Imagine | Create | Inspire
Leadership with Wayne Bennett - Why Wouldn’t you Invest in You
“The only time you’re on top, is when you’re digging a hole.”

      He has never seen himself as a Leader but has had roles that have required leadership qualities and wakes up each morning thinking he doesn’t have to do this today to lead this team but wake up each morning thinking that this has to be done because it is my role and my responsibility. With a speech filled with memorable quotes who better to speak on leadership as part of our International Leadership Series for iLead than Wayne Bennett.

      With an extensive history as a former Australian Kangaroos Player, Queensland Police Officer and Super Coach (over 700 1st grade games with 7 winning premierships), Wayne spoke of his belief in Commitment, Selflessness, Ability to live with oneself and more can allow someone to obtain and possess the qualities that can allow one to lead, coach and inspire others.

“ Commitment sorts out the dreamers from the doers.”

      With the understanding that promises or simply lies to yourself, Wayne, explained how crucial “commitments” were for himself personally and for others. At the age of 14 he made three commitments to himself; that he would become a police officer; that he would play for his country; and the one he sees most impactful on his success, to never drink alcohol. He understood to fulfil those dreams he had to make a commitment, not a promise.

“Talent alone is not going to get you anywhere, everybody has the ability to be talented.”

      It is those who are willing to go above and beyond and pay the price that is required to be the person you want to be. Teach yourself the traits and qualities you want, and focus on what you have, not on what you don’t. He states that he would not be where he would be today if he focused on what he didn’t have. In the locker room and with his teams he always asked - why don’t you focus on what you do have?

      In his time he has taught many people with great physical courage, similarly one quality he states for leadership is moral courage. The ability to stand for something. What do you stand for? He would be able to answer that for many of the members of his team. Belief in your own opinion, is better than falling for everyone else’s point of view and allowing them to manipulate you. Be proud of who you are and don’t be scared to express yourself. This is something he sees as one of his own weaknesses, a trigger that upsets him when he is unable was unable to say what he believe he needed to say at the time.

“One of your greatest learning tools is the observations of others.”

      Another trait he continues to expand on was the ability to observation of people. How they react around you and with you. He says he has learnt more about leadership by simply observing people within the workplace and the people that he wants to be. His biggest challenge as a coach was to create an environment in which people can do their best and his biggest motivation to push further is within his failures, and his understanding of what he believes can and is possible.

“Isn’t it amazing how many things can be accomplished when nobody cares who did it.”

      Leadership is about people, simple as that. He has seen many situations in which an individual overacts, as they believe it is about them. He continues by expressing that a leader is someone who is willing to stay at the end of the queue all day, every day. They put you (others) first, caring about your wellbeing so don’t be selfish. Leadership is about the team.

“Before you lead anybody, you have to lead you. You can’t lead other people if you can’t lead yourself. ”

      On the other hand, the one person he wants to make happy, is himself. He points out that (and say this out loud to yourself) is that the only person you got to live with twenty four seven is me, you can’t get away from you. No matter what you do, whether you laugh, cry, go out, you’re with you. So why don’t you make yourself happy. With the example of a particular current Novocastrian, though he may have been able to play for Australia, payed quite fairly and everything else professional in his career, he still suffers from depression. Due to the fact that he doesn’t like who he is personally.

“you got 40 odd years in front of you all, so why wouldn’t you start to invest in you. So you can be that person in the workplace that does make a different. ”

      He also left us with a few other parting qualities that he believes that can help us to be leaders and the people we want to be.
  • Communication → with your team
  • Trust → for yourself and those around you
  • Vision → for want you want
  • Focus → on achieving your goal
  • Responsibility → for your action and for your team
  • Respect → earned every day
  • And finally Honesty, Truth and Compassion

“Sometimes we get lost with the stars.”

      Finally I was able to start the question portion of the seminar and asked what he feels was the biggest lesson he had learnt in his career. Simply put, it was to treat everyone fairly. Team requires not only the stars but the people who put in the hard work. Though an individual may never be a star, his work should not go unnoticed.
Social Media for your Career
      Social Media is a medium that allows you to share your opinions, and at the same time advertises who you are. Not many people understand when they post the various pictures of themselves that it builds the portfolio that others perceive them. This is not just the people around them physically but the online community as a whole. This means that it is not only your friends that see how you look after a big party but your classmates, distant cousins, some guy named Paul living on the opposite side of the world and more importantly potential employers and companies that you may wish to work with.

      Information is now so readily available that the average person can not only the find an individual or company but research their inner workings and what makes them who they are. This can be beneficial and works both ways, employers may have the opportunity to look at your profile and assess you by the amount of pictures of you and your cat or your tireless rants about your personal political leniency but you can do your own research and look at how the companies that you want to work with are going, what’s trending, how their employees are behaving and so on.

“A career is not something that is chosen when an individual leaves education, but rather something that is built through life” - Longridge, Hooley, Staunton 2013

      Employers want people who are plugged in and want to know who they are. Gone are the days when you used to ask what you could do for the company. You have to be proactive and state what you can do for them, with what their currently doing and issues they are currently facing. With most to all companies now having some form of social media presence, it’s easier than ever to start getting in contact with who you need.

Here are some tips to manage your online presence:

Don’t spread yourself to thin
      With the wide range of social networks out there many people who try to stay up to date and current, end up signing up with too many networks. Unless you do it for a living, more than three to four networks are generally more than enough. You do not want to wear yourself out. These tools are used to only help compliment what you are currently doing, not to overtake your day job. You should choose the platforms that convey your skills. General socialites stick to facebook and twitter, designers with Behance and job seekers or companies with LinkedIn. If you are unsurem you should only join the largest social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

Know your Audience
      You must understand who you want to target on each of your social networks. As you gain more friends and followers, you may lose track of who is reading your updates and posts. How many of your work colleagues are you connected with? Do you consider them reading your posts when you upload that picture of you at the other end of the beer bong?

Limit Self-Promotion
      Remember, being humble in your career extends to your presence online. Though it is important to self-promote it is only beneficial in moderation. No-one likes to connect or befriend people who are self-involved. You will soon see that your follower numbers will drop. The best way to promote yourself is to promote others. Connect personally with those who spent the time connecting with you, it helps with creating goodwill and a connection, as well as distributing value based on what you have to offer. It goes two-ways, you promote someone, and they will promote you back.

Be Consistent and Recognizable
      Much similar to not wearing yourself to thin, you also should be consistent with your posting. It is very important when it comes to any self-promotion or marketing. This can be as simple as using the same image for your profile across all networks. You want people to be able to recognize you no matter what page they are scrolling on. However consistency is the key, not only your pictures, but your (user)name, fonts, colours and your overall message or elevator pitch.

And Don’t Forget to Network
      They are called social networks for a reason. This should not obviously replace your normal interactions in the real world, but they are a great way in getting to meet new people and having the opportunity to give that first impression and that first impression can help you towards that career goal of yours.

      Be creative in your approach. With the current available technologies then the original paper resume is not all that is required and is now often quite boring to read, especially for those who have to read a hundred to a thousand a day. Stand out and be creative, you don’t have to be tech savvy, you only need the skills and efforts that you use on a daily basis to get that perfect snapchat or Instagram photo correct. Here are some creative examples;
Dear Lisa Rudgers
Nick Belling Video Resume
The Fear is Real - Take the terror out of public speaking
      Have you ever had that overcoming feeling of anxiety, the sudden rush of adrenaline, shortness of breath, sudden onset of sweating? Then you may be remembering that scary moment in which you engaged in some form of public speaking. Well let me tell you that the fear is real.

      After an engaging session with a well versed toastmaster of 22 years, Mrs Annette Roberts, with her helpful tips was able to show us how to “take the terror out of public speaking” and make those butterflies in the stomach fly in synchronization.

      For me, public speaking is a daunting task, one that studies have shown, people were more afraid of then death itself. With my upcoming presentation in a couple of days I seeked support and was told feinting whilst I walk on to the stage was not the best idea.

      Alternatively deep breaths, a well-structured speech with a compelling hook, and the usual experience and practice is the recipe. Don‘t forget to be weary of your vocal variety so that you‘re not yelling or talking to fast and that visual aids can be supportive if they don‘t take focus away from you.

      How does this help however when you‘re put on the spot, don‘t know the answer or in those high pressure situation like an interview. Mrs Roberts gave some very insightful things to consider, such as answering the “who, want, where, when, how” and or the “past, present and future.”

      One particular method of answering that stood out was her “Point, Reason, Example, Point” method. It follows the structure of ensuring that you:
  • first answer the question directly (either yes or no)
  • give a reason as to why you feel this way,
  • back it up with an example (personal is better)
  • and then reiterate your decision (this is why I feel this way).
      With a few unlucky people who were picked to try out this method, it was interesting to see the significant difference it made in allowing them to just concentrate on the answer, without rambling into tangents or being distracted by the crowd.

      So instead of imagining people in their underwear (which in itself could be quite distracting), think of yourself walking out, the crowd smiling, listening and applauding, and that feeling that they are much better off due to your efforts to talk.