- May 6, 2020
Nelson Mandela Leadership Profile Paper
NelsonMandela: Leadership Profile Paper
Nelson Mandela was Mr. and Mrs. Nosekeni’s son who was born on July18, 1918, in Cape Province, South Africa. He was a philanthropist,politician, activist, lawyer, peacemaker, and anti-apartheidactivist, and the first black president of South Africa. He aimed todismantle the apartheid legacy by fostering racial discrimination andtackling institutionalized racism (Chandler,Donald, and John 200). In 1963, he was sentenced tolife imprisonment for migrating to other countries without a permit,trying to overthrow the government, inciting workers to strike, andsabotage but served for twenty-seven years. Due to his icon forsocial justice and democracy, he received several prizes includingAtaturk Peace Award, Libyan Al-Gaddafi International Prize for HumanRights, Sakharov Prize, US Presidential Medal of Freedom, Nobel PeacePrize, and Soviet Union’s Lenin Peace Prize. Some of his notablespeeches and books include “I Am Prepared to die,” “TheAuthorized Biography,” and “Long Walk of Freedom.” He had sixchildren from three different marriages. He died on December 5, 2013,in Johannesburg, South Africa due to respiratory tract infection atthe age of ninety-five years.
Mandela played a significant role in the history of South Africa.According to Chandleret al. (179), he helped his country to transit fromracist policy of apartheid to a multiracial democratic republic.Prior his presidency, the White people were in charge of the nation,and they discriminated the Blacks. It was illegal for the Blacks togo to the same hospitals and schools with the whites, or beach likethem. In addition, they people were not allowed to vote in thegeneral elections. However, according to Mandela, all people hadequal rights. This motivated him to create a diverse society, whichappreciated all its members in regardless of the skin color. For thisreason, he joined African National Congress (ANC) that was leading inprotesting against apartheid. In 1991, apartheid was abolished, in1994, the country held its first election, and people were allowed tovote.
Mandela used the power of persuasive communication to stop apartheidin his country. He deliberately chose words and constructed them tofavor his message. The power of his terminologies was fit enough tosustain his movement. He used simple, but expressive language. Hiswas always clear, brave, firm, and consistent in expressing hisvalues, beliefs, and goals. Most of his quotes were straightforwardand could be understood by all his followers. From the start, he wasapparent that they were fighting against white domination. Forinstance, his speech in 1964 was so influential, which made him servemany years in prison.
Further, Mandela communicated to his followers through coordinatingall ANC branches, whereby he traveled to every part of the countryexplaining his strategies to fight against hate and racialdiscrimination. He effectively explained to his supporters thepolicies he was using to struggle for a better country. He advisedthem to adopt a peaceful action course, as well as avoid violence atall costs to avoid horrific results (Pietersen65). He mobilized them to continue fighting for theirfreedom and against apartheid. He inspired his followers to followhis lead and campaign for equal rights. He made them realize thattheir decisions and sacrifices would give them freedom. Further, asa leader, he encouraged and assisted them to understand his vision byexplaining the importance of democracy and eliminating racialdiscrimination.
Most of Mandela’s decisions had positive effects. For instance, hisdecisions made him the greatest leader during his era. He devoted hislife to serving humanity. In 1985, while still in prison, PresidentBotha offered him conditional amnesty if he renounced violence andillegal activities. He did not fall for this transparent trick thoughhe was so much in need of freedom. He made a strategic decision toremain in prison cell (Pietersen62). After ten years, he received an unconditionalrelease and was then elected as the ANC president, and later as thepresident of South Africa. In addition, after serving as thepresident for five years, he decided not to vie again for a secondterm, though it was possible under the constitution. This was a clearindication that democracy was more than one individual. He encouragedpower sharing, racial harmony, forgiveness, humility, remarkableendurance, as well as encouraged people to focus on the future, butnot in the past (Barling124).
Through his decision, Mandela managed to end apartheid. While servingas the president, he established Truth and Reconciliation Commissionand mandated it to scrutinize political and human rights violationsthat were committed either by his supporters or by opponents. Also,he allowed victims to discuss their treatment openly, as wellperpetrators to take full accountability for their deeds. As apresident, he presided over new South African Constitution enactmentthat was strongly against minority discrimination. He made changes inthe budgetary to address apartheid inequalities. These helped thecountry to heal from apartheid wounds.
Mandela made a brave decision to use sports as a healing tactic(Chandler et.al 200). He believed that through them, he would unitepeople, deliver a message, inspire, and explode myths of racialinferiority and superiority. He embraced all kinds of games includingboxing, cricket, soccer, rugby, among others wholeheartedly. He usedthem to promote Black and White reconciliation and to encourage themto support national teams. For example, in 1995, he hosted the RugbyWorld Cup that brought prestige and recognition, as well as redefinedthe country international image. He used encouraged the South Africancricket officials to introduce mixed race teams to break apartheid.Sports were valuable tools for him to connect with people that hecould not reach.
Today, South Africa is among the most progressive democratic nationin the entire world (Pietersen65). Most people accredit Mandela as its source ofindependence. Even after leaving the presidency office, he remained achampion of social justice and peace in his country, as well as thewhole world. Further, became an HIV/AIDS awareness and treatmentprograms vocal advocator in a culture where stigma and ignorance ofthe disease were high. He also established several organizations suchas The Elders and Nelson Mandela Foundation to address globalproblems and human suffering.
Indeed, Mandela’s life had a significant influence among differentpeople all over the world. He embodied many things includingforgiveness, unity, sacrifice, and selflessness, love, among others.Despite spending twenty-seven years behind bars, he had no grudgesagainst his captors, nor did not show any sign of hatred orbitterness. On the contrary, he possessed as a strategic leader whowanted to make a change. Even when he became the president, hecollaborated with his oppressors to reshape his nation. His legacyoutgrew the confines of not only his country, but the whole ofAfrica. He will forever be acknowledged as an iconic leader.
Barling,Julian. TheScience of Leadership: Lessons from Research for OrganizationalLeaders., 2014. Print.
Chandler III,G. Donald, and John W. Chandler. "Robert Mugabe and NelsonMandela: Revolutionary Leaders." OnEffective Leadership.Palgrave Macmillan US, 2013. 179-201.
Pietersen,Willie. "What Nelson Mandela Taught the World AboutLeadership." Leaderto Leader 2015.76(2015): 60-66.