Performance and Pressure – managing the moments

Thursday 29th September 2022

Business Lunch, proudly supported by HealthNow
Gilbert Enoka, ONZM | All Blacks Manager and Mental Skills Coach

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The National Hockey Stadium on Bush Road was understandably at capacity for this special event as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. Having worked with the All Blacks for 22 years, Gilbert Enoka is the longest-serving member of the most successful sports team of all time. Of the total 621 All Blacks tests, Gilbert has been involved with 285. His reputation as an outstanding coach and mental health advocate, therefore, precedes him.

During his 45-minute presentation, Gilbert shared an abundance of personal reflections, professional insights, and lessons that can be learnt and applied to our lives, at work and at home.

Perhaps the most appropriate way to summarise this session is by sharing the 15 favourite takeaways, as chosen by his audience (in no particular order of preference):

  1. Adversity doesn’t discriminate; it’s an equal opportunities employer!
  2. Your past does not have to equal your future, but we will never rise above the opinions we hold of ourselves.
  3. You only need three bones: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone!
  4. Be where your feet are; high performance = absolute engagement.
  5. Be at your best when your best is needed.
  6. You gotta push through the C.R.A.P.: criticism, rejection, a***holes, prejudice.
  7. Don’t let the noise divert you; use its energy.
  8. Vulnerable is the new strong.
  9. Focus on the now. Anxiety exists if we dwell on the past or the future.
  10. Right now, a compass is better than a map.
  11. Bring your horizon forward; break down tasks into smaller chunks.
  12. The four-minute rule!
  13. Connect before you correct.
  14. Ask, don’t assume.
  15. Be curious, not critical.

Gilbert also discussed “resilience”, asking, “Is there something beyond resilience?” and how we can actually gain strength from the knocks we take.

He encouraged everyone to treat wellness as a daily activity plan, with the emphasis on activity – mental and physical. And he used “create a gap, bridge the gap” to explain how we can make a vision a reality, one step at a time.

As they made their way to their cars, the appreciative attendees were discussing how much they had enjoyed this event and how much they had gained,

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Bernadette Robert

Bernadette Robert