The world knows that Nelson Mandela is one of the most remarkable servant leaders the world has ever seen. His life story His life story is an epic of struggle, learning and growing. It tells of a man whose idealism and hope have inspired a world prone to cynicism and pessimism. The question however remains: Was Nelson Mandela at the right time, the right place, or did he have stronger leadership competencies than most leaders the world has ever seen? Was it charisma or the X factor he had that other leaders just don’t have or could it be that Nelson Mandela had better skills?
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The answer undoubtedly is: Nelson Mandela developed skills through the University of Life that moulded him into the resilient and inspiring leader he was. He is one of the best examples of emotionally intelligent servant leadership the world has ever seen.
Servant leaders influence people to look in the same direction and inspire them to achieve shared goals. They inspire people through the example they set and to become the change they want others to be! They serve people by anticipating, recognizing and meet the needs of those whom they are responsible for.
To serve, inspire and influence people in constructive ways servant leaders need to be emotionally intelligent. For servant leaders to be emotionally intelligent they need to have intrapersonal and interpersonal competence.
Intrapersonal competence means the servant leader is someone who is accurately self-aware and also practises self-management. They accurately know who they are, what emotions and motives influence their behaviour and what their life purpose is. Emotionally intelligent leaders also take charge of their thoughts and emotions and manage themselves well through turbulence and difficulty displaying skills like self-control, resilience, adaptability and self-motivation.
Perhaps one of the most important traits of an emotionally intelligent servant leader is the fact that their intrapersonal competences does not inflate their ego’s and prevent them from putting the needs of those they serve before their own. This has been one of Nelson Mandela’s greatest traits. He never put himself or his personal needs before those he served.
Interpersonal competence is when servant leaders has the skills to establish strong social bonds with others especially those who have a very different opinion, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation , culture and race from their own. They display great communication and conflict resolution skills. Creating social cohesion and synergy in a team is what they do, getting people to work together in harmony despite their differences.
Neuro-Link has identified 12 primary emotional intelligence skills for servant leaders. It is displayed in the following model:
Nelson Mandela’s servant leadership journey has displayed mastery of these 12 primary emotional intelligence competencies in profound ways. Neuro-Link has developed an emotional intelligence leadership programme based on Nelson Mandela’s leadership journey, but also based on the latest neuroscience research on emotional intelligence and leadership. This program is received with accolades in the international market place and is implemented with profound results that impact company bottom line.
To see a case study on this unique neuroscientific approach to leadership development, you can follow this link: