The Qualities of Great Leadership

As Nelson Mandela was laid to rest on Sunday, among the hills of his ancestral homeland, it made me think about what made Mandela the great leader that people spoke of.
Nelson Mandela
The people of South Africa said the following about their former leader:
“I’ve always seen Mandela as a father figure.”
“I’ve always admired his humanity, openness and forgiveness.”
“He taught us to love one another.”

I think the quotes above and my own belief is that a great leader isn’t just about what a person does, but also who they are as a person.

For me personally, some qualities of a great leader include: being of service to others, trustworthiness, dependability, compassion and love. 

I think many of these leadership qualities are also true of a great coach.

In conclusion, one of my favorite leadership quotes is by Nelson Mandela who says, “It is better to lead from behind and put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur.  You take the front line when there is danger.  Then, your people will appreciate your leadership.”

I am curious about your thoughts on Mandela or what you feel are qualities of a great coach or leader.  Please share your comments below so others may benefit from your wisdom.  Thanks!

3 thoughts on “The Qualities of Great Leadership

  1. Reblogged this on Lead In, Lead On and commented:
    Nelson Mandela is often referenced as a great leader, particularly since his recent passing. What made him so great…if we could replicate many of his traits and behaviours the leadership influence would be significant.

  2. Yes! I love Mandela’s comment about leading from behind and taking the front line when there is danger. Leadership is about the situation, not about the leader. Only a true leader knows that. A true leader naturally shifts roles for the situation to optimally develop.

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