Nelson Mandela as a Transformational Leader


Nelson Mandela as a transformational leader

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Mandela as a transformational leader
How did Nelson Mandela’s leadership role change as his circumstances changed?
What can we learn about leadership from Nelson Mandela?
Why is Nelson Mandela so admired as a leader?
How Nelson Mandela is similar or different from other world leaders?
How to be a transformational leader

Additional information


Executive summary

There are few characters that made huge impact to world history. Nelson Mandela is one of personality who made huge impact to the world. Even though Mandela is political leader, there are lot of leadership qualities which current organizational level leaders can learn from him.
This report will be discussed whether Nelson Mandela’s leadership style can be categorized as charismatic or transformational leadership style. And also this report will be discussed that how Nelson Mandela’s leadership role change as his circumstances changed. There were few other great leaders in same era of Nelson Mandela and this report will be explained how Mandela similar to or different from other leaders. This report will be further included what this generation leaders can learn from Mandela and how to develop those leadership skill in their professional life.


Nelson Mandela is one of the most influential character of world history who gave many examples as a leader. Mandela sacrificed lot to the struggle for freedom in South Africa and finally stay 27 years of imprisonment. He was received Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his immense contribution for peace of South Africa. In 1994, Nelson Mandela inaugurated as first black president of South Africa. This report will be discussed the leadership skills of Mandela and what we can learn from Mandela as a leader.

Mandela as a transformational leader

Transformational leaders can be simply identified as a leaders who causes change in individuals and social systems. Even though now this term use for discuss organization level leaders, James MacGregor Burns (1978) introduced this concepts to define the political leaders who make huge impact on their society. Nelson Mandela mainly can be identified as a transformational leader since his great influence to world politics even though he showed lot of charismatic leadership skills throughout the long time struggle for freedom. Characteristic of transformational leader can be explained in 4Is.

 Individualized consideration
 Intellectual stimulation
 Inspirational motivation
 Idealized influence

Individualized consideration – Leaders need to consider their followers needs and act as a mentor for their followers. The transformational leaders give support and empathy to followers. Mandela was well educated and he had enough chances to had better life outside of South Africa. But he chose difficult path to fight against apartheid authority since he showed suffering of his own people and realized that what they most needed is freedom. And Mandela led to African National Congress (ANC) to many anti- apartheid movements such as protests, tricks and etc. Mandela’s leadership was key to get international attention to ANC and their struggle. In Mandela own words, he said “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 is clearly indicated that how much he has concerned about others. (Long walk to freedom)