After you read this article, see what other documentary footage you can find about Mandela's struggle and activism in apartheid-era South Africa.
Nelson Mandela was a leader who believed in equal rights for all people. He started his crusade for justice as a young man in his native South Africa. Mandela saw a situation that needed changing (in his case, Apartheid) and decided to take action. His persistence and perseverance helped win over the people of his country. He paid the price of sacrificing his personal freedom on behalf of his causes and beliefs spending nearly three decades in prison. What we can learn from this man in regards to leadership is that a leader needs to have a vision that is inclusive so that there is the potential for a wide range of support, not just support from a few. Nelson knew that goals and objectives should result in a better situation for many rather than a select few.
We must understand that transformation does not come easily nor quickly. Leaders must be able to devote a significant time period to help make the transition come about. Change requires inner strength. Despite the hardships inflicted upon him in prison, Mr. Mandela never gave up hope that someday he would be free again and that his life's efforts would bear fruit.
In 1994, after serving most of his adult life campaigning for the rights of his people, Nelson Mandela was elected to the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa. He became the first Black man to hold that position and his years of public service in relation to his cause of justice also helped to promote him to a national stage with his Presidency.
One important aspect of his life as a leader was that leadership does not end when the service is over. Mandela retired from his Presidency in 1999 but he continued to be a public figure for good. Mandela served out the remainder of his life taking up new causes such as AIDS awareness and prevention, children's rights, and global peace.
When we consider Nelson Mandela as a leader, we think of the courage to live up to one's convictions, the tenacity to pursue one's dreams despite the various hardships that threaten to end them, the will to bring about change and transformation that provides benefits to all involved, and finally, the understanding that when one position ends, there are always other needs to which leaders must apply their influence and power. Nelson Mandela took his role as a leader seriously, and as such, he gained the admiration and respect of the world by attempting to help make the world a better place for all mankind. Let us learn the lessons Mr. Mandela left with us and do what we can to play our part in continuing the resolutions for the struggles he fought to overcome and inspire future generations to do so as well.
Mandela's Leadership Traits
A good leader does not seek immediate change rather, they help set the conditions to make it happen and when it comes, it becomes a little easier to accept. Leadership can be a continuous service for those leaders willing to serve
Source: Charles R. Nichols
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