Multicultural Leadership: Nelson Mandela
One of the primary effects of globalization has been a growing need to groom multicultural leaders who can function effectively across cross-cultural boundaries. In a multicultural world, a leader can only tend to the needs of his followers if he knows and understands these needs in the first place. There is need, therefore, for leaders and those aspiring to take up leadership positions to boost their understanding of different cultures and take leadership lessons from great multicultural leaders before them. Nelson Mandela is one such leader — a multicultural figure who was able to understand and tend effectively to the needs of both the black and the white South African populations, managing to win the hearts of people both within and without the country. The subsequent sections of this text detail how Mandela was able to execute his multicultural leadership, and the specific traits that facilitated the same.
Nelson Mandela was born in Mvezo Village, Transkei South Africa in 1918 to Nonqaphi Nosekeni and Nkosi Gadla Mandela, then chief counselor to the king of the Thembu people (Nelson Mandela Foundation, 2014). His was a big family of 13 children, and he was the youngest of four boys (Nelson Mandela Foundation, 2014). He started his education at an English preparatory school near his village, graduated from the University of South Africa with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1943 and joined politics in 1944, when he signed up for the African National Congress Youth League (Nelson Mandela Foundation, 2014). As the head of the National Defiance Campaign of the ANC, Mandela led a series of demonstrations to protest laws that he termed unjust. This led him to be arrested in 1961 and sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly trying to overthrow the state. He served 27 years and was elected South Africa’s first black president in 1995.
A perfect demonstration of Mandela’s appreciation for multiculturalism was the speech he gave from the dock during his conviction:
I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve; but if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die” (Nelson Mandela Foundation, 2014, n.pag).
Mandela’s Leadership Traits
Sacrifice and Compromise: Born into royalty, Mandela developed respect for culture and traditions from a very young age; and having been brought up in a large extended family (where he was not the last child); he developed a strong sense of community, sacrifice, and compromise for the sake of protecting traditions. His sense of sacrifice for the greater good was demonstrated by the fact that he was willing to die, just so his people would be free from apartheid, and this made him connect effectively with the South African populace (Mazinter, 2013).
Tenacity and Self-Discipline: even while serving his jail term, when there was no surety that he would ever be released, Mandela maintained his resilience to continue studying and increase knowledge for both himself and other inmates. To him, continuous education/learning was the only way through which he would understand the culture of his own people as well as those of other groups (Mazinter, 2013). He strived to do the right thing even when faced with danger, and this resilience increased his ability to provide direction to his followers.
Sociability: while in prison, Mandela built strong social relations with prison guards, and was able to use these to his advantage in actualizing his goal to end apartheid (Mazinter, 2013). By maintaining strong social relations with the people with whom he worked in prison, and who had a direct influence on how inmates were treated, Mandela was able to influence their actions and thereby ensure that apartheid and dehumanization were undermined, at least within the prison facility. Influencing the masses begins with influencing the people around and closest to you.
Mandela’s Leadership Style
A leader’s style of leadership is the manner in which they manage, and give instructions to their followers (Hamilton, 2010). Mandela is seen to demonstrate the democratic leadership style, where there is two-way communication between the leader and his followers, and the leader strives to obtain input from followers so that courses of action and decisions are made jointly (Hamilton, 2010). He exercised a three-dimensional, rounded view to life and humanity, recognizing that people have different views, and the best solution could only be realized if these different perspectives are taken into account. Mandela delegated and involved other people in organizing campaign rallies; and even while in prison, he delegated men who had spent more time there to befriend prison wardens so his vision of ending apartheid could be actualized (Mazinter, 2013). The greatest demonstration of Mandela’s democratic style of leadership was when, in his speech upon being released from prison, he said that he would only make a few preliminary statements then and would give a more profound statement once he had had the opportunity to consult with his party members (I have included the link to the historic speech in the references section).
Types of Power
Mandela made use of both legitimate and referent power in getting the South African people to identify with his vision (Daft, 2014). His legitimate power came from the position he occupied as the defiance campaign leader in the popular ANC party. People recognized his authority as a leader and looked up to him for guidance and direction on how to relieve South Africa from the Nationalist Rule. Referent power, unlike legitimate power, has nothing to do with authority – it comes from being respected and trusted by one’s followers (Daft, 2014). The South African population trusted Mandela’s will because he had shown right from the onset that he was willing to die to set South Africa free, and had maintained the same will in the face of adversity during imprisonment. Upon release (27 years later), he still showed his determination to actualize that vision. Both of these had the effect of making Mandela a charismatic leader. The authority commanded by the position he occupied in ANC, coupled with his self-determination earned him the trust and loyalty of his followers; and this is why it was relatively easy for him to convince the masses to turn up in demonstration rallies and ANC rebellion campaigns.
Mandela’s Motivation Strategies
Simply stated, a leader’s motivation strategies are the specific elements that he uses to inspire people to follow him (Saner, 2008). Mandela made use of a number of key strategies in influencing his followers. First, he made use of symbols to tell stories about history, communicate his vision, frame his experiences and capture attention. In prison, he inspired his colleagues by telling them stories about the vision and image he had of a free and democratic South Africa (Mazinter, 2013). He used symbols to illustrate his understanding of and connection to the people of South Africa — in 1962, for instance, during one of his court appearances, Mandela wore a symbolic kaross to demonstrate that he respected the traditions, history, and culture of the South African people, and he was ready to defend it all costs (Mazinter, 2013). South Africans valued their native cultures, and by showing that he looked out for it, Mandela was able to identify with them and get them to follow him in actualizing his vision.
Mandela also inspired his followers through articulating a shared vision (Mazinter, 2013). He strived to make his vision to end apartheid one for the entire population in the belief that once individual followers took the vision as their own, they would be committed to join others in fighting towards its actualization (Brock & Green, 2005). In his speeches, Mandela brought his comrades, friends, and ANC members together in his struggle, articulating that “no man or woman who abandoned apartheid would be excluded from the movement towards aâ€¦Democratic South Africa” (Mazinter, 2013, p. 8).
Evidently, Mandela was a great leader. He was able to appeal effectively to a multicultural audience both within and without the nation of South Africa. There are some key elements that leaders could emulate from Mandela’s leadership to increase their effectiveness in multicultural settings. Leaders need to demonstrate a will to remain resilient in the achievement of organizational goals and visions; only then will they be able to provide a clear sense of direction to their followers. They ought to be committed to the process of continuous learning so that they are in a position to better understand the specific needs of their followers. Sacrifice is key — leaders ought to be willing to put the goals of the organization and the needs of their followers before their own needs. In addition, they ought to breed an environment that encourages open-mindedness and democracy in decision-making because it is only in so doing that the overall mission will become one shared by all stakeholders.
Brock, T.C. & Green, M.C. (Eds.). (2005). Persuasion: Psychological Insights and Perspectives (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing
Daft, R. (2014). The Leadership Experience (6th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning
Hamilton, C. (2010). Communicating for Results: A Guide for Business and the Professions (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning
Lussier, R. & Achua, C. (2009). Leadership: Theory, Application and Skill Development (4th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning
Mazinter, L. (2013). Nelson Mandela: A Leader for the Ages. Rotary Club of the Southwest USA. Retrieved June 18, 2015 from http://www.recswusa.org/site_uploads/program/510/NelsonMandelaLeadershipLessons.pdf
Nelson Mandela Foundation. (2013). Biography of Nelson Mandela. The Nelson Mandela Foundation. Retrieved June 17, 2015 from https://www.nelsonmandela.org/content/page/biography
Saner, R. (2008). The Expert Negotiator: Strategy, Tactics, Motivation, Behavior, Leadership (3rd ed.). Leiden, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more