From Good to Great to Greater. Here’s how.

28 May 2024, Tuesday

If you’re reading this article, I guess you definitely somewhere on the road from good too great to greater – a road which demands a balancing act between the science of performance and the art of fulfillment. It’s a road of continuous learning. Some of us succeed in opening the road up into an eight lane German autobahn, but most of us turn it into something that resembles the Paris-Dakar rally. What’s the difference?

Paulo Coelho, the author of the Alchemist, who now has over 25 million social network followers, believes that the secret to life ‘is to fall down seven times and get up eight times’. I think they call this ‘the school of hard knocks’ road, and it’s becoming an ever more popular road. But, do the great champions of life choose this road? No, they do not! Why would World Big Wave Surfing Champion, Grant Twiggy Baker from Durban, buy into Paulo Coelho’s thinking? One more fall for him can be the difference between life and death. The great champions think differently.

It’s often said that wisdom begins at the age of forty – which suggests that the ‘the school of hard knocks’ is where wisdom begins – and nothing substitutes for experience. But, in the world of the great champions of life and health, wisdom begins far earlier. It begins when the reality dawns that in order to move from good too great to greater, one does not have to experience everything first hand .There is a better way to play the game of life. It’s called ‘the school of the great champions’ – ‘taking heed’ of what the great champions know, what they do, and of equal importance what they do not do. Indeed, every single one of us is an unique human being , but definite patterns of human greatness exist .And they become obvious , if and when one ‘takes heed‘.

If you’re looking for a ‘game changer’ to help you to unleash your full potential in 2015, then simply ‘take heed’. Here are three insights from ‘inside the game plans ‘of the great champions of life and health.

Champions believe in ‘stepping inside great’

They know what great feels like and what it looks like. When Richie McCaw was just eighteen years old, his uncle and mentor, John ‘Bigsy’ McLay, asked him what he wanted to be in life. After some discussion, there it was on the back of a McDonald’s napkin. An All Black. Bigsy quickly changed it to G.A.B – ‘a Great All Black’. Richie, you do not want to be just an All Black – you want to be a Great All Black – now sign it! And put it up!

Attaching the prefix ‘GREAT‘ to your passion in life – sets the stretch. It packages your potential and your power as one, and it maps your destiny. Kelly Slater, 11 times world surfing champion, is famous for saying: ‘Average is not where I want to be’. Great means painting epic pictures in your head of what great will look like. Then the journey to greatness begins by taking action steps – a journey to achieve Sustained Success and Significance in life. These 3 S’s define human greatness.

Great Champions believe in ‘living life by design, not default ‘

George Bernard Shaw reflected that life is not about finding oneself, it’s about creating oneself. Creating oneself means living life by design, not default, which demands investing in the most important brand in the world – Brand YOU. Branding is everything. The great champions continually reflect on, and refine their personal brands to ensure sustained success and significance. They invest in the 3 critical P’s of personal branding, namely purpose, priority and performance. It’s unquestionable that these are the three most important things that one can, and must do – to make a difference. They act as one’s compass and one’s scaffolding.

1. Know your PURPOSE.
– What’s your ‘one thing’ in life, which will inspire you to make that difference?

2. Know your top five PRIORITIES.
– What’s really important to you, and what’s not important?

3. Know your top three PERFORMANCE GOALS and action them.
– Are they aligned and are you committed ?

Great Champions believe in ‘the power of mentorship’

The opposite of human greatness is human implosion. And recently we have seen many such examples of ‘hero to zero’. A fine line exits. So, one of the best ways to avoid human implosion, especially when the stakes are high, is to leverage the magical power of mentorship .Get a mentor, and choose wisely.

Andre you have got big dreams. And I have got big shoulders. Stand on my shoulders and reach for those dreams’ Words spoken to Andre Agassi which triggered his climb back to World No.1 from a lowly 141 ranking

A mentor is someone who has gone before. Someone who helps to light up ‘the eight lane German autobahn’, and guards the multitude of fine lines in the game of life. When Tiger Woods stood on top the World Golf rankings for nearly a decade, he had the best possible mentor at his side. Sadly he lost his dad in 2006, and his professional and personal life started to unravel. Suddenly Tiger’s game plan was crammed full of the wrong stuff .His life imploded and it took him a full three years to make it back to No 1. And then he blew again. Tiger is someone who needs a mentor, not a coach. It’s not all about his golf swing. Greatness demands a game plan ‘made of the right stuff ‘, including the right support – especially if you’re as ridiculously talented as Tiger Woods. Even greats, like Tiger, can and do end up on ‘the school of hard knocks’ road. Recently Tiger had another incident, when he lost his front tooth. Interesting story that one. And then this past weekend he shot a disastrous career worst 82 to finish last in Phoenix .Wake up Tiger – get a mentor, not another new coach. Probably the best way to get closer to Jack’s record, is to get closer to Jack himself. It’s working for Rory Mcllroy. Mentorship is the power of the human collective in action, and it’s freely available most times. That’s because mentors love to give back.

Of course, life is all about the choices we ourselves make, but there is certainly a far wiser road than’ the school hard knocks’. Take heed! Greatness is just ahead.

As the Cell C executives, who I met with recently, would put it: BELIEVE.MAKE IT #EPIC

FREE eBook offer: THE GAME PLAN. Explore your Greatness. Email Rob to request your free copy at:

Believe. Make it #Epic.