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The history knows many leaders, the examples of which can motivate managers to develop their skill. Invictus is the movie about Nelson Mandela as the President of South Africa created by Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman. The film focuses on the early days of Mandela`s presidency, when he perceives the Springboks, the rugby team of South Africa and its training for the World Cup Event as an opportunity for uniting the country. These and the other film`s scenes reveal a nature of the leader and his attempts to consolidate the country.
Nelson Mandela`s leadership
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Mandela is an excellent decision maker due to his ability to use logic and intuition. He recognizes challenges existing in the country, which has been torn apart and controlled by apartheid for a long time, especially, multiple economic and social issues caused by racial tensions and high rates of unemployment (Invictus). Nevertheless, his leadership, positive thinking, personal commitment, and motivation enable people to perceive the issues or impossibilities as the opportunities, and position him as a transformational leader.
Mandela`s empowering style of leadership is well depicted in the scene, when he meets the Springboks captain Francois Pienaar for the first time. Pienaar is charmed by the warmth, affability and great respect that Mandela displays to him. Although Pienaar arrives at the meeting confused and uncertain, he leaves it in an inspired mood and with a shared vision of the importance for the Springboks to win the World Cup (Invictus). Thus, Mandela has enabled him to believe in the win, to train harder, and to lead his team towards a goal.
It is obvious that a leader cannot empower, learn or lead others until he has learnt and developed himself. Self-leadership is necessary for cultivating such qualities as clear vision and determination that are inherent for Nelson Mandela. Besides, as the film shows, Mandela is characterized by a high level of emotional intelligence, which is one of the main predictors of his high performance and success. Due to well-developed emotional competencies, such as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill, Mandela can regulate not only his own emotions, but also the emotions of others, thus providing authentic leadership.
Mandela is interested in all people he meets as in individuals, and treats them in a gentle and devoted manner. For example, before meeting with the Springboks’ players, he memorizes the names of all the team players in order to give each of them a personal greeting (Invictus). Hereby, being intelligent as regards emotions is not a source of power and control for him, but rather an opportunity to inspire, motivate and arouse enthusiasm in people, foster innovations, build warm relationships, and, thus, change the situation throughout the country.
Nelson Mandela`s approach to change management
While managing the change, Mandela is always guided by a goal. The core area for a change, reflected in the film, is the rugby team Springboks that has traditionally been a symbol of confrontation between whites and blacks in the South Africa. The white population living in the South Africa used to cheer for the Springboks, while the black population used to cheer for anyone else but the Springboks (Invictus). Mandela strives to unite the white and black population in order to support the team and win in the World Cup, held in the South Africa. Thus, Mandela consolidates the people by common goal that is building a strong country.
Mandela challenges the people’s attitude not only in rugby, but rather teaches them to think differently, looking for reconciliation in all spheres. For example, he ensures his security staff to work collaboratively with white colleagues that are more experienced. The film shows that initially, the black staff members refused to work together with the white employees because of all the suffering they experienced during apartheid. However, Mandela teaches that negative emotions such as anger and spitefulness are disadvantageous for everyone, while “forgiveness liberates the soul... forgiveness removes fear” (Invictus). If people want to create a committed and strong country, they should discuss the issues with all the participants and unite for a common goal, rather than quarrel. The effective change management of Mandela has rejuvenated outdated views and structures of people and led to a more effective interpersonal communication that resulted in the stronger country.
Nelson Mandela`s ability to achieve results through communicating and motivating
According to the movie, emotions are an inevitable part of interpersonal attitudes and communication between people because they are formed basing on certain emotional episodes and feelings. Hereby, the ability to regulate own emotions and recognize those of the others seem to be crucial for a leader to inspire himself and motivate others. Mandela drew inspiration from the poem, which he later presented to Pienaar in order to motivate him before the World Cup’s start (Invictus).
Mandela understands that nothing great can be ever achieved without motivation. Therefore he always asks himself and others how to get others to be better than they think they can be (Invictus). He uses empowerment as an instrument for managing people’s emotions effectively. As a result, Mandela`s staff, as well as team players in Springboks, perform their job with joy not because of being forced by the leader, but because they display genuine emotions due to their positive attitude and gladness of being part of the team that strives for a common significant goal.
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