What Were Nelson Mandela's Leadership Qualities?

were-nelson-mandela-s-leadership-qualities Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media/Getty Images

Nelson Mandela displayed a leadership style based on peace, forgiveness and an understanding of his opponents. He succeeded in his mission of abolishing apartheid, became the first black President of South Africa and won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Apartheid was a social system based on white supremacy that segregated against people of color and denied them the civil right of full citizenship in South Africa. In his early years, Nelson Mandela aligned himself with communists who shared similar political viewpoints. Although they sometimes employed violent methods that he did not agree with, Mandela believed that his involvement with communists was a necessity at the time. He was imprisoned for 27 years, during which time he displayed patience with his captors. He allowed himself the openness of mind to be able to understand and embrace those responsible for his imprisonment.

After he was released from prison, Nelson Mandela fought against apartheid by utilizing his adept social skills to make effective speeches on the civil issues the country was facing. He was strictly non-violent and focused his attention on the reasons behind the conflicts he was involved in rather than blindly and recklessly attacking his opponents. He encouraged others who were oppressed by apartheid to oppose the system in a similar manner in an attempt to internally dismantle the system.