Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Leadership lessons from Nelson Mandela

I recently attended a talk by Debora Patta on the Leadership Lessons from Nelson Mandela.  As a journalist, Debora worked closely with Nelson Mandela after his release from prison, and during his first few years as President of South Africa.  She is a phenomenal speaker. 

Here's the list of Leadership Lessons...

Courage is not the absence of fear, but how you deal with your fears.  There were many time when Mr. Mandela was afraid, but he didn't show it. The more you pretend to be brave, the braver you become.  Courage is a lost virtue, and needs to be rediscovered in the workplace of today

Know when to say no, and let your no be firm.  No is a lot kinder than ambiguity and uncertainty

Learn to persevere more.  Mandela was a marathoner in his thinking, not a sprinter.  He focused on the long term end result of an issue, not short term quick-fixes.  We give up too easily, too often

Do the right thing, even if other people perceive it to be the wrong thing.  Speak truth to people in power, even if you are afraid

Mandela believes that everyone has one core principal in life (I wonder what mine is?  What is your core principal in life?)

You have to know when to compromise

Grow your own garden.  Mandela tended a small vegetable garden during his years in prison - he says it helped him to disconnect from the world and put things into perspective.  He still tends his garden today.  Everyone needs a hobby.  Take time to switch off and reflect.  The deepest insights come from these quiet times

Think laterally when trying to solve a problem.  Mandela used rugby to unite a society which was deeply divided along racial lines.  Go outside the box, look for unusual solutions

True leadership is about humility and serving others

1 comment:

  1. What lovely lessons to learn from. Thanks for sharing this Alison.