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5 Leadership Lessons Nelson Mandela Taught us.

As the world bids Nelson Mandela farewell, we must remember that there will always be plenty to learn from his life. We look at the most significant leadership lessons Mandela’s life can teach us.

“Across the country he loved, people will be grieving the loss of a man who was the epitome of grace,” Prime Minister David Cameron said this morning, alluding to Nelson Mandela’s death. He was correct. Mandela will be greatly missed not only in South Africa, but across the globe.

Every person deserves a chance

Mandela frequently used the analogy of leading from behind and only coming to the fore when a strong leader is absolutely necessary to seize control. A competent leader must remember that their employees understand their responsibilities and will strive to provide their best outcomes if allowed the appropriate degree of autonomy. Micromanagement is not always the ideal technique to team managing, and team members would work better if they were made to feel capable and valued.

Strength of character

Despite all difficulties, Mandela firmly felt that giving up was not an option. Mandela did not give up throughout his almost three decades in prison; he emerged stronger than ever before and succeeded in his fight against injustice. Any competent leader must genuinely embrace the mantle of leadership by triumphing over low morale. A successful team is the result of great leadership. And the cornerstone of a successful team is a strong team.

The best leader is the one who knows when to stop

Good leadership entails a willingness to improve a team’s chances of success. Above all, it entails admitting that there may be more leaders in the making around you and giving them a chance to flourish on their own. Nelson Mandela teaches us all a valuable lesson in this regard.

Collaboration trumps Monopolisation

“We don’t have to be victims of our history, that we can let go of our animosity, and that all of us may reach greatness,” observed prominent anti-Apartheid campaigner George Bizos of Nelson Mandela.

Mandela’s approach to rebuilding a new South Africa after a long period of segregation reflected his view that working with all important stakeholders in the South African debate was the best path ahead for the country.

You must have a plan for the future

Mandela stood down as South Africa’s president after five years in charge. “When a man has done what he perceives to be his duty to his people and his nation, he may rest in peace,” he said at the time. We depart so that the next generation of attorneys, computer specialists, economists, bankers, physicians, industrialists, engineers, and, most importantly, ordinary workers and peasants may lead us into the new millennium.” Mandela was 80 years old, and he understood that after laying the groundwork for an equitable and democratic South Africa, the greatest future for South African leadership would be in the hands of people who had observed and learned from him.

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