What Made Nelson Mandela a Good Leader?


Quick Answer

In an article on PsychologyToday.com, Ray Williams notes that Nelson Mandela was a good leader because he "symbolized for all of Africa a commitment to democracy and freedom." He showed this commitment by possessing a calm, positive and humble demeanor despite going through decades of personal pain and suffering, and seeing his people experience the same and more for even longer. These trials and tribulations also contributed to his leadership abilities.

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Full Answer

Mandela is well known for helping unite South Africa to get rid of apartheid. In doing this, he experienced physical harm and attacks, death threats, insubordination, loss of loved ones and even 27 years in prison for his actions. However, none of that stopped him from pursuing his goal of freedom. Mandela was an advocate for peace. Similar to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mandela presented regular acts of non-violence when advocating for democracy in Africa. He also exercised a strong level of forgiveness not just because he forgave but because he also asked for forgiveness. He freely acknowledged his flaws as a man. That genuine action earned him more respect and trust from his followers. Mandela gained national recognition for his consistency, so when the world became involved in matters of Africa, they were inclined to follow his lead due to his strong and positive characteristics.

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