In 2008 on the event of Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday, Richard Stengel wrote an essay on leadership lessons learned from Mandela for Time Magazine. Stengel had worked with Mandela on his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. At the time, we summarized the lessons in a blog post.
1. Courage is not the absence of fear — it’s inspiring others to move beyond it
2. Lead from the front — but don’t leave your base behind
3. Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front
4. Know your enemy — and learn about his favorite sport
5. Keep your friends close — and your rivals even closer
6. Appearances matter — and remember to smile
7. Nothing is black or white
8. Quitting is leading too
Michael McKinney has further elaboration on these eight lessons on The Leadership Blog, and you can access the original cover article via subscription at Time.
At the Washington Post, Jena McGregor compiles Five Nelson Mandela tributes that will change how you think
From various sources around the Web, we’ve compiled a dozen of our favorite quotations from Mandela.
If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.
It is wise to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea.
There are times when a leader must move out ahead of the flock, go off in a new direction, confident that he is leading his people the right way.
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.
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.
There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.
It always seems impossible until it’s done.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.


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