Leadership lesson #1: Leadership is about behaviour, not position
It still surprises us that a man who only held the top position in the country for just five years made so much difference. He did this, because he knew that to be a leader, you didn't have to be in a position of power. As the BusinessDay explains, his "capacity to integrate, motivate, and mobilize others to bring a common aspiration to life is what leadership is all about, not holding positions of formal authority."
Leadership lesson #2: Collaboration is the key to success
After spending 27 years in prison, Madiba could have retaliated against his oppresses when he gained "top dog" status. But he didn't.
He chose to collaborate instead. He formed a multiracial, mixed-gendered leadership team and even hired self-confessed racist, Zelda la Grange, as his personal assistant.
This because he knew that retaliation deepens divides; collaboration heals them. That retaliation perpetuates ignorance; collaboration promotes learning and progress. Know the difference and you'll lead your company better.
Leadership lesson #3: Never give up on impossible
Many view Madiba as an idealist. After all, until it was done, everyone viewed his quest to overthrow Apartheid as an impossible task. But he showed us that 'it always seems impossible until it's done.' And that's why the final leadership lesson you should take on board is that courage makes all things possible.
Here at www.fspbusiness.co.za we're inspired by the legacy of great leaders like Madiba.
Today, we celebrate him and hope that all South African will forever follow in his footsteps and lead the way he taught us to. RIP Tata.
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