We all have leadership role models whose traits we aspire to imbibe eventually. We hardly think there is a back story behind all those greatness. We can never imagine the person to have gone through a single failure. Interestingly, most of them have had the worst experiences in life. In this article at Digital Tonto, Greg Satell shares how leadership role models learn from the trenches.
Lessons from Leadership Role Models
What makes a great leader? While you need to have some talent to lead people, most of them get lost into oblivion. Irrespective of their success in life, they have learned some common life lessons. One of them is they do not let failures be their reality. Leadership role models learn from life trenches. Here are some of the leaders that we look up to even today:
Humility from Albert Einstein
Before Einstein shot to fame, he was frequently in between jobs and was struggling to achieve marital bliss. In 1905, he published four papers and never looked back. By that time, he was a transformed man that had his mind open to new ideas. When an Indian scientist, Satyendra Bose, wrote a letter to him, the ideas resonated with him. Einstein translated the content from English to German and submitted it to a publication. It eventually helped Bose to get nominated for a Nobel Prize. Einstein acknowledged ideas which others could have ignored had they been in his position.
Acknowledging Failure from Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi started a civil disobedience movement to protest the British Raj’s Rowlatt Acts in 1919. The Raj retaliated with the Amritsar massacre. Gandhi later acknowledged that he did not analyze the far-reaching impact of the movement. After a decade, he started another civil disobedience movement backed by the Indian National Congress. Instead of making it a nationwide uprising, he analyzed every possible scenario. He then traversed 240 miles with a handful of his Satyagraha followers. The Salt March was Gandhi’s greatest success and led to India’s independence in 1947.
Forgiveness from Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela was accused of sabotage, and he underwent the Rivonia Trial in 1964. He was prepared to die for “a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.” He suffered solitary confinement for 27 years during the Apartheid rule. Nonetheless, instead of breaking his spirit, Mandela became the emblem of hope against prejudice. Once he was free, he resorted to mend things rather than taking revenge. In 1993, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
While all the leadership role models denote great traits, they had their faults and issues. They matured from their initial frustrations and sought a more constructive future.
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