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The Art Of Winning

The Art of Winning by Dan Carter

With the Rugby World Cup in France in full flow, the preliminary rounds produced some cracking rugby with stand-out team performances from Ireland, France and Portugal. In addition, several players, such as Jac Morgan, Bundee Aki, Tahdge Beirne, Johnny Sexton, and Louis Rees-Zammit, excelled. 

Significant Factor

A significant factor is the re-emergence of Wales as a team that can effectively challenge other nations. This follows a range of turbulent episodes both on and off the field of play. The main reason has been the reappointment of Warren Gatland to instill confidence, fitness, a game plan and a desire to win.

The personal skills and ability of a coach or manager in sport, business and education to change mindsets by navigating change can set up a fresh perspective in terms of purpose, strategies for winning and also realising potential.

The Art of Winning by Dan Carter
The Art of Winning by Dan Carter

Dan Carter’s The Art of Winning takes readers on an inspirational and frank journey. He bases his reasoning on truths gained from his personal experiences as an outstanding rugby player.

Fear Of Retirement

Readers may be aware that he was a fly-half (No 10) and pivot for the All Blacks’ victories in the Rugby World Cups of 2011 and 2015. The victory in 2015 brought the curtain down on his international career. 

However, fear of retirement and people labelling him as washed-up motivated his move to France and have additional success with Racing 92.

The text centres around his “perfect 10 lessons” on leadership, purpose and potential. These three qualities are complemented by advice, guidance and strategies to spur you on to greater heights based on his experiences in the real world of international rugby. 

Additionally, he describes how life after retirement can feel rudderless, without purpose, and you can lose your identity and experience self-doubt.

The key challenge is to change the personal mindset of retirement into a process of repurposing, giving value, validity and time to experience and life skills rather than formal educational qualifications.

The 10 lessons are an excellent framework that highlights the power of personal purpose in evolving and making individual and collective sacrifices.


The “Whakapapa” section addresses how you can ensure your values are enshrined in your work, community, or organisation and how to upskill future leaders.

The section on humility highlights two key issues to generate a “collective alignment in the group mindset”. No individual is bigger than the team and recruitment is based on character and ability to “fit into the team”.

Dan Carter at his ONZM investiture - image courtesy of gg.govt.nz copyright and licensing
Dan Carter at his ONZM investiture – image courtesy of gg.govt.nz copyright and licensing

In any team or organisation, a pertinent factor is an awareness of “who drives your culture” to ensure all members pull their weight. In sport, leadership in the “changing room” is fundamental.

An Outstanding Book

Leaders and also those who aspire to the role will gain from insightful and practically based sections on Building Resilience, Making Yourself Heard, Staying Ahead of the Competition, Communication, Personal Evolution, and Writing Your Own Legacy.

In an outstanding book, Dan Carter poses a key question for all sportsmen and women, students and employees at all levels to address their mindset and test of personal willpower regarding how seriously they interpret “Success”.

All participants at every level should address the key question: “When no one is around to hold you accountable, are you still exploring your limits to improve and improve every time?

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