I read this story once on Nelson Mandela told by ANC’s, South Africa’s governing political party, Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte, who was his personal assistant between 1990-94:
“Nelson Mandela always made his own bed, no matter where he travelled. Once he was at Shanghai at an exotic hotel and the Chinese
hospitality requires that the person who cleans your room and provides you with your food, does exactly that. If you do it for yourself, it could even be regarded as an insult.
So in Shanghai his friend tried to tell him to not make his own bed because of the custom. And he said, ‘Call them, bring them to me.’
The hotel manager brought the ladies who would be cleaning the room, so that he could explain why he himself has to make his own bed, and that they should not feel insulted.”
Nelson Mandela didn’t ever want to hurt people’s feelings. He never really cared about what great big people think of him, but he did care about what small people thought of him. It was this quiet humility which set him apart.
Today, I feel, many a time, that humility is a misunderstood concept. It is usually correlated with a submissive and compliant personality, however the article below disproves the stereotype and provides some critical arguments on the importance of humility in the leaders of today.
Some of the benefits of humility that the author points out are as follows:
- Humility builds inclusivity
- Humility allows for better problem-solving
- Humility improves creativity and productivity
Furthermore, they describe some concrete steps on how to develop a selfless leadership style.
The article: The best leaders are humble leaders
After you read the article, we would love it if you would share your views on humility and some stories where humility created some wonderful situations.