Nelson Mandela’s Leadership in the “Invictus” Film Report (Assessment)

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Nelson Mandela’s Leadership

The film “Invictus” is a 2009 drama and biography that depicts the challenging initiative of Nelson Mandela (South African President) to unite the country with the help of sport (“Invictus” par. 1). The movie is a representation of the real-life story of the difficult situation in South Africa in 1995. Apartheid divides the country. Racial discrimination is becoming more intense between the majority of African black people and the minority of white people. The black government is predominant in the country. This hostility divides the country into two parts, and the President has to find a way to unite South Africa. Nelson Mandela comes to the conclusion that the South African rugby team that comprises of white players should win the World Cup.

Nelson Mandela’s leadership approach is unique as far as it combines several features. Thus, Mandela’s leadership is a vivid example of a trait perspective. The trait perspective presupposes that leaders possess particular features of character that make them unique and competent leaders. Nelson Mandela is humble. In the film, he prefers pouring tea on his own rather than waiting for somebody else to do it. One can suggest that he is open-minded to various traditions as far as drinking tea does not belong to customs in South Africa. The President is always polite. He is well-informed. For example, he is aware of the fact that Francois has an ankle injury. Finally, he is a visionary leader who sees a united country and one nation rather than two separate parts (“Leadership at the Movies” 16).

Besides, Mandela employs transformational leadership as far as he creates visions and evokes emotions of his followers. One can suggest that it is combined with empowering leadership. Mandela empowers Francois to believe in himself and lead the team towards the win. The most distinctive type of leading is leadership by example. Mandela inspires Francois to become an example for his team. The President is an example to follow for everybody else as well.

Nelson Mandela’s approach to change management

Change management presupposes the accomplishment of particular goals by modification of behaviors or attitudes. In the film under consideration, the change management of Mandela includes the elimination of psychologically rooted barriers between two groups of people. First, the President faces resistance to change. The resistance is caused primarily by clashing perspectives of residents of South Africa. Black and white populations are extremely hostile towards each other. The first stage of change is unfreezing (Neck, Lattimer and Houghton 108). Nelson Mandela executes this stage when he has a meeting with Francois Pienaar. The President explains his vision of the role of the rugby team in the union of the country. Mandela persuades the captain of Springboks (national rugby team) that the winning of the World Cup has a unique significance for the whole country. Thus, he shares the vision during his change management approach (“Leadership at the Movies: Invictus and 5 Leadership Practices” par. 5). The next stage of change management is the very process of changing. The black population of the country does not want to accept Springboks as the national team, but the World Cup changes perspectives. The last stage, refreezing, is presented when all South Africans, regardless of race, celebrate the win of the national team. At least for a moment, Mandela observes his long-term aim. During the change management process, Mandela employs path-goal theory. Thus, he behaves in such a way that motivate rugby team members. Mandela faces the necessity to support every player as far as the majority of residents of the state oppresses them. The President knows names of all team players and inspires them to do their best via the personal communication.

Communication and Motivation

In the film under evaluation, communication and motivation are of great significance for the successful accomplishment of results. Nelson Mandela finds both communication and motivation to be efficient ways of gaining understanding and support. Communication and motivation are inseparable from each other. Motivation can be achieved only with the help of communication. Thus, communication is the act of sharing thoughts and information via different channels while motivation is the desire to accomplish the particular task. Chanel richness is an important component when it comes to the need to render as much information as possible. Nelson Mandela prefers face-to-face channel of communication while speaking with Francois Pienaar for the first time. Mandela asks the captain about his philosophy of motivation and inspiration (Raath par. 2).

The intrinsic motivation of team members is another crucial aspect for success. Every player has to believe in himself to achieve the best results. It is the task of the leader to make people sure that they have all necessary skills and abilities to perform with maximum efficiency. Mandela personally meets team members, remembers their names, and motivates them that they can do their best (“Lessons about Leadership from Nelson Mandela — Invictus” par. 10). It should also be noted that the reward for the win is rather peculiar. It is the unity of the nation and the disappearance of racial prejudices.

Works Cited

Invictus. n.d. Web. 2015.

Leadership at the Movies. n.d. PDF file. 2015.

Leadership at the Movies: Invictus and 5 Leadership Practices 2009. Web.

Lessons about Leadership from Nelson Mandela — Invictus 2010. Web.

Neck, Christopher, Charles Lattimer and Jeffrey Houghton. Management. New York

City, New York: Willey Global Education, 2013. Print.

Raath, Russell. Mandela on Leadership: Inspire Others to Exceed Their Own Expectations. 2011. Web.

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