Today we want to highlight the leader Nelson Mandela. He is considered to be one of the world’s greatest leaders, and he certainly exemplifies courageous leadership.

In a nutshell:

  • Mr. Mandela was the first black President of South Africa (1994 to 1999) elected in a multiracial election.
  • He passionately addressed racism, poverty, inequality, and healthcare.
  • He was convicted of attempting to overthrow the government and sentenced to life imprisonment (he was released after 27 years).

Was he controversial? Yes! Did he live his life with passion and conviction? Yes! Did he lead with courage? Absolutely!

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
–Nelson Mandela

Mandela’s Courageous Accomplishments

  • President Mandela led negotiations to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections.
  • He established a new constitution.
  • He created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate human rights abuses.
  • He was a mediator between Libya and the U.K. in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing.
  • He created the Nelson Mandela Foundation with the focus on combating poverty and HIV/AIDS.
  • He is recognized internationally for the many challenges he addressed head-on, and as a result, he has received hundreds of awards. Some include the Nobel Peace Prize (1993), the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom (2002), Order of St. John (from Queen Elizabeth II), the Soviet’s Order of Lenin, the Bharat Ratna Award (from the government of India), and from Pakistan, the Nishan-e-Pakistan.

Quite the accomplishments; quite the courageous leader, one that we should all strive to emulate!