Nelson Mandela’s Leadership Qualities

Free «Nelson Mandela’s Leadership Qualities» Essay Sample

Nelson Mandela is a sample of great will and power. His Presidency over the South African Republic would always serve as the example of devotedness and desire to improve the existing situation. His personal attitude towards his people can be estimated as one of the kindest, the most popular and open among the world leaders. The tough way he had passed became a good reason for developing proper, wise and significant leadership. The current writing is based on the 2009 Hollywood movie describing an episode from his life during the 1964 World Rugby Championship, when Mandela chose the event to improve the situation with apartheid policy. His main goal was to unite the people of South Africa through winning the Championship. The analysis of Mandela’s life and actions in the given paper proves his high leadership qualities, strong will and persistency in achieving established goals as well as the desire to serve the people. Hence, these are the points discussed and supported by the evidence from the aforementioned film.

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Leadership Qualities of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela’s leadership contains several types of the issue. The first one is directive type, which is expressed through provision of the task to be implemented and aims to be achieved by directing specific tasks, close supervision and support. It is viewed through the prism of his inspiring cooperation with the rugby team captain, Francois Pienaar. They developed close interaction not only within the team, but also with their supporters, fans of the Springbroks.

Being a part of the preparation, Mandela signifies another type of a leader, the empowering one: a good example is his encouragement for the team to take over the control and decide on how to train and prepare. A logo for this may be taken as follows: Lead others to lead themselves. Mandela did not support hierarchical order and tried to make the situation equal for everyone. Hence, the players should be self-driven with the process of pursuing the goal.

One more quality is revealed through shared leadership, when all the participants collaborate and share leading positions as well the responsibility for the outcome of their actions. He teaches them good lessons of common inspiration, ingratiation and coalition.

Nelson Mandela’s Approach to Changing Managerial Strategies

In this prospective, Mandela’s policy is precise and corresponds to the best ways of achieving successful results. In particular, his application of good communication is expressed in his declamation of the poem “Invictus”. This also reveals his being open to Francois and shows willingness to share very personal internal state.

Another point is motivation revealed through the inclusion of the person into the situation, when the reward is likely to be granted. It also includes ones’ confidence in themselves and their ability to reach results. Mandela successfully implemented this approach, when he inspired the team for future competition. People need to be directed and sometimes even persuaded that their actions are appropriate. Hence, the belief in themselves served as a trigger and increased the competiveness level.  

With regard to the existing change theories, one should pay particular attention to McKinsey 7-S Model, which can provide a solid background to understanding of the strategies that Mandela used. Among such, the emphasis on the holistic nature of the team should be the effective way to change anything. Mandela’s actions show his sustainable attitude to all the elements including the shared values, strategies, system, structure, style, skills and staff. Kotter’s ideas presented in his change model can also be applied. Change urgency, teambuilding, vision of change, staff empowering, being persistent and searching for the permanent change can be found throughout Mandela’s decisions.


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According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-fulfillment drives a person mostly. Hence, desire to reach great heights in life leads people in the right direction. Telling the team that their performance will unite the whole nation and improve the social state and welfare is a good motivation and it, of course, would satisfy the most significant need for being acknowledged as an important element of the society.

Proper motivation unveiled through the simple but strong language, assuring the surrounding in their valuable contribution to the development of the whole nation is exactly what Nelson Mandela did. He as well had a great impact on the team through its captain, who being so inspired by the President, was eagerly implementing his plan.

The story of Nelson Mandela is a story of raising from ashes and reaching worldwide recognition through the actions directed on the establishment of the social welfare not of one’s own, but of the people, which adds to the popularity and outer support. His inspiration was in contributing and preserving these as most basic pillars for strong nation. He himself is a pillar standing firmly on the ground and encouraging others for action. Due to tough years of imprisonment, he developed a sense of gratefulness and devotion.

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Mandela’s leadership qualities such as empowering and motivating, inspiration and support, absence of desire to be over the people made him one of the best Presidents in the history of the world. He knew how to establish a goal and, what is more important, how to reach it. Moreover, he had a great ability to make people believe in themselves, their strength and success. The personality of the leader demands being stable, strict, but also open, reliable, achievable, persuasive. He must ensure the belief that the future is going to be great. And these are the qualities, Nelson Mandela possessed. He was followed and admired due to his actions. His managerial skills in governing the country, really showed people that apartheid was a policy rather artificial, and its purpose was humiliate African people and show their insignificance to the world community. This was all wrong: they started believing in their equity with the whites and even more, in their uniqueness and importance. He served his people and was appreciated for that. There are not so many leaders, who achieve the same.

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