|Topics:||Leadership, Communication, Nelson Mandela, 🔥 Motivation, 😇 Organizational Behavior, 🙋♂️ Management|
Table of Contents
Leadership refers to a process of social influence in which an individual seeks for a voluntary cooperation of a given team, towards the achievement of a specific goal. There are some leadership styles that are applied in various settings. Considering Nelson Mandela’s leadership as exhibited in the 2009 Invictus film, he expressed the transformational style of leadership in most of the instances. In transformational leadership, the influencer concentrates on team’s development and growth in value, moralities and inspirational level. A transformational leader seeks to transform those who he leads and the organization (Nanjundeswaras and Swamy 58). The style involves a change in the mindset up about understanding, vision and behaviour among others.
The features highlighted above were so evident in Nelson Mandela in the film. For instance, after coming out of prison and successfully winning the presidential elections, he noted the divisions that existed in South Africa, on a racial basis. Therefore, he took advantage of rugby, as the means by which he would psychologically transform those who propelled the racism. He, therefore, decided not to change the name of the team, which to the black South Africans was a representation of racial injustice, making them not to support it, but instead, he used the world cup event. Skilfully, he changed the mind of the commission (relevant to the team), by telling them that through the maintenance of the prior colour/name they would reach the Afrikaners (the whites). Though he was not successful initially, he used Francois who was one of the team leaders. He talked to him on how to motivate his team amidst the pressure; he talked to him inspirationally. Eventually, he was successful by using Francois, one of the committed members of the team, who reached out to the team. Finally, rugby team won the world cup, and the celebration united the black South Africans and the Afrikaners. Mandela is a visionary leader; he foresees himself as a leader of one nation but not two groups under racial division. He applied the transformational style of leadership to unite the nation.
Change is considered to be an emergence of the new state of the situation or things, from the old one. Focussing on the approach that Mandela applied in change management, it still fit the transformational approach to change (D’Ortenzio 53). As explained by some scholars (Champman 20) transformation approach to change involves alterations of beliefs, values, and attitude. This was quite evident in Mandela’s operation as he altered the belief that rugby was only meant for the Afrikaners and the black South Africans were to take part in cheering. The attitudes that the two races had for one another was also altered; this was evident when eventually they were unified, and the racial distinction vanished. The values that these two groups were holding onto were also altered as they only enhanced their disunity. For instance, the Afrikaners valued the team’s name while the blacks hated it; hence they disliked the team. Knowing that changing the team’s name would not be effective, Mandela met the team’s committee and convinced them against the name changing. Besides, he applied the approach in changing various cultures within the nation (using the rugby team) and eventually he led the whole team into wilful adaptation to the new state of events. These are traits associated with transformational change.
Leading a group towards change entails application of various techniques of communication so that they be ready for the change and be motivated to act. It is the responsibility of the leaders to enlighten the team they are leading on their capability in the achievement of the intended change. Therefore, depending on how it is applied, communication acts as an effective tool of motivation (Gilley et al. 80). The motivation is enhanced when the members are involved in the process of achieving the goal and are reinforced in the process of implementation.
While Nelson Mandela communicates to Francois, his inspirational form of communication exposes the listener to the capability of achieving unity in the country, hence a motivation. Guiding him as the team leader (as they take tea) towards the achievement, is also motivational as the Francois feels involved. His courteous and empathy while communicating to Francois also psyches him (Francois) towards implementation of the activities that enhance the national unity. Throughout the process, Mandela enhances commitment in assuring the rugby team in the possibility of the unity achievement. Even though it appears impossible to the blacks initially, his persistence and encouragement motivate them towards the achievement. He also uses the poem he recited when he was jailed while talking to the coach. His narration of the over twenty-year experience in jail amidst the severe conditions enhances the credibility and motivational features of his communication. The listener is aroused to learn of his unimaginable capability; besides the narration motivates the listener that no challenge is permanent, all can be overcome.
- Champman, Judith. “A framework for transformational change in organizations.” Leadership & Organization Development Journal Vol. 23(1) (2002): 16-25.
- D’Ortenzio, C. Understanding Change and Change Management Processes: A Case Study. Canberra: University of Canberra Press, 2012.
- Gilley, Ann., Jerry. Gilley and McMillan. Heather. “Organisational Change: Motivation, Communication, and Leadership Effectiveness.” Performance Improvement Quarterly, Vol.21(1) (2009): 75-94.
- Nanjundeswaras, Wamy. T.S. and Subramanian. Swamy. “Leadership Styles.” Advances In Management Vol. 7(2) (2014): 57-62.