Model the Way 1 Of the 5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership Research Paper

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Leadership is a complicated art that requires practice but can be ultimately learned by any aspiring student wishing to improve towards their potential . The five practices of exemplary leadership include many important ideas regarding this phenomenon. The purpose of this essay is to explain the specific leadership practice of "Modeling the Way" using the example of former South African president and human rights activist, Nelson Mandela . I'll use Mr. Mandela's example to demonstrate how his particular leadership approach can be accepted and improved upon by using this particular practice. This essay will include examples of Mandela's values and how they apply to his leadership style. Additionally, Mr. Mandela's example setting behaviors will be explained to further demonstrate this example and how it relates to improving one's leadership qualities.

Leaders must first demonstrate their guiding principles and have a beginning point to start building a voice. Morals and ethics lessons learned during an individual's life often prevail as the ingredients to this value system. Understanding that the external world surrounding the individual is projected by the individual's own internal understanding of the outside world . This rests at the heart of this particular idea of guiding principles and values. Having confidence within oneself is necessary to explore fully and ultimately in a manner to acheive the most out of this practice. In Mandela's case," self-confidence was also reflected in his
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capacity for self-criticism and his active interest in learning from his own mistakes" (Lieberfeld, 2003). Mandela credited his whole career and accomplishments on his internal compass from which his values radiate. This ability to develop one's self-identity and create a confident individual to negotiate the troubles of group dynamics and conflict management is essential in modeling the way, the first principle in exemplary leadership.

Rooke & Torbert (2005) described leadership in seven different transformations. These seven ways of leading provided a useful example of how a young leader may model one's particular leadership style towards. These categories include the Opportunist, the Diplomat, the Expert, the Achiever, the Individualist, the Strategist, and the Alchemist. Applying this model of leadership, Mandela appears to fall under the alchemist category of leadership. The alchemist leadership style is defined as someone who "generates social transformations integrated materials, spiritual and societal transformation" (p.3). In the South African historic ending of apartheid, due mainly to the leadership of Mandela, a large society was transformed into something with a more spiritual and cohesive nature that resonates now with justice and balance. Nelson Mandela's leadership style transcends all of these categories however as you can apply any of them towards his particular achievements. Demonstrating expertise is…

Sources Used in Documents:


Lieberfeld, D. (2003). Nelson Mandela: partisan and peacemaker. Negotiation Journal July 2003, 239-261. Retrieved from mandela.pdf.

Rooke, D. & Torbert, W. (2005). Seven transformations of leadership. Harvard Business Review, April, 2005, 1-13. Retrieved from Leadership.pdf

Stengel, R. (2008). Mandela; his 8 lessons of leadership. Time July 19,200. Retrieved from,8599,1821467,00.html

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