Earlier this year I wrote a piece on “Courage” about a friend of mine, Simon Orchard (Australian Hockey Player), who has been an inspiration to me. The following is about someone I’ve never met, but has shown himself to be a leader in more than just the field he is in.
To set the scene, there are a group of us at Nexia NZ who are proudly participating in Movember, assisting in helping change the face of men’s health. We have staff growing moustaches and others running or walking 60km’s over the month. Movember recognises both the physical and mental health of men. It is men’s mental health which I’m going to focus on as we lose 60 men each hour to suicide across the world.
The media is full of stories about the man who is the subject of this article. He has proven himself to be one of the most successful coaches of all time, across all sports. He is quite deservedly considered a coaching great, but for me one of his greatest contributions has been the words he spoke last week. Steve Hansen has given New Zealanders so much joy over the years, highlighted by leading the All Blacks to world titles in 2011 and 2015. He just retired after leading the team to a very creditable 3rd place at the 2019 World Cup. This in itself is a great achievement and the All Blacks played scintillating rugby during the tournament.
We as New Zealanders have expectations for the All Blacks to win every game, which in itself creates enormous pressure. The All Blacks, from observation, have led the way in focusing on performance over outcome for the players, which from my experience is very useful in giving attention to your role. But it still must be stressful for them, even with the various support channels they have available. In everyday life, if people place undue expectations on themselves it can have catastrophic consequences without support around you.
So Steve Hansen, thank you for showing men all around the world that it is normal to show emotion when you said “You’ve only got to look at the stats for New Zealand suicides and mental health and it’s not great. So allowing yourself to be vulnerable and to show emotion is really important”. Powerful words and in my opinion this took great courage. Steve Hansen has been a great leader of the All Blacks, but for me now he is courageous leader for mental health. He is helping to change views on how men can, and should, show emotion. As men we need to realise that it is manly to cry when you need to, it is manly to need a hug, it is manly to show emotion, it is manly to ask for help, and when you see someone in need you cannot do anything greater than simply being there for someone.
So please support your Mo Bros and Sistas and let’s all work together to help your son, friend, colleague, partner, Dad, etc. to live a long, happy & productive life. Click here to go to our Nexia Team donations page.
Proud Mo Bro Warrior
Andrew Hastie is a Partner at Nexia NZ, for more information please click here.
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