MANDELA’S WAY ~ Lesson No. 2


This is the second post in this series of 15 lessons taken from the book MANDELA'S WAY written by Richard Stengel .

EXTRACT : "Let's be calm . In the midst of turbulent situations , Mandela is calm and looks for calm in others . In fact , he radiates calm . Lose control and you lose the situation . Yes , there may be times that call for an outburst or an impassioned response , but Mandela would say they are very rare , and that they should be calculated , not spontaneous . Control is the measure of a leader – indeed , of all human beings . Calm , he always says , is what people look for in tense situations , whether political or personal . They want to see that you are not rattled , that you are weighing all the factors , and that your response is measured . 

We think of temperament as something we're born with . But in Mandela's case , it was something he formed . As a young man , he was hot-headed and easily roused to anger . The man who emerged from prison was the opposite and almost impossible to rile . He waited before making decisions . He considered all options . It is impossible to have perfect knowledge of every situation before making a decision , and we would paralyze ourselves if we insisted on it . But Mandela shows the value of forming as complete a picture as possible before taking action . Most of the mistakes he has made in his life came from acting too hastily rather than too slowly . Don't hurry , he would say ; think , analyze , then act ." 

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