Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WEF founder, Prof Schwab, breaks down good traits of a leader using Nelson Mandela

Earlier today, many Global Shapers in Africa had the pleasure of sitting down with Professor Klaus Martin Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum. He himself has really championed this Global Shapers community, a community of young people with demonstrated potential and excellence who are committed to changing and shaping the state of the world. I wanted to share a few soundbites from the session. For me, the biggest was his 'raving' about Nelson Mandela.

I asked him a question about "how he would compare the youth of today to the youth of decades past" since the World Economic Forum has been existence more than 40 years. In answering the question, he went into stories of how WEF was involved in the birth of a new South Africa. He mentioned how he invited Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and De Klerk to Geneva when Madiba was released from prison and forged conversations and relationships around trust, and reconciliation. He ended up saying that no leader has impressed him as much as Nelson Mandela. I would really love to meet Madiba in person. He's quite frail now but he keeps on going. Easily the greatest leader we have known.

Prof Schwab did answer my question, partly though. More importantly, he shared about youth of today are more sophisticated, with a wide range of knowledge. Credit that to technology and internet. Here's what else we learnt today

Prof Schwab then talked about the 4 traits of good leaders, something that he said Madiba has demonstrated very well.
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