Certainly he was an extraordinary leader, a towering figure of the 20th century. A remarkable leader who stood and struggled for freedom and indeed equality. He has inspired people around the world to fight for change, justice, and against inequality. He showed how it’s possible to make a difference. Nelson Mandela led in the face of adversity with courage, and conviction. He succeeded in his lifetime beyond difficulties. Born July 18, 1918 in South Africa, Nelson Mandela born to into a South African royal family, studied law and in his time went on to be a founding members of the Youth League of the ANC African National Congress (ANCYL) in 1944. He actively spent time campaigning to end apartheid in South Africa. In 1960 he was sent to prison for 27 years. He became a symbol of courage against oppression. Following his release from Robben Island in 1990, Mandela plunged with full force into the movement to end apartheid and went on to win the presidency in the nation’s first democratic election, and served as head of South Africa’s new government until 1999. He worked hard to reform the nation’s social service, public finance systems, and advocated for reconciliation among all South African people. Leadership lessons we can learn from him include the importance of perseverance, to keep moving, to keep going, to not let setbacks and disappointments discourage you, to press on, and stay the course even in the most difficult of circumstances.
The Mandela Legacy
His story, his life and his legacy teach us why courage and conviction are important in leading and in living our lives.
The United Nations has declared his birthday July 18th, “Mandela Day”, and we are all encouraged to do something positive for others for at least 67 minutes, in honor of the number of years Mandela dedicated to the freedom struggle.
On this next July 18th, for just 67 minutes, what positive thing could you do to help others? I will be personally mentoring a young entrepreneur and also have offered to speak for a local youth organization on leadership on the 3C’s: the importance of courage; character; and compassion. I previously had the pleasure of inspiring and instructing Girl Scout Troop leaders in the community on this very subject. The 3C’s demonstrate the importance of these traits as we raise and rise up tomorrow’s leaders.
Love to see, hear and learn about what you will do for your 67 minutes this coming Thursday, July 18th . Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.
“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself.
You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself…
Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.”
– Nelson Mandela