Lessons about leadership from Nelson Mandela -Invictus

by Ashvini on August 2, 2010 · 3 comments

in Leadership

Some time back I saw a movie known as Invictus. It was a great inspiration in leadership. I am mentioning a poem written by Nelson Mandela.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Nelson Mandela shared this poem with  François Pienaar, when he saw that he could unite a deeply divided South Africa, using Rugby. It was depicted in the Clint Eastwood movie known as ‘Invictus’. The movie is an account of how Mandela took a skeptical nation, with deep racial division on a journey to unity. Even though some people may dislike some parts of movie but the message on leadership was clear. This blog post has been inspired by the movie and the utmost leadership and humbleness of Nelson Mandela.

A leader is not a leader if people are afraid of him. The leader is known so because he inspires people to reach out and do more than they can.  Leader always brings out the best in the people. He is not afraid to put his trust in people, also he is passionate that they become successful. Following are some of the characteristics of a leader, that I gathered from the movie.

  1. Leader unites and never divides people
  2. Mandela collected all white members of staff and announced that if they don’t want to work with him, they can leave. However if they think that they are going to work for their country, they are most welcome. He also told African population, that unity with whites is the key to taking the nation forward. He worked hard to unite the country day and night.

  3. Leader knows who can deliver the result and entrusts him with the responsibility
  4. He knows that the captain of the Rugby team is leading the whole team. By inspiring him to take charge and deliver the world cup for the country, he handed down a big responsibility to the captain.

  5. Leader never loses hope and faith in his team
  6. Most of the South Africa and some news Anchors were skeptical that springboks would win a match, leave aside the world cup. But Mandela did not care. Once he placed full faith in the captain, he supported him all the way to the world cup.

  7. Leader pulls out all stops to make his team successful
  8. Mandela incessantly campaigned for his team, by meeting them, remembering their names and motivating them from time to time. He went against the wishes of  even his own people to work for the cause, which he believed in. At one time, he pulled himself out from a international meeting to make sure that he could watch the match

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Ashvini Kumar Saxena August 3, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Thank you Aswani. I will writing part 2 soon. Thanks for visiting.

Aswani August 3, 2010 at 8:35 am

Ashvini, this really is a great post from your side. Nelson Mandela is an icon for this world. He is someone whom I admire the most for the selfless service he has done for his country and for the world as a whole. Thanks so much for sharing this post. Keep writing.

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