I got my most recent issue of Time magazine yesterday and on the cover was a picture of Nelson Mandela and it was titled, The Secrets of Leadership: 8 Lessons from one history’s icons. The article was written by his long time biographer Richard Stengel, who seems to know him like a friend. Some of the lessons were not the usual leadership lessons that you might read in a book by a business professor, and others were very predictable. However, the most interesting part is how tactical he was in his approach to leadership and the tactics that illustrate these leadership lessons. To get all that you need to read the article. Here is the summary of the lessons from a leader who led in such a way as to bring about real transformation:
- COURAGE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF FEAR – IT’S INSPIRING OTHERS TO MOVE BEYOND IT.
- LEAD FROM THE FRONT – BUT DON’T LEAVE YOUR BASE BEHIND.
- LEAD FROM THE BACK – AND LET OTHERS BELIEVE THEY ARE IN FRONT.
- KNOW YOUR ENEMY – AND LEARN ABOUT HIS FAVORITE SPORT.
- KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE – AND YOUR RIVALS EVEN CLOSER.
- APPEARANCES MATTER – AND REMEMBER TO SMILE.
- NOTHING IS BLACK AND WHITE.
- QUITTING IS LEADING TOO.
Time also has a narrated photo essay: Modern Hero. It is terrific and shows us how Mandela inspires us. And for extra credit you can take a look at The Making of a Leader, an additional article by Richard Stengel on Nelson Mandela.