Outstanding people, past or present, can influence dramatically the development of society. However, as a rule, their success and impact are determined not only by their genius but rather by their organizational ability and leadership qualities. This is why I believe that it is important to learn from the experience of outstanding people how to become leaders who able to unite large masses of people and make them work as a solid body. Hence, if I could spend a day with any person in the world, I would choose Nelson Mandela, the prominent leader of South African civil rights movement, which eventually succeeded in his long lasting struggle with the racist regime in the SAR.
In fact, I believe that this is an outstanding person, who has proved to be able to overcome unsurpassable barriers and granted the population of the entire country with basic democratic rights and liberties. At the same time, Nelson Mandela is apparently a prominent leader of his country and the black population of the SAR which used to be oppressed by the white-dominated regime conducting the policy of apartheid. In actuality, what I am interested particularly in the personality of Nelson Mandela is not just his political successes or his contribution in the development of democracy in the SAR and the world at large. Frankly speaking, I am rather interested in his personal leadership qualities, his charisma and his power to carry on struggle in spite of all difficulties and challenges he has faced in the course of his life.
I can hardly believe that a person living in a country, where democratic rights were oppressed severely and where being black meant being an outcast, has managed to develop a well-organized civil rights movement and the political force which challenged the authority of the ruling regime and eventually overthrew it. However, what I am particularly interested in is the use of violence as the means of struggle. At this point, I would like to know whether Nelson Mandela stands on the ground that ends justify means because, as far as I know, he used to be a leader of the African National Congress’ armed wing. In fact, I suppose that civil and well-organized movement is more effective, especially if it is headed by a gifted and charismatic leader, like Nelson Mandela. Therefore, I would like to know how he transit from the leader of the armed wing toward the political leader of the oppressed population of his country. Moreover, I am particularly concerned with the organization of the civil rights struggle and methods Nelson Mandela used to manage and head the civil rights movement which eventually led to the democratization of his country.
Taking into consideration the historical environment in which the African National Congress and Nelson Mandela operated, the overall success of the ANC and Nelson Mandela seems to be particularly striking. I believe that it is Nelson Mandela, who proved to be able to resist to the racist regime and without him, the SAR could hardly change so much because people viewed Nelson Mandela not as a politician or an ordinary civil rights activist, but people viewed and still view him as a symbol of democracy and change.
Thus, if I could spend a day with Nelson Mandela I would definitely learn how he has gained such a position in the SAR and what a true leader should be like.