After 27 years in prison Nelson Mandela was freed in 1990 and negotiated the end of apartheid in South Africa bringing peace to a racially divided country and leading the fight for human rights around the world.
One contemporary symbol of his magnifying influence is Robben Island. Are you familiar with Robben Island? It's off the coast of Cape Town, and for 18 years it served as the prison home for Nelson Mandela during his 27-year ordeal of imprisonment under apartheid. He worked side by side with other prisoners performing hard labor in a lime quarry. His prison cell was so small that a 6-foot-tall person would have to lie diagonally to fit inside. For those many years, that was his circle of control—but his circle of influence was, and is, much larger. He inspired the end of apartheid. He changed the continent of Africa forever. He influenced the world for good. Whether it's transforming a country or transforming a work team, developing real influence invariably leaves a legacy.
He triumphed over his fear by realizing as a leader he had to show courage. And that is one of the great lessons Nelson Mandela had to teach us.