A leader is someone who inspires others to work hard to achieve certain goals. Nelson Mandela was a very successful leader because he was able to use his power to influence others for the good of the country. Although he wasn’t liked very much at the beginning of his term, he maintained an optimistic view always stayed determined of reaching his goals.
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Mandela was people-oriented and had high concern for people and their support. People admired him for his integrity, honesty and ability to motivate. Mandela followed House’s path-goal theory, by adding value to situations by using supportive, achievement or participative styles (Schermerhorn). This theory gives leaders the opportunity to select what specific behaviors are the best fit for their followers.
Mandela was a transformational leader who was enthusiastic and inspirational while appealing to his follower’s values, emotions, and beliefs. A transformational leader also uses his personalities, character, insight to inspire followers (Schermerhorn). He made people feel that what they’re doing is important in order to achieve the bigger picture. He was able to change management through these two theories. After many years of political conflict in the country, Mandela was able to bring it’s citizens together with their admiration for sports. He saw an opportunity in rugby and even had a meeting with Francois Pienaar, the captain of the South African rugby team. He inspired Francois to win the World Cup after the team had taken some serious loses. South Africa then hosted and won the Rugby World Cup in 1995. This resulted in its citizens from different backgrounds uniting and taking pride for its country. He was able to bridge the two different cultures of South Africa together after a hostile period.
Mandela was a effective communicator which allowed him to organize his followers at ease. He was a powerful public speaker, he knew exactly how to speak in front of large crowds without sounding condescending. He didn’t use his authority to make the crowd fear him, he was able to inspire them instead. He always used the appropriate body language such as facial expressions, eye contact, and posture. When speaking to the rugby team at one of their practices, he took the time to learn each players name while shaking their hands which made their interaction personal. This resulted in a positive long lasting impression on the players. He always did what was best for the country, even if it wasn’t the easiest or safest decision.
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