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042 – Leading from the heart with Ardie Savea

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Changing how strong men lead – starting with the All Blacks

For those unfamiliar with New Zealand – we are a small country in the arse end of the world, as we tend to call it.


We have some sheep. Probably not as many as you might think.


It’s very green. Quite beautiful, really.


We can claim to Middle Earth, but that’s really a minority of the population.


We currently love shutting ourselves off from the rest of the world (much to this author’s frustration – Hi Cindy).


And we love the All Blacks.


While there certainly is a wide range of humans in this country, the cliche is that most boys grow up idolising and dreaming of being an All Black.


Hi – I’m Mike, I’m one of those dudes. I played rugby intensely and competitively most of life, travelled the world with it, met some wonderful mates, had some remarkable times, played some epic and ‘story of a lifetime’ games.

But I never made it to those heights. I’ve told some of my story plenty of times, some of that occasionally touches on a particular broken leg and a bunch of stories about not having ‘it’ anymore and subsequently hiding away and not pushing myself.


So, yeah – the All Black dream dropped away.


Yet, being a fan did not.

And the older I get, the more mature I get, the more I see the men in amongst those men.


And let’s be clear, in New Zealand for the longest time the All Blacks have held this kind of awed position, a revered model of manhood; strong, stoic, unemotional, humble, and ever-capable man’s man.

Then times changed. A new century, a new decade, and men have more scope to explore a wider breadth of manhood.


So to, it would turn out, do All Blacks.

Enter today’s brilliant, inspiring, humble, strong, caring, powerful and poignant guest – current All Black sometimes caption, full-time legend Ardie Savea.


In this Episode:

Yeah, fucking Ardie Savea is on the show.


This man is someone – I think – single-handedly changing aspects of the game of rugby and how to be a warrior on the field, a leader of men and others off it, with heart, with integrity, and with a consistent example of exploring his depths and inviting others to theirs.

And that, really, is what we explore in this episode.


Ardie and I wander through some of his story, going into his own journey of healing – still – some of the tougher shit from his past, knowing that the “stuff he was going to take to his grave” is exactly what was holding back the deepest and riches connections in his life, including that with his wife.


We explore some of what goes on inside the All Blacks culture, how they approach high performance and high-stress situations, and how they can learn to translate that to real life and challenging relationships, but more so we explore Ardie Savea the man.

Which, to be clear, in my opinion is a man who encapsulates what I term ‘the everyday legend’ – this modern representation of ‘Zeus Energy’.

So yeah, I flatter him with that a touch, but then, if you appreciate a dude, let him know, bro.


I loved this chat for the little boy in me getting to yarn with an All Black legend and for the legend sat across from me who chose to share some of the shit most men never do, let alone All Black stars very much in the public eye.


I trust you will get something from it – as might a man in your world, please pass it on to anyone you think will benefit from it. 

As always, if you have questions about it – ask me. Hit me on social media @mikecampbellmc on Instagram or @Mike Campbell Man Coach on Facebook.

Ardie’s Bio: 

At ASAV we want to inspire youth and their families to embrace uniqueness. To empower people to be truely and authentically happy.

It’s simple. Happy humans mean better people. Better people build better communities. Better communities for us, for our children and their children to come.

We might be the new now. But our dream is that every generation after us uses their “them” and adds to our foundation. Everyone can contribute something no matter how big or small.

‘‘I recognise I am unique. I embrace me. I want to be the new. To be the leader of a generational change amongst my family and most loved friends.

Show my children that by being my most true self I am the happiest version of me. Show them that what I dream to build, I can. It is sustainable.

And when it’s their time, I can hand it onto them and they build on it and so on with their children. Every generation’s uniqueness adds to the asav story. ’’

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