Read the article:Mandella: His 8 Lessons of Leadership
Q. Which of the eight lessons of leadership did you connect with most and why?
In summary Mandela’s Eight Lessons included:
- Courage is not the absence of fear - it’s inspiring others to move beyond it.
- Lead from the front - but dont leave your base behind.
- Lead from the back - and let others believe they are in front.
- Know your enemy - and learn about his favourite sport.
- Keep your friends close - and your rivals even closer.
- Appearances matter - and remember to smile.
- Nothing is black or white.
- Quitting is leading too.
As an effective teacher I have for many years demonstrated all of the above on a daily basis. Prior to teaching I have held positions of leadership in the armed forces (42nd & 49th Battalions), small business, retail and as a trainer and assessor in the security industry. More recently I have held “Group Leader” positon in the local scouting group and in the last 12 months undertaken the responsibility of Student Representative Council coordinator within my workplace.
More directly towards, number 3. Lead from the back - and let others believe they are in front stand out to me the most as I feel for many this can be the most difficult to balance.
I believe the true act of leadership of to work towards a kind of self redundancy. You are always in the wings and available but to most never seen. An effective leader is no different to an effective teacher. You need to plan, implement and work towards achievable outcomes. Set short and long term goals and celebrate each upon completion. Leader achieve this by initiating a range of systems, processes, actions and responses in such a way the machine can effectively reproduce its synergy of all its parted regardless of if you are at the helm or not. Good leaders in my opinion demonstrate courage, counsel with wise guidance and have an open door listen with out judgement. Good leadership is instilling the self confidence, trust and belief in others to allow them to do the same.
When Mandela recalled Jongintaba’s advice to not enter the debate too early, he was saying to listen to consensus. Consider all aspects, summarise others arguments, allow yourself to be led and then persuade people that their ideas are the best course of action.
In summary Mandela’s lessons can be transposed into any context where one is required to lead people within any organisation that has a common goal. Good leaders go through the motions. Great leaders are effective, approachable and guiding those around them to shine.
“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”
18 July 1918 -