standing on the stage with him was an Afrikaner who had been his boss jailor at Robben Island.


Successful leaders do not let their inner selves hinder achieving their main goal. When Mandela’s death was made public, numerous individuals who knew him remarked how humble he was. When meeting somebody he usually said, “It’s an honor to meet you.” He never introduced himself as being above or superior to any other individuals. He wrote in his diary, “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”


Vision in life must be a noteworthy benefit. Nelson Mandela saw an Africa where racial segregation would at long last be nullified, and each man would be free and equal in the nation. This vision drove him to do what he needed and supported him through the darkest days. He believed that the meaning of life is to be a gift to the society; we should keep this vitality until our vision realizes. Not everybody will support our vision. Regardless of how perfect our vision is, the matter of fact is that a dream means change for individuals. Not everybody needs to change because change is uncomfortable. For some, change is outrightly agonizing. If we set an objective for a superior reason, we cannot anticipate that everybody around us will truly follow us. We ought to be prepared that the general population will be against us. We have to struggle for our vision, and one day we will achieve it.


When necessary, Mandela could be a persuasive statesman, a well-spoken technocrat, or an amusing storyteller. He knew which circumstances called for which part, and he was mindful enough to perceive how individuals were treating him. In the meantime, he could place himself in their shoes as well and feel as they felt.

Absolution and Reconciliation

Following decades of incredible endurance and injustice, the choice was made to hold free and democratic elections in South Africa implying that the white minority government would be supplanted by the Black African leaders. The world anticipated a bloodbath. Reprisal and retaliation were quite probable as the abused turned into oppressors. Rather, a sample of righteous initiative people prompted a completely opposite result.

Nelson Mandela returned from jail without any feeling of disdain and requital. He astounded every one of us by his courageous exemplification of compromise and pardoning. Nobody could have blamed him for being garrulous; instead, he was always pardoning and looking for a compromise. He had been harassed for quite a while before he was captured again that made a typical family life impossible for him. Generally, he had spent 27 years in prison. Nobody could say that he does not know anything about agony. There is a renowned picture of him on the Robben Island … breaking rocks into little pieces. Such a totally vain drudgery obliterated many people with its pointlessness. What is more, we realize that his eyesight was destroyed by the glare which the detainees were exposed to as they toiled in the lime quarry. Everything had been done to break his soul and make him filled with scorn. Simply thinking about what Mandela he could have done to the benefit of South Africa and the world, it is clear that that those 27 years were an utter dishonorable waste.

The forgiveness shown by Mandela changed the whole country. Upon his discharge from jail and the consequent election as the president of South Africa, Mandela set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission led by Desmond Tutu, which made culprits and victims affirm the offenses they did in public. Complete reprieve was awarded to the culprits for committing such crimes as torture, murder, and assault in the event that they met four conditions:

  • public admission must be intentionally given;

  • all the truth must be told;

  • wrongdoing must be recognized;

  • a political intention must be set up for the offenses.


Mandela was always steady and focused on his central goal. He spent 27 years of his life in jail. He confronted critique from his own group and global leaders. Mandela was headed to perform his central goal and never quitted moving towards a definite objective of freeing his nation.

Sense of Humor

Humor incapacitates rivals, diffuses strained moments, and acts as a form of diversion. Self-deploring humor refines a man and demonstrates a level of fearlessness. Mandela consistently alluded to himself as an old man and much of the time shared a comical story in the discourses where a young lady called him a “dumb old man”. There is something uncommon about individuals who are able to snicker at themselves, particularly when it is an outstanding figure like Mandela.


Nelson Mandela sympathized with the victims of societal marginalization and public or private condemnation. He was compassionate towards those who suffer from HIV/AIDS across the globe. The world could not overlook how he sympathized with the Libyan leader sentenced for placing a bomb on the Pan American Airliner which fell in Scotland in 1988 – the Lockerbie incident. He made contributed to the history when he volunteered to settle the issue with this plane disaster. Mandela engaged in this delicate episode without hinting at any support of terrorism, which hoisted him to the rank of an international mediator or reconciler.

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In summary, the above discussion shows Nelson Mandela as a witty, principled, humble, and empathy-driven leader. His life is an encouragement for us to live today. We can learn on his example to be coherent enough, always stand for what we believe in, and be honest to others. We need to cultivate certain leadership qualities to bring about transformational change.