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).

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