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Invictus negotiation analysis in english

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Personal report

Invictus - 30/08/2018

  1. Film overview and Nelson Mandela behavior analysis

This film talks about the situation experienced in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, organized in this country after overthrowing the previous racist system. The film tells us how Mandela, after being liberated and becoming president, seeks a policy of reconciliation and the union of people through the sport of rugby under the slogan "one team one nation". Nelson Mandela, who is played by Morgan Freeman in the film, is aware that the nation is still divided by the aftermath of Apartheid and that it is necessary to unite the population: white and black. Mandela believes that he could unite the country through a universal language: sport. He decided to support the rugby team when he participated in the World Championship in 1995, despite his low chances of winning.

The national rugby team, also known as the "Springboks", was seen by most of the black population as a symbol of the strength of the white minority in the country. Therefore, the black population including Mandela went only to the stadium to support the other teams and offend the Springboks. Casually, this team was going through a very bad streak when Mandela came to power. After being released and being elected as president, Mandela wants to carry out a union policy and as a tactic, uses and inspires this team in order to make disappear the strong division between communities. This strategy was criticized by the black population who asked for revenge after the long period of repression and restraints. However, he tried to show them a capacity for forgiveness and wisdom, since the only thing he wanted was that everyone work together to develop the country, regardless of their skin colour.

From the very first moment Mandela shows a different type of leadership, focusing and involving himself personally on seemingly small things. We see at all times a close leader, who knows the situation of the families of those who work with him and who treats everybody equally, independently of their origins. Moreover, he calls and communicates directly to the staff of his cabinet his decisions, independently of their popularity. At some point of the film, being aware of the importance of the national rugby team for the social cohesion of the nation, he assumes a considerable risk when he personally goes to the assembly where they were voting to change the name and colours of the rugby team and asks them to reconsider his decision.

The fact that he gets involved in such a personal way in order for the rugby team to triumph is not quite understood by his collaborators. With the economic and social problems that the country was facing, they do not get why they dedicate so much time to this sport. But he is clear: it is necessary that the country vibrates with a common goal, even if it is with a sport that was practically reserved to white people during the Apartheid. To achieve this, he talks to the captain of the rugby team, informs him of his interest in the team, motivates him and conveys his decision to support them. He persuades him to continue leading the team, but from a new perspective: the unification of the country. The implication of the captain is demonstrated when he says "we are no longer just a rugby team". Involving the team captain is essential to achieve his goal: he is a key person and has authority over his teammates. The President uses his leadership skills to influence, persuade and motivate.

From Mandela we can highlight several social skills: empathy and assertiveness, which allow him to lead effectively a divided country. He is an emotional leader as he uses emotional intelligence, but he does not let himself be dragged by it. His decisions are based on reason and objectivity which are essential to deal with the complicated political situation and get compromises from society. Indeed, we see throughout the film that he brings out the best in each person that he encounters. For example he forces his bodyguards with different skin colours to work together. In my opinion, Invictus is a film that allows seeing the action of a leader, his involvement in small things, in those that apparently have no importance to achieve great objectives. He is a resounding leader, empathizes with people's feelings, expresses his emotions and manages to connect with those around him. The optimism and enthusiasm that he shows is contagious and conducive to change.

  1. Scene analysis of the discussion between the security chief and Mandela about the integration of white security guards

I this scene, the black security chief goes directly to the president's office to complain about his decision of integrating white security members on his team. Indeed, he was convinced that his team would be only made up of blacks. He argues that a short while ago, when Apartheid still existed, the whites chased them because of their skin colour. His extreme position is influenced by the strong emotions lived during the repression period. His anger and rage are clearly evident and make it very difficult for him to see reason on this discussion.

Mandela, meanwhile, listens attentively to the outburst of his safety chief. He shows him his understanding about these feelings, giving the example of his experience of being imprisoned by the whites for so many years. He first pleads a rational and objective argument, saying that the white security guards assigned to his team were trained by the British, thus having much experience in their profession. He also points out that having a mixed security team is a very important symbolic element. Indeed, it represents a change of mentality compared to previous governments and shows the president’s desire to make social conflicts disappear. He asserts that this has an invaluable impact on the image of the government perceived by society. Finally, in order to persuade the head of security, he points to the importance of achieving a higher goal: the social reconciliation of the country which requires a change of attitudes from all parties. Moreover, he says that accepting to work with white security guards does not imply a failure or a loss for the government, but the opposite. With all these arguments, the security chief accepts Mandela’s decision.


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