Nelson Mandela's Lessons of Leadership

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Nelson Mandela at the Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture on July 12, 2008 in Soweto, Johannesburg. Lionel Healing/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Lionel Healing/AFP/Getty Images

No doubt, we could all stand to learn a thing or two from former South African president Nelson Mandela. His biographer, Richard Stengel, recently visited the leader he calls "the closest thing the world has to a secular saint" in Johannesburg, where they talked about leadership. Together, they came up with Mandela's "8 Lessons of Leadership," a list designed "to cause the best kind of trouble: the trouble that forces us to ask how we can make the world a better place." Here's one to get you started: "Courage is not the absence of fear — it's inspiring others to move beyond it." What have you learned from Mandela? And which of his lessons do you most hope today's political candidates will take to heart?



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The closest thing the world has to a saint????
Nelson Mandela is a great person; he worked and fought all his life for a worthy cause. But at the end of the day he is also a terrorist that used terrorism in SA to further his goals. In addition he is a good buddy of ruthless dictators such as Kaddafi.
Far from a saint.

Sent by Ethan | 2:45 PM | 7-15-2008

As an "afrikaner" - and Afrikaans speaking South African I was deeply offended by a caller's comments that Afrikaans speaking people are the cruelest and most heartless people. I am 35, and was born when Apartheid was already in place. My family worked my whole life to bring about change. The first time I was eligible to vote was for the referendum that got blacks the vote in South Africa - the only people who voted in that election were WHITE - NOT all white South Africans are racists!!! The second election I voted in was when Nelson Mandela was elected president - and by the way, I voted for him. Mostly I respect him because he judges each person he meets by "the content of their character, not by the color of their skin", your caller would do well to live by the same principle! Did you know Nelson Mandela's personal aide is a young Afrikaans lady - this story has a lot more to it than the stereotype that you tend to paint all stories about South Africa with!

Sent by Antoinette Brokopp | 3:06 PM | 7-15-2008

For Antoinette/3:06/07-15
I understand your concern. I am a black United States citizen, 33. I did not live through our civil rights era but I know that there are some non-racist whites who helped to bring about change. I am one of many who benefits from their sacrifice. I also know that not every person of color is fully developed in their unconditional love for the human race.
I am not trying to change your opinion. But wanted to share my view that when I heard the guest today, I thought he was talking about the system of apartheid not all the people who happen live in it.
I hope that helps you know, that others in the World know not all Afrikaans are racist or viewed the apartheid system as acceptable

Sent by Tan | 5:48 PM | 7-15-2008

Nelson Mandela is a former President of South Africa, the first to be elected in fully representative democratic elections. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and leader of the African National Congress.HE is a good leader.

Sent by eric | 2:23 AM | 7-16-2008