Archive for December, 2015

Three simple steps to help make 2016 great

Posted on: December 31st, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments

Have you ever wondered how the Great Champions of Business, Sport and Life seem to make it look all so easy?

But, that’s s not always the case .

Sometimes the greatest of the great get it wrong.

Take Tiger Wood’s who held the World Number One Ranking as recently as 2014, but by December ’14 his world ranking had slipped to 32nd.

And on turning 40 on December 30th 2015 – his ranking had plunged to 416th.

Closer to home, South Africa’s Hashim Amla, who averages over fifty in both the test and one day arena, ended a bleak 2015 with a batting average of less than 15 in his last 15 visits to the crease.

But, then he bounced back courageously to notch a double ton at the News Years Test Match in Cape Town.

Great champions do that. They bounce back.

Form is temporary – Class in permanent.

But , what they also know is that talent and technique can only count for so much – then it’s all about what’s in one’s

Heart and Head

It’s called mindset – and mindset is dictated by one’s inner game plan – called one’s personal brand.

Branding is Everything – Richard Branson

Here are the three simple steps that great champion’s take to build powerful inner game plans which act as their compass in good times and their scaffolding in bad times.

They are the 3P’s of Personal   ‘Inner’ Branding.

Purpose, Priority & Performance

PURPOSE: What’s my purpose in life?


Those who have a strong enough why – will always find the how – Viktor Frankl

Purpose is found when one’s passion meets the universe’s need – and one gets well remunerated and rewarded for sharing it.

The great sporting champions who enjoy sustained success and significance understand their purpose as……

To Entertain, Educate and Enrich  the lives of others through their sporting genius.

Clearly articulating one’s purpose is the first key step  to ” Unlocking and Unleashing ” one’s true potential in life

And it’s the key driver of longevity.

PRIORITY: What are my BIG FIVE Priorities in life?


The most important thing I have learnt in life is to focus my energy on what is important in life – Bill Gates

Priorities dictate one’s destiny – and without doubt – getting one’s priorities right– is one of the most important actions one can take to create balance and ensure  smooth sailing in life.

Yet, it’s surprising how most people cannot clearly articulate their ‘Big Five” priorities in life.

Now that’s tantamount to flying a Boeing 747 without radar, or sailing a boat without a rudder.

At some point one will always find oneself in some kind of trouble.

The great champions prioritize life.

That’s because clear priorities make the journey of life far easier to navigate.

They know when to say ‘NO’, and hereby ensure that their game plans do not fill up with ‘the wrong stuff’

It’s a word Hashim Amla should have deployed when he was  asked to take over the captaincy role  in 2014.

He became

The Reluctant Captain

And without a focused priority being placed on his batting ,  his form quickly dissipated

Naturally my decision to stand down is not an easy one but the more I think about it the more I believe I can be of greater value to the Proteas as a fully focused batsman and senior player at this time of rebuilding our team – Hashim Amla

Although each and every one of us is unique and on our very own journey through life,  common priority patterns of the great champions do exist – and they can be modelled

Here they are to help you articulate YOURS for 2016.

Tweak them as you wish. Make them fit your style.

Priority Number One:                    BRAND YOU. BRAND YOURSELF

Priority Number Two:                   YOUR LIFE PURPOSE: ‘THE WHY ‘

Priority Number Three:                YOUR FAMILY & FRIENDS

Priority Number Four:                 YOUR HEALTH & WEALTH

Priority Number Five:                  YOUR DESIRED LIFESTYLE

Now you might be thinking  that most people will automatically place FAMILY as their PRIORITY NUMBER ONE.

BUT, consider this wisdom:

  The Great Champions of life recognize that self -interest is central to one’s human make up, but count the greatest gain as the goodwill of fellow humankind – Bob Bulford

Put another way they focus first and foremost on themselves, which then allows them to positively impact on the lives of others.

Warren Buffet, who is commonly  regarded as one of the world’s greatest investors ,  shares the following :

My advice ? Invest in yourself .


Simplicity is the ultimate form of Sophistication – Leonardo da Vinci

The Great Champions value simplicity as it’s the essence behind the key ingredient of success, namely FOCUS.

They keep it simple, setting and aligning no more than THREE clear current year performance goals.


Putting the 3P’s in place, puts one firmly on the road to human great – with an inner game plan which is

Made of The Right Stuff.






MTN’s Phutuma Nhleko . Playing the game just right

Posted on: December 30th, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments

Hats off to MTN’s  game – changer Phutuma Nhleko.

Faced with an unprecedented fine from Nigerian authorities, there were many routes that MTN could have chosen to ‘ play the game right’- moving forward.

Of course ,the best would be to create a win -win situation. Which MTN have chosen to do by looking at the bigger picture – and understanding Nigeria’s touch points.

Nigeria would do well to take heed of what the Australian government are currently doing to decrease its reliance on resources –  to look to attract increased foreign investment to do this  , and to capitalize on an opportunity to move towards a more diversified economy.

This would certainly make Nigeria’s decision to slap MTN with an unprecedented fine look short sighted – in the wake of continued low oil prices.

Foreign investors will now take note of a seemingly unfair business environment and steer well clear of future investments – unless they can be reassured by Nigeria’s recently elected Muhammadu Buhari.

So, in effect the Nigerian authorities have created two losers – MTN and themselves.

MTN has played the game right by seeking to point this out to Nigerian authorities – that a win/win is possible.

Unfortunately, it will take the Nigerian courts to once again help politicians to see the light of day.

It’s also a key learning for BRAND SOUTH AFRICA.

Our country leaders and our business leaders need to move closer and ever more closer in 2016 and beyond

 to build win/win scenarios.

Hats off to Phutuma Nhleko, Pravin Gordhan, Brian Molefe and many other great South Africans who are playing the game just right.


2016. And here’s to Happiness and Health

Posted on: December 20th, 2015 by Rob Opie No Comments

I recently read that one of Oscar Pistorius’s Christmas wishes this year was to get a dog.


There’s no doubting a special relationship and bond exists between man and ‘man’s best friend’.

And that’s mostly  because they’re the best practitioners of the two most powerful positive emotions known to man, namely

Unconditional Love and Gratitude

They also know all about Acceptance, Forgiveness and Joy.

Put these ‘Big Five’ positive emotions together and one has a potent cocktail for happiness and health  in 2016.

December is a month which presents us with a smorgasbord of choice in sunny South Africa. It’s a time when gratitude comes to the fore if we just take a look at how full our shopping malls are – with  everyone buying presents for their loved ones.

Unfortunately, this festive spirit is often short lived and the human element bounces when we return to the ‘hustle and bustle’  in early January.

And many of us simply  fail to garner how important it is to keep our lives crammed full of –  and focused on positive emotions.

Many people get it wrong when they unwittingly or habitually choose to cram their lives full of negative emotions.

And hereby they  effectively push the self- destruct button on happiness and health.

So, here are the ‘Big Five ‘ negative emotions which one should steer well clear of in 2016

 Resentment , Guilt , Criticism , Hate and Self –pity.

If only more people knew how ‘holding on long term’ –   or allowing any one of these five negative emotions to play any role in one’s life – can destruct life itself.

Sometimes we can learn from the most unlikely of sources . Our dogs become our  greatest teachers – and our greatest healers.

The universal law of attraction tells us that

the more grateful we are, the more we get to be grateful for

That’s how it works.

Develop an attitude of gratitude. Peg your attitude in all areas of your life at a level that inspires performance, growth and contribution .

By doing so, you’ll go on to achieve happiness and health  , and take the people around you there too.

Gratitude grows Greatness

Here’s to a great 2016.