Thu Oct 27 11:04:28 SAST 2016

Tata's six tips for leadership

By unknown | Jul 18, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

lCourage is not the absence of fear - it's inspiring others to move beyond it.

lCourage is not the absence of fear - it's inspiring others to move beyond it.

Mandela was often afraid during his time underground, during the Rivonia Trial that led to his imprisonment, during his time on Robben Island.

"Of course I was afraid," he later confessed. "It would have been irrational not to be. I can't pretend that I'm brave and that I can beat the whole world.

"But as a leader, you cannot let people know. You must put up a front."

lLead from the front - but don't leave your base behind.

Mandela initiated negotiations with the apartheid government. His reputation was on the line. He went to each of his comrades in prison and explained what he was doing.

Slowly and deliberately he convinced them that negotiations were the route to go.

lLead from the back - and let others believe they are in front.

Whenever he held meetings with his colleagues, Mandela would allow them to speak while he listened attentively - only after they had all spoken would he speak.

It is wise to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea.

lKnow your enemy - and learn about his favourite sport.

As far back as the 1960s Mandela started learning Afrikaans. Everyone from ordinary jailers on Robben Island to PW Botha were impressed by Mandela's willingness to speak Afrikaans.

lKeep your friends close - and your enemy closer.

Mandela believed that embracing his rivals was a way of controlling them; they were more dangerous on their own than within his circle of influence.

Mandela also recognised that the way to deal with those he didn't trust was to neutralise them with charm.

lAppearances matter - and remember to smile.

Mandela understood the historical correlation between leadership and physicality. He understood how his appearance could advance his cause.

As a leader of the ANC's underground armed wing, Umkhonto weSizwe, he insisted on being photographed in fatigues and with a beard. Throughout his career he has also been concerned about dressing appropriately for his position. - Source: Time and Leadership magazines.


Login OR Join up TO COMMENT