Leadership Intervention in the “Invictus” Movie

Subject: Art
Pages: 5
Words: 1389
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: Bachelor


Invictus is a movie based on Nelson Mandela’s inspirational story and his efforts to unite South Africans. He was newly elected as the president of the nation and had a vision of eliminating racism. He believed that he could fulfill his dream of uniting the people of his country through rugby, as South Africa was to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Mandela inspired the South African rugby team (Springboks) into winning the World Cup and uniting the people of South Africa.

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Which leadership intervention has impressed you the most?

Transformational leadership intervention interests me more than the other interventions. Nelson Mandela used this intervention in his leadership as the president of South Africa. Transformational leadership involves stirring the followers beyond their self-interest through idealized influence, intellectual stimulation, inspiration, and individualized consideration (Sun & Henderson, 2017). For a leader to succeed in this intervention, they will have to inspire their followers and convince them to work towards transforming the organization. Mandela, the first South African black president, encountered many challenges. He had to balance the aspiration of the black people who had suffered racism and discrimination with national building and inclusion. Nelson was determined to eradicate racism in the country, which was prevalent during his time as president. He had a strong belief in forgiveness and believed it would make a positive change in the country.

Nelson advocated for equality for everyone, and he set a good example when he appointed four new white bodyguards. This decision agitated Jason, the Head of Security, because he couldn’t trust the white bodyguards. Mandela explained that having both white and black bodyguards will be taking a step towards harmonizing the races. He believed that everyone ought to work together for the nation’s greater good by eliminating all their differences. When the sports committee voted for the change of the “Springboks” to ‘Proteas,’ Mandela stood firm and convinced them to retain the name and the emblem. Mandela believed it was not a time for trivial revenge but to build their nation together. Mandela knew that his followers would be disappointed, but it was for the nation’s greater good. His reasoning was logical, and arguments were pragmatic, and he used these traits to convince his people of his vision.

The president was a man of his word, and whatever he said should be done, he ensured he set an excellent example to his people. During a Rugby match, he thanked all the people who were waving the National flag without considering security threats that could be there. Nelson showed the nation the importance of supporting one another and that there should not be any differences among the people of South Africa. He wanted to send a message to the nation that his government would bring equality and unity to the country.

Nelson knew that everyone valued recognition from their leaders at work. He made an effort to know all the South African Rugby players by their names and wished them good luck before starting the World Cup tournament. This recognition motivated the players to do better in their matches and gave them the confidence needed to face the tasks and challenges in the game. The president also portrayed great charismatic leadership traits in his decisions as president. This virtue transformed the people around him positively. He invited the Springboks’ captain, Francois Pienaar, for tea in his office to discuss leadership. They examined the philosophy of leadership and the ways of inspiring the team to give their best. After the encounter with President Mandela, Pienaar’s viewpoint changed, and he became more determined to take home the Rugby World Cup title. It is a responsibility of a leader to inspire their people to self-actualization and beyond.

How does a leader contribute to the development of this intervention?

One of the ways to contribute to transformational leadership intervention is to set an example for the followers. A good leader should be a role model to their followers. Mandela was a role model to his people, and many people loved him. Through his actions and his speeches, people could desire to be like him. This factor led to his people transforming from a racist community to a united nation. A leader will inspire followers to change and inherit the character through sound character and firm reasoning. A leader should be passionate about the work that they are doing. Everyone expects a leader to be caring and devoted to the job. Mandela showed a lot of devotion to his work and his country. He was very passionate about his work of leading his country and uniting his people. A great leader should have a passion for their work and the know-how to express it.

To contribute to transformational intervention, a leader should practice good communication and listening skills. Nelson Mandela was extremely good at communication and listening skills, which was evident when he invited Pienaar to his office for tea. He was ready to listen to Pienaar’s viewpoint on leadership and did not dominate the whole conversation. He was also a great public speaker and made sure that his speeches were clear and understandable to everyone. A leader should show genuine concern to their people and express their concerns verbally. Good communication confirms the leader’s intention towards the followers and work.

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Good leaders should allow their followers to express their creativity in work. A leader must give the followers intellectual stimulation by giving them challenges and supporting their creative ways to solve problems. Mandela gave his followers and employees the freedom to express themselves and share their innovative ideas. By doing this, he inspired them in their work and gave them courage and confidence to continue to work even more complicated. A leader must ensure that the followers are comfortable and free to share their ideas.

If you were that leader, do you think you could or would want to develop a different intervention?

I find the leadership intervention Nelson Mandela used was the most suitable for his vision to come true. In that era, there was a need for peace and unity in the country. A great leader would be the one to have the vision to bring harmony among the people rather than taking the side of a particular race. A great leader like Mandela would choose forgiveness and unite his people rather than take advantage of being president to revenge. I think Nelson Mandela made the right choice by using transformational leadership intervention, and I would have used the same intervention if it was my case. The following are the reasons as to why I would have used the same intervention as Nelson Mandela.

Transformational leadership intervention lowers turnover costs in an organization or firm. A leader who inspires the people is more likely to keep the staff for a longer time than a non-transformational leader. As in Nelson Mandela’s case, he was encouraging to all his employees, and he recognized and appreciated every one of them for the work they did. It was hard for an employee at the president’s office to quit their job. A transformational leader will make employees feel like they play a specific role in the organization, which keeps them engaged, lowering the cost of staff turnover.

Transformational leaders can drive change to the people and get them excited about the changes. As in Invictus, Nelson Mandela had a vision of uniting the nation and eliminating racism among the people of South Africa. He knew as a black South African, and he could drive a positive change to his followers and unite them with the white South Africans. At the end of the movie, we see that, through the rugby tournament, Mandela was able to make the two races settle their differences and sing the national anthem together as they waved the South African Flag. He was able to drive change into his nation by being a transformational leader.


Transformational leadership is a critical intervention when bringing about change in an organization. It is evident in the movie Invictus that Mandela could bring change to the nation by uniting the two communities using Rugby as a symbol. Nelson Mandela inspired his people to love one another regardless of their diversities through his charisma and vision. In leadership, transformational intervention is essential, and leaders should practice it for better outcomes.


Sun, R., & Henderson, A. C. (2017). Transformational leadership and organizational processes: Influencing public performance. Public Administration Review, 77(4), 554-565.