In The Leadership Challenge, written by Kouzes and Posner, the last chapter focuses on the power of everyday leaders “because leadership is not about position or title” (Kouzes and Posner, 2012). Leadership is about building relationships, being credible, and doing what you say you are going to do. A transformational leader has the power to lead others to new places and to motivate others to strive for a high level of performance. Transformational leaders have to believe they can have a positive impact on others and use their actions to convince others that they can be leaders too.
Nelson Mandela died this week at age ninety-five and he left a legacy as one of the most important leaders in modern history.Throughout Nelson Mandela’s life, “many of his defining moments involved acts of compromise, pragmatism and reconciliation” (Myre, 2013). Nelson Mandela used different opportunities to reach out to people who were not his ally. Instead of fighting in a war he decided to fight in an election to “advance the cause of black political rights” (Myre, 2013).
One of the most memorable opportunities was in 1995 rugby World Cup in South Africa. Rugby was dominated by white people in South Africa, but “Mandela went to the stadium in Johannesburg and put on the green jersey of the national team, the Springboks, before the championship match with New Zealand” (Myre,2013) The crowed, who was predominately white, of 80,000 began to chant “Nel-son.”
Nelson Mandela served one five-year term in South Africa and the voluntarily stepped down. This was an extraordinary act because Africa is a place “where many leaders expect to rule for life, and often do” (Myre, 2013). Nelson Mandela utilized the skills of being leader and the virtue of compromise to avoid a civil war in South Africa.
One of the major elements that has been transformational to me is the book Leadership and Self-Deception, by The Arbinger Institute. This book has become one of my favorites and I found it to be a powerful source of knowledge. Self-deception begins with self-betrayal. You betray yourself when you feel how you should act, and you choose to do differently. Then, I use self-deception in order to justify my acts and I end up blaming other people for how the situation unfolded (Arbinger Institute, 2010).
Since reading Leadership and Self-Deception, I have realized that my role as a leader and mentor is important in my own life and workplace. When I am in the box of self-deception, I am disconnected from my family, friends, and coworkers. Therefore, I cannot influence others as a role model (Arbinger Institute, 2010). In my personal life, I have made the change to see others as people and not as objects. I am more patient with my children, I offer to help my husband with the work he does around the house, and make the time to listen to my coworkers with respect and appreciation. My goal is to influence the people in my life, especially my coworkers, so we can advance our department to...