Nelson Mandela is the closest thing we ever have to a secular saint, though he’ll be the first person to tell you that he isn't. He spent 27 years of his life in great deprivations at an infamous jail in Robben Island. His remarkable life inspires millions of people; his legacy resonates resoundingly around the world.
To honor the man who makes the world a much better place, we at MACs Women’s Group pick our top seven leadership lessons inspired by Nelson Mandela.
1. Inspire people with your vision and action
“Action without vision is only passing time. Vision without action is merely day dreaming. But vision with action can change the world.”
Inspire and motivate others not just with words but with you actions. Communicate your vision to your team and instill in each one of them the sense that everything is possible if you work together as a team.
2. Lead from the front
“You lead from the front when there’s danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”
Throughout his life, Mr. Mandela has been the type of leader who leads in the front and inspires courage in his followers, especially during the times of danger.
3. Lead from behind
“It’s better to lead from behind and put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur.”
One of Mr. Mandela’s favorite leadership tricks is to let others lead him.
4. Be ready to make sacrifices
“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”
Mr. Mandela refused to negotiate his early release. He upheld his unwavering principle to overthrow apartheid and achieve freedom to vote for his people. Be ready to sacrifice for the greater good.
“Appearances matter — and remember to smile.”
One of the most memorable image of Nelson Mandela is his beatific smile. His all-inclusive and very welcoming smile is like telling you that he accepts you as you are.
6. Just let go
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
When Mr. Mandela was released after long years in prison, he didn’t set out to seek revenge or become a bitter person. Instead he sought for common ground, worked night and day to set up the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and tried to bridge the gap among his people.
7. Keep going
“Don’t judge me by my successes. Judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
Mr. Mandela shows the world how hard it is to get back up when you fall down. But he also shows us the great rewards that await those who keep going.
Do you have a favorite lesson inspired from Nelson Mandela? Or want to share one of your favorite Nelson Mandela quotes? Leave them in the comments below.