Leadership in Invictus

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The story of Invictus is based upon the life of Nelson Mandela during the time he held his Presidency of South Africa. Specifically, the movie focuses on his ideas of managing the Springboks and how the opportunity of using the country’s Rugby team unfolds as a way to bring the country together. Since The World Cup is being held in South Africa during the first year of his term, he sees The World Cup as an attempt to bring the whites and blacks together by finding pride in their home team’s victory. Mandela is successful at transforming the beliefs of South Africa through his styles of democratic leadership, transformational leadership, and interpersonal orientation leadership. First, Mandela idealized influence by working well with all kinds of people of different race. He displays amazing charisma with others and he possesses an extremely high standard on the Springboks because he knows they can impact the nation. Also, Mandela develops a clear vision of hope for the people of South Africa by challenging the status quo immediately once he becomes president. It is his belief that the country will benefit if whites and blacks weren’t enemies. Mandela is creative by initiating a great plan to use the Springboks as a gateway to accomplish his vision. In several scenes of Invictus, Mandela’s involvement of followers, open communication, his personal connections with everyone he meets, and his mediation of conflict for group benefit are all evidence that his skills steadily follow those of a Democratic leader. A representation of this can be seen in the iconic scene where Mandela has his initial meeting with Francois Pienaar, the captain of the country’s Rugby team. Mandela’s warmth and respect towards him, and his request of participation attracts Pienaar who comes to the realization that their conversation and meeting was and will become very significant. Responding to Mandela’s question on what his leadership philosophy consisted on of, Piennar responds that his philosophy is leading by example. Mandela agrees with Piennar that that is a critical part of leadership. Mandela goes on to challenge him asking how he inspires his teammates to be better than they think they are. Inspiration builds to be a theme of the movie and Mandela’s words become influential. Mandela’s famous words, “visible felt leadership,” have become powerful words in our history. He was inspired by Mandela who completely shared his vision of the Springboks winning The World Cup. According to Goleman, a self-management skill necessary for leadership is motivation. This is Mandela’s first act of motivation amongst Piennar. His passion for achievement allows him to be creative and see an alternative route to his vision and not just responding to the incentives of being a President. Mandela also provides suggestions and alternatives for the completion of tasks several ways throughout the movie. He is consistent in challenging his staff to think differently about policies and issues. For example, he forces interaction by challenging the head of his security to ensure that the black staff with working cooperatively with the more experienced white staff. This interaction forces them to work together, as one team in order to be more efficient and successful. Another Democratic style of leadership that Mandela exhibits is in a scene where he challenges Pienaar to be more optimistic and think more positively about the chance of the Springboks winning The World Cup even if the odds aren’t in their favor. Mandela is providing positive feedback to Pienaar that allows him to see the goal as a possibility which in-turn enables him and his team to train even harder than before. Mandela also facilitates discussion of his followers when he attends the voting of a motion to change the name of the Springboks to something more fitting to the black South Africans. Mandela appears just after the vote has been decided but encourages the voters to think differently. Only a...
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