Nelson Mandela As An Example Of Servant Leadership


According to Northouse (2012), leadership as a feature, a skill, a conduct and a connection. He asserts that management is a characteristic because it often differentiates between the characteristics of an individual and others in a team environment. In general, for instance, leaders are more reassured, persuasive and accessible than followers. The definition of leadership as a characteristic therefore focuses more on the attributes of the individual leader than on the influence process. The sense of leadership as a capability underlines an individual's ability as a leader. So how much can the leader guide? Ability is generally referred to the natural capabilities of a leader, ability can also be learned. For example, some leaders may be natural motivators, while others consciously motivate their followers. Leadership ensures empowerment, communication skills and good decision-making skills. In the profession they see as ineffective, each good leader will make improvements. To build quality potential in order to make a company tremendous success, it is important to build communications skills. Communication skills and leadership coexist. A group has to be able to communicate successfully between its peers in order to affect its achievement of specific goals.

According to Robbins, DeCenzo, & Coulter (2011), the seven features which have been consistently linked to leadership include driving, honesty and integrity, trust, intelligence, knowledge of work and extroversion. Thus, early leadership theories suggest that having certain characteristics does not actually guarantee that you are a leader. Instead, they reveal that if you include these characteristics you are more likely to be effective. Leadership always poses obstacles to the capabilities of the leader to a person, things and change; change brings obstacles and simply cannot prevent it from happening no matter exactly how well a leader is. Next, the way you handle these challenges will determine you as a leader and how efficient you may be. Some obstacles come as part of individuals or issues that hinder a main goal. Each leader must confront and learn to cope with several of them. One challenge is an opportunity to go to a different level, test yourself and improve yourself in the process, showing that something is challenging, or even impossible, to achieve. Leadership challenges continue and take place every day. Thus, we can re-organize, restructure, or re-engineer our organization in today's thought for effective, productive and sustainable organizations but it won't succeed for very long, unless the change is first built on the primacy of human resources. Entities and processes are always more vital to achieve objectives and productivity than basic tasks and organizational structure. Only when the people who make them work are effective will effective systems and processes become effective. Highly motivated and well trained staff ensures that all organizations achieve their goals effectively.

Moreover, what can we define a servant leadership? A servant leadership also supports the growth and development of others. A support system for others requires that we should have the courage and conviction to polish our egos aside to care about them to make their success easier. To support those sentences, Blanchard (1997) stated that servant leaders pay attention to praise and divert their people as they deviate from their goals. Servant leaders, in other words, are constantly finding out what the demands of their adherents are to help them grow. This is because they are genuinely interested in making changes in their lives. Thus, the advent of support service and servant leadership is likely to encounter of our own society's common desire for a world in which people are doubted to choose an inherent value out beyond their actual tangible work contributions. Besides that, according to Pekerti and Sendjaya (2010) stated that contrary to leaders that see people as purely production models or spendable manpower in an assertion of profit and loss, servant leaders encourage their adherents to be more healthy, braver, freer, independent and more self-employed. In addition, unlike transcendent leadership whose top priority is great performance far beyond expectations, the integrative rapid development of adherents is the fundamental basis of servant leadership. Servant leaders therefore use transactional authority to expedite post-conventional morality and humanistic considerations in others. Patterson (2003) stated that the theory of servant leadership contrasts sharply with the theory of transformative leadership. In servant leadership theory, leaders focus mainly on serving their supporters individually with the interests of the group, organization or society. The theory of servant leadership contrasts sharply with the theory of transformative leadership. Thus, this very concept of service is at the centre of the theory of leadership and comes as a leader represents others, especially his followers.

A servant leaders mentioned in the article traits were not in any particular case complete traits. Servant leaders had all those characteristics, as well as many others, that isolate them from other leaders, and make them leaders in the real sense, as the great philosophers and scholars have specified and wanted. Besides that, there are two iconic leaders from the journal article that have been referred, were related with servant leadership theory. Below are some examples of iconic leaders and leadership which is Nelson Mandela and Herb Kelleher. Nelson Mandela is a real leader of the servant. He always made his personal profit ahead of the need to achieve equality in South Africa. He regarded himself as a 'humble servant' of the people. Protesting, he put away his wellbeing and serving in jail for a statement on behalf of his people. His unselfish efforts for his people show how someone could be a good leader by placing other people's needs in the first place. Next, Herb Kelleher from SouthWestern Airlines (SWA) presented an eccentric approach to care which found even after the 9/11 attack all employees emotionally and physically pulled together. They then personally donated annual leave to a common pool to help workers who needed immediate time to handle the problem. Kelleher, who decided to resign before 11 September, survived this culture. In fact, in the fourth quarter of 2001, SouthWestern Airlines (SWA) seems to be the only large airline to be unable to receive government rescue.

Characteristics of a Servant Leadership Theory

Greenleaf (1977) stated that a servant's leader is someone who sees himself as one of his adherents and as one of his followers. In the opposite sense, that doesn't mean anything. It basically means that a leader is a selfless, sincere and perhaps true leader that works for his people. In every scenario, servant leadership can actually exist whether it is a business organization, an administration or anyone else holding an authority position. A servant leader has ten main features or skills, as set out by Greenleaf, which distinguish him from other leaders.

First is listening. A true servant leader is mainly characterized by being a good audience and listening to understanding. This is traditionally what leaders were supposed to do is to listen carefully, receptively, understand and, where necessary, provide solutions. Leaders have traditionally been valued for communication and decision-making. Leaders are building a profound commitment to listen to others carefully and openly. They are concerned with the identification and clarification of a group's will or commitment. Hearing also involves contact with your inner voice by tuning yourself into the body/senses, mental conditions and discernment/will. Thus, the ability of a servant leader to listen is so high that he can talk to all the rest of his group and can intervene immediately on the appropriate advice or assistance. The leaders of the servants help the rest of the team feel like they are always looking for someone.

Secondly, empathy. Servant leaders aspire to get along with everyone and to comprehend them. One must accept and not simply reject the noble intentions of co-workers as individuals even if one is eventually forced to reject their behaviour. Together with listening, the right thoughts and feelings are expressed and this is precisely what a servant leader does. Thus, empathy can actually discover and empathize with people's feelings and emotions. Servant leaders are not afraid to comprehend and tolerate their group's members for what they really are, and appreciate the unique features of every individual. The empathy of the members of the group tends to help them to feel valued and looked after.

Thirdly, healing. Leaders of servants are also typically called 'healers. ' No, this does not actually mean that they 'heal' someone physically. In this example, healers refer to a servant leader, who is able not only to guarantee himself but also the others in his group the general well-being. Leaders help to support and cultivate the intense emotional, mental and spiritual health of their members. Achieving healing is a strong transformative and integrative power. The potential for healing one selves is to be totally comfortable and whole with one another is one of the great strengths of servant leadership. These leaders cultivate a milieu that promotes the welfare of others through compassion and humility.

Fourthly, awareness. Leaders are often aware of their strength of character and weaknesses and know what to do or not to do. They are also aware of each member in their group's individual strengths and weaknesses. Thus, they probably expect almost nothing from as well as from the team members that they know is completely unrealistic.

Fifthly, persuasion or encouragement. Servant leaders also abstain from using their members of the group with force and compulsion and convince them to cooperate in a positive way. This one is mainly a distinction between servant leadership and other styles of leadership, which tend to employ force or obligation for some time. Next, servant leaders depend instead of positioning power to persuade others to make choices. Instead of forcing compliance, they seek to enrol or encourage others in a commitment. Thus, this distinction between engagement and conformity clearly differentiates between traditional models of leadership and those of a leader.

The sixth is conceptualization or imagination. From a conceptualizing point of view they can look into a problem (or an organization) and have to think about daily situations and problems in order to view possibilities. This demands a sensitive balance between the conceptualization of a future and the urgency of daily attention. Servant leaders are not scared of big dreams. Even though the most leaders are not there, this is a difference: servant leaders dream big for the entire group and other leaders usually dream big in a way that they will benefit first, then afterwards. Servant leaders simply look far beyond the group's everyday lives and rebalance the likely future with the present time. The servant leader can thus support the group work for the likely future and also look after the present.

The seventh is foresight or perspective. Foresight allows officials to comprehend the lessons from history, the realities of the present, and the possible future implications of a decision. All these leaders put current issues in the right perspective to assess priorities in life. This is a leader who is largely intuitive. Leaders are taking lessons from history, understanding the present and then forecasting the future. The servant leader is able to fully understand the similarity between all three phases and is aware of how each one affects the other. The leader thus supports his decisions and actions.

The eight is stewardship or commitment. The leaders of the servants are never inclined to use such resources. The leaders of the servants are never inclined to use such resources. They just hold them for the greatest good. Furthermore, the servant leadership is only responsible for the group and does not force its views and plans upon the members.

The ninth is commitment to growth. Servant leaders are not solely concerned with their personal growth, or maybe even the future development of the organization or group that will lead to their personal growth. Instead, servant leaders strive to achieve steady progress and growth in every member of the group. Lastly, community building. The servant leader values his group's unity and harmony, and thus strives to support a feeling of community. He supports the sense of unity and of belonging with one another and with the organization, so that every member of that group not only values the leader, but also himself, the organization and each other.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT is an abbreviation for Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threats. Whereas strengths and weaknesses are considered as internal factors that affect business operations, opportunities and threats are external factors. Thus, SWOT is a great tool for developing strategic plans both for start - up firms and for existing firms, which is used to assess a company's placement in a competitive economy. According to Maanga (2013), these aspects potentially help the institution determine exactly what better than the potential competitor is required to improve. The first letter of the analysis shows the strengths of the firm, and how it has achieved its current status. Southwest is currently sitting on one of the largest airlines, which is the reason why this status has been achieved. While Nelson Mandela the South African anti - apartheid icon, father of the South African Black Nation and inspired revolutionaries worldwide.


The negotiations between Mandela and his jailers for an end to apartheid leave a legacy of principled leadership and racial repentance. The relationship between Mandela and the world-leading is probably unique for the people, for the media, the Black Southern Africans, and the African people, in general. He visited all journal publishers in South Africa over the years and held hands with hundreds of people throughout a newsroom. On his initial visit to the US in 1990 he even ran apart from the schedule he had scheduled and visited The Christian Science Monitor's Headquarters in Boston to see someone new to him.

In some political circles, it became conventional wisdom for Mandela to take the lead in pictorial work as President-the raising of The African National Congress (ANC) funding and the encouragement of trade and investment. Mandela's power as a leader, after sacrificing twenty-seven years for the ideal of an integrated democracy of the ethnic race, was in his exceptional living example, conversing with his enemies, and negotiations with them out of power. According to John Yemma (2013), his dedication to retribution, peace and intellectual integrity was essential for the greatness of a frequently fraught transition. Mandela has a very rare human qualities, an extraordinary personality. Other people, less than all those they had experienced, could not have survived twenty-seven years in prison under any conditions. He came out unchanged and was never drawn to any feeling of revenge or hatred. He also remains unchanged in his personal beliefs. Mandela is a symbol of black resistance to white dominance just like Toussaint L'Ouverture of Haiti. His picture will probably live longer than it is. Besides that, in all those years in prison, Mandela has shown the world that Africans were the most civilized people of the planet by forgiving his pilgrims and oppressors, who have been a man who rewarded his enemies by love and for that he is the world's greatest respect.

In addition, according to Martin. E (2015) normally people believe that the customer is first as a business. This is not the case for Southwest, which is the first one for its staff. It has been shown to be beneficial, though unconventional. The company is trickle-down when customers are treated correctly by the employees when the employees are treated correctly. This will all improve the image of customers and bring airlines more business. The company uses a team-based environment to treat employees correctly, where the whole team successfully leads to better working positions if one person succeeds. Moreover, with its prestigious customer service, Southwest has always aimed to complete the 20-minute turnarounds at the gate, which are almost primarily facilitated by the Boeing 737-7000 aircraft. It permits standardization of maintenance and usually faster service procedures. Historical customer relationships have also been very good. Successful marketing campaigns, such as the 'Bags Fly Free Area,' have helped to this effect, where South West drew attention to a distinction between almost all of its competitors: both the first and second controlled passengers’ bags are free. This strong reputation of customers has contributed to their continuous growth.


However, despite his many strengths, his weaknesses are rarely investigated nor mentioned, mostly because many felt that a person who gave his life for change and personal freedom for his people was not respected. However, the ongoing economic and social inequalities between Black South Africans and white South Africans are seldom talked about as a result of these weaknesses. This is why when Mandela was released and was the first Black President of South Africa, the white company world applauded, since much of the economic infrastructure that kept the white South Africa minority in power was still intact. The major transformations were a medium sized black South African elite, the vast majority of the poor and still poor black South Africans, and, obviously, the historic right of black South Africans to vote. However, the International Monetary Fund has accepted a disastrous plan, which basically transferred the country's resources and services to private businesses.

Obviously, the Mandela that we know today was partly forged by the way in which he addressed his emotional depredation and distress during his imprisonment. The person who emerged from prison was more wise, sympathetic, strategic, and self-disciplinary. Mandela would not have achieved this image today without being imprisoned. His imprisonment therefore contributed to his being a great man probably because of his oppressors ' exposure to many sufferings and difficulties. Maybe Mandela was not what he is today without that. Mandela is no pure person, even though he appears to be an unequivocal moral giant on the world stage today. He is a hero just because he is always admitted and tried to get over his mistakes. And never did he stop learning. Nearly three decades of social change he had to catch up on and one of the things he had to learn was Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Initially, this seventy years old man had no clear view. But in a year before that, younger South African leaders, he saw it as another moral challenge in the life of his country and his continent. AIDS was a huge tragedy for his country and his continent. In the nutshell, Nelson Mandela has always been very cautious, calculating and insulting or racist. He was afraid to take the initiatives in his early days in school and perhaps doubted the impact of his actions. His decisions that changed his destiny made him extremely sensitive to injustice and stubborn. He was strongly convinced of democracy and consensus opinion, but not always prepared with the final result. He sometimes even overtook him, and the main reason for imprisonment was to use violence as the only choice. If he believed a certain person or faith and is hesitant about that too, he could be too confident.

Moreover, as for Herb Kelleher the chief executive officer (CEO) of SouthWestern Airlines (SWA) they also have a weaknesses. The rapid growth of Southwest proved difficult in maintaining its reliable service. For the first time in company history in 2010, the percentage of their early arrival fell (although still more than all their major competitors). With AirTran's integration, Southwest's network is expanding and the question arises if its service would continue to deteriorate. Furthermore, AirTran's fleet consists of 88 Boeing 717-200s (excluding 737s), which pose new opportunities for the operation of Southwest as no aircraft other then 737-23 have previously operated, and AirTran also brings South West operations to a number of overloaded markets such as Atlanta, which offer both opportunities and future potential obstacles. In expansion of operations internationally, there are always possible challenges, such as complying with international law. Another possible weakness is the integration of AirTran. Even if everything has so far been smooth, the integration of the different airline unions-pilots, maintenance and so on. Thus, combining these factors might force Southwest's low-cost strategy to change.


The root of the family was the biggest opportunity for Nelson Mandela when his thinking and strengths began to develop from childhood. He's been taught and he was well-trained in becoming the king's adviser. Younger relative, Arthur Mandela said: 'It was clear that he had great respect for a decent education, and he was a leader. He never felt bad about anybody. He never had a dispute or quarrel. Mandela had a reputation for intervening in struggles of others and trying to find a friendly solution. Mandela started showing himself able to organize and lead others, helping to create an African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) which organized demonstrations, boycotts, petitions and strikes to end apartheid. He became the leading black leader in South Africa when in prison and developed. He learned about the differences in races in the prison and began his anti-apartheid revolution.

In addition, Herb Kelleher, a pioneering company in the field of low-cost airfares, co-founded and former CEO of Southwest, has been removing unnecessary services. Kelleher began as a lawyer, but switched to his aerial vision quickly. His management style has been awarded numerous awards and many employees ' hearts and minds. The acquisition of AirTran enables SouthWest to expand almost immediately, including Boston and Baltimore, in key markets and also diversify routes with new destinations such as Atlanta. The Southwest is also able to access slot-controlled markets like New York's LaGuardia and Ronald Reagan, D. C. , where they had previously had little or no presence. Various methods to generate additional revenues were also offered, such as adding in-flight WiFi (Wireless Internet) via the Row 44 provider. All airports fitted with a service fee of $5, irrespective of duration. By February 2012, 165 of the 610 Boeing 737s were fitted with WiFi, the rest of which was expected to finish at the end of 2012. The recently signed Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Football League (NFL) agreements in row 44 to offer live soccer and baseball games on flights.


Threats are external influences which prevent a company from accomplishing its goals and objectives. Nelson Mandela had to deal with the equally harsh social and economic legacy of apartheid as a product of his times. Because of the Southern Africans' rule, Nelson Mandela and his associate members of The African National Congress (ANC) were barred from entering the United States, with the exception of the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, because the name of the terrorists was their South African apartheid regime. The Mandela United Football Club Association of Winnie.

As for Herb Kelleher, in the highly competitive American airline industry there are a number of possible threats to Southwest's success. If they cannot compete in busy, busy markets or globally, Southwest will be experiencing decreasing growth. Furthermore, as many legacy companies become bankrupt or rearranged, Southwest loses some of its supply advantages, particularly in terms of labour costs. In the past few years, Southwest has seen increased operating costs, which could lead to higher prices and lower market share, unchecked or allowed to rise faster than competition.

To sum up, SWOT is an effective tool to analyse the internally and externally environment of a company. It gives an organization the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to gain its goals or purpose in the part of its operations. While environmental issues such as strengths and weaknesses are internal, external factors affecting a company's operations are opportunities and threats.


In the nutshell, after protracted fighting against the National Party, Nelson Mandela, a remarkable leader, led South Africa out of apartheid. Despite the volatile and uncertain environment, he committed himself to achieving equality of rights, regardless of race. Mandela is well-known for endorsing the peaceful demonstrations and beliefs of a free and democratic society 'where all people are living in unity and equality of opportunity'. Mandela persuaded the governance of The African National Congress (ANC) to use martial combat when non-violent means did not work and led the ANC's Spear of the Nation. According to Mandela (1994), South Africa is still facing many challenges, despite the efforts made by Mandela to protect constitutional rights and equality. Compared to other countries, South Africa has a higher rate of killing, attack, rape and other crimes. South Africa, with over 62,649 cases reported in 2013-2014, is also referred to as the 'world's rape capital. ' Moreover, the second-highest number in the world of HIV / AIDS cases persists in South Africa and there remain inequalities and racism. The majority of farmland is still white. Many people in South Africa are poor or unemployed. The resurrection of South Africa as a multiracial nation is obviously not finished yet.

Furthermore, the management of Southwest focuses on employees. Southwest firmly believes their employees, who look after their potential customers and who take care of Southwestern holders are essential to take care of them. By reducing the amount of people between levels, they are focused on communication. This ensures clear and concise communication while speeding. Besides that, Southwest decisions shall be taken with the first employee. They are going to pay their staff more so that they feel they have taken care of, and that brings their employees into culture. Although they were most likely already taken into the company, knowing that the culture they would buy in. Every Southwest decision is primarily based on the idea of 'how do our employees have this effect'.


In my opinion, all leaders should be well connected to all employees by encouraging and embracing them once they do well. In the event of a servant's mistake, he or she should address the issue by demonstrating to the servant how things need to be done. The leader should be a good reference point by the servants. He or she should not simply order the servants to do but rather than take part, so that the servants can gain knowledge from him directly. As we can see, Nelson Mandela and Herb Kelleher has followed the servants’ leadership approach on the basis of ten characteristics.

As the lessons that we can learn from Nelson Mandela is tolerance. It is the only lesson we need to learn from Mandela's life. He did not fight for political authority when we look at his fight for survival against apartheid. He didn't pray for dignity. In the political field he did not ask for compromise. His friendship was not sought. He asserted the indigenous people's beliefs without ejecting out the white people. He assumed at first he would do it with the weapon. History reveals that the terrorists were classified as ANC and Mandela himself. But he realized that the weapons were useless as he matured up to Nelson Mandela. It'd just be alienating. It wouldn't sleep. New South Africa, a nation with only one identity – South Africans – was created for the African and White Races.

10 October 2020
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