On a day when the world mourns the passing of an inspirational man, leader and politician; we look at the country he lived for and the legacy he leaves behind – a South Africa worlds apart from the one he went to prison for all those years ago.
Nelson Mandela was a humble man who believed in a world worth living for. As a global peace icon, his legacy is one very few of us could achieve or hope for. Over the last two years he has consistently battled illness and old age to continue to be a source of comfort and light to a South Africa that wondered if they would be able to live without him – but they can. Madiba’s legacy will continue through the lives of the people that believed in his ideals and the man himself.
Few businesses find themselves being run by people who may motivate their employees to accomplish something so significant that it would change the world. But every business leader, when the time comes for them to move on, leaves a legacy behind them. Alex Ferguson and Steve Jobs were truly inspirational leaders, but what is their legacy? Thus far into the football season (I am no expert on this topic by the way) – it would look like there is plenty of work for Moyes to do on continuing that historic legacy.
Over the next year we will watch the current UK government do everything in its power to ensure that if they do leave their seats, they have a legacy that will be hard to dismantle – although I’m sure they would prefer to continue to build on their vision with a legacy still to come!
In order for a business leader to leave a legacy behind, it is vital that they have engaged their employees – giving rise to people who want the business to go the same way they did, hopefully ensuring exactly that. Few people will leave behind a legacy like Madiba’s but working with your employees towards a shared vision is vital to business longevity and success. Nelson Mandela leaves behind a nation that believes in his dream, the vision that became a reality, a reality that needs work, but one that is worlds apart from his starting point and most importantly, one that he believed in.
Kerry Gird is a Senior Consultant in London and is proud to be South African today.