Achieving goals - with advice from Kiwi heroes

SEPTEMBER 28, 2016 / Articles


Our goal this year for NCEA is for 75% of our students to achieve Merit or Excellence Endorsement.

Calling in the experts for some extra motivation, Victoria Cross recipient Willie Apiata and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen headed a strong list of motivational speakers for Game Plan. Nearly 500 Westmount Year 11-13s from across New Zealand came to Auckland for the event.

The conversation took place as part of the bi-annual UBT conference for community businesses and their employees. Involving students in the event provided an opportunity for a final boost for the lead up to end of year exams.

Regional Principal Jon Bowen said it was an outstanding day with a number staff describing “pinch me” moments.

“A clear stand-out moment was Sir Willie Apiata’s sharing of a life moment with us. It was profound, I believe, for all people present. Him recalling moments when he not only saved another life but put his own life on the line to minimise risk for others will stick with us for the rest of our lives.”

The event provided plenty of useful take-homes:

Mike Allsop - airline pilot, Everest mountaineer, adventurer and extreme marathon competitor

  • Dream
  • Don’t be afraid to fail – it can kill your dream
  • Get a strong plan
  • Prepare for being overwhelmed at times. Strong plans can be hard work
  • Never give up
  • You then cannot fail as you are always moving

“We are limited only by the limitations we set for ourselves.”

Kevin Biggar - adventure, problemsolver, strategist

  • Adventure: A bold undertaking toward an uncertain but worthwhile outcome
  • Break down your projects and goals into simple steps
  • What happens in the final push of a project can be the difference between winning or losing. Play to the final whistle.

Willie Apiata

Sir Willie’s contribution was profound. He presented his VC to us, for us to own a part of it for ourselves. He encouraged us to reflect on these important questions:

  • What is your Victoria Cross – your achievement?
  • When we think of our achievements, are they for those around us or just for us? (A challenging thought)
  • Who is in your team and what are your goals? Are we expecting the best from everyone on our ‘team’? Are we supporting each other and encouraging each other to do our best?

Steve Hansen

  • Rule Number One is to lead yourself – be the best you can be every day
  • Be open
  • What are your "critical few" (the things you must deal with) - At school/in business; In your personal life?
  • Keep a ‘Blue Head’
  • Be in the blue so much that it becomes your learned/natural behaviour
  • Plan for the ‘What-if’ moments.