How growing up in Mandela’s South Africa shaped my views on leadership.

This year marks exactly 100 years since one of the greatest leaders of our time was born. It’s an important moment for me to reflect on too, because Nelson Mandela was an important man in my own personal history.

On Sunday, February 11th 1990 – the day Nelson Mandela was released from prison – I was a young student in Cape Town, South Africa. Together with thousands of fellow South Africans, I lined the streets waiting for his motorcade to pass, driving him to freedom and the city square, where he would address the country for the first time as a free man after 27 years in prison.

I still hear his first words ring across that square as if it were yesterday: “Comrades and fellow South Africans, I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom. I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people. …”

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