mid-night invictus, a story of inspiring leadership

I woke up at 2 am, couldn’t fall back asleep, so began to watch Invictus, the story of Nelson Mandela’s call to Rugby to begin healing South Africa in 1995. Watch the film for the final game. I think it’s one of the best EVER. Even though I knew the outcome, I was on the edge of my seat, cheering with the crowd, admittedly with tears on my cheeks.

That game happened because of Mandela’s inherent leadership. He knew what was needed to inspire his country – his family, as he called its citizens – to begin to become a nation undivided and he did not let anyone get in the way of that vision, no matter how unpopular it was.

These are the words that inspired his powerful vision, throughout his 27 years in prison and his presidency:

Invictus by William Ernest Henry

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Those final two lines, a reminder that no matter what we control how we are in the world.

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