Westminster Town Hall Forum: Mandela's Way: Lessons for an Uncertain Age.
Journalist and author Richard Stengel collaborated with Nelson Mandela on Mandela's autobiography, "The Long Walk to Freedom," and was a producer of the documentary film "Mandela." Stengel is the author of the book, "Mandela's Way: Lessons for an Uncertain Age."
Stengel said Mandela was one of the bravest men who ever lived. One day he asked Mandela why he was afraid. Mandela told him "it would be irrational not to be afraid." Mandela told him that "courage is not the absence of fear, there is no courage without fear."
"But what Mandela realized is that he could show his fear and triumph over it, by repressing it. That's what he did almost his whole life."
He was also a great leader, Stengel said. "Prison was the crucible for Nelson Mandela's leadership." That experience taught him immense self-control. Mandela's advice for leaders was to "be measured." This was his core leadership principle.
Stengel said Mandela told him that nonviolence was a tactic, not a principle. His principle was freedom, democracy and justice.
Richard Stengel is former managing editor of Time.
Stengel has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, New Republic, Spy, and The New York Times, and he appears regularly on television as a political commentator.
In 2013, he accepted the position of Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the Obama administration.
He served as the president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, which was established by Congress to increase awareness and understanding of the Constitution.
Richard Stengel spoke May 22, 2018 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis.