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When I talk about high road leaders, the leaders are often CEOs or other business leaders. But we must not forget world and political leaders. We must appreciate how difficult it is to take the high road when so many others, especially those in power, are against you. There are several detailed biographies available to read about Nelson Mandela’s courageous life, so instead of attempting to re-write those carefully researched biographies, I will instead list a few important, high road milestones that exemplify his commitment to justice.

While studying at University, Nelson Mandela took part in a boycott against the quality of food, and he was temporarily suspended.

He and his partner established the first black law firm in South Africa.

He helped plan a national strike.

In his famous trial speech, also know as the ‘Speech from the Dock,’ he states that he is prepared to die for what he believes in.

He was sentenced to life in prison. Working in a lime quarry while imprisoned permanently damaged his eyesight.

As a prisoner he was allowed one visit and one letter every six months.

He rejected at least 3 conditional offers of release while imprisoned.

In 1994 he voted for the first time.

He was the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, which meant he was the first black chief executive, and the first elected in a democratic election.