LESSONS FROM SHARKS. And a story of inspiration to wrap up the week.

17 July 2024, Wednesday




 Because it does not matter what you do, it matters why you do it: Simon Sinek





This week I was privileged to spend time with THE CELL C SHARKS rugby franchise, teaming up with Patrick Lambie and Robert du Preez to answer questions live on stage at John Allan’s: THE LOCKER ROOM.

Here’s some of the inspired stuff we spoke about:


Robert du Preez shared how the pre- season training had gone well in a hot and humid Durban. He also shared some of the goals which the team had set for themselves  in 2017.

That’s ‘’the what’’ in THE SHARKS game plan, but it’s ”THE WHY” which will take them to the next level in 2017 .

At 26 ,Patrick Lambie is a quietly spoken guy, but a leader who knows what it’s about.

Entertaining, Educating and Enriching

That’s ‘THE WHY’  behind all the great sporting super stars.

We all love to participate and play sport, but few of us have the sporting talent, technique and training to go on – and fill the stadium seats.

Sporting superstars and sports teams who place their primary focus on ‘The Why ‘’, go on to enjoy themselves more  and guess what –  their careers flourish  –   and winning happens more  .

It starts with WHY – we saw that with the Lions rugby team in 2016.

The difference ?

Their primary focus was on THE WHY – not on  THE WHAT


The Super 16 presents a long hard bumpy road – especially for those teams who find themselves travelling across continent in the final stages.

It’s important to LIVE THE JOURNEY, not chase the game – chase the result.

Sustained Success and Significance is achieved by focusing in the process, not the result. Enjoy it

And that comes back to ‘’THE WHY’’

Teams who place their primary focus on ‘’ chasing the result’’ – the win – often forget how to enjoy themselves – and that often leads to a road called burn out.

Last year the Lions played a fantastic brand of rugby up until a certain point, then their game plan suddenly changed –taking a second string team to Argentina . They lost, falling into the common trap of chasing the result – looking ahead at the finals.

It’s called chasing the game.

Rather choose to live the journey – every step of the way.


Gary Teichman who played an integral role in building THE SHARKS BRAND back in the 90’s , is now back at the helm as CEO of The Sharks .

He’s a great leader who has plenty of experience on how to bring teams together in unity and purpose – leveraging the inherent power of branding.

Durban has become the sporting and events capital of South Africa – and it’s THE SHARKS brand which has a vital role to play going forward.

Branding is the magical multiplier which takes performance to the next level

After Locker room talk on Tuesday, something else happened that gave me a huge inspirational boost.

AAA STARTOne of South Africa’s great businessmen came up to me and quietly suggested I get hold of the book pictured alongside. I thanked him and told him I would definitely read it.

On Thursday’s  red eye flight to Cape Town, there was the same gentleman again – coming up to me at King Shaka international – with the book in his hand

He had seen me come through the check points ,  quickly popped into Exclusive books and then tracked me down in the airport  – to personally hand me the book. .

A small defining moment, which quietly reminded me of  what ”Good to Great to Greater” looks like.

Thank you Allan Hirsch.

We live in a great country with some truly great people.


Rob Opie is a Brand Expert, Author, Speaker, and Performance Coach to Business Executives, Corporate teams, Sports teams and Individuals.

ROBO COP 3GET IN TOUCH . robopie@thegameplan.co.za

Find out more about his game -changing ” Growing South Africans Great” breakfast talks in 2017 :

GOOD TO GREAT TO GREATER. Taking it to the next level in 2017.  

And here’s some more Insight, Innovation and Inspiration for Mahala :

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 40027-61968 Cell C Logos.inddThanks to Cell C , Rob’s latest book: The Game Changers: Good to Great to Greater is available FREE to readers as an instant digital download on his home page at  : THE GAME PLAN