What does this person do? What are their primary areas of interest?
Antonio Agostinho Neto rose from a simple background to become the first President of Angola in 1975. He served as the leader of Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and guided his country through the years of civil war. Although he studied medicine in Luanda, he was always politically active from a young age. Even during college, his interest in revolutionary political theories grew and he participated in many covert political activities. He was arrested and detained on several occasions during his youth, which altered his innocence and increased his resolution. But it is with his leadership role in the PLA that he stamped his legacy as a key historical figure.
What are the characteristics that make this person a leaders in their field?
What made Agostinho Neto a very popular leader is his mass appeal. Coming from a rural background and brought up by devout Christian parents, Agostinho was able to rise above his peers and opponents in uniting his countrymen. It is due to this legacy of his that his birthday is remembered and celebrated as the National Heroes Day in Angola.
How have they achieved their followers?
Agostinho Neto had exhibited plenty of courage right through his political life. It is this braveness, along with his moral righteousness, that won him the admiration and loyalty of his followers. For example, despite being arrested many times and being exiled from his own country, he steadfastly worked to achieve his vision for this country. His resolute refusal to bow to colonial masters and demand sovereignty for Angola had further endeared him to the masses.
Do I have similar interests, ideas as this person?
It would be pretentious of me to compare myself with the illustrious Agostinho Neto. But at a basic level, I share much of his political beliefs. Agostinho Neto fought for the emancipation of the poor and the quelling of the imperial forces, which are legitimate causes that I can personally relate to.
Can I exhibit the same leadership qualities as this person has?
Instead of saying that I and Agostinho Neto share common leadership qualities, I would rather say that he is an inspirational leader upon whose footprints I would like to tread. As I mature and grow as a person, I would try to emulate his brave actions and righteous behavior.
What might I do differently or what other leadership qualities do I have that this person does not have?
The fact that I am still young puts me at an advantage, for I can utilize the hard lessons learned by leaders like Agostinho Neto and apply them in my own life. By incorporating the accumulated wisdom of such great political leaders, I can construct my career (in politics or otherwise) in a prudent and informed manner. In other words, I would avoid some of the strategic mistakes that Agostinho Neto made during his political career.
Biography of Antonio Agostinho Neto, retrieved from <africanhistory.about.com/od/angola/p/BioAgostinoNeto.htm> on 19th March, 2010
Chazan, Naomi; Robert Mortimer, John Ravenhill, Donald Rothchild (1992). Politics and Society in Contemporary Africa. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc.. pp. 392.