Siya Kolisi, leadership on and off the field at the Rugby World Cup

Siya Kolisi, Captain of the Springboks, taking a minute to compose himself before the interview starts

I thought that Siya Kolisi, the captain of Rugby World Cup winning side, Springboks, was absolutely inspirational on and off the field. He lead by example and put his body on the line in the game.

After the match he had to compose himself as he seemed a little overwhelmed by emotions. He gave a short but great interview which I am sure was greatly appreciated by all Africans and South Africa in particular.

As captain, Siya is a man who rose to the occasion. He remarked that before the game coach Rasie Erasmus had come to the team and told them that they were no longer just playing for themselves but the people back home as well. And the Springboks played their hearts out, in a physical game in which they game England very little chance in the game.

A few lessons in leadership I picked up from Siya in his interview:

Trust in your team
Trust in your team. Everyone brings something to the table. Trust everyone deliver what they need.

Trust in your leadership
Trust in your leadership. Siya was the captain and the players looked up to him for leadership. Siya also trusted his coach Rasie to guide them in preparing for the World Cup and the game.

Give it everything you have got

When the time comes, give the game everything you have gone. All the months and weeks, long hours spent preparing will pay off. Do your best and hope for the best.

Never give up
Rally everyone around you and never give up. Keep playing on until the final whistle.

Sometimes, what you are doing is much bigger than you.
Times will become when you are no longer doing something just for yourself but for so many people who are counting and relying on you.

Below is the full transcript of the short interview after the game:

Springboks Captain Siya Kolisi discusses leading his side to the Rugby World Cup

Q: Well, we’re here with a winning captain from South Africa, Siya Kolisi.  Siya just tell me, when the final whistle went, what were your first thoughts

Siya: I was just grateful for everything that the team has been through. We faced a lot of challenges, but you know, the people of South Africa got in behind us and we are so grateful to the people of South Africa and you know, we have so many problems in our country, but we have a team like this, you know, we come from different backgrounds different races, and we came Together with one goal and we wanted to achieve it. I really hope that we’ve done that for South Africa to show that we can pull together if we want to and we achieve something.

Q: Couldn’t have said it any better Cap? How important was it for you guys as a team player to lay physical marker early?  

Siya: That’s why we were over 6 to 6 splits (not very clear)  to make sure that we go out physically and they knew that that’s what we wanted to do. You know Our coach doesn’t hide it and from the minute go we wanted to have a good start because we know that’s what they were chasing. The boys, that why some of the shoulders were off early contact. So yeah, but they were they were amazing today challenges.

Q: I know you touched on it just a little bit earlier. But in a country, we are Rugby is religion. What does this mean?

Siya: I’ve never seen since I’ve been alive. I’ve never seen South Africa like this, you know. Obviously in 95 what the World Cup did for us you know. Now you know with all the challenges we having you know, the coach just came and told us the last game we’re not playing for ourselves anymore, we are playing for a nation our people, our crew back home.

And that’s what we wanted to do today, and we really appreciate all the support people in the taverns, people in the shebeens, you know people in farms and homeless people that were screens there and people in rural areas, thank you so much. We appreciate all the support.

We love you South Africa and we can achieve anything if we work together as one.

Q: Absolutely inspirational words. Congratulations Captain.

Siya: Lastly Thank you so much to the people of Japan the people that came from England as well. Thank you so much for supporting the sport of rugby. Thanks to all of you for bringing rugby here. We appreciate you all. I thank you

Siya Kolisi in his match interview


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