This year three leaders have dominated headlines - two, Margaret Thatcher and Sir Alex Ferguson were, in my opinion, either too controversial or too painful to blog about (you guess which is which!) and both split opinion. The third, Nelson Mandela, largely unifies opinion and is (now) seen almost universally as a great role model.
It's been a long while since I've blogged but I couldn't resist this one as my social media timeline is today full of good wishes for Madiba, who I agree, is indeed an inspiration. There is so much to admire about the man over the years but I'm just going to focus on what I am learning from the great man now - even without him speaking to us - as he lies in his hospital bed...
- it ain't over until its over, so don't write people off*
- it is possible to unify and inspire people just by being who you are
- you will most likely be 'judged' by your achievements and the manner in which you achieved them, long term
- your innate spirit and sheer determination not to quit will carry you through... he survived jail, he is currently surviving illness
- a 'negative' trait like stubbornness can work to the good in the right context
- actions, words and values have to be congruent whatever the circumstances
- in the end, we will look back and appreciate there is a time for everything
Just think, only a few short weeks ago the World was thinking about mourning him* and yet here we are celebrating his 95th birthday. Happy birthday Mr Mandela, and thank you - not just for the old lessons but the ones you are still teaching us.
Please check out these wonderful images and quotes: http://www.un.org/en/events/mandeladay/gallery/