Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela


The movie, Invictus, is an inspirational film about the efforts of Nelson Mandela to unite the republic of South Africa. South Africa, as well known in history, was a region characterized by racial clashes between the blacks and the whites. The clash had been going on for almost 50 years. Mandela had been appointed the president of the Republic of South Africa after serving a total of twenty years behind bars (Barber, Birnbaun, Eastwood, Freeman, Hofmeyr, Lorenz, McCreary, Moore, Neufeld, & Eastwood, 2009). He was determined more than ever to rid the country of its racial nature. The movie, which is named after the poem written to Mandela by Francois, highlights the struggles and measures taken into the eradication of racism.

The fruits of their labor were realized in the end when Mandel convinced the blacks to support a rugby team (The Spring Boks) that is known for white supremacy. He managed to convince them and by the entire stadium supporting one team, unity was achieved. Mandela had gone through all efforts to attain unity and it was achieved. The captain of the Springboks rugby team (Francois) was so amazed that he later wrote Mandela a poem which came to be the title of that movie and an inspiration to many (Barber et al., 2009).

Leadership Traits Displayed by the Two Main Characters

The two main characters, Mandela and Francois are influential leaders. Both have worked for the realization of the greater good. Leaders all around the world should be inspired by the two who have shown an impeccable display of selfless leadership (Barber et al., 2009). The following are the leadership traits displayed by the two main characters (Mandela and Francois). They are important traits that all good leaders should be characterized with. Some are common values that even ordinary people should display as opposed to leaders only, the traits include;

Nelson Mandela

One leadership trait displayed by Mandela is his open-mindedness. In the movie, he is seen to be enjoying tea that is British in origin as opposed to the locally produced tea. This shows that he is open minded and welcoming of other custom’s ideas and beliefs (Barber et al., 2009). Mandela is also revealed to be kind and polite as he addresses his secretary with her appropriate title i.e. Mrs. He is also informed as he is well aware of Francois ‘s knee injury. This also shows that he cares very much for the welfare of others. One final trait that reflects on Mandela’s solid leadership skills is the fact that he is visionary. He has a vision that one day everyone will be united regardless of the skin color the same vision Martin Luther King had for America.

The leadership qualities, as already explained above, do not necessarily apply to a leader alone, but rather to everyone in general. Displaying the above traits is the first step in becoming an inspirational leader,

François Pienaar

As already established in the film, Francois was the captain of the Springboks rugby team (Barber et al., 2009). As a captain, he is a leader hence he is expected to display some exemplary leadership skills. The leadership skills he displays include the following.

He is down to earth/ a good listener. In the movie, Francois is the captain of a well-renowned football team. Despite his title, he listens to counsel provided by Mandela and he even takes his advice. This shows that he is a person who is down to earth and not blinded by fame. Also he is a good listener who knows prudent counsel when he hears it and thus chooses to follow it. It is also shown that Francois is a person of much respect. In the movie, Francois acknowledges that although his job as a rugby team captain is quite challenging and demanding, it falls nowhere near the demands of a president’s job (Barber et al., 2009). Hence, he respects the fact that Mandela has a more demanding work profile than he has. Another important trait which Francois can be characterized with is his emphasis on teamwork. Being a rugby captain, his work usually entails coordinating the team. He believes that each and every individual has an important role to play in winning a match. His emphasis on teamwork is what classifies him as an influential leader. Finally, one notable aspect about Francois was his honesty. He always opted for the fairness of competition and never opted for any performance enhancing drugs (Barber et al., 2009).

The two influential individuals have displayed impeccable leadership qualities. Traits like that coupled with the need and feel to make a difference are the recipe for producing good leaders. Mandela and Francois have hence been placed on the wall of fame as two of the most influential and inspirational leaders (Barber et al., 2009).

What does the poem? Invictus? mean to Mandela? What might we expect? Invictus? to
mean for South Africa as a nation? Why is it important as a leader to unify its followers
even when times get rough?

            The poem means that no situation is too severe that there can not be a turn-around. Mandela believes that although South Africa had suffered racial ties in the past few years. There was still time for a change, time for a turnaround, time for people to judge each other, not by the color of their skin, but by the pureness of their personalities and character. Unity is what keeps the society strong willed and determined during times of problems and calamities. Division, in such a situation, will only serve to worsen the situation. In conclusion, the poem is a beacon and a call for unity to the people of South Africa (Barber et al., 2009). It urges everyone to look past their skin color differences and focus toward achieving a common goal, that is to build a better South Africa for future generations. Through the help of exquisite leaders who share the same vision and mission such as Mandela and Francois, such a vision is possible.

In short, the poem is a beacon of hope and an inspiration to the people of South Africa urging them to unite for a common goal.

Explain why a team’s performance can affect the larger institution

Teams are representations of the entire institution. In most case scenarios, teams are formed on the basis of the region they represent. A good example is basketball in the U.S. The Los Angeles Lakers represent the city of Los Angeles. The Dallas Mavericks represent the city of Dallas which is found in Texas and so on. In short, teams are representations of the entire institution in question. If so, the performance of the team likely affects the entire institution. If a team one supports loses, one does not simply say, “The team lost.” But rather he or she says, “We lost.” This paints a clear picture on the fact that a team is a representation of a larger society. One feels like they are playing through the team. Taking into account the insight given above, the loss or win of a certain team affects the larger institution.

The same thing can be said in terms of sports teams in schools. The teams represent the entire school rather than the team itself. A loss takes a toll on the entire school rather than the team itself, what does this mean? The teams are responsible for a great degree of unity that exists between the individuals of the institution in question. This shows that a major loss or win affects everyone collectively rather than the team individually. Teams are a great reason for unity among individuals hence the reason as to why performance can affect an entire team institution.

Invictus looks like a good movie, but so what?

Invictus as a movie helps people become better leaders and influential icons in society (Barber et al., 2009). It is a film of how good leadership can help to achieve what was previously deemed impossible or unrealistic. It teaches good leadership skills through Francois, who was a young leader but still displayed impeccable leadership traits that are uncommon for someone of his age at that time. It hence teaches people that leadership is not age-oriented.

The film also teaches us that the best leadership style to employ is leading by example. This is displayed in the impeccable trait displayed by Mandela and Francois (Barber et al., 2009). One final aspect that the movie teaches about leadership is the fact that leaders are not identified with the positions they hold but rather with the traits they show.


The film is an inspirational leadership film that can teach a great deal to the societies today. Leaders are able to lead by example and display traits which we would want to be identified. Also, teams represent a society as a whole and are therefore important sanctions for unity


Barber, G., Birnbaun, R., Eastwood, C., Freeman, M., Hofmeyr, G., Lorenz, R., McCreary, L., Moore, T., & Neufeld, M. (Producers), & Eastwood, C. (Director). (2009). Invictus (Motion picture). United States: Warner Brothers Pictures.

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