After over 5 decades of success in AFL Kevin Sheedy shared his knowledge on leadership at the PRDnationwide Principals Forum on November 2nd, where he presented as the Keynote speaker. Sheedy highlighted the importance of building your team, creating new opportunities in your field, and big picture thinking.
Mr Sheedy led Essendon Football Club to 4 premierships in his time as coach and believes that the elements that make up great leadership on an AFL field can be applied to any other industry.
“A leader should study leadership and then apply that to the landscape he works in.” said Mr Sheedy “You need a good honest direction of what is achievable.”
“Strong leadership is something that cannot be undervalued. Having Kevin speak at the PRDnationwide Principal’s Forum was hugely beneficial for everyone who attended.” Said PRDnationwide Managing Director Tony Brasier “Over his lengthy career in AFL Kevin has outlined strong leadership strategies and innovation that should be utilised by leaders in the real estate industry.”
Kevin Sheedy played for Richmond football club for 12 years before going on to coach at Essendon Football club for 27 seasons. He holds the record for most games combined as a player and coach having participated in over 1000 games.
In his latest role Sheedy coached a new team, the Greater Western Sydney Giants, through their first year. Building a team from scratch is a challenge that every new real estate office faces. Mr Sheedy touched on this point when speaking with PRDnationwide, stressing that growing and developing people is a crucial part of leadership within any business.
“Most people don’t come into a great team, most people have to build that team.” Noted Mr Sheedy. “Leaders build bridges with people, leaders chase knowledge and share it. They develop people.”
PRDnationwide Horsham principal Wes Davidson found Kevin Sheedy’s views on leading the people in your team particularly enlightening.
“He made that point that just because you are a great player it doesn’t mean that you will be a great coach. You can’t just know the game brilliantly, you have to know how to teach it to those who do not.” Said Davidson. “One point that really resonated with me was the idea that leadership is not one size fits all;we must always tailor our leadership to each individual within our team – without ever compromising the overall team values. That’s an art in itself.”
In addition to developing your staff, Sheedy advocated an outside the box style of thinking that allowed him to create opportunities within his organisation that had not previously been there. In 1982 Sheedy requested a recruitment manager be bought on board at Essendon. Upon hearing that there was no room in the budget he created more advertising space in order to increase the budget and get his man.
“Sheedy made it clear that strong leadership isn’t about focusing on obstacles, but rather starting with an end goal in mind and then making it happen.” Said Davidson.
Mr Sheedy founded several major events throughout his career including Dreamtime at the G and the Anzac Day Game and encourages leaders to do the same in their own industries.
“In some cases you do need to be a pioneer you need to put the hard axe on where the next nugget of gold is going to come from” said Mr Sheedy “Anzac day was there for 80 years before we created the Anzac Day Game.”
Ultimately, PRDnationwide principals walked away with new ideas to develop their team and grow their leadership by focusing on the big picture and tackling the obstacles and details along the way.
“Kevin Sheedy’s key note address was very valuable because he was able to articulate how to have a personal vision that is larger than most people.” Said Davidson