Keywords: nelson mandela leadership theory

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the first choice and father of Southern African population, will change 92 years on the 18th of July. Born in Transkei, a village in the south-eastern area of South Africa, he was subjected to the African background from his childhood because of his father being the chief of the village. Subsequently he attained a deeper knowledge of the African authorities and the unfair and inhuman treatment by bright white people. Once again his dad influenced his life course as he was the main one who gave the permission for Rolihlahla, to join elementary university where he was given the English brand, Nelson. Calling it fate or destiny Mandela in his biography miracles if his instructor gave him that name after the British sea captain Lord Nelson (Mandela N., 1994).

Moving on along with his education, Nelson signed up for the Fort Hare University. At that point, his leadership skills unfolded, "winning" an expulsion from University for top rated a student strike. So, he completed his degree in laws at the University of South Africa (Notable Biographies, 2010). Alternatively, his personal life included three marriages resulting in having six children, twenty-one grandchildren and three great-grandchildren (Mandela N., 1994).

A point of reference may be the period, in 1943, that Mandela joined up with the African National Congress (ANC) as an activist. Just eight years after, his first main presidential position was in place as the president of the ANC Youth Little league which he co-founded.

Since its foundation, ANC aims to improve the human rights and living circumstances of black persons in South Africa. ANC was the reason behind Mandela to be sent in jail for nine months since he participated in protest actions. However, in 1960, ANC Youth League lost economic and militant support hence being banned. This built Mandela to realise that peaceful behaviour was not the technique to modify things in Africa. Pride and anger for the unfairness he was forced to handle, necessitated him to form a armed service group that was working illegally, known as "The Spear of the Nation". These were fighting the government in silence through sabotage. For instance, these were destroying people’s real estate (Notable Biographies, 2010).

Prior to this, in 1952, Mandela introduced the first dark-colored legal provider in South Africa. He was offering his legal advices to dark persons for free or low priced. However, seven years soon after, new laws were approved, forcing the creation of separated homelands for black people enhancing the racial segregation (, 2010). The later, let Mandela to be more vigorous towards protecting the rights of black persons. This resulted in Mandela staying arrested and imprisoned in Johannesburg Fort, in 1962, for five years, although taking care of to escape. That did not last for prolonged as he was arrested once again and accused for sabotage and treason. As a consequence Mandela was sentenced alive imprisonment. The 1st eighteen years of his imprisonment were in Robben island prison (, 2010). This as he himself described, was a prison with optimum reliability, forcing them to function hard, humiliating them and living under inhuman circumstances.

In 1968, his mom and his child died but he had not been permitted to wait either of the funerals. Unlike that and to the treatment received by the federal government, he never stopped assisting his beliefs hence rejecting a liberation offer by the president of South Africa, PW Botha. Shifting in the time of the imprisonment, better and even more human conditions were wanted to him in 1988 as he underwent a prostate surgery treatment. Eventually, after twenty-seven years in prison and as a response to worldwide phone calls, Nelson Mandela was finally produced in 1990 and elected as the president of ANC (, 2010). However if an analysis was to be made for his life so far, the suffering he encountered is definitely obviously shown. The government didn’t allow him any tourists and they considered discussions relating to Mandela as illegal. However, these decisions against Mandela elevated people’s perception about him, both world-wide and locally. On the top, in people’s thoughts Mandela was synonym to words like fairness, ethnical right and leader. He became a global symbol against racism (Notable Biographies, 2010).

After released from prison Mandela did not end fighting for the black people. He started discussions with the prevailing president of South Africa, F.W. de Klerk, concluding that simply a compromise between black and white people will avoid the occurrence of a civil battle in their country. Gradually, the establishment of the brand new democratic government was an undeniable fact. This new federal government was giving the proper to vote to all or any South Africans (Notable Biographies, 2010).

The approaching years of his life were the rewards for his nonstop competition for equality. In 1993 he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize due to his accomplishment of the equality in voting privileges. A year later, black South Africans and Mandela were permitted to vote for the 1st time in their life. The effect was internationally predicted. Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa (, 2010). During the years of his presidency, he attempted hard to minimise the testmyprep many political dissimilarities in South Africa. Additionally, he tried to develop a healthier economy in combo with establishing a more solid democracy. On top of that, he was one of many supporters of clearing people’s criminal history if that was made through the years of racism by the country’s federal government (Notable Biographies, 2010).

Ending an effective century his length as his country’s president ends in 1999. However, his political career doesn’t end. He was placed at the position of the statesman where he was acting as the 3rd party along the way for peace (Notable Biographies, 2010). The first decade of the new century identified Mandela facing the accursed disease, as he was identified as having prostate cancer but he fought and succeeded for once again in his life.

As all things come to an end, at age eighty-five he retired from the general public life. However, only two years ago at the age of ninety, he revealed that his perspective of equality and fairness never stopped bothering him. Through a speech he urged and tried to inspire the adolescent generation to keep the "fight for sociable justice"

(, 2010). Summing up his career, "The United Nations General Assembly declares July 18 ‘Mandela Day’ as a tribute to his contribution to community freedom" (, 2010).

In general, Nelson Mandela could be characterised as a great leader, with very good judgement and listening skills, sensitive and open-minded. He was an intelligent leader because it requires good strategic program and clever manoeuvre as a way to defeat your enemies without humiliating them. Once, he explained that "my life was shaped by custom, ritual and taboo and this was the alpha and omega of our living" (Mandela N., 1994). This phenomenal understanding of his origin enabled him to be more confident of what he was fighting for. So his vision of a tranquil South Africa with no racial segregation became a more approachable goal. This explains one of is own favourite quotes; "an excellent head and an excellent heart are generally a formidable mixture" (Brainy Quotes, 2010). Furthermore, he was subjected to significant leadership education throughout his job. For instance, seeing the world from your own enemy’s eyes permits you to identify less difficult their strengths and weaknesses, planning a far better strategy (Times Magazine, 2008).

The worldwide discussion of whether you happen to be born or created as a leader isn’t a problem for Nelson Mandela. It really is unanimously thought that Mandela acquired the charisma to be a leader. That is supported by his acts throughout his lifestyle and the recognition he confronted worldwide. Scanning Mandela’s life, it might be seen that the best way to lead the people was influenced from his childhood. For the reason that he used to attend the local tribal meetings, where he was observing the loudspeakers, and absorbing every little detail of leadership features. These rules were his significant tools throughout his political life. In his biography, he notes that in the meetings he was just simply concluding the discussions, almost all of the days without adding anything fresh but taking everyone’s talk under consideration (Mandela N., 1994). Strategically he admits that in the back of his mind he was following a well planned program. "A leader is like a shepherd" he supports, in a way that the flock thinks that it tips, but actually the shepherd directs the actions from start till the finish (Mandela N., 1994).

Moving on with the evaluation of Mandela’s characteristics, one can describe Mandela as crew manager. This is because he was a supporter and a listener of his followers’ concerns but he always had at heart his primary goal, being both task and persons oriented. He tried to motivate persons by making each individual to feel required and important consequently increasing their willingness to greatly help and achieve their goal.

Making a critical analysis of Mandela’s overall attitude, characteristics of an even five leader can be observed, i.e. Mandela represents an executive leader. This is because there is a combination of professional can and personal humility. Becoming focused on his definitive goal, he was not afraid to be dishonoured. For instance, his life imprisonment revealed that he was not afraid to accept the consequences of his own functions even though humiliation was present. Showing professional will, even when he was in the plane to be studied to Robben Island he didn’t stop thinking as a innovator. He was searching at the area as a strategist where he was looking for ideal places to launch his army to be able to continue fighting for his eyesight (Mandela N., 1994). In this manner of thinking also characterise him as a strategic impressive leader.

As a transformational innovator he showed his other ways of leadership. He was engaged in individualized consideration which is proved by his refusal towards the president P.W. Botha release a him from prison. Furthermore his boxing training improved his abilities. Attracted by the research of boxing, i actually.e. the democratic and strategic rules that would have to be followed rather than the violence of it, Mandela used the sport to improve his leadership initiative and self confidence. This attitude categorises Mandela as an alchemist and achiever. Renamed voluntarily by his boxing colleagues, "Chief", confirmed that his leading abilities were used also during his day to day routine (Mandela N., 1994).

All the aforementioned characteristics present his authenticity as a innovator. One can be totally persuaded that he understood how exactly to manage his expertise and which persona traits to reveal for every single occasion. Two important estimates that he utilized throughout his existence were firstly that "If you talk to a guy in a vocabulary he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his dialect, that would go to his heart" (Brainy Estimates, 2010). This demonstrates he knew the best way to cope with people and influence them. Secondly, "Education may be the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" (Brainy Quotations, 2010). So that you can achieve his perspective he always had in mind that goodness and forgiveness will be two crucial aspects to fulfil.

To sum up, Mandela’s life and activities made people know that everyone can have got a wish, big or small, very good or bad. However, this does not mean that it will be publicly accepted. Persons will fight one’s eyesight but looking at Mandela’s account what stays in mind is that, you should never give up. Creating a well organised system and creating a well structured strategy will be the key components for a successful path to be adopted. Although Nelson Mandela put in a long time in prison, he hardly ever stopped trying to transform his perspective into reality. Within an content in Guardian newspaper he says that "if people of courage and very good conscience are ready to stand and battle there is nothing we cannot achieve" (The Guardian, 2010). Thus leading with eyesight, courage and always being a "shepherd" may be the lesson obtained from Nelson Mandela’s leadership.


Brainy Estimates. 2010. Nelson Mandela Quotes. [online] accessed at: 14/06/2010 Offered by:

Mandela N. 1994. Very long Walk to Freedom. Autobiography

Notable Biographies. 2010. Nelson Mandela. Encyclopaedia of Community Biography. [on-line] accessed at: 14/06/2010

Available at: 2010. Nelson Mandela Timeline. Telegraph Media Group Limited. [over the internet] accessed at: 14/06/2010 Available at:

The Guardian. 2010. My hero Nelson Mandela by Gordon Brown. [online] accessed at: 15/06/2010 Offered by:

Times Magazine. 2008. The Secrets of Leadership from Nelson Mandela. [over the internet] accessed at: 15/06/2010 Available at:

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