LEAD FROM THE FRONT
This is the third post in this series of 15 lessons taken from the book MANDELA'S WAY written by Richard Stengel .
EXTRACT : "Throughout his life , Mandela took risks to lead . If he were a soldier , he would be the one jumping out of the foxhole and leading the charge across the field of battle . His view is that leaders must not only lead , they must be seen to be leading – that is part of the job description . It is almost as though he is afraid that anyone would ever say or think that he was unwilling to take those risks . Even in personal relationships , he believed that you should take the lead . If there is something bothering you , if you feel you have been treated unfairly , you must say so . That is leading too .
Leading from the front meant many things . Sometimes he took the words literally , as when he first came onto Robben Island . He stepped to the front of the line of prisoners entering the island , under the stares and taunts of the guards , in order to show the others how to react . Right from the start you had to stand up to the guards , he told his colleagues , and he took the lead in doing so . But leading from the front also meant doing things that did not necessarily attract attention . It meant not accepting any special preferences and doing the same tasks as other prisoners … there is nothing beneath a leader ."