Nelson Mandela’s Leadership

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On July 18, 1918, in Mvezo, South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born (“Nelson Mandela”). He was imprisoned for about twenty-seven years and spent his lifetime fighting for the rights of black South Africans (“Nelson Mandela,” Contemporary). He died on December 5, 2013, in Houghton, Johannesburg, South Africa (“Nelson Mandela,” Contemporary).

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Nelson Mandela was an effective leader because he was constantly learning, never compromised his values, and could motivate people through his actions. Mandela was constantly learning. One of Mandela’s fellow prison mates smuggled in the “Complete Works of Shakespeare” by disguising it in colorful Diwali cards and convinced the warden it was his bible (Mckenzie). The fact that Mandela was still imprisoned and managed to continue to acquire more knowledge contributes to the notion that he was an effective leader. Adding on to his continuation of learning, Mandela also managed to further his legal education in prison as well.

While in confinement, Mandela earned a bachelor of law degree from the university of London (“Nelson Mandela,” History). Many things were accomplished during his imprisonment. Serving as a mentor to his fellow prisonmates, Mandela also managed to smuggle out political statements along with a draft of his autobiography (“Nelson Mandela,” History). His wanting of knowledge contributes to his effective leadership skills because he was willing to learn new things for the sake of others. Another factor adding onto Mandela’s effective leadership skills was his refusal to compromise his values. Mandela sacrificed everything to unite a country whose racial divides were deeply rooted (Edmonds). Through the sports, Mandela made efforts to build strong interracial relationships and break down the barriers that stood to divide South Africa (Edmonds). The sport he had interest in, particularly, was rugby. Since South Africa’s rugby team was dominantly white, most of the people were against the team. Mandela rejected their resentment and called on all of South Africa to stand behind this team regardless of race (Edmonds). With his refusal to answer racism with racism, Mandela managed to further Unify the black and white South Africans. One last component of Mandela’s effective leadership skills was that he could motivate people by his actions. He also used his influence to advance humanitarian causes.

With his position, Mandela helped to coordinate labor strikes and campaigns to defy unjust laws (“Nelson Mandela,” Contemporary). He also took part in many more organizations; including, but not limited to, the Elders, 46664, and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation. The Elders were a group of retired political figures who would work together and try to solve global problems (“Nelson Mandela,” Contemporary). 46664 was a nonprofit organization devoted to the fight against HIV/AIDS (“Nelson Mandela,” Contemporary). And the Mandela Rhodes Foundation prepared skilled leaders for the future generations (“Nelson Mandela,” Contemporary). His taking part of and creating numerous successful organizations show how people truly stand by his sayings and beliefs. Through these actions, Mandela shed light on many world issues that everyone should pay attention to. In conclusion, Nelson Mandela’s leadership skills were effective because he was constantly learning, refused to compromise his values, and had the ability to motivate people through his actions. His imprisonment did not stop him from furthering his education. He also refused to fight racism with racism. And lastly, Mandela motivated people through his actions and various organizations. Through his leadership, South Africa was united and people everywhere will remember his legacy. 

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