Archive for August, 2016

As South Africans we need to want it more

Posted on: August 24th, 2016 by Rob Opie No Comments




The Great Champions of Business, Sport and Life…….


What drives them to want it more ?


The answer lies in the difference  between motivation and inspiration.

They go beyond. They go beyond motivation to a WORLD OF INSPIRATION – a world where a magical multiplier comes into play and takes effect.

And that multiplier lies in the inherent  MAGIC OF BRANDING – both professional and personal branding.

Each and every one of us is in marketing and selling, whether we know it or not.

Talent, strength, intelligence, kindness, beauty , wealth, power are all ways we advertise our value as human beings.

But, only a few of us truly leverage the inherent power which lies in the science and art of  branding.

The great champions do. They do more .

They go to the next level.

They go beyond mere marketing and selling – to capitalize on the emotional power ( E:Power ) of professional and personal branding.

Selling is ‘’Closing the Door”. Marketing is “Creating and Sustaining Relationships”. Branding is “Invoking an Emotional Response””

As human emotional beings, guess which drives the great champions to want it more .

Branding ignites Performance, Growth and Contribution.

It sets the great champions and the champion teams apart , invoking an emotional response.

And inspiring greatness.



Branding comes with  two distinct  components , very much like an ice berg .

OUTER BRANDING , the part which sits  above the water , is transparent for everyone to see . It’s the Performance “P ” in the branding equation , and it’s here where MOTIVATION does play a role .

But,  INNER BRANDING is the part which lies below the ocean – and where two potent P’s come  into play, namely  : Priorities and Purpose .

This  is the ENGINE ROOM OF INSPIRATION –   where performance gets ignited  –  in both teams and individuals .

Purpose , more than anything , explains wanting it more.

Motivation comes from finding money . Inspiration comes from finding meaning.

Nelson Mandela did not need motivation. His purpose  inspired him to want it more   :

To inspire freedom for all

Winston Churchill did not need motivation. His purpose inspired him to want it more:

To inspire hope

In London’s darkest days, Winston Churchill knew that if Britains gave up hope – they would lose the war.


Back home our national sports teams have an all important role to play in – inspiring a nation to greater levels of performance, growth and contribution .

This year the Springboks will face one of their most challenging assignments in taking on the world champions twice , followed by a resurgent England under Eddie Jones at Twickenham in November .

Their number one weapon lies in their purpose statement:


In Warren Whitely, the Boks have a  captain waiting in the wings to re-ignite our rugby –  one who has a proven record in leading diverse teams who want it more – teams who thrive on gees –  teams who live on camaraderie .

In the branding word:  GEES , the Boks own something powerful .

Win or lose, if the Boks play with GEES, the country will stand behind them through tough times .

Branding creates the inner magic – which ignites the outer magic in individuals and teams alike  


A few years back , I was lucky to involved with Kaiser Chiefs, in a year in which they took home all the silverware in one single season .

They tapped into the emotion of their  BRAND  – and their FANS.

THATHA ZONKE was the campaign name for players and fans alike .Translated it means TAKE ALL.

You might say where lies the emotion in that?

But, it was how Putco Mafani executed the message.

Written in bold across all the team whiteboards – in every change room, were  two words in  Afrikaans


The Afrikaans language is unique , in that it invokes emotion like very few languages can.

As South Africans, we own something special .




Together as one , we just need to want it more .






ROBO COP 3Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist, Speaker, Author and Performance Coach to Business executives, Corporate teams, Sports teams and Individuals.


Find our more about the game -changing  THE GAME PLAN METHOD .

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 :

Chad le Clos. The ultimate Rio hero.

Posted on: August 23rd, 2016 by Rob Opie No Comments

Taking nothing away from Wayde van Niekerk’s scintillating world record run at the 2016 Olympics, Chad le Clos has returned the ultimate South African hero .

Le Clos won two silver medals, in the 200m freestyle and the 100m butterfly races, in Rio to add to his gold and silver from the London Olympics – giving him the distinction of having won more Olympic medals than any other South African.

But, there’s more to it than that .

The Olympic Games is all about milli- seconds and milli-meters. Taking home gold demands that athletes enter what the great champions refer to as “ THE ZONE “. In performance coaching we call it “The High Performance Zone”, or even more accurately:

The 90 /10 Zone

It’s where focus matters most.

When Tiger  Woods dominated world golf for nearly a decade, sports psychologist, Dr. Stephen Kosslyn described his mind- state as follows:

In Tiger Wood’s head there is an orchestra .And it’s not just that some of the orchestra’s players are virtuosos, a lot of them are .How they interact make Tiger what he is. There is a confluence in his brain, his person, his world, his goals and beliefs, his culture. He has all the aces.

For Tiger, it was a high performance zone powerfully orchestrated with the support of a supreme mentor, in his dad. Sadly Tiger was unable to sustain ‘ The Zone’  after the passing of his dad in 2006.

The 90/10 Zone demands focus – where 90% of the focus is placed on:

The Right Stuff.

There can be no doubting that Chad le Clos put everything into his physical preparation for Rio 2016 , but the challenging situation he faced , with both his parents battling cancer , would have made it near impossible to come close to the 90/10 zone– from the mental preparation side .

That’s the human factor. It plays a huge role – as we are what we are – human emotional beings.

When pushed by reporters to explain why he did not return with the two gold medals which he had prepared for, Chad had only this to say:

No excuses. That would be disrespectful of Michael Phelps

It’s the same in any other sport. Golfers, who go through a personal challenge such as divorce, find it near impossible to enter the zone – let alone strike the ball with any type of consistency.

When asked to define his cricketing success, Sachin Tendulkar , who scored more test runs than anyone, had this to say :

Still head. Speed of wrists

Sachin Tedulkar was alluding to far more than just holding one’s head still at the crease.

Hats off to Chad le Clos. For him to come back with two silver medals speaks mountains of the man who stands behind his family and his country – and he’s only twenty four .

He displayed all the C’s of a great champion in :

Challenge , Culture, Character , Capability, Courage, Consistence, Confidence , Control , Certainty , Creativity, Concentration , Commitment , Contribution , Connection, Charisma, Class and Camaraderie

He has all the aces . The mind set to conquer the world . And a dash of humor too.

Every cloud has silver lining – pun intended : Chad le Clos on returning to his Durban home.  __________________________________________________________________________________

ROBO COP 3Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist, Speaker, Author and Performance Coach to Business executives, Corporate teams, Sports teams and Individuals.

How golf ’s BIG THREE missed a trick in Rio.

Posted on: August 12th, 2016 by Rob Opie No Comments



By the end of the 2015 the golfing world was alight.

Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day seemed to be fully capable of forming a tripartite domination, which was last witnessed with the sense of certainty of Palmer, Nicklaus and Player– who together raked in 34 majors.



Fast forward to the end of the 2016 Major season, and not one of the top three managed  a major win.

And all three opted out of the Rio Olympics :

American Jordan Spieth revealed that withdrawing from the Olympics was :

the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my life

But, Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was less apologetic, saying:

I didn’t get into golf to try to grow the game; I tried to get into golf to win championships. Winning golf’s majors are more important to players than winning a gold medal “

One has to respect Rory McIlroy’s achievements and his honest, yet controversial view point, but he will do well to take heed from one of the greatest golfing legends ,whose career derailed after obsessively focusing on personal performance goals.

Tiger Wood’s stacked the odds heavily against himself by chasing the game in pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’s record tally of 18 majors. He was piling up the pressure on a road called burn out.

Chasing results – chasing the game – is seldom sustainable.

A far better way is to take heed from one of the greatest.

Nelson Mandela had a very high level game plan.

One of his goals must have been to be a free family man, and this he knew was attainable many years before his actual release, but he chose to play a much higher level game.

Nelson Mandela’s focus was first and foremost on his purpose, not his personal performance goals.

His purpose:

To create freedom for all

Purpose, far more than performance goals, is the key determinant of human greatness defined as

Sustained Success and Significance.

Sporting greats like  Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy have god given talents:

Their purpose, like any other great sporting champions can be best articulated as follows:

To Entertain, to Educate and to Enrich the lives of others through their god given talents

As in Nelson Mandela’s case, if the BIG THREE can keep their primary focus on their higher purpose, and not on their personal performance goals – they will effectively be releasing the pressure valve by living the process – not living the results .

They would know that they are effectively winning every day.

Winning then becomes easier .And winning becomes a habit.

The Big Three seem to have missed a trick in Rio.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.    Winston Churchill


Aug 14, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Justin Rose (GBR) shows off his gold medal in a medal ceremony for men's individual golf at Olympic Golf Course during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

For some, it was a case of smelling the roses in Rio  :

I was so determined to represent Team Great Britain as best as I could. It was just the most magical week, it really was. I’m bursting with pride:         Justin Rose

Whoever said Olympic Golf  didn’t mean anything must’ve been on drugs cause this is absolutely amazing. Coming to Rio, my best decision ever :              Sergio Garcia

Thanks for all the support, did not win the gold but I leave with silver and memories that will last forever! Congrats Justin!                                           Henrik Stensen


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How the Lions turned adversity into advantage.

Posted on: August 8th, 2016 by Rob Opie No Comments



Most sporting pundits would agree that :

Second is Nothing.

Not so, for the mighty Lions rugby team.




Johann Ackermann, Warren Whitely and their charges can stand proud of their achievements. Down and out of Super rugby just three years back, their story is a sensational one of building a team from bottom up.

The Lions saw change happening in rugby.

They saw change as an opportunity window – and an invitation to reframe Lions rugby

The change I am referring to is the power of the yen, the euro and the pound – luring many players to the lucrative northern hemisphere teams.

But, the cold reality is that:

Money builds neither Culture – nor Character.

After two days at a Lions bosberaad in 2014, the Lions decided not to have a goal of winning Super Rugby.

The team decided two things – they wanted to be the team that plays the most exciting brand of rugby, and secondly they wanted to be an inspiration for their fans in the way they play. Johan Ackermann

The Lions committed to reframing, refocusing and rebuilding a brand.

And the most powerful way to do that is to build Culture – and Character. Ackermann tapped into the magical multiplier effect which kicks in when a Team Brand is optimally aligned with the Personal Brands within the team.

It was important to create the right culture, I made it clear to the guys what my expectation was for those who are going to wear the jersey – there must be a caring culture for each other, I need to be ready to give, not just to receive. Johan Ackermann.

The Lions took the opportunity gap created when the stronger unions started to lose key players to the northern hemisphere.

The very opposite was happening at the Lions.

Many of their players were fuelled by having tasted adversity through rejection. Rejection became their advantage. It built them stronger as humble grateful individuals – with a burning desire to make things work – when given the opportunity by Ackermann.

Adversity was the breeding ground for all growth going forward .

Charting a new course with the right structures in place, culture and character combined to allow the Lions the freedom to execute an expressionist playing culture.

But, it’s something that does not come easy, unless the right groundwork is done.

Branding, both Team and Personal, are key to driving sustained success and significance in sport, business and life.

The Lions knew that they wanted it more – playing with promise and purpose.

Culture and Character create the momentum for the all important  C’s –  which any champion team needs to gain traction:

Confidence , Courage ,Consistency , Capability ,Certainty , Control , Concentration , Commitment , Challenge ,Creativity.

Jaco_Kriel50Johan Ackermann may not have Super Rugby silverware in his cabinet as yet, but he has the game plan to do so.

For now, his reward is knowing that his team has set out to do what they said they will do – inspired their fans in the way they play – and captured more than a few hearts.



They have Entertained , Educated, Enriched – and filled Emirates seats.

And collected 9 Springbok caps.

What better way to reach the next level, than to turn your adversity into your advantage.

Go Lions.

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it a seed of equivalent benefit: Napoleon Hill


ROBO COP 3For more Insight, Innovation and Inspiration on how to unlock and unleash human greatness – please do get in touch at:

Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist, Speaker, Author and leading Performance Coach to Business executives, Corporate teams, Sports teams and Individuals. His game-changing “The Game Plan Method” methodology, derived from the great champions of business, sport and life – is creating stories of sustained success and significance across South Africa.

Welgedaan Lions. When mindset matters most.

Posted on: August 1st, 2016 by Rob Opie No Comments


Win or lose in Wellington this weekend, the Lions have shown that mindset matters most in sport  – and in life.

They have rebuilt the pride of Jozi – inspiring Brand South Africa – playing with Faith , Confidence and Belief .

Who would have thought that they would have Stormers, Sharks and Bulls fans rallying behind them – to keep the Lions winning juggernaut rolling.



But ,will the Springboks take a leaf out their book –  and bounce back against the ever improving record of the All Blacks, under Coach Steve Hansen – his coaching prowess now reflecting a 91 % win record .

And how will the Boks face up to a resurgent England under Eddie Jones at Twikenham on 12th November.

Let’s look at an interesting sporting analogy.

Mt-Everest-swimLewis Pugh had all but perfected the science and  art of swimming in ice cold waters.

That was until ‘ The Human Polar Bear’ encountered Lake Pumori – at 5200 meters above sea level on the slopes of Mount Everest .

The lake is glacial. The water is freezing, but that wasn’t the problem.

The problem was altitude.




I prepared to do the swim the same way I’ve done every other cold water swim for the last 23 years – dive in and go for it with everything I’ve got. The colder I would get – the faster and harder I would try to swim ‘

This strategy backfired, with Lewis Pugh nearly drowning on the slopes of Everest.

His coach immediately called for what is known as a R.T.S :


Swim more slowly, swim breast stroke, swim with humility, not aggression – nobody ever bullies Everest.

Lewis and his team learnt a few valuable lessons on Mount Everest.

The first, that because something has worked successfully before, doesn’t mean it will work in the future. Have a Plan ABCD.

The second, that if something is clearly not working, one needs to implement a R.T.S : a Radical Tactical Shift.

Lewis found out that day, that one can change a lot of things, like your stroke, your speed, your style , but for effective change to take place – you have to change your mind set.


steve-hansen-nz-training-rwc-2011_2670848 (1)So, how can the Boks counter an impressive 91 % winning record, which is even better when one considers that astute coaches like Steve Hansen will sometimes leverage off dead- rubber games  – to strategically guard against complacency.

People say that rugby has changed radically, but in reality the fundamentals of the game will never change.

You can choose to RUN, PASS or KICK –and if a team does these with purpose – they will be on the winning  side more often than not.

What has changed  though , are the strategies and tactics employed by today’s modern coaches.

The game, more than ever, has become one of skill and speed.

However,  the Springbok statistics continue to point towards a Bok team stuck with old school tactics, which will continue to back- fire against the best teams in the world.

SBStatistics show that a player like Damian de Allende goes to ground nine times out of ten in contact situations , whilst a player like Sonny Bill Williams will off-lay the ball effectively nines time out of ten in contact situations.



That loss of seconds , means the Boks are playing rugby without options and without opportunity.

And without options and opportunity , you can never beat the best .

Put simply , crash ball tactics do not work against the very best :

You cannot bully Everest.

The Lions have up-skilled. Their style of rugby is nothing short of innovative and  inspirational .

52 000 adoring fans at Emirates Park confirmed that last Saturday.

It’s been a Radical Tactical Shift –  a new culture executed superbly by executives, coaches and players in alignment. Players with confidence and freedom to execute .

But, most of all, they have proved that mindset matters most.

And when you do that , absolutely anything is possible.

Win or lose , Wellington awaits .Opportunity beckons.

Welgedaan Lions.

Go Lions.

As Richie McCaw believes :

 The body will do what the mind says

ROBO COP 3For more Insight, Innovation and Inspiration on how to unlock and unleash human greatness – please do get in touch  at



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