“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”-  Nelson Mandela


This quote follows from yesterday’s Kectil Quote of the Day about the importance of education in the training to become a leader.

It is of importance to note that not just Martin Luther King Jr. but also Nelson Mandela and M. Gandhi were highly educated and spent years studying all aspects of knowledge.

Nelson Mandela studied law at the University of Fort Hare, the University of Witwatersrand, and through the University of London. This was no doubt very difficult with the backdrop of apartheid and the resistance movement that he was actively involved with. A two-year diploma in law on top of his BA allowed Mandela to practice law. Educating oneself in such a difficult social climate is a testament to his commitment to be trained and skilled to make arguments in court about issues of the day, and to defend people in need. In August 1952, he and Oliver Tambo established South Africa’s first black law firm, Mandela & Tambo. What a great accomplishment! His years of the study of law also helped him present his famous speech “from the dock” (meaning as a witness without notes and from his bank of knowledge) during the Rivonia Trial in 1964 after he was arrested for his activities.

M. Gandhi was also a trained lawyer. In London, Gandhi studied law and jurisprudence and enrolled at the Inner Temple to become a barrister. Gandhi, at age 22, was called to the bar in June 1891 and then left London for India. He spent 21 years practicing law in South Africa, where he further refined his social views, ethics and politics. All of this training and practice assisted with his ultimate accomplishment, which was leading the country of India to independence.

Through their education, these men were able to change the world. They used education and training as a liberating and democratizing force. What does this Kectil Quote say to today’s generation of leaders in training?