How to be the Ultimate High-Performer: Richie McCaw

How to be the Ultimate High-Performer: Richie McCaw

Richie McCaw

Richie McCaw

Recently announced Player of the Decade, Richie McCaw knows what success looks like. The retired All Black won two Rugby World Cups, amongst other high profile achievements, so we were delighted to speak with him about his career and his recipe for success. Following our podcast with Richie, we reveal 6 steps to help you become the ultimate high-performer.

1. Be Respectful

Respect is always the place to begin. Richie told us that he wanted to go out and perform because he wanted to earn the respect of the guys alongside him. He wanted them to be inspired by his actions and what he did. On the other side of things, he wanted the guys he was playing against to know they are up against the guy who is going to throw everything at them. This is something you can apply to any environment. Earning respect is critical, yet you only achieve this by leading by example.

2. Commit to your Decisions

Richie discussed how he became more comfortable when he actually understood the role of captain. Richie pointed out that the people around you aid you with the right decisions and ways forward.

Sometimes you’ve just got to make decisions that a leader has got to make, and you have got to live with them. However, there are other times when you can lean on other members of your team.

Richie highlighted the likes of Dan Carter and Conrad Smith: 

“My view was you’re not going to get every decision right but as long as you have got 15 guys all committed to what you have to do you’re going to make a pretty good fist of it.”

– Richie McCaw (Rugby Centurions Podcast)

3. Have Honest Conversations

Setting up an environment where you have honest conversations about performance is also vital. To become a high-performer, you’ve got to be able to take feedback and deliver it effectively too.

 “We were lucky with a guy like Steve Hansen; he was big on that, and it didn’t matter who you were, whether you were the Captain or the newest guy if a discussion had to be had around your performance or the team’s performance then it was had.”

Richie McCaw (Rugby Centurions Podcast)

It is imperative to make sure it doesn’t become personal; it must be around the team being successful. 

4. Trust and Empower your Team

Trusting other team members is also imperative to success. After all, when the team is doing their jobs, there’s nothing that the leader can do apart from trusting them! 

This is something that can be very difficult for people in all walks of life; it can be tough to let go and put your trust in other people. However, you need to do this if you want to be successful. 

After all, business is essentially a team sport, just like rugby, and so you cannot control everything yourself. You need to trust in the brilliance of the other people around you.

5. Be Consistent

Richie also explains that rugby is really quite simple. However, professionals often overcomplicate things. The same can be said for business!

“I always said if I can get there quickly if I’m the first guy there are they won’t get near our ball and we can win most of our rucks that’s a big plus for the team and again that’s not complicated stuff it’s just being able to get in the right spots same when they have got the ball – do the basics brilliantly.”

– Richie McCaw (Rugby Centurions Podcast)

It is easy to overcomplicate things and forget about the basics. Getting the basic elements right should always be the starting point. You do not need to make things more complicated than they need to be.

6. Red Head to Blue Head

Finally, dealing with what is in front of you is vital. We have all seen it: you ask someone to give a presentation that they do every day in the workplace, and they nail it when there is no pressure on the line. However, when a possible client is there, it becomes entirely different. You start stumbling over your words or forgetting the important points, and that is what pressure can do to you. This is why you need to remain calm under pressure and deal only with what is in front of you – don’t dramatise what may or may not happen in the future.

So there you have it: an insight into how to be the Ultimate High-Performer. For the full Rugby Centurions podcast check it out on our website or subscribe through your favourite podcast platform.