Great is not something one is given in life. Great is something one must take in life’
At age 34, legendary All Black Richie McCaw is now the most capped rugby international of all time – and the 2015 Rugby World Cup will probably be his swansong.
I recently took some time out on one his visits to Durban, to find out what has taken this man to the very top of world rugby – and kept him there.
At 18, his uncle and mentor John ‘Bigsy’ McLay asked him what he wanted to be in life.
His answer: An All Black!
His uncle retorted:
Richie, you do not just want to be an All Black, YOU want to be a GREAT ALL BLACK. Write is down, sign it, and put it up!
Richie could not bring himself to write it down in full – as he had not yet even made the national age group team – so he wrote it down on a McDonald’s napkin as G.A.B.
And signed it.
Back home , Richie pinned the napkin up high on his cupboard – where no one else could see it. It was his signed stairway to heaven – committed at eighteen with ‘Head and Heart’.
Talent and technology can only take one so far, and then it’s all about what’s in your heart and in your head.
Putting the prefix word ‘ Great ’ before whatever it is you want to be , or achieve in life – does something special.
It sets the stretch. It sets the commitment. It sets the tone (the way things get done).
And most importantly it puts ‘winning against the odds ‘before ‘winning at all cost’.
Human Greatness is far more than fleeting success. It’s longevity.
And it’s best captured by the three powerful S’s of Great:
Sustained Success and Significance
Richie McCaw – with 16 years at the top of world rugby. An ordinary guy doing extra-ordinary things – a shining example of stepping inside of great .
The thing that has made him a great player is his ability to want to get better – his game has evolved over time, hence why he is probably, if not the greatest we have had – All Black Coach Steven Hansen
The Great Champions make next happen.
In sport and in life – the Great Champions do more.