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Nelson Mandela - Leadership Case

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I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear (Mandela, 1995)." Nelson Mandela was known as one of the world's greatest political and moral leaders. A strong man of courage who spoke truth to power went against the grain to benefit his community; and not just his individual consciences. Mandela's dedication to fight racial oppression in his country, his presidency of his nation, and honor of the Nobel Peace Prize earned the respect from millions worldwide. His reputation impacted the lives of many people. Through his many acts of leadership he gained public appreciation and support.

Nelson Mandela showed his courageous and moral leadership which gained the approval of many followers. He displayed many leadership skills as an African American leader and fought for the rights of his people. Daft stated that, "moral leadership gives life to others and enhances the lives of people." He seeks the just, the honest, the good, and the right conduct in achieving goals and fulfilling purpose (Daft, 2010). According to the New York Times, he is still the ideal of a leader. It was stated that Mandela was monogamous and warm. He was always willing to own up to his failings against which his political success was measured and often found wanted. He is the founding father whose values continue to shape the nation (New York Times, 2011). He held his title proudly and kept on fighting, through his many trials and tribulations. It was believed that Mandela was a born leader and utilized his talents at an early age. The pressure of society was placed before him at an early age. When he was younger he used to take care of his family and make sure everything went right, due to the injustice of society at the time. Growing up in South Africa under the Apartheid system of government meant these things, and worse, were part of daily life; but Nelson Mandela was a fighter. Instead

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of bowing down to this unjust system of government, he became a lifelong warrior in the battle to free South Africa (Trussell, 2011). Mandela actions displayed him as a transformational leader when he battled the apartheid of his country. He was persistent in this defeat because he did not give up until he seen some results. During his childhood he heard stories and he watched as his people were mistreated, which gave him the courage he needed to address the issues. As he grew older he kept what he seen and experienced in mind and decided to join the African National Congress in 1942. Nelson got involved with the {ANC} in a big way. He became one of the youth leaders on the National Executive Council. Nelson along with the other members of the {ANC} were making great strides towards justice and equal and liberal rights when Mandela was imprisoned for 6 months on the conviction of contravening the Suppression of the Communist Act (Trussell, 2011). Mandela's attention turned to the struggles of his people which involved exploitation of labor, pass laws, and the nascent Bantustent policy, and the segregation of open universities. Policies that wouldn't let blacks go to the same universities as whites because it was a threat to the system grew and Mandela started to take action. In the process of trying to correct all the wrong doings that was happening to his people Mandela was the victim of various forms of repression, he was banned, arrested and then imprisoned. Mandela was sentenced to life in prison and started his years at Robben Island. Mandela had been imprisoned from 1962 to February 11th 1990 (Mandela, 1995).

Throughout his journey, Mandela demonstrated aspects of servant leadership. He believed in putting others before his self consistently. Under many difficult circumstances, he fought for what was right and supported the needs of his people. That gave him the courage and

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confidence that many leaders need today to become as great as Mandela. In a sense he was more spiritual. It was believed that he felt a calling to serve a higher purpose, greater commitment, and a need to connect to others through service. His commitment to his value system was his greatest strength. A value system is the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual



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