Leadership has played a pivotal role throughout the history of human existence; it has acted as an indispensable factor in the definition of human civilization throughout different periods. The success of the earliest human civilizations such as Egyptian empire, the Roman empires and the Qin Dynasty, have all been attributed to good leaders. This, therefore, begs the question of what a leader or more precisely, what a true leader is all about. A true leader is a person whom the population looks at for guidance, shows the way by example, and takes initiatives for a common goal. The difference between a leader who leads through the rule of authority and a true leader is most evident with regard to the respect that each receives from the general population.
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Selflessness and the adherence to one’s ideas and principles also characterize true leaders. Nelson Mandela has been depicted as a leader who was selfless and strictly adhered to his ideas. His push for an end to racial segregation and inequality led to his 27 years imprisonment. When he became president, Mandela only served for a single term, even though he was highly popular and regarded highly by South Africans; Mandela selflessly relinquished power so that a different person could rule.