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The Influence of Integrity in Leadership

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In this report, two scenarios from the movie Invictus are described. The first one was that, Mandela put down his hatred for uniting white people. He used his tolerance and integrity to gain the trust of white people. The second one was about Mandela’s integrity and the influence of integrity. Under his influence, the captain of the South African rugby team, Pienaar, also succeeded in influencing the team and won the final victory. I used first scene to analyze the importance of forgiveness for the leadership. In the second scene, I analyzed the influence of integrity on subordinates. In the two paragraphs, I have shown how integrity plays a role in the management of subordinates’ behavior.

1. Introduction

1.1 Scope

After watching the Invictus, I admired Mandela’s integrity and leadership in the movie. I will describe 2 scenes from the movie and try to find the way he succeeded as a leader.

1.2 Purpose

It showed that people become more interested in studying leadership ethics from a review of the literature. (Storr, 2004) I will be focus on the reason, why the integrity is an important factor in leadership. This report aims to discuss and analyse how the integrity influences the leadership.

1.3 My Approach

I will Research,discuss and analyze 2 different scenes in the movie.

2. Discussion and Analysis

2.1 Scene A

2.1.1 Scene A Description

At the beginning of the movie, a car drove through the middle of the road. On one side of the road, many black children shouted the same name Mandela. After years in prison, Mandela got free finally. Four years later, as the president of South Africa, he needed to solve the problem of black and white confrontation. (Eastwood, 2009)

One day morning, serval white special branch cops came into president’s bodyguard office with the order signed by Mandela. The bodyguard captain told Mandela that, not long ago those guys wanted to kill them. But Mandela wanted them to be reconciled. Mandela trusted these special branch cops, whether ability or character. He wanted to be an example for eliminating discrimination between black and white. Mandela said: “The rainbow nation starts here. Reconciliation starts from here. Forgiveness starts here too.” (Eastwood, 2009)

Under the influence of Mandela, the black bodyguard captain tried to put down his hatred and work with whites. In the following of the movie, the black bodyguard captain completed many security missions with his white companions. At the end, they became friends and played rugby together. (Eastwood, 2009)

2.1.2 Scene A Discussion

When Mandela was just become president, the conflicts between black and white were very serious. He wanted to solve these problems. For such a purpose, developing South Africa to be a shining light in the world, he needed to unite all the forces that could be united. Mandela choose to trust these white special branch policemen to be his bodyguards. So, he wanted white policemen to trust him too.

In organization, the leader always has a great deal of information. But in the opposite, subordinates lack the information to judge whether they could trust the company and the leader. So, if the leader is an integrity and honest person, then the subordinates know they are willing to trust the leadership. (Hall, 2009)

Mandela went through many tribulations during his many years in prison. After he become the president, most of whites thought he would be meditating revenge. In South Africa at the time, fear spread among the whites. Pienaar was the capital of springbok. In the movie, his father thought Mandela government would take out their jobs and drive them into the sea, when he knew Mandela become the new president. (Eastwood, 2009) But Mandela did not do the revenge. He did not use his powerful rights to attack those people who had been disadvantageous to him. Mandela wanted to dispel the fear of white people. He also asked his security captain to do the same. To eliminate fear around the white people, the first thing they should do was putting down the hatred in their hearts. Mandela said to black bodyguard captain “Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon”. (Eastwood, 2009)

2.1.3 Scene A Analysis

Forgiveness is defined “as a process by which an offended worker cognitively acknowledges the wrongfulness of an injurious act and deliberately chooses to release negative emotions and inhibit the desire for revenge” (Aquino, Grover, Goldman, & Folger, 2003, p. 209). It takes a lot of courage to forgive others. If leader could forgive other employee’s fault, employee will perform without distrust and animosity. (Smedes, 1996) Nowadays, more and more organizations depend on employee’s initiative. At the same time, forgiveness and trust become more important qualities for leadership. (Caldwell & Dixon, 2010) Mandela’s characters had a great influence on black bodyguard captain. As the leader in security team, the captain also got success in leadership relied on his forgiveness, trust and integrity.

2.2 Scene B

2.2.1 Scene B Description

Pienaar was the captain of the South African rugby team. He was invited by Mandela to have tea in president office. When he met the president, he showed a little nervousness. The president, whom was called terrorist by many whites, seemed approachable. Mandela asked Pienaar to talk about his philosophy on leadership. After a brief conversation, Mandela knew that Pienaar was an excellent leader by example. So, Mandela shared his ways to motivate himself and people around him. He told Pienaar they could use the work of others. Mandela told Pienaar how to motivate himself to get achievements beyond his expectations. He shared a song and a poetry to Pienaar. With the help of Mandela and his constant effort, Pienaar eventually led the team to win the world cup rugby without being optimistic. (Eastwood, 2009)

2.2.2 Scene B Discussion

In an organization, examples by leader is often more effective than rules. If the leader could set a visible example by himself, this makes it easier to influence people’s behavior in the team. Integrity is always near the top of the list in the different cultures. (Yukl, 2013) In the movie, Pienaar never forced anyone to do anything. He kept on training and never give up. When they are in trouble, he always set an example in the team. This quality of integrity affected the other team members.

2.2.3 Scene B Analysis

For example, I was working in an engineering consulting company before. My team leader asked us not to be late. But he was always late and never explained to us. Everyone in the team is not happy about this, but nobody dared to bring it up to him.

If the leader can not follow the rules, the team members also do not want to follow. As a firm integrity leader, everyone would be willing to trust you. This show integrity in leadership is very important in influencing other’s behavior. It is considered that, if leaders’ behavior is more integrity, employees would show fewer dishonest. (Huberts, Kaptein, & Lasthuizen, 2007) Mandela affect Pienaar with his integrity, and Pienaar also affect his team members in the same way.

3. Conclusion and Recommendation

3.1 Conclusion

Overall, trust is the basic of communication. The leader could trust the subordinates, and he want the subordinates could trust him too. As a leader, whom want to gain trust, should resolve contradictions between each other first. If this contradiction is a form of hatred, leader should try to forgiveness. Forgiveness is difficult to everybody. Control our anger is a big problem. But forgiveness would open a new page for each other. Forgiveness show leader’s great integrity, and integrity affect subordinates. People like to follow the integrity leader. As an integrity leader, it should be easy to motivate the whole team by set an example or other things.

3.2 Recommendation

  1. Forgiveness has a great influence. If leader could use it well, it would be very effectual for managing subordinates’ behavior.
  2. The influence of leadership on subordinates is not limited to good aspects. Leader’s bad behavior can reduce the effectiveness of leadership management and motivation.

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