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Gary Kirsten’s Tips On Leading A Successful Life

As a Protea cricket player, Gary Kirsten loved the game. As an international coach, he discovered that leadership is about more than motivating a team to win. It’s about leading a successful life, which starts with understanding and working towards a greater good.

Nadine Todd

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Harry Truman said that it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit. This has always resonated with me. It’s the essence of teamwork, and what you can accomplish when you work together.

Becoming India’s coach in 2008 pretty much fell into my lap

I had long ago decided that leadership wasn’t for me. Even as a Protea I just wanted to play, and had even resigned my vice-captaincy. After I retired I set up a cricket academy. And then I received an email from Sunil Gavaskar, asking if I’d consider coaching the Indian cricket team. I thought it was a hoax and ignored it. And then a second email arrived. They were actually interested in chatting to me, even though I had exactly zero hours of coaching experience.

Related: SA’s Very Own Legend Francois Pienaar On MAD Leadership And Paying It Forward

The Indian cricket team had some of the best players in the world, and yet they didn’t function as a cohesive unit. This played a part in why they were not doing as well on the international stage as they should have.

With the help of Paddy Upton, it took us two series (which we lost) to realise that our role wasn’t to tell them how to play better — they were excellent players. It was to help them to become a team. We had one more series (against Australia) to prove ourselves, or we’d be out.

I started by asking the whole team to write down on a piece of paper one commitment to the team over the course of the series. What will your commitment be from tomorrow for this team? It was a turning point for us.

It was when each player stopped functioning as an individual, and started working towards a greater good. The fact that it was a commitment that needed to be honoured just made it even stronger. I wasn’t telling them what to do. They were choosing what their best contribution to the team could be. They were taking ownership over the team’s success.

It was a lesson that shaped the kind of leader I wanted to be: I needed to open my ears and shut my mouth. I needed to listen to my team, understand who they were as people, and then assist them. We played some outstanding test cricket over the next 24 months, losing just one match. After the 2011 World Cup, my contract came to an end.

Just before returning to South Africa, Sachen Tendulkar’s wife thanked me for some of the happiest times in his career. He had told me at the beginning that what he was looking for in a coach was a friend, and that was what I had become. Knowing that I’d made a personal difference to many of the Indian players meant more than winning a world cup to me.

Related: Starbucks Coffee Is All About Culture… For A Reason

Leadership is a journey, and not a goal

I believe you need to create an environment where people have the times of their lives, and achieve great things because of it. To do that, you need to have a set of values and non-negotiables that you live by, and that you instil in your team.

This is more important than a result. As a player I was willing to bend the rules. As a leader I realised that how we operate and what we are about is more important than just winning. A successful life is less about what you do, and more about who you are.

Helping others to become the best they can be is a privilege and a responsibility. Focus on commitment: What is yours? What is each member of your team’s? It takes courage to make the right commitments and then follow through. To help people do this is the greatest call of a leader.

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27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

Here are 27 of South Africa’s richest people, but how did they achieve this level of wealth? Find out here.

Nicole Crampton

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Learn the secrets of SA’s most successful business people, here is the list of the 27 richest people in South Africa:

In a world with growing entrepreneurship success stories, victory is often measured in terms of money. The feat of achieving a place on this list is, however, years of hard work, determination and persistence. “One has to set high standards… I can never be happy with mediocre performance,” advises Patrice Motsepe.

From the individuals that made the 27 of the richest people in South Africa list, actual entrepreneurs and self-made business people dominate the list; while those who inherited their fortunes have gone on to do even bigger and better things with their wealth. Over the years, some have slipped off the list, while others continue to climb higher and higher each year.

  1. Elisabeth Bradley
  2. Sharon Wapnick
  3. Bridgette Radebe
  4. Irene Charnley
  5. Wendy Ackerman
  6. Paul Harris
  7. Wendy Appelbaum
  8. Mark Shuttleworth
  9. Desmond Sacco
  10. Giovanni Ravazzotti
  11. Markus Jooste
  12. Gus Attridge
  13. Gerrit Thomas Ferreira
  14. Cyril Ramaphosa
  15. Adrian Gore
  16. Raymond Ackerman
  17. Michiel Le Roux
  18. Lauritz Dippenaar
  19. Jannie Mouton
  20. Stephen Saad
  21. Patrice Motsepe
  22. Allan Gray
  23. Koos Bekker
  24. Ivan Glasenberg
  25. Christoffel Wiese
  26. Johann Rupert
  27. Nicky Oppenheimer
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Watch List: 50 Top SA Black Entrepreneurs To Watch

South Africa needs more entrepreneurs to build businesses that can make a positive impact on the economy. These up-and-coming black entrepreneurs are showing how it can be done.

Nicole Crampton

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Early-stage South African entrepreneurial activity is at an all-time high of 11%, according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, and entrepreneurial intentions have also increased to 11.7%. With both activity and intentions growing significantly year-on-year, there are more businesses opening up around South Africa than ever before.

The increase in entrepreneurship has seen the rise of more black entrepreneurs across numerous sectors. From beauty brands to legal services and even tech start-ups, these are 50 top black entrepreneurs to watch:

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Watch List: 50 Top SA Small Businesses To Watch

Keep your finger on the pulse of the start-up space by using our comprehensive list of SA small business to watch.

Nicole Crampton

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Entrepreneurship in South Africa is at an all-time high. According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), total early-stage entrepreneurial activity has increased by 4.1% to 11% in 2017/2018. This means numerous new, exciting and promising small businesses are launching and growing.

To ensure you know who the innovative trailblazers are in the start-up and small business space, here are 50 of South Africa’s top establishing companies to watch, in no particular order:

  1. Livestock Wealth
  2. The Lazy Makoti
  3. Aerobuddies
  4. Mimi Women
  5. i-Pay
  6. AfriTorch Digital
  7. Akili Labs
  8. Native Décor
  9. Aerobotics
  10. Quality Solutions
  11. EM Guidance
  12. Kahvé Road
  13. HSE Matters
  14. VA Virtual Assistant
  15. Famram Solutions and Famram Foundation
  16. BioTech Africa
  17. Brand LAIKI
  18. Plus Fab
  19. LifeQ
  20. Organico
  21. 10dot
  22. Lenoma Legal
  23. Nkukhu-Box
  24. Benji + Moon
  25. Beonics
  26. Brett Naicker Wines
  27. Khalala
  28. Legal Legends
  29. The Power Woman Project
  30. Aviro Health
  31. AnaStellar Brands
  32. Data Innovator
  33. Fo-Sho
  34. Oolala Collection Club
  35. Recomed
  36. VoiceMap
  37. ClockWork
  38. Empty Trips
  39. Vula Mobile
  40. SwiitchBeauty
  41. Pineapple
  42. The Katy Valentine Collection
  43. OfferZen
  44. KHULA
  45. Incitech
  46. Pimp my Book
  47. ART Technologies and ART Call Management
  48. Prosperiprop
  49. WAXIT
  50. The Sun Exchange
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