Five Iconic Leadership Pictures


By Jas Singh

It’s often said a picture says a thousand words.

For even the most iconic and well known leaders of all time, there are been specific moments and images that have extra special power. Moments that encapsulate their spirit, touch us, and have inspired generations.

Here are five iconic pictures of some of the greatest leaders of our time.


Nelson Mandela and The South African Rugby Team

Despite dissolving apartheid a year earlier, Nelson Mandela knew that there was much work to be done to create love and respect between the white and black communities in South Africa. Rugby was considered the sport of the white elite, the ruling class and the Springbok rugby side was detested and shunned by the black majority. In an act of true reconciliation and turning his back on old prejudices, Mandela’s surprising support of the Springbok team’s success (particularly whilst donning the symbolic rugby jersey when presenting the winners trophy to captain Francois Pienaar) is one of the most iconic moments in South African history.


A young Richard Branson and Mick Jagger

In the 60’s and 70’s music was often a vehicle for free speech and social movements. Barriers were pushed with controversial artists and the rise of genres such as punk and heavy metal. The budding entrepreneur Branson convinced the young Rolling Stones to sign with him rather than the more established labels. They both went on to enjoy unrivalled success. Never one to sit still, Sir Richard Branson has used the success of Virgin Music to found a diverse range of businesses to date including the Virgin Foundation charity.


Mother Teresa praying

A symbol of peace and love, the iconic image of Mother Teresa praying has touched the hearts of millions for decades – and will do for many years to come.


Final Steve Jobs Product Launch

Noticeably more frail and whilst on medical leave, Jobs famously made a surprise appearance on the launch of iPad 2 on the 2nd March 2011. Famously because he “didn’t want to miss today”. With enthusiasm and wit he delivered what happened to be his last ever product launch for the company he loved before passing away just a few months later.


Princess Diana in Africa

Princess Diana was famously the first member of the Royal Family to have contact with AIDS victims and helped to break down global misconceptions about the disease. In an era of fear and ignorance on the condition during the 1980’s, she once famously replied when questioned on her work “”HIV does not make people dangerous to know. You can shake their hands and give them a hug. Heaven knows they need it”. Her work for numerous charities including the Red Cross raised massive awareness and much needed donations before her tragic death in 1997.



You don’t always have to read an autobiography to be inspired by someone.

Sometimes pictures – precious moments captured forever – can be just as powerful.

What’s your favourite picture?

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