Archive for May, 2017


Posted on: May 13th, 2017 by Rob Opie No Comments









Branding is Everything  – Richard Branson


ROBO COP 3 Hi, I’m Coach Rob Opie, and the subject of this week’s COACHING NEWSLETTER is:

 Branding is Everything

We will be exploring the power that lies in PERSONAL BRANDING.

I will be sharing with you the strategies and tactics, which the great champions employ, to build POTENT PERSONAL BRANDS.

And, I will be showing you how to build your very own POTENT PERSONAL BRAND.

I’m not going to delve into how to build  your ‘OUTER‘ personal brand ( called your image ), but I will help you to build your ‘INNER‘ personal brand

– the part which defines YOU – the part which will dictate YOUR destiny.

It’s the part of your PERSONAL BRAND which serves as  :

your compass in good times and your scaffolding in challenging times

We will be going inside the Game Plans of sporting greats like Tiger Woods, and business greats like Richard Branson, to explore how they get it right at times – and how they get  it wrong at times.

Even the best of the best, get it wrong at times – and spectacular sporting and business careers come crashing down.

This happens when they fail to invest in their own INNER PERSONAL BRANDS. 

One of the questions I like to ask of my audiences is:

Name the most valuable brand in the world, as at today  ?

The answers mostly vary from Coke to Google to Samsung to Facebook to Apple……………

But, these are not really the answer which I’m looking for as a Performance Coach.

That’s because the MOST VAUABLE BRAND IN THE WORLD TODAY is undoubtedly:


Think of it like this > a Coke , an I Phone, a Samsung –  are all easily replaceable within minutes.


My Advice. Invest in Yourself. Warren Buffett 



Let’s take a closer look at the Tiger Woods brand story.

His life is a fascinating story of two halves. Someone who realized his greatest potential in his first half – and then life changed dramatically for Tiger.

For more than a decade, Tiger Woods dominated world golf. Harvard sports psychologist Steven Kosslyn, summed it up as follows:

In Tiger’s head there’s an orchestra. And it’s not just that some of the orchestra’s players are in virtuosos, a lot of them are. How they interact makes 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.

Indeed Tiger did have all the aces in the first half of his stellar career –  and one of those aces was his dad, his master tactician , his mentor, his supreme confidante : Earl Woods.

Tiger shared a ”military like” pact with his dad, who served two tours of duty in the US Special Forces in Vietnam – and went on to become a US military strategist.

By age 31, Tiger was well on his way to achieving the goal – the ”military like” pact – which he had established with his dad .

To become the greatest golfer that has ever played the game

That meant he had to haul in Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major wins.

For, Tiger chasing down goals, chasing the result, chasing the gam , worked for him in his first half career. Ofcourse , he had his dad with him, guiding him every step of the way.

For Tiger that all changed on that fateful day : 3rd May 2006, when he lost his dad after a long battle with cancer.

Tiger, like so many other sporting greats (and so many business executives do), had fallen into the trap of:

Chasing the Game

It’s a human trap that often leads to BURN OUT – when one fails to release the relentless pressure.

Without his dad, Tiger’s professional and personal life fell apart.His last major victory coming in 2008.

Tiger needed a new SECOND HALF GAME PLAN – to shift his focus away from the constant relentless pursuit of  his goal to haul in Jack Nicklaus’s record  and to rather FOCUS HIS ENERGY on the bigger picture.

To Entertain. To Educate.To Enrich the lives of others through his innate god given golfing genius


Tiger’s story is one of what appeared to be a flawless OUTER brand – yet flawed INNER brand.

That will become clear as we explore personal branding further in this newsletter.


One of the great secrets of the great champions is :

To power up your game –  you must power up your personal brand



Warren Buffett , who is regarded as one of the world’s greatest investors, shared the following sage advice

My Advice. Invest in Yourself

But, herein lies the challenge. Most people do not  know how to invest in  themselves – invest in their own PERSONAL BRANDS.

Whether we know it or not, we’re all in the game of personal selling (closing the deal  and personal marketing (creating and sustaining relationships).

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

Yet, few of us truly capitalise on the inherent power that lies in:


The great champions do. It’s what sets them apart .

In this coaching newsletter, I will share with you ‘the how’.



Think of PERSONAL BRANDING as the ice berg as pictured above.

There are 3 powerful P’s which are the key ingredients of a potent Personal Brand , namely




While the PERFORMANCE  ”P”  lies above the water and is transparent for everyone to see , it’s the two P’s which lie below the surface which  become the critical ingredients of human great.

They make great things happen.

Let’s do that together – keeping your 3 P’s : AUTHENTIC , SIMPLE & ALIGNED.


The first ‘P’ is your : PURPOSE

Mark Twain said the following:

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born – and the day you figure out why

Great companies and great individuals all have powerfully articulated  purposes.

They start with why – not what .

Coca Cola’s purpose is “to create happiness

Disney’s purpose is “to make children smile”

Facebook’s purpose is ” to connect people”

Microsoft’s purpose is “to empower people to do more

Google’s  purpose is “to organize and disseminate the world’s information

Apple’s purpose is “to change the status quo

Starbucks purpose is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time”

Hence great organizational brands are the ones that put purpose before profit, the why before the what – and it’s no different when it comes to great personal brands.



Nelson Mandela’s purpose was ‘to deliver freedom for all

Winston Churchill’s was ‘to inspire hope’

Bill Gates is ‘to empower people to do more

Elon Musk’s is ‘to elevate humanity’

Mark Zuckerberg’s is ‘ to connect everybody


Let’s take a look at a sporting super star like Rory McIlroy.


For him it’s not just about playing golf – the what. It’s about the why – and it’s clarity of purpose which elevates human ingenuity from good to great to greater – and into the realms of genius.

Rory McIlroy’s purpose is :

To Entertain, To Educate, To Enrich – the lives of others

He uses his god given talents do this. It’s the very same for any sporting super star – those blessed with unique  sporting talents.



Springbok Captain , Warren Whiteley knows rugby is more than just a game .

The purpose of the Boks is : ”to foster national gees 

For us , we want to be more than just a rugby team – more than just 80 minutes on the field. We want to inspire people through our actions on and off the field, We want to bring smiles to people’s faces. We want to be ambassadors for our country. We want to pride ourselves on that.


Facebooks’s Mark Zuckerberg in a recent commencement address at Harvard  said the following :

Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness.

In his Harvard address he told one of his favorite stories of when John F Kennedy visited the NASA space center. He saw a janitor carrying a broom and he walked over and asked what he was doing. The janitor responded:

Mr. President, I’m helping to put a man on the moon

Purpose is the bigger picture in one’s life the why in one’s life –  and it becomes the key ingredient of both one’s priorities and performance in life.

You are not here to merely make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision , with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand      –  Woodrow Wilson

For Richard Branson it was never about student magazines, music , airports  and gyms – it was about finding new ways to help people have a good time .His brand stands for ”the experience”’.

Purpose is about revealing YOUR true greatness.


EXERCISE : Find your own emotionally compelling purpose. Try to articulate it in one short sentence.

COACHING TIP :   Your PURPOSE is found when your PASSION meets with the universe’s needs – and you get well rewarded for sharing it with others.

Here’s mine in one sentence :

To inspire and help PEOPLE to achieve their greatest potential in life .

A clearly articulated purpose drives the focus in your life.

The second ‘P’ is your  :  PRIORITIES 

Getting one’s priorities right is without doubt one of the most important actions one can take in life. Priorities dictate one’s destiny.



Bill Gates said :

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

Yet, it’s surprising how most people cannot clearly articulate their big five priorities in life – what is important in their lives.

Some out of ignorance, some out of fear and some because they cannot see the value in doing so.

But, one only has to look at examples of so many great sporting champions, who come unstuck because they fail to articulate their priorities.

Clear priorities help one to make clear decisions in life. Clear priorities power up your deserve level and help you get what you want in life.

EXERCISE :   Can your list your BIG FIVE PRIORTIES IN LIFE –  in hierarchial order ?

OK, it’s certainly not easy. Most people really do struggle to do this. Here’s a little help.

While we are all unique human beings, defined ‘Priority Patterns’ do exist for the great champions.

Here are the common denominators I have found – and how one’s ‘Big Five’ PRIORITIES should be stacking up –  if you want to build a consistently great personal brand.

Priority Number One is BRAND YOU (  Yourself )

This one is commonly the least understood priority  – in life and health – as many people regard it as being selfish to put themselves first  in life .

But, remember Warren Buffett’s  sage advice

 My Advice. Invest in yourself 


BRAND YOU is the ongoing investment in one’s personal brand, so that one can approach life from a ‘position of strength’.

It’s no different from winning in sport  – you must ensure that you are always coming from a position of strength – never from a position of weakness ( otherwise you lose ).

Life is about setting up right – to be able to help others. Consider this wisdom.

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

Just think about all the people you could help – because you helped yourself first  – to become great.

That’s what the great champions know – and do.

By taking care of yourself first, you’ll eventually put yourself in a position to have excess abundance to take care of others  ~  Corey Wayne


Priority Number Two is YOUR PURPOSE (Your professional why)

It’s the one thing that one becomes expert in– so that one can positively impact and contribute to this world – imparting great knowledge – and making a significant difference.

 Every living being was born to accomplish certain purpose. It’s the knowledge of that purpose that enables every soul to fulfill it – Muhammad Ali

Priority  Number Three is – YOUR FAMILY & FRIENDS (Your personal why)

Lot’s of people see their FAMILIY as their No.1 priority , but that’s like putting the cart before the horse .


Of course family is hugely important,  but the human smart thing to do is –  to put BRAND YOU – YOURSELF at number one – so that you can build yourself into the best YOU that you can be.

This will allow you to be the best Dad , the best Mom ever – always coming from a position of strength.

Think about it carefully . If you neglect YOURSELF and mess things up  – you can easily become a liability to your family , the very persons who are most important in your life.


Priority Number Four is  YOUR HEALTH & WEALTH  (your finite resources)

With priorities 1-3  authentically  aligned , you will soon find that your health and your wealth is on the up and up .

But, you will also need to continue to invest daily  in your Heath and your Wealth .

This is so important that we will cover this subject in a later  coaching newsletter – all on its own –  sharing the health and wealth strategies and tactics of the great champions .

You will be surprized.


Priority Number Five is YOUR LIFESTYLE. (your refuelling )


Don’t leave this important one off your priority list . Invest in the things you like to do – the things you like  – your desired lifestyle .

Seek out and live a balanced life.

Why ? Because , YOU NEED TO REFUEL FOR THE JOURNEY  – so that you have the required energy levels to execute with ” gutso ” on your select Priorities 1-4 .

It’s common sense ! You can not work yourself into the grave . You must find some time out to REFUEL YOURSELF

The main idea in life is not to become the richest man in the cemetery

WARNING ON PRIORITIES AND WHY THEY ARE  IMPORTANT  TO YOU  :  Don’t  allow yourself to be  distracted by lower priorities in your life – as they will lower your  finite energy levels – they will lower your self-deserve level – they will lower your self- esteem – they will self- depreciate YOU faster than you might know  –  and they will eventually wear YOU OUT.

The great champions pay very close attention to all FIVE of the priorities as laid out above for you  –  THE BIG FIVE –  so should YOU !

By doing so , they are effectively getting all the ingredients just right in a potent Champion’s Cocktail , known as FCB :


The Third P is your : PERFORMANCE GOALS

Now we are above the water again with our iceberg analogy .And it’s time to execute .

Here’s how –  keeping  your personal brand  AUTHENTIC , SIMPLE and ALIGNED .

Choose ONLY three PERFORMANCE GOALS for  your current year .

Ensure that these are all optimally  aligned with your Purpose and your Priorities – as set above .

The  key to achieving your performance goals , is to align them , as closely as possible.

You will become inspired to do , as opposed to continually seeking motivation to do .

I’m a big fan of what I call the 90/10 rule.

If you can now focus 90 % of your energy on YOUR BIG FIVE PRIORITIES, and  YOUR THREE PERFORMANCE GOALS  – life becomes easier  through the clarity of your  decision making .

Saying YES and saying NO becomes far easier.

Delegating all your lesser priorities to others,  becomes the key to achieving :


The great champions FOCUS their finite energies .

It’s as if you are riding in the Peloton , and as you will see in a later  GAME CHANGER on the programme –    riding in a peloton can save  up to 40 % of your  finite energy .


The 3 P’s of Branding are the backbone of every great champion’s high level game plan which is:

Made of The Right Stuff

In this week’s inspiration video story  – ” If you’re gonna play the game , boy…… “

Every week on the course I would like to share an inspirational video with you – and have some fun too .

This week’s video story we go way back to 1978 , when Kenny Rogers shared some sage advice about life.



If you’re gonna play the game , boy. You gotta learn how to play it right ; You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em……

Enjoy the video below



Simon Sinek’s book  START WITH WHY is a great – sharing stories such as how Steve Jobs created one of the greatest companies in the world .

Steve Jobs started with why –  and focused on  ”the why”.

He did not start a company that made great computers ( the what)  – he started a company who wanted to think differently ,

to change the status quo


THE GAME CHANGERS – ROB OPIE , foreword by John Robbie

How to achieve your greatest potential in your professional and personal life

To instantly download your FREE copy:


aaa JR

In his latest book , Rob suggests that everyone can find the key to real achievement in life. Finding real purpose need not be random. It is an awesome proposal and one that must be investigated by anyone who fears being ordinary – John Robbie.




If you need any help , please email me any of your coaching questions  – and I will get back to you by email.

All emails are 100 % confidential.


Till next week , when we take an inside look at : GAME CHANGER NUMBER FOUR : THE ONE THING  –  with the great champion’s Business , Sport and Life answering the all important question :

What’s the secret to life ?

THANK  YOU CELL C  :  A special thank you to Jose and Doug at Team Cell C for their continued support of our GROWING  SOUTH AFRICANS GREAT  initiative at THE GAME PLAN .



Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist , Entrepreneur ,Speaker, Author and Performance Coach.

He helps teams and individuals to achieve their greatest potential in life.


Read more  about his inspirational  POWER TALKS at :  THE GAME CHANGERS  : GOOD TO GREAT TO GREATER.  

TO BOOK A PERSONAL COACHING SESSION , email me personally at :

You can either book a TWO HOUR one-on- one coaching session( dependent on your location and my travel plans ), or a two ONE HOUR phone coaching sessions.(or skype audio): Cost R1000.00.

Find out more about Rob’s potent game- changing coaching method : THE GAME PLAN METHOD






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

Subscribe FREE to Rob’s weekly coaching newsletter >>






WELCOME TO THE GAME CHANGERS – a dynamic 11 week online coaching programme to power up your game – power up your life

Posted on: May 11th, 2017 by Rob Opie No Comments











Talent, Technique, Technology, Training and Teamwork can only take one so far in life……………

Have you ever wondered why your best made plans – the strategies and tactics which you employ in your professional and personal life – sometimes do not deliver on your desired results ?

Sometimes YOU have to do more .

Champions do more . 

Champion teams do more



Hi, I’m Coach Rob Opie, and I would like to invite you on an ”ONE OF A KIND ”  journey – a 11 week ONLINE  journey taking YOU inside the high level game plans of the great champions of business and sport

– and we will be exploring the champion’s credo of ” MORE ” together.

  ” Rugby is more than just a game”

Now, I’m certainly no rugby coach and I’m not here to coach you on how to off- lay the rugby ball , but here’s my promise to YOU…….

Stay with me for the next 11 game- changing weeks online – and I will help YOU to:


It’s my task to help put YOU on the fast track from Good to Great to Greater – and go on to achieve your own  greatest potential in both your professional and personal life.

kelly_slater_profile 1

As 11 times world surfing champion Kelly Slater once said:

Average is not where I want to be.

WBwarren-buffett-41949 1

My Advice . Invest in Yourself  – Warren Buffett

Famed American billionaire investor recently shared the following sage insight :

Less than 5 % of people get anything like their potential horse power translated into their actual horse power . 

He believes that less than 5 % of people achieve their greatest potential  in life.

And he’s got it spot on.

Potential exceeds realisation for most of us.

Let’s change that together .


In sport we see the likes of great champions like Roger Federer. Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, Kelly Slater and Richie McCaw ………

What sets them apart ? It’s simple.

Champions do more.

On this 11 week online coaching programme I will take you on a journey inside the game plans of the great champions and share with you what they know, what they do and what they do not do to achieve their greatest potential in life

I will be sharing with you inspirational  STORIES , ANECDOTES , ANALOGIES and VIDEOS all derived from the great champions of business and sport .

It’s the stuff of champions. It’ s the stuff you cannot Google. It’s the stuff they will not teach you a Harvard.

As they say:

If you want to be the best – you must learn from the best

And we have made it real easy for YOU on this programme .

All you have to do is sit back comfortably for just twenty minutes each week  – ANYTIME , ANYWHERE , ANYHOW and take heed of all the Insights , the Innovation and the Inspiration coming your way.

And ,  then it’s up to YOU  to go out there and execute. And do great things .

My only request is that YOU stay with me for all 11 weeks , or you will miss out on this one- of- a- kind opportunity to power up your game – power up your professional and personal life.


I will be coaching LIVE throughout the programme – please send me any of your coaching related questions and I will get back to YOU via email : 100% confidentially.


aaa JR

The Game Changers presents that everyone can find the key to real achievement in life. Finding real purpose need not be random. It is an awesome proposal and one that must be investigated by anyone who fears being ordinary – John Robbie

First up, please take a look at this short inspirational video below , which I recently put together to pay tribute to great South Africans who inspire us to be greater . And there are so many.

Some of you guys are in it. Welgedaan !

The video captures what ”more” looks and feels like .

( music courtesy of Paul Almeida at  HOT 919 FM )


Over the next 11 consecutive weeks, every Wednesday, I will be sending you weekly coaching newsletters.

And I will also be coaching LIVE THROUGHOUT THE PROGRAMME

All emails are treated as 100% confidential.


 Every game has a winner. Every winner has a game plan.

It all starts next Wednesday  with  …………………


  One’s best made plans – your strategies and tactics in life – will prove meaningless unless you have the right mind set


In this week’s inspirational video story  – something to fire you up right at the start :

Every Wednesday I also be sharing a short inspirational video …….story.

This week’s video story comes from RIGHT SAID FRED : STAND UP FOR THE CHAMPIONS

aaa RSF 2

His song has some powerfully inspirational lyrics :

Here we go , it’s getting close – now it’s just about who wants it most.

Enjoy the video below  : Here we go .

Till next week .Go Great

Coach Rob :


And if you want to know more upfront- please keep reading:

Here’s the programme in a nutshell – and what you can expect to learn.

This is your FIRST CLASS TICKET  – on your very own journey from  Good to Great to Greater.

Master these 11 potent Game-Changers , as presented to YOU , and YOU will be on the fast track to achieving your own greatest potential in life.

Sir Isaac Newton said it best :

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants

Here’s a sneak preview week by week :

Game Changer One : Mindset makes Champions

The strategies and tactics you employ in your life will prove meaningless , unless you have the right mindset.

First up, we go  inside the game plans of greats like Lionel Messi, Elon Musk and Nelson Mandela to explore their mindsets – their way of life – and why mindset matters most.

Game Changer Two : Step inside Great

If you want to be great – you got to know what great looks like.

In  newsletter two , we define what is great  –  and what it takes to be human great. We look at sporting greats like Muhammad Ali , Roger Federer  and Richie McCaw  – and business greats like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs.

Game Changer Three : Start with Why

Great Companies , Great Individuals  start with why , not what .

Find out why in this week’s coaching newsletter

Forget motivation , become inspired to do.

Game Changer Four : Branding is Everything

Here’s one of the secrets of the great champions

 To power up your game – power up your life –  you must power up your personal brand .

In this coaching newsletter I will show you how to build your very own potent Personal Brand.

Game Changer  Five : The One Thing

What’s the secret to life?

Find out in this week’s coaching newsletter what the great champions believe.

Game Changer six  :  Conquer . Do not fight

There’s is something fascinating about Everest . It teaches us about life .

In this week’s newsletter I will share with you and model what the great Everest explorers know , do and do not do to conquer the world’s highest mountain .

It’s the same for life.

Game Changer Seven : The Power in the Peloton

Nothing great is ever achieved alone .

Find out how the great champions leverage  the power of the peloton – in many different formats .

Game Changer Eight : Turn Adversity into Advantage

Adversity is the training ground of champions . Find out why and how the great champions turn adversity into advantage .

Game Changer  Nine : No Health , No Wealth

We all seek Happiness and Health – but we often get  it humanly wrong at times  .

In this week’s  coaching newsletter , I  share some insights ,innovation and  inspiration from one of  Britain’s greatest ever sporting  champion’s .

Game Changer  Ten : The Discipline of Execution

Gary Player  said : The harder I practice  – the luckier I get .

He’s right on the money , as strategy without execution is worthless   .

In  this week’s  coaching newsletter I share how the great champions do more .

Game Changer  Eleven : Don’t chase the Game . Live the journey .

As human beings we sometimes play the game wrong . Often the result is burn out .

In this week’s newsletter I will share with how the great champions avoid burn out  – and how they live the journey .

Here’s more on my approach to Performance Coaching :  And how I can help YOU


Rob Opie is the founder of a specialist brand consultancy : The Game Plan, Brand Strategist, Entrepreneur , Speaker, Author and Performance Coach to Teams and Individuals .

He helps Teams and Individuals to achieve their greatest potential in life.

A Corporate Entrepreneur at heart, Rob has worked extensively in the dynamic South African FMCG business environment – for both leading South African companies, and multinationals – in both Brand Development and Sales Directorship roles.

Running in his blood as a Professional and Personal Performance Coach is BRANDING – and helping people to reach the next level of Growth, Performance and Contribution.

Here’s his performance coaching approach in a nutshell

At heart , I’m an explorer . I explore HUMAN GREATNESS.

And there are two important things which I have come to learn about human greatness .


Human Greatness inhabits each and every one of us.

Indeed ,within each and every one of us lies human greatness .

It’s our individual human task to ”unlock and unleash”  our unique greatness on this world.

BUT , that is often easier said than done .

My coaching task is to inspire and help  YOU to be the best YOU THAT YOU CAN BE.

By far the easiest way to do that comes with my second learning :

Human Greatness leaves footprints

To be the best – one must learn from the best.

But, herein lies the human challenge that often blocks us from reaching that next level of Growth , Performance and Contribution .

Most of us live hectic fast paced lives in todays technologically driven social media era – and have little or no time to explore human greatness –  to explore what the best  know , do and do not do .

Well, that’s where I come in to share with the collective wisdom of the great champions of Business , Sport and Life

Coaching presents your FIRST CLASS TICKET to achieve your greatest potential in both your professional and personal life .

Here’s more on my new eBook due out soon.  And you will be receiving your free copy at the end of this programme :

In essence  you are all my co -writers. Thank you .

AAAAAGame Changers Book Cover


THE GAME CHANGERS – foreword by John Robbie

How to achieve your greatest potential in your professional and personal life

It’s a book inspired by a man who is regarded as one of the world’s greatest investors :

WBwarren-buffett-41949 1

Warren Buffett believes that less than 5 % of people get anything like their potential horsepower translated into their actual horsepower.

Potential exceeds realisation for most.

He’s right .

My Advice . Invest in Yourself – Warren  Buffett


aaa JR

In his latest book , Rob suggests that everyone can find the key to real achievement in life. Finding real purpose need not be random. It is an awesome proposal and one that must be investigated by anyone who fears being ordinary – John Robbie.




TO BOOK A PERSONAL COACHING SESSION ,  email me personally at :

You can either book a TWO HOUR one-on- one coaching session( dependent on your location and my travel plans ), or a two ONE HOUR phone coaching sessions.  ( or skype audio ): Cost R1500.00.

Find out more about Rob’s potent game- changing coaching method : THE GAME PLAN METHOD

Find out more about his POWER TALKS  in 2017 :






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

Subscribe FREE to Rob’s weekly coaching newsletter >>


Who’s your pick to captain the Boks ?

Posted on: May 10th, 2017 by Rob Opie No Comments



A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.– Oliver W. Holmes





In less than a months time the French Tricolours arrive to play a three test INCOMING SERIES against the Boks.

1o June: Boks vs. France at Loftus

17 June: Boks vs. France in Durban

24 June: Boks vs. France in Johannesburg


Allister Coetzee is yet to name his captain.

Who will it be ?

It’s one of those tough calls which every coach has to make – or is it really a tough call to make ?

The debate however rages on.

Do you pick your captain first?

Or should you pick your team first – and then your captain from  ” within the team ” ?

History provides us with  more than a moment’s insight – especially when one considers that BOK GEES has long been the No.1 playing card of former Bok coaches.


aaIn 1995 Kitch Christie picked an inspirational young  RAU & TRANSVAAL captain , Francois Pieneer , to lead the Boks .

He was well rewarded with RWC GOLD in 1995.




AAAgary-teichmann_bigIn 1999 Nick Mallet dropped one of  South Africa’s all time great captains, Gary Teichmann,  just  prior to the World Cup.

He picked his captain, Joost van der Westhuizen, from ” within the team ”.

The team came unstuck when the real pressure mounted.




AAAJohn-Smit-FeatureIn 2007 Jake White backed an inspirational captain, John Smit, against all the playing odds.

He was well rewarded with RWC GOLD in 2007.





AAAAAspringbok-geesIn 2008, Pieter de Villiers recalled John Smit from exile to captain the Boks.

John Smit went on to play 111 games for the Boks, leading them with distinction on 83 occasions – with win ratio of 72 % –

John Smit – a leader who had an innate talent to

 unite diverse people in mutual trust and purpose.





Heyneke Meyer prolonged an injury ridden career of Jean De Villiers –  calling back a great leader who saw the bigger picture in SA rugby.

Jean de Villiers knew all about building national  gees.



If we can lift our nation and give pride and hope to our people, then I think we’re doing our job , because our job is not just playing rugby for South Africa, it’s so much more than that :      Jean de Villiers






In 2016, Allister Coetzee picked his captain, Adriaan Strauss, from  ”within the team”.

Adriaan Strauss – a reluctant captain.

The team slumped to an all time low –  30 % win ratio in 2016.





Here’s a story from many moons back which sums up just how important the role of the BOK captain can be  – when the pressure is on   .

On returning from circumnavigating the world in a single expedition from 1577 to 1580, one of Francis Drake’s sailors was asked this about his worldly possessions:

You have nothing after so much time and effort?

The sailor’s reply was:

No, I’ve not made much, I’ve been cold, I’ve been hungry, shipwrecked, desperately frightened, but I have been with the greatest captain who ever sailed the seas



Ok, time to now pick your captain for our turbulent rugby waters?

My personal opinion is that  there is only one captain  who has  the  resolve and resume to restore BOK GEES.


A man who has a proven record of turning teams around .

I believe the man who has played an integral role in resurrecting Lions rugby , should be given his chance on the bigger stage to

–   re-foster NATIONAL GEES .



He has all the C’s of a great leader – a great CAPTAIN : Capability, Commitment, Character ,Charisma, Courage, Congruency , Consistency, Clarity, Certainty , Control ,Creativity, Challenge ,Calmness, Coolness , Concentration and Confidence

Let’s see who Allister picks ?

Please let me know what you think ? Your feedback is always appreciated .




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


Find out more about his ” Growing South Africans Great” POWER TALKS in 2017 :

 THE GAME CHANGERS  : GOOD TO GREAT TO GREATER. Taking it to the next level   

Find out more about his soon to be launched ONLINE SHORT COURSE ,


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

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BRANDING counts big – when the chips are down.

Posted on: May 4th, 2017 by Rob Opie No Comments




Branding is Everything: Richard Branson  






From time to time the media love to have a go at South Africa’s truly great CEO’s – business leaders who are ‘’ heads down’’ building and driving the future of our great nation.

Recently it has been the turn of Aspen CEO Stephen Saad.

It’s at times like these that branding is everything.

Branding counts big

It’s branding that takes companies and individuals to the next level of performance , growth and contribution . Acting as one’s compass in good times – and one’s scaffolding in challenging times .

When the chips are down – it’s BRANDING which comes to the fore and plays a crucial ” game changing” role.

There can be no doubting that Stephen Saad has built a great corporate brand (as well as a great personal brand)

Aspen is  indeed strong on all three of the potent P’s of  BRANDING : namely  Purpose, Priorities and Performance – and it’s a company backed by a strong set of ethical values.

It’s a team that is doing well – to do good.

And it is doing it worldwide in a challenging health care environment – helping to make this a healthier planet – saving lives through what they do.

And it’s leaders with vision who choose not to leave unnecessary margin on the table , as it’s this very margin which allows for re- investment – and the delivery of better and better quality products .

Great visionaries are the great investors in our future .They see the bigger picture.



There can be no better example than South African born businessman Elon Musk – who has a potent personal purpose :

to elevate humanity .

We are indeed fortunate to have many of these great visionaries heading up great companies in South Africa – fiercely loyal to building Brand South Africa .

Stephen Saad fits into that same bracket.

When the media have a go at our greats, it reminds me of the light hearted west coast crayfish joke:

Gaptiep: Watch out! That crayfish is about to escape out the bucket

Elton: Nee wat Gaptiep, moenie worry nie. These are South African crayfish. As soon as he climbs to high, the other crayfish will sommer pull him back down again.

I have huge admiration for SA CEO’s who are doing a great job in building a great nation , as it’s mostly a lonely world at the top  :

Who then is the Sheppard’s Sheppard?

Fortunately,  they  have the vision to know that in good and bad times: Branding is Everything.

They invest where it counts big –   building potent corporate and personal brands.

They bounce back stronger .

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


Find out more about his ” Growing South Africans Great” POWER TALKS in 2017 :

 THE GAME CHANGERS  : GOOD TO GREAT TO GREATER. Taking it to the next level   

Find out more about his recently launched  half day  short course on BRANDING ,


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

Subscribe to Rob’s FREE weekly coaching newsletter >>