Kevin Sheedy on Leadership - apply his advice to your networking

The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.
— Joe Paterno

A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend a NSW Chamber lunch with Guest Speaker - Kevin Sheedy. Non AFL fans and non Victorian's may not be familiar with that name, so for those that aren't Kevin is the new head coach of the Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants - the new Sydney AFL team!

He takes this role in his sixties, with a life-time of achievements — three premierships as a player and four as a coach —and no wonder he has a legendary stature! 

I went along because we have recently trained and mentored some of the AFL head office team so I was keen to expand my conversational skills when it comes to AFL (+ my cousin is engaged to a raving Swans fan). The thing is though, after hearing Kevin present, I realised his impact in far bigger than just on the sporting world - he is a leader with integrity and a man we can all learn many life lessons from. 

In today's BUZZ, I want to share some quotes and advice from my inspiring lunch with Kevin Sheedy (KS) and apply his wisdom to your networking efforts:) 

1. Take a longer term view

KS measure success quarterly - not on every game! The plan is to win a premiership and he views loses as confidence building and learning how to perform to achieve the end result! 

If you translate this to your networking - how many of you are aligning you activities to an overall goal or outcome, rather than putting all your focus on one event/ function?

2. Respect People

KS learnt early on in his career, as a tradies apprentice, that being on time, working well with others (in his case other trades on the job) and giving 100% were attributes that helped him do his job better and stay employed. 

If you apply similar disciplines to your networking - how many of you are thinking about the needs of others and how you can be more effective in every interaction?

3. Look for positives (don't focus on negatives)

When it comes to building his team - KS thinks outside the box! He was the first person to involve indigenous players in AFL many years ago. Still to this day, he has a nurturing approach to recruiting and retaining players ~ "until you open up the possibilities, you don't know who/ what you are not finding"  he rightly said. 

Building a network is like building a team. Some people are too quick to invite people in! Have you thought about if they fit with you? are your objectives aligned? can you see this person adding to or disrupting the rest of your team?

Well, lots to think about as you get on with your day. Thanks for reading this edition of BUZZ,  please share your stories or comment.

To find out more on how strategic face-to-face networking can help you attract the right people, improve your business performance, people skills, career progression, product/services and much more click here.

As always, get in touch to chat further.

Happy Netships!

Posted on March 19, 2012 .