The first time I saw the movie Invictus was during the second week of the Young Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa; a five weeks leadership training program and I was so inspired to become an extraordinary leader to say the least and so were the other 89 participants of the program. Based on the John Carlin book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation, the movie is replete with valuable leadership lessons. Faced with the challenge of managing South Africa which was at the time riddled with political and economic problems and also torn between balancing black aspirations and white fears, Nelson Mandela takes us through a journey of exemplary leadership. The journey is both inspiring and interesting. Below are lessons for leaders:
Think Outside the Box
Political Problems do not always have political solutions. This was realized early enough by Nelson Mandela and It was amazing and very refreshing to see a game of rugby unite people who had been divided by apartheid by over 50 years of racial tension.
A Leader Should Have The Capacity to Inspire
As illustrated by the characters of Mandela and Francois Pienaar, every leader must be sufficiently able to inspire his followers to work towards objectives they would not ordinarily be interested by. With the inspiration of Mandela, the blacks came to love and cheer for the Springboks as their national team. Any leader who is drab and uninspiring will ultimately lose the the people to someone who can inspire them to dream more, do more and become more!
In spite of being imprisoned for twenty-seven years, Mandela put aside any natural hopes for revenge he might have had and chose to lead the people of South Africa, black and white to see beyond their own aspirations and fears. Every action of Madiba as Nelson Mandela was fondly called was motivated by concern for the people and the nation of South Africa. He was not afraid to do the right things even at the expense of losing his political capital.
Are you a leader desiring to significantly influence your followers? Invictus is the movie for you
If you have seen the movie, you can also share the lessons you learnt in the comment section below.