On December 5, 2013 the one and only Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95. As the world mourns the passing of one of the great leaders of our time, let us not forget to celebrate his extraordinary life. His life, his words, and his leadership have motivated millions (including myself) to live up to his example of strength, forgiveness, courage, freedom, and dignity.
So, in honor of the man who gave hope to generations of South Africans and inspired many others around the globe to become better people, here are 7 lessons from Nelson Mandela’s life that will endure long after his passing.
Prefer to listen to this post instead? Click the play button below:
We are having a major crisis in our world today. A crisis of leadership. There exist so few real leaders who are actually producing the changes that are needed to shape our future in a direction that actually benefits us all, that it’s become a dire situation with long-reaching consequences and requires action now in order for our world to have a chance at a better tomorrow.
Sure, there are many of those who call themselves leaders today (maybe more than ever) but so few of them are true to the function of that title. They are ego-driven, selfish, and greedy in their attempt to control others for their own personal gain. True leaders are those who are selflessly committed to creating lasting change in themselves for the benefit of others. They inspire the greatness within other human beings and help them do and be more than they ever thought possible.
The mark of a true leader is their ability to create change that lasts. Think about the lasting effects of leaders like Gandhi, Maria Montessori, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Lao Tzu, Mother Teresa, and Jesus. These leaders have legacies that have endured the test of time because they were able to create lasting changes in the landscape of humanity that helped everyone get better, and that’s the kind of leadership we need so desperately today.
If you’re a leader then you are tasked with the challenge of making change a reality. But if change isn’t happening for you the way you desire, then take a look at these three huge reasons why leaders fail to produce change.
The only losers in life are those who don't learn from their experiences
Being born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, I’ve been a Cardinals baseball fan my whole life. I’ve had the privilege of watching them win the World Series 3 times in my short lifetime – 1982, 2006, and 2011. I’ve also had the misfortune to see them take it all the way and lose in the big series 4 times – 1985, 1987, 2004, and Wednesday night.
It was heartbreaking, for sure, to watch these guys fight to the finish and just not have enough in the tank to take down the Boston Red Sox. It’s always hard to watch someone set out to make their dream a reality and come up short. But, like all great teams, organizations, companies, families, couples and individuals already know, losing is never the end of anything if you’ve learned something from the experience.
So, when you lose, do you learn from your experience? Or do you just feel the pain of the failure? It might not seem like a life-changing question, but it can mean the difference between giving up on your dreams or making them a reality.