Archive for November, 2015

Why Brand South Africa distractors have got it dead wrong

Posted on: November 18th, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments



From load- shedding to water- restrictions to a weak rand to ongoing crime and corruption – Brand South Africa’s distractors seem to be having a field day.

But, they have got it dead wrong.



They are reading the game wrong – and history teaches us that.

Many moons back , in 1941, when Britain was having its darkest days of World War Two , one of the world’s greatest ever leaders, Winston Churchill , told a generation of young people that :

These are great days – the greatest days our country has ever lived

Churchill knew that it’s only when times are tough, and conditions seem to be at their worst, that we learn what we are fully capable of .

Challenge serves to unite and it serves to elicit talents which in more prosperous times would often have lain dormant.

There can be few greater feelings than finding out that one can endure more, do more and achieve more – together as a nation.

Fast forward to today and South African born Elon Musk is regarded as ‘ The New Steve Jobs’. But, more than technology and talent, it’s MINDSET which  sets him apart .

Find out what is going to affect mankind most in the foreseeable future, find out what’s not working – and go and fix it ‘ : Elon Musk .

While Elon Musk is setting the world alight and receiving many of the game- changing accolades, it’s no different right here at home.

In Business and in Sport, Brand South Africa produces great leaders – with some of the greatest mindsets ever .

Consider what business leaders like Christo Wiese, Johan Rupert, Stephen Saad, Jannie Mouton , Brian Joffe, Brian Molefe, Whitey Basson, Patrice Motsepe, Maria Ramos, Adrian Gore ,Markus Jooste, and Koos Bekker are achieving on home soil – and on the world stage.

The list goes on and on, but what impresses most – is how they are all changing the way of the world from a South African base.

None of them are seen to be leaving our shores, as they know how great Brand South Africa can be.

They see a world of abundance and exponential opportunity. Great leaders adding billions to South African tax coffers – employing millions, and making a significant difference to so many South African families. They’re all exponentially

  Elevating Humanity

And it’s the very same mindset which is shared by our great sporting super-stars – who educate, entertain and enrich our nation. Consider AB de Villier’s three million twitter followers. Phew, how does he even get time to practice, when he’s now become our clear No. 1 sporting ambassador?

And consider what Ernie Els has done for Brand South Africa over a protracted period of time. And Gary Player who recently turned 80.And Hashim Amla, Jean de Villiers, Schalk Burger, Ernst van Dyk, Chad Le Cos, Gary Kirsten ,Stephen Mokoka , Cameron van den Burgh , Lucas Radebe and others. The list of great South African brand ambassadors goes on and on.

We are truly blessed to have some the world’s great leaders – committed with head and  heart.

Part of the reason I agreed to take the job is because ,actually, having looked at Eskom closer, I didn’t think it was as bad a position as people had perceived it to be,” Brian Molefe. Eskom’s game- changing new CEO .

And as our Political , Business and Sporting leaders learn to pull closer and ever closer together, there can be no stopping a great brand.

Maybe it’s time for all the Brand South Africa distractors – to take heed.


Eddie Jones. And taking it to the next level

Posted on: November 16th, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments

The arrival of Eddie Jones in Cape Town is like a breath of fresh air for South African rugby.

Jones who master – minded Japan’s recent 34-32 over the Springboks has a brilliant rugby mind – a master strategist with a clear focus on what needs to be done.

He guides teams to play to their strengths – whilst eliminating their weaknesses. He’s brutally honest and not scared of a much needed reality check for South African rugby.
Jones is a firm believer in playing your core game.

For Australia he believes that is to be ‘adventurous and a bit arrogant’. For South Africa it is about’ physicality and gees’. But these traits alone will not win World Cups.

The world has long ago caught up on the physicality of rugby, and skills training is now paramount if one wants to win at the top level.
Teams must also ensure they eliminate their weaknesses.

For example, Jones has already identified the play of Damian de Allende. Whilst most rugby pundits were singing his praises, Jones sees a distinct weakness in his current style of play.
Now do not read this wrong. Damian de Allende has a fine set of rugby talents, but his skills need further development if he is to become a world class player.

The statistics are plain to read. De Allende goes to ground with the ball – nine times out of ten. Yet, players like Sonny Bill Williams and Ma’a Nonu seldom ever go to ground.

It’s this genius ability to ‘off lay the rugby ball in the tackle‘ that sets them apart.

Going to ground with the ball exponentially reduces any team’s ability to crack open defenses – as the one or two seconds lost on the ground , allows all the opposing loose forwards to catch up with play. At RWC ’15, players like Hooper and Pocock thrived on any such weakness. They regard a player who has an inability to pass and ‘off lay ‘– as an ‘early Christmas present.

Eddie Jones has already stated that he wants

Damian de Allende to be like Ma’a Nonu .

And he’s sure to get it right via an increased focus on skills training. Damian de Allende has the makings of a great rugby player – if he takes heed of Jones’s ‘game changing ‘coaching insights.
And if one looks at history, it most certainly can be done .

Take Hashim Amla. At the start of his of his international career he was regarded as a walking wicket to the short pitched ball.

Now look at him.
And, so to was Ma’a  Nonu regarded as a ‘crash and bash‘ player in the early part of his career.

C’mon Mr. Jones – with your special plans to take our players to the next level.



 Rob’s new book: The Game Changers: Good to Great to Greater is available FREE to readers as an instant digital download on his site :

Small defining moments

Posted on: November 3rd, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments




All Black Sonny Bill Williams is a man with ferocious ambition, and his moves between between union and league have often been greeted with disdain.


But, all that seemed to change after last Saturday’s RWC final with one small defining moment – when he generously handed over his winner’s medal to young fan, Charlie Meens , who had managed to join the victory lap celebrations.

Sonny Bill later tweeted:

 For a kid 2 have that will, and take that risk, you deserve a medal. It only takes one thing to change someone’s life. Enjoy it Charlie bro

Sonny Bill Williams has always been someone who makes his calls from the heart.

I understand criticism. The rugby guys and the league guys are both staunch. They believe rugby is the game or league is the game. You’re a traitor to leave either. But I just do what I feel is right in my heart. I try to be a good man, first and foremost, and then commit 120%.

Earlier in this year’s Rugby World Cup two further small defining moments saw Williams praised for his sportsmanship in consoling a vanquished Jesse Kriel, after New Zealand had narrowly beaten South Africa – and his kind gesture in giving away his semi-final tickets to Syrian refugees.

Simplicity is the key and I just try to keep things as simple as I can. On the field, and off the field as well. But I never lose that one thing that’s got me there – that’s drive, working hard, doing all the little things, and ticking all the boxes.

‘SBW’, as he is known across New Zealand seems ready for his next declared challenge – to make the New Zealand sevens team to travel to the Rio 2016 Olympics.

And at 30, he may still be the one to spearhead New Zealand’s quest to win a third successive Rugby World Cup.

Thanks to Charlie Meens – a 11 year kid who had the brash to break the security lines at Twickenham , it seems his Rugby League days are finally over and he’s a ready to take his rightful place on the far broader rugby union stage.

Such is his ambition, obvious talent – and his appreciation for the bigger game of life.