I went to see the film Invictus the other day….what a fantastic story on inspired leadership and vision both from Mandela and Pienaar.
One of the things that I think Mandela did amazing well was that he realised that in order to grow South Africa as a country he couldn’t do it with the majority of people….he had to have all of the people acting and being together.
Rugby and the World Cup proved a fantastic opportunity to do this and the wearing of the Springbok shirt by Mandela to the final, so long a symbol of white Soth Africa, was a masterstroke in saying its not us vs you but it’s US, all of us. No one is excluded.
I think one of the keys to leadership is that sometimes you have to be brave and have the courage of your convictions. Mandela said that he spent 25 years learning about his oppressors but that it took a bigger man to enrol the South African people in a higher goal of a united South Africa and not just a change of the status quo.
Given that that tournament was watched by over a billion people worldwide do you think that Mandela’s actions, as a leader of a country threatened to be torn in two, were effective. It’s a bit like seeing the world as your customers see it and setting out a vision for a better world. In this case, South Africa’s customers were the world. Despite all of the heartache, they were incredibly foresighted in painting a picture of a better future. And were they successful……you bet!