Leadership can be defined as process in which an individual influences a group of people to accomplish a common goal. The goal is achieved by cohesive behavior and mutual cooperation. A leader directs his or her followers to reach a specific goal and infuses sense of positivity in them (Meenakshi, n.d.). There are many great leaders but the leader I admire the most is Nelson Mandela. Mandela used his charismatic personality and ethical behavior to inspire the nation to change. Mandela is a great example of transformational leadership. Transforming leadership appeals to the moral values of followers in an attempt to raise their consciousness about ethical issues and to mobilize their energy and resources to reform institutions. Transactional leadership motivates followers by appealing to their self-interest and exchanging benefits. Nelson Mandela freed South Africa from the system of racism.
In South Africa, there was discrimination against black South Africans. Black South African did not had a right to marry whites, own property, vote, and work in white only jobs. They were not also permitted to travel through restricted areas without carrying a passbook (Winfrey, 2001). Eventually these situations got worse to the point that families were stripped from homes, jobs, etc. Whites wanted to make sure no blacks were able to be citizens. The injustice infuriated Mandela and catapulted him into action (Winfrey, 2001). Nelson Mandela fought long and hard against this discrimination. He had to go through violence and many problems to ensure that black people get justice. He spent 27 years in jail.Finally he became the first elected black president of South Africa and black South Africansgained as equal rightsas white South Africans. Qualities That Contributed To Mandela’s Success
South Africa was a priority for Mandela and he wanted to stop the racial discrimination. He often said that Courage is not the absence of fear–it’s inspiring others to move beyond it(Stengel, 2008). This is one of the major components of a transformational leader, the ability to inspire others and this ability helped Mandela to reach his goal. He inspired his follower with his consistency and courage. He spent 27 years in jail but he did not break down. As a true transformational leader, Mandela was aware of the enormous potential in him and in his fellow human beings and this belief helped him dream big and aspire others to dream big. One more characteristic that helped the Mandela to become successful is that when he got out of jail he included the people he despised such as his jailers and the people that imprisoned him in his cabinet because he knows the importance of elevating others.
According to Mandela, leadership is not about helping those who already love you to love you more – it’s about convincing those who doubt you that you can be trusted (Barling, 2013). Another quality that helped the Mandela to achieve his goals is forgiveness. He forgave all the people who mistreated him. He shared his global price with the predecessor, F.W. de Clerk. His generosity won trust and set an example of how an entire nation could move forward (Looney, 2013). He was committed to his dream. When he was imprisoned, he faced criticism from his own party and international leaders but he remain committed to his goals and eventually he accomplished them. He was risk taker. He knew that it would be difficult for him to free the South Africa from racism but still he took an initiative. He went through a lot of tough time but he did not change his path. These two qualities also helped him to become successful in his dream (Looney, 2013). Leadership Style
On the basis of behavioral theories, my leadership behavior would fall in consideration. A leader high in consideration is friendly and approachable with employees. He treats all the employees equally and helps them with personal problem. The leader also appreciates and supports his employees. I listen to each individual and appreciate them on good work in public and as well as privately. I also motivate them so that they continue coming up with best outcome. I also make sure that I distribute the work fairly. I provide them chances to improve their leadership skills. If any of the employees is not coming up with the good work then I ask for the reason and try to understand him or her. I also guide my team members and provide support to them.
I also make sure there is open communication so that the followers feel free to share his or her ideas. I as a leader make sure that all my team members participate in decision making processand decision is made with the consent of all people. I encourage new and innovative ideas. Before assigning task, I look at the talent of the individual and knowledge he or she has and then decide what kind of work would help an individual to show his capabilities. I also make sure that all my team members work in a friendly environment and they enjoy doing their work and not consider it a burden. I am committed to my work and forgive the people easily. Comparison
By comparing my leadership style and Nelson Mandela leadership style, one of the weakness I have as a leader is lack of confidence. By looking at the leadership of Mandela, he was very much confident. He knew what he was doing. He also spent 27 years in prison but he remained confident. I get confused easily. When I am under pressure, I lose my all confidence. So I would make sure that I remain calm and confident under pressure for the sake of team and be present minded.I cannot take risk. I fear of losing or suffering from tough time. In order to be successful like Mandela, I also need to take risk. I can take an initiative at small level where even if I fail I do not face terrible consequences. If I wanted to inspire my followers then I have to take risks. Conclusion
Mandela was a great transformational leader. He believed in his dreams and took and initiative and remain consistent till be become successful. I could learn many things from his leadership. If I wanted to become successful I need to be consistent. I should also take risk sometimes because one cannot always paly safe. I need to build my confidence and believe that there is nothing I cannot achieve. If I would be able to overcome my weaknesses then I would be able to become a good leader. I would be able to manage my team in an effective manner and would be able to accomplish my team goals.
Barling, J. (2013). Transformational Leadership.Retrieved February 27, 2014 fromhttp://www.iedp.com/Pages/DocumentManager/Transformational%20Leadership%20by%20Dr.%20Julian%20Barling.pdf Looney, V. (2013).5 Character Traits That Made Nelson Mandela an Effective Leader.Retrieved February 27, 2014 fromhttp://corneralliance.com/2013/12/17/5-character-traits-that-made-nelson-