Nelson Mandela and the Power of Purpose

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Today’s leaders certainly face tough challenges, but few can argue that they pale in comparison to what Nelson Mandela had to overcome: poverty, institutionalized racism and prison, to name just a few. Yet Mandela was able to accomplish something remarkable in a way that experts say leaders in government and the private sector can learn from.

Mandela’s legacy was honored July 18, on what would have been his 99thbirthday. He infused a clear sense of purpose—to create a free society—in both his words and deeds; and it’s that unwavering sense of purpose, experts say, that CEOs should take to heart. Leaders who can inspire groups to “serve something larger than ourselves,” can create organizations that are more productive, profitable and beneficial to society, says Elaine Dinos, a principal in Korn Ferry’s Global Consumer Market practice.

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