Leadership in Invictus Movie Analysis

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Mandela is successful at transforming the beliefs of South Africa through his styles of democratic leadership, transformational adhering, and interpersonal orientation leadership. First, Mandela idealized influence by working well with all kinds of people of different races. 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 Sino. In several scenes of Invites, 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 François Pioneer, the captain of the country’s Rugby team. Mandela’s warmth and respect towards him, and his request of participation attract Pioneer 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, Pannier responds that his philosophy is leading by example. Mandela agrees with Pannier 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 o Coleman, a self-management skill necessary for leadership is motivation. This is Mandela’s first act of motivation amongst Pannier.

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 in 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 Pioneer 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 Pioneer 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 toting 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 small amount of voters take Mandela’s advice but he remains positive rather than being defeated. Mandela sees it as a step in the right direction. Lastly, Mandela is always concerned with the members of his staff as individuals and not employees.

It is proficient in knowing everyone by their name, considerate of their families, and appreciative of what they do for him. In another scene, he also learns the names of each of the Springbok players because he wants to greet each of them on a personal level. Later, Mandela shows more depth of his democratic leadership style when he drives towards reconciliation in response to the scene where his party members harshly remind him of the 27 years of life spent in prison when injustice and crimes against blacks were done on the watch of Apartheid. “Forgiveness liberates the soul,” Mandela said. That’s why it’s such a powerful weapon. We have to prove we are not what they fear. We have to surprise them with compassion. Another example can be seen when Mandela recites a part of his poem to Pannier. Mandela views this poem as very inspirational suggesting that this is what inspired him through his long imprisonment. Mandela’s use of inspiration in this movie gives us a glimpse into what a great leader he was. He was naturally a forgiver and used that as the initial step in building a new spirit, about how one man can inspire another, that another inspired a whole team, and that team inspired a whole nation.

Mandela saw this as a way to make a nation feel like one. The Transformational Approach is highly visible in the style f leadership that Mandela possesses. Transformational leaders attempt to satisfy the basic needs of their followers by going focusing on empowering them and inspiring them (Hickman, p. 103). According to Coleman, empathy is another self-management skilled required for a good leader. He had a strong intelligence of dealing with others. He took into account their feelings as opposed to taking on their issues.

Mandela characterizes the five transformational leadership behaviors. As a transformational leader, he was creative, interactive, visionary, empowering, and passionate. Together using these five behaviors he was able o use his moral authority and inspired a nation to rise above its past and to attain goals that seemed impossible. His vision was to see build a society of non-racists and used his position as a leader to create opportunities to show South Africa that it was achievable. He became the change he wanted to see from his followers.

It was his plan to influence and then convert his followers into the type of leader he was. Mandela did this by picking up the phone and calling people on their birthdays and going to family funerals. These are the moments where he saw an opportunity. The story depicted by the movie Invites is just a glimpse at the many hearts that he touched through his transformational leadership approach proved to be a success in the accomplishment of his end goal of equal diversity amongst the citizens of South Africa.

Mandela experienced a great amount of satisfaction from his role in changing the government’s environment and finding peace for the nation of South Africa. His innovative leadership skills and self-management skills are a true representation of a transformational leader because he continued to give back to his nation even after he reached self-actualization. He forever transformed a racist government and helped eliminate diversity and segregation because of his true acts of transformational leadership. As an interpersonal leader, Mandela follows the McGregor Theory Y.

This is seen through his desire to integrate organizational and individual goals. A clear example of this is by including Pannier and the Springboks as a gateway to his overall goal of racial integration. As Theory Y tells us, an interpersonal leader views work as a source of satisfaction and therefore, punishment is not necessary to ensure efficiency. Rather, personal commitment and pride are often efficient enough to ensure quality workmanship. You can see this through Invites when Mandela singles out Pannier, spends time with him and teaches him wisdom.

He works one-on-one with him troubleshooting challenges and mostly inspiring him with praise. Through this, Pannier became a partner to Mandela because his individual goals matched those of Mandela. Mandela makes the interpersonal orientation of leadership successful by recognizing the positions, ideas, and feelings of Pannier. He engages with open communication and listens carefully. He uses empathy here also by is focusing n the feelings, emotions, and attitudes of Pioneer and uses them to his advantage.

This maintains an “open door” policy between them. With all these leadership skills in mind, Mandela’s most efficient is his social skill. Coleman defines this as empathy and social skill and possibly the most important. Mandela’s ability to build relationships with others allowed him to get their cooperation. Once he gained their cooperation he was able to lead them in the direction he saw fit. He used friendliness with a purpose and it allowed for him to set the direction of his desires. This was attained through the culmination of emotional intelligence.

Mandela was able to effectively manage his relationships with others because he was good at controlling his emotions and amphetamine with the feelings of others. It is my conclusion that Mandela focused on Rugby because he understood that the point of leadership is not to solve every little problem but to guide them towards something mulch larger than a problem. Mandela does this by truly inspiring and planting a vision in his follower’s minds. Visionary is one of the five characteristics of a transformational leader. He envisioned a dream that included the needs of the people, not himself.


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Leadership in Invictus Movie Analysis. (2021, Apr 12). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/leadership-in-invictus/



What are some leadership traits we see in Francois Invictus?
What are some leadership traits we see in Francois? Empowerment. Good Listener. Respectful. Team-Focused. Inspiring Leader. Charismatic.
What is Francois philosophy of leadership?
Francois believes that leadership is about taking care of those around you and making sure that their needs are met. He feels that it is important to be able to inspire others and help them to see their potential.
What is the main theme of the movie Invictus?
The main theme of the movie is about Nelson Mandela's journey to unite the people of South Africa after the end of apartheid.
What leadership lesson the poem Invictus teaches?
All talk and no action doesn't make visions become real . Hard work and motivation is what you require to turn your visions into reality. Your visions will only come to pass if the people you have assigned do what is asked of them. However, if you, the leader, expect people to follow, you must be the first to act.
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