May 22, 2015

I am posting an extraordinarily insightful and comprehensive review of Nelson Mandela's magnificent autobiography with one purpose in mind--to encourage all of you who read this to read this book in its entirety.

This review was written by a very good friend of mine, A P&G leader and native of South Africa, Lindsay Schmauss.

“The Long Road to Freedom”
gave me so much to think about – it really is a book to read and re-read.  It’s
more than a story or even a history - it’s a collection of fundamental lessons. 
Truly the breadth and depth of those 750 pages is awesome.  There are lessons on
leadership, on strategy, planning and flawless execution, on working together
with people, on resolving conflict, bridging differences, driving change,
mastering one’s self, practicing self-discipline and commitment to
self-improvement.  There are lessons on justice and injustice, on making a point
and arguing a point of view, on compromise, on forgiveness, on suffering and how
to alleviate the suffering of others.  There are lessons about family
commitment, love, loyalty, betrayal, the tension between “tradition” and
progress, the value of heritage, spirituality and independence.  Lessons on
courage, on mastering fear, on bluffing it, on seeking and giving support.  On
and on I could go.  Just to make this list takes me skipping back through those
pages, which come alive in my memory.  I know people learn in different ways,
and certainly I have always been someone who learns best from a story.  When I
can experience something even vicariously through telling, I find the lesson
takes root in my mind like a seed that proceeds to grow.  The “Long Walk”
planted a forest and the more I think about it and return to it, the forest
becomes a plantation!  It’s one of those moments where I think to myself, if I
can just internalize and apply a fraction of the knowledge I have been exposed
to here, what a difference it would make!  The cool thing about the way human
beings are created is that that process happens naturally. Of course we can seek
to be more INTENTIONAL about it, but the great thing about education is that it
changes you – once you know and understand, you do think and operate
differently.  Education can change the world, said Nelson


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