Nelson Mandela's Leadership Style and Philosophy of Life

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Richard Stengel assisted Nelson Mandela with his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom (1993) and produced a documentary about his life three years later. They also collaborated on Mandela's Way (2010) which offers fifteen lessons on his leadership style, philosophy of life and lessons he learned during this twenty-seven years in prison. Mandela is a genuinely modest and humane man whose entire life was given over to the cause of social justice, the emancipation of the black majority in South Africa and the abolition of the apartheid regime. In prison, he learned the lessons of patience, self-discipline, respect and understanding for his opponents and consensus-building that served him well when he became the first democratically-elected president of South Africa in 1994. He also learned when to quit, which is why he served only one term, unlike other African nationalist leaders who became dictators. Among the challenges he faced over the years were the great difficulties in leading a democratic transition in a country that had always had minority rule, convincing his own followers in the African National Congress (ANC) to give up the violent struggle, and dealing with the major social and economic problems left over from the apartheid regime. He also faced tribal violence from the Inkatha Zulu Party, encouraged and supported by white Nationalists and the secret police, and the fact that most blacks lacked adequate health care, housing and education. Few leaders of any
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