Nelson Mandela

Topics: South Africa, Nelson Mandela, African National Congress Pages: 8 (2281 words) Published: September 14, 2008
Eargerness to Learn

A constant characteristic of a leader is that they possess an eagerness to learn or to change their situations and the circumstances of others. Nelson Mandela fits the characteristics of the classical leader in the public sector. He inspired people to change. Mandela empowered people in order to realize a transformation. The people of South Africa were able to see themselves benefiting from his ideals.

Modeling Good Leadership Skills

Good leaders Model the way for future leaders, they serve as examples for others in the public sector. Early on the experiences Mandela witnessed would shape his life. As a young child, Mandela had someone to Model the Way for him. He was the son of a chief, and was groomed to serve as a leader. This experience exposed him to wealth and authority. “By attending meetings Nelson learned how to give counsel to a king.” (Deluca 2000, 64) Early on Mandela began to question and review many dark aspects of his society.

As we have discussed previously, all leaders face a turning point in life when they begin to ask questions and eventually Challenge the Process. One must have a challenge to become a leader. Leaders observe when need are not being met and rise to the occasion. (James Kouzes, Barry Posner 2000, 18) Nelson was receiving a rigorous education that would garner anyone in his place, the status and respect of an English gentleman. (Deluca 2000, 64) It was during this time, Mandela search for his own identity began. Nelson joined with students from various backgrounds and was exposed to new ideas. Mandela felt he was being groomed for success. When World War II started many students began to argue that the British had oppressed the African people. The turning point came in his college life.

Hence, the turning point came when students began to express dissatisfaction with food at the university where Mandela was attending. Members of the student council decided to resign and call for a boycott of the new elections, if their needs were not met. (Deluca 2000, 65) Mandela was one of those who decided to resign. Mandela subsequently, faced the possibility of expulsion.

However, the university decided to give him another chance by allowing him to go home over the summer break and review the consequences of his actions. Mandela remained true to his convictions and refused to compromise. (Deluca 2000, 66) An aspect of Modeling behavior, Mandela exhibited. Leaders must be consistent in their behavior and stand by their beliefs. Model behavior fosters respect.

Leaders give a Clear Distinct Voice to Their Values

Leaders must find their voice, and then they must give a clear distinct voice to their values. Furthermore, it is important to set an example, as a leader one must understand that is imperative to do so. Once respect is lost it is hard to gain that respect back. Mandela took his role seriously. The election of 1948 was a pivotal point of history in South Africa. The importance of this election was due to the struggle for Black Freedom and independence. (Deluca 2000, 68) The election led to the introduction of apartheid (segregation). Apartheid was built on with supremacy. In protest, Mandela who was the Youth League president in the ANC African National Congress (ANC) agreed to join South African communists and Indian in a Defense campaign. Mandela was responsible for recruiting volunteers.


Nelson Mandela had a wonderful figure, was handsome, and well dressed. He possessed another trait of leader, charisma. "It quickly became apparent to friend and foe alike that Mandela "was a born mass leader" who possessed a commanding, magnetic appeal." (Deluca 2000,70) The campaign led to the arrest of the campaign’s leaders. These leaders included Mandela. Even so, the campaign had an impact on the ANC.

The African National Congress (ANC) was no longer elitist in nature, but was open to mass...
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