Thrive for Men

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Leadership and Men’s Mental Health with Paul Roos

by Nant Nissen
September 1st 2021
In this episode of Thrive for Men, AFL superstar Paul Roos recounts some great memories from his playing and coaching days and how he's now using his experience to help advance men's mental health and... More
Hello and welcome to Thrive for Men. I'm Nant Nissen and I'm being joined today by the legendary Paul Roos. Now I did ask him how he would like to be introduced because his introduction could literally take the whole hour, but everyone knows Paul Roos through Australian Rules Football and now through his leadership coaching um Paul, can you tell us a little bit about that? Yes, a background paper for 17 years and learned a lot about behaviors and role models of leadership, didn't know where it was going to take me. And then obviously I started coaching the Swans midway through 2000 and two and through that process, you know, I spoke to a lot of companies, you know, around values and the bloods and what we've done and then took a bit of breather with the academy, the Swans Academy, which I really loved and part of that was teaching the under eleven's all the way through the under eighteens about leadership, about not just kicking, marking, hand balling, took the Melbourne job, which was obviously a huge leadership job, not as much technical coaching because I had many Matthews and Daniel Macpherson and bread, Alison George stone Jade Rawlings, some assistant coaches were really good technical coaches, there's a lot of ways around leadership and um culture and behaviors and all those sorts of things and then about four years ago I met up, I already knew Jared Murphy Jared had worked with you long after I've done the Sydney a meal stardom and Warren evident we started a company called performance by design, so we've been doing that for four years and we're now in a lot of lot of big companies, a lot of start ups, you know, medium companies all throughout Australia.

We got some international clients as well, which is fantastic, some in America, which is great. Um yeah, that's a really passionate about the leadership component and really stemmed from my time at Fitzroy and coaching, playing Sydney and coaching Sydney and coaching Melbourne, thank you. Now, I know everyone would love me to talk to you about football the whole time, but we're here for thrive for men. So what I want to talk to you about really is your leadership component and how we can help men in the community and society with leadership roles, perhaps things you've done in the sporting arena. What do you think of the largest problems that men are facing at the moment in our community? Absolutely. Probably what I first is his football has become a really safe space. I learned a lot from that around men's health, mental health or whatever you like to call it. I mean, and I learned from sort of hard days of the early eighties where there was no vulnerability, go to training great bunch of guys.

I mean, I've reconnected with him since I've been back in Melbourne, we're going for a walk every sunday morning, about five or six of us, but not a lot of depth to the conversation, it's a lot more depth now with those same guys, but what happens in sport, it's a truly high performing industry. So then then it's a transition into full time football, probably the mid nineties when I went to Sydney, so then I became a full time player. So then we had to start to think as an industry, not just about ball ruse as a footballer, it's now that our players aren't working, what do we have to do outside of foot, you know, where we, where we work and then how long would it have been, maybe 10, 15 years ago, I'd be guessing a little bit, then we noticed players openly coming into coaches and saying, look, I'm not feeling that good. So then we would start having the conversation around, okay, why aren't you how are you going? So my point is, the NFL clubs provide a lot of opportunity, a lot of tools growth and I've seen the industry grow enormously and as a result, you know, we're the public, you know, tom boy, you know, wayne swaths, you know, so, so it's almost been a poster child for men's health and men opening up, so I'm really proud of being part of that and hopefully players that would talk about me in Sydney or coaching at Melbourne would say there was always a really transparent environment and we talked about the whole player so on that what are the most, I think we've come a long way.

So what I would say to the men listening and even the, the light is listening as well be prepared to open up, you know, talk about it, that's the number one thing I see and every time a player would come into my office and start telling their story, the body language and they walked out knowing that their coach understood now what they were going through and I was so happy because I would think gee now I can relate to them better. So the number one thing I think is be vulnerable, open up, tell your story, everyone, everyone is there to help and then to your point around one of the main problems, then we can unearth those problems. Then we can look under the bonnet, we can say, okay, well that person needs this, that person needs that whatever that may look like. But thankfully we're starting to have the conversation with, we've got a long way to go, but we're really starting to have that conversation and what are you finding in all of your corporate work without obviously taking out confidentiality and going into detail. What are you finding with leadership and men in the workplace?

Are they opening up more? Are they struggling? What's going on for them? There's still a big gap, you know, I think that's the biggest thing because it's still in the corporate world, it's getting better and we see good cultures, but it's still about the budget and about the strategy and about the share prices, there is a real opportunity and it comes back to leadership. We recently read a study was done last year and they talked about the hero leader, I think strategic leader and the vulnerable leader, they didn't use exactly those terms. But the interesting thing was the most successful companies were led by the vulnerable leader, which is a plastic. So the ones that are now prepared, the leaders that are now prepared. The hero leader was the one that everyone said, I should look at him. Russi said he's fine, every single day is coming and he's fine. There's nothing wrong with him. I can't hack and be like the strategy guy was just purely the excess and those, but the vulnerable one was a bad weekend and I just want to apologize to the meeting today. I'm not feeling myself. So people connected with those.

So what I would say to the leaders, you will shape your organization if you want men in the organization to have honest conversations and you're a male leader, you have to do it yourself. If you're female leader. I mean you're probably more qualified and to be honest, but it's probably the same principle providing with us with a really safe environment as a female leader. So it probably doesn't matter too much whether it's a male ceo or a female ceo it's really is providing that same space for everyone in the organization, but particularly the men as we know, you know, I've spoken about this before. Women are more likely to have a deeper conversation really, you know frank. So it's incumbent on that ceo, no matter what the demographic or where they come from and who they are or whatever to create a safe inspired environment, there's so much information around.

Most people would hear. Brown a Brown has become an advocate of staff vulnerability and honest conversations and psychological safety. So what I would implore the leaders walk the walk, don't just talk the talk. So many companies talk about people and they don't really care to be perfectly frank. Absolutely have the conversation and do something about it. Do you still see the old school, you know, men's mentality in a lot of, certainly a lot of, I noticed in a lot of bigger businesses, there's still that really old old school boys kind of mentality going on. Do you think we need to change that from a very young level? I mean, I know your son Dylan is running amazing courses for younger men to help them develop. So do you think that we need to provide more at an educational level about mental health and mental health? We've got a captive audience manned of kids. Last time I went to school I didn't have an option.

I don't have an option. We have a captive audience of five year olds to 18 year olds that have to be educated, we have an opportunity to educate those next generation of people. And that's why I'm so proud of Dylan and what he does with his course, Prince the King's because he's taking the opportunity with young men as a role model and taking them through from 14 to 20 odd and taking through some of the things that he faced as now that he's 27 sort of things. So, but we have a captive audience. I don't underst and how our education system hasn't changed over the last 100 years or have a long, certainly since, and it's still about maths and geography and english etcetera etcetera because to your point, you're absolutely right. Some of the the ceos or some of the main leaders have been doing what they've been doing for so long. And as much as they want to change, it's very difficult for them to change because their teachers would do this, do this, do this, do this. You don't cry, don't wins, don't complain.

So it's very, very hard. And I'm probably in that generation, I'm 58. I'm certainly, even at a girls school, our teachers were very um you know, don't don't be don't be like that. Harden up. You don't need to cry. And you know, I remember one teacher throwing a book across the room and hitting a girl in the head. So I'm with you, I I grew up in those days where, you know, it was hard enough even for girls. So it's yeah. And we've, we've chatted before many times about the fact that I'll go go on a rant about the fact that there's no nutritional help, health help at school still, you know, I I think they're still being taught what I was taught. So mental health is even further behind it, which wants to shape a generation. We're trying to change behaviors the earlier can do it the better. You know, we're seeing a really unhealthy population, We're seeing a rise in suicide, We're seeing a rise in mental health and depression and anxiety. You know, why wait, you might think about the health system is really interesting.

It's a lot. Why do we wait to someone gets sick? What? Try and save the dollars and cents and try and educate people around eating habits and what's healthy and exercise and diet and meditation and all those sorts of things, the sooner we do it the better and then Generationally yeah, we take pressure off all parts of our system. But in today's day and age, we just don't seem to want to have those conversations and thankfully we are today and thankfully, Dylan's prepared to have some progressive, really good ceos we deal with. And I'm sure there's some really good school teachers and some really good principles. Absolutely. It's changing the whole system 100%. That's always different than us being able to meet wonderful people who want to change. Its is getting down into the actual system. We're talking about a system. You're right, because I'm in school teachers, it I'll tell you why they are the most underpaid people. We've now seen the value, one of the most important jobs. Always rated school teachers. Remember fell and I used to go and do 40 clinics in primary schools.

I thought good. I've only got them for an hour. They're playing for. I've always had this enormous respect for school teachers, but I know now parents are home schooling. So there's some fantastic principles, fantastic schools teachers, but we are talking about a system. We're talking about how do we create a system that every person comes in and learns about things are going to take us forward generationally as human beings. Absolutely. So, what, what do you think women can do to help men um, with their mental health? Because, look, I've certainly found that mental health, we talk about it more. We speak about it more. It's it's you see it on social media more. Are you okay day, et cetera? But what I'm also finding is that a lot of people are saying, look, I'm not an expert, so I don't want to approach that. And for me, it's a little bit like CpR when you do your CpR training, they say people will always say in the class, what if I get really scared and I stuff up and the instructor always says any Cpr is better than no sepia.

So for me any listening, any help, any communication with someone that's struggling is better than none. Yeah, 100% agree. Absolute. So what can, what can women women do? I just have the conversation, you know, and if men are getting a little bit frustrated, just just use your intuition to back off a little bit, you know, but don't let it sit there, you know. The other thing is that women can do is ring ring your husbands friend, your partner's friend, you know, Look Bruce, I'm really worried about Freddie or billy or whoever it is, you know, okay, I didn't pick that up, have the conversation, you care about people and I think that's the main thing translate. I know clearly partners and wives are going to care but try and translate that into the conversation and work out just different mechanisms. I think what I've learned over the years, the coaches, there's so many different mechanisms to coaching, you know, and you can't just let it go at one, you know, to me, my wife tammy's, you know, she probably knows me well enough to these times, but she won't talk to me, you know, which is fine.

So sometimes it's about inaction probably a little bit, but go back, bring a friend, ask your girlfriend on the world, look how's your husband going because I guarantee that that your girlfriend's husband might be going for the same thing as your husband. Oh no, that how about we, you know, we get together and yeah, let's just open up the conversation and or do you mind can introduce paul to terry or fred or whatever, so just keep having the conversation, don't let it sweep under the carpet, but just know where to put the accelerator down. No one to put the brake on and no one to do, use different tools that you've got at your disposal. So yeah, absolutely, and it's just that like you say, just keep having conversations and keep keep that genuine curiosity and wanting to know that keep the care there and also, you know, understand your male partners, how they operate their learning.

Do they like to watch telly? I I'm going to sneak a netflix video on tonight, you know, what about what do they like to read books? You know? Here's a book. So I think understanding their personalities is really important. They're not a huge talker then it's unlikely they're going to sit down and spend an hour with you. Okay, so how do I navigate that? Yeah, they are a huge talker and then all they want to do is talk about Footy. I'm going to start with the Footy, but I'm going to weave in, just read the article about tom Boyd on the weekend. I know who's tomboys, the bulldogs player that came out, Okay, Really? Wayne squash is doing great stuff with. So there's just, I think the personality, understanding their learning techniques, understanding, you know, the red flags when they're just not themselves, you know, I think that's probably the easiest thing to do for the, the wives of the partners because clearly there with them for a reason. Yeah, they know them well and then get on with them well. So use your intuition to be able to unearth those those problems and work out what they are, awesome suggestions. Rosie. What do you do when everyone has bad days?

What do you do to help yourself when you have bad days? What do you want? Some tips? Yeah, Self care is huge. I think that's one of the most underrated things that you can possibly do. You know, I think for me, I live in South Melbourne now. I've got access to the lake, I've got access to the tan, we've got some weights down in the garage as well, sort of thing. But getting outside, it's such a simple thing that we don't really take advantage of enough. You get outside, go for a walk, you know, walk over the lake to sit there like sit on the edge of the lake at four o'clock, five o'clock, watch the sunset sun go down with the jacket on, you know, often by myself tammy comes across, go for a run, go for a walk. I've been walking through Albert Park golf course, which has been great, you know, it's beautiful, it's beautiful golf course. I've been walking through this yourself, look after yourself and don't apologize for looking after yourself if we can be healthier as ourselves, you know, and don't worry about what it looks like for someone else.

Don't worry about it. I saw this video of someone did on 10-K run. I can't do a 10-K run. Be just being best, slightly better version of yourself tomorrow than you were tonight, the day after the new word today, it can often be baby steps and don't be too hard. Were really hard on ourselves as well. Give yourselves a pat on the back, which is obviously sometimes hard to do. But give us all another technique is for the people listening, if there's someone out there thinks and needs are well done, pick up the phone, tell them well done. Thanks for doing that. That was awesome. Well done. Everyone loves to be valued. You know, tell people they're doing a great job. I think that's another thing we don't do often enough. We don't do that really at all do we don't do it all workplace. No, absolutely. It was from my corporate experience, we we wait for a review to hear about whether we're doing well or not. Exactly. And you and I touched on a link in that Spider Everett did you asked me about before. So for those who didn't hear it. Peter Everett was a player of mine was on a link in thing that we both heard and talked about me and yeah, I was just tough to hear.

Yeah, him talk about me the way he did, you know? So it was incredibly heartfelt. It was really quite moving for those that are wondering, should I say something to someone, you know how they're gonna receive it. Just tell them what a great job they're doing. Yeah. Tell them how well they don't tell them the impact you had they had on you bring up the pick up the phones, an old school teacher, a netball coach, a footie coach or whatever, whatever it might have been. Tell them how value they were in your life. And believe you me, it will make a massive difference if we all start doing that. Yeah. Wouldn't that be a big change in the world now? You and I connected especially because we both believe in wellness as part of leadership. You know, you can't really be a great leader unless you're well yourself and you can lead yourself. So what are some of the things that you think a is so important with health that connect to leadership? Yeah. One of the, one of the best quotes I ever heard was your own health will determine the health of your business.

And I thought that's it's really simple, but it's true, you know, and what I sort of every person that you're leading, whether you're owning a business or running a business or you have a massive corporation. Everyone below you wants you to turn up the best version of you. And so that's one thing. All right. So I'd say that. So what is the best version of, you know, that's going to be slightly different for everyone, You know? And I think that's probably the hardest thing about some of the diet, some of that exercise, I can't do that. Don't worry about that. Pick something. We all know healthy eating is better, not healthy. Absolutely. We all know some exercise is better than no exercise. We're not asking you to eat lentils or brussels sprouts more breakfast, lunch and dinner or we're not Exactly, Yeah, Ks a day. So find out what we know if I'm eating healthier and I'm exercising their better and the mindful part of it. The meditation being present. We know we know there's so much data around that now also.

All right. So that's the first thing. So look after yourself. What we also know is whatever that company is. And even in a family situation, you know, mom and dad, that's your culture. What's valued? All right. So the ceo is it in the company gym in the morning, What are you going to happen? A lot of gravitate if the ceo is leading the meditation session with tammy ruse or something like that and coming in and out. What do you think is going to happen or it's a role model leaders is another thing, if you're a leader talking about people's health and no one sees you doing anything around it, then they don't make a connection to. It doesn't mean they won't do it. But my my point is, if you as a leader want to encourage it in your workplace, walk the walk first, and then when you're doing these things, you know, set up your touch footy team and set up you walk around the town and set up all these sort of things and it makes it makes a huge difference.

It's it's so it's so right. I mean, it comes from the head down, doesn't it? Remember, you know, this is a long time ago, but when I spent some time in corporate, I used to walk across to the park at lunch and take my shoes off and put my feet on grass. And it was when I came back to the office after lunch, it was quite condemned because what I should be doing is sitting at my desk and working through lunch. And but I do remember someone saying to me once you look completely different than when you left and I said, yeah, that's because I got out in nature and put my feet on some grass and I decompressed before I came back in. So, but it was very difficult for I found it quite challenging to be the only person when you get back and the boss is looking at you sternly, you don't really fit in because everyone else is looking at you saying, well you're not working as hard as us, your lunch break. And I remember when, when I was coaching in Sydney and obviously the environment is really easy to do it, but we would run after the main training, so we would, instead of just walking back to the office, we would say, guys always go for a run around centennial Park and we take off and run around centennial Park.

Yeah, I have a share and then get into our work in the afternoon. There was times where I would get up at the office and leave the office sim purely and simply because I wanted everyone else to leave the office, you know, I didn't want to create an environment where they felt that they had to be in the office. I wanted people to be home with their family and I knew I could watch tape at home and so I would leave the office of days and so you see you guys, I'll catch you tomorrow and I know that gave them permission to do it. So whatever the boss is doing is giving you permission to do the same thing. So let's be really, really clear on that everything that they do is going to be emulated by most of their staff to your point, so you're eventually you're going to get born down, you're going to go, well probably I shouldn't go for a walk today. I was, yeah. And you're gonna fit in. We talk about people come into the culture and they fit into the culture. That's what they do. It's too difficult to be on your own and to be doing something that you're getting sneered at and stick it out. So you end up just think it was just so much easier and I get a lot less trouble if I just fit in.

Even though, you know, you're not honoring yourself, you're going against the best thing for you. And then at the end of the day, we're talking about mental health. That's the worst thing for your mental health. And it's really difficult conversation with. But gentlemen, on the weekend and he's really struggling. And he told me he hates work. I said, okay, what I need you to do is think of work in completely different terms. Think of work as a paycheck. That's it. All right. And I want you to what I said this to it. I said, what do you think the minimum hours you should do for the money that you're getting? Because no one's value at work, no one cares about him. I said all you need to do now the minimum hours and then his passions in one of the arts. And I said, put all your energy into that. So that's the mind. But you shouldn't have to do that. That's that's the point. He shouldn't have to do that. And I'm saying this is an interim thing. So for anyone that's struggling out there in their job, my first recommendation is probably should you be there And is there another opportunity potentially? If you're saying well no reason I've got to feed my family, you take your focus away from it.

If they're not valuing them, don't put any so you don't put any value on what put the value. Someone interesting. The value is on the dollars. The only reason I'm going to work. I worked at the Mp and all this stuff against the Mp. Yeah I am. Was that very old school? Well no here's the story. Sounds a young kid I want to play footy. I start to pee course and my kids they're always getting them in there because I lasted about three months you know. So I went to anyway I went to and I told I told the garden stories and I went to the club. The job for me was just the gym that they had the gym that they had the flexi hours that they had and that's what I loved about the job. So I put up with all the other stuff because of what they offered. So my mindset it was easy to go. I didn't actually like the work but my mind was just going to do the job to the best of my ability but I'm not really here. I'm just hear them to facilitate my ability to get training half an hour earlier than the other guys that have to work and I can use the gym in the off season.

So my point is the mind is really powerful and, and we know in a bad culture, the first people to leave the people that value themselves the most, they're the first people to leave a bad culture. But sometimes you just have to put up with it, but take your mind and put it somewhere else do the job. This is what I'm getting paid and for me, the way I look back and it was fantastic, made some good friends, didn't necessary enjoy the work, but it was fantastic. That's such an important point because you and I would both know all through our lives over the years, people that now I've never really been able to do it, I've always needed to be where I'm passionate and where I feel like I can give value. But I know a lot of people who are might pop into the pub years ago and say, hey going and they'd be drinking a lot and I'd say how come you're doing this? And it's because I hate my job. So I lived to the, to the weekend and then I get drunk all weekend and then start again monday.

And I've always thought how many people are, are struggling in this way and living like this, you know, they hate where they spend most of their life. We spend most of their life. I Can tell you how many, because I just read a survey that worldwide, it was nearly 80% of people hate going to work. There's a study that came just came out. It's tough. Yeah, that is, it's amazing. That is, I don't have a word for that. That's it's staggering. That is so sad and it's interesting because what you're saying is right, so if you can find your passion then absolutely, absolutely. But what I'm, what I'm saying to you see, also see something good in what you're doing. There's always something good in what you're doing because I think we're gonna be a little bit careful as a generation. We just don't become a generation of why don't like that cause I'm not going to do it. I don't like that. I'm not gonna do it. I don't like that, I'm not gonna do it. Yeah, absolutely. There's a balance between so fine if you're in, you know, if you're in a job that you don't want to find something good about the job and then understand that's what I'm doing it for.

You know, I used to say to my players all the time. I don't care what motivates you, as long as your motivate it didn't worry me. What motivated them some, some place was how much money I could make, that's fine. I don't care for some players, it was, you know, just the ego around on the NFL football as long as they were motivated by something, Yeah, that, that was really important. But what we've got to be careful because when it starts to affect your mental health and when it starts to pull you down, that's when we got to start to have the conversations around why there's a different point and you're right. You know, even in jobs you love, there are parts that you don't like and you just put you put up with it, but you're right when it starts to impact every other part of your life and it starts to really get you down in a dangerous way. Then that's when we need to start changing things, have the conversation and change things and help each other. And that's why that stat is so damning. And that's why we've got to have conversations with our leaders because our leaders can change the environment.

Yeah, well that's governmental leaders, you know, from a state federal point of view, whether it's the ceo of biggest companies in Australia, they've got the most responsibility at the moment to change the workplace is to change the environment to the way that it really should be because it's not necessarily someone who just needs to be passionate about what they do. Uh, there's some studies that I've read that have said the most important thing is not necessarily the work that they're doing, but they feel valued in the workplace. So a lot of people don't need to find the big thing they're passionate about, but they do need to feel valued in the workplace. And I think that's what that number is probably, it sounds daunting, but it's not like, I don't think 80% of people hate the place that they're working at, per se, they just don't want to go in there because of maybe it's a cultural thing, Maybe there's a bullying thing. So what I'm saying, it's changeable to your point, Absolutely, it is absolutely changeable.

If we start to fix some things, It might only be 5% of the job that drives them mad. So they put down, I don't really like it. If we change those percentages, then most workplaces will become so much more vibrant and exciting. And so if we're talking about empowerment and health and all those sorts of things, you know, it's going to make a make a big difference. Absolutely, That's so true. That's such a big takeout from today because I just see so many people focusing on what they don't like. And obviously we're very good at torturing ourselves with our minds, but when we don't train our minds, but I see so many people focusing on what they don't like about their work, whereas, you know, if, as you said, if 5% changed or if that person wasn't bullying them or if if they felt like they could speak up or if they felt like occasionally the boss walked by and said, hey, that was, that was really great what you did. They would, it would change completely how they feel about going to work.

There's so much data around connection. You know, that's what part this is, what's happening in the street at the moment is so, so bad. There's so much partners, connection people. We've always been in tribes. We've always been in groups of people. We've always been so short. We always want interaction. So you're right. People want to feel valued at their workplace. They want to go in and have, yeah, the boss say thanks for that. That was great. Well done. What do you think about that rosie? You know, can you come into my office, I want to ask you about something. We want connection, We want to fuel value. So you're right. It's 100% fixable When we got to start to have the conversations around what that really, really looks like. So my thing is the alarm should be going off in the morning and we should be going, I can't wait to get into the office. You know, when we get, I can't wait to get in the office. You know, I know I'm gonna have a tough day because I'm gonna do budgets or I've got to do this, but I can't wait to see my boss and I can't wait to see my work colleagues because I'll ask me how I'm going, I'll generally care, will probably go for a walk at lunchtime and we'll all go and have some healthy food together.

And then, you know, I got jimmy and mary and you know, Sandy gonna walk home with me after you walk back to South Melbourne after after work. That's the way work should be. Absolutely people need. I think there's even a song about people needing people who wrote it. But um, well, without obviously going into too much detail about what's going on at the moment, How how do you think we can help each other at the moment? Because we're isolated. We're not getting that community fixed, We're not in the office. A lot of us, a lot of people do work well from home, but a lot of people get amazing creative ideas in the kitchen when they're getting a cup of tea and they have the office banter and they miss that connection. You know, there's a lot of people living alone that aren't getting action at the moment. Um, So how do you think we can help everyone? Really? But this is a three for men. So how can we help men with the isolation that's going on at the moment?

I think one of the saddest things I've seen is just self interest. I think that's that for me has been the single biggest of all the things is the self interest that was seen in the selfishness. So my we've got to get outside of ourselves and put yourself in someone else's shoes, there's people losing businesses, there's people committing suicide. You know, we have to reach out, we have to be more empathetic, We have to shower people with love, not hatred, it's just, it's so sad, you know, the division in the community, the division is just so sad and it really makes me angry and mad, reach out to people, you know, do as much as you can for your community and your friends and your family and stop judging people, you know, for doing whatever they're doing and understand why they're doing it, you know, But we just we've got to open up the conversation, we've got to have honest conversations because the division, I've never seen a greater division in Australia in my life and driven by leaders, which is which makes absolutely even even sadder, really, I think last time we spoke I said, rosie I my friends and I always have different points of view and heated discussions even sometimes, but I've never, in my life had a friend get so angry About a discussion as this one opposing views.

Yeah, 100%. And my wife went out with a really good friend the other day and the same thing happened. So like, and I'm finding now, but you can't have the conversations, which I guess what I'm saying is really sad. It's like, and it's just this created the huge division that's going on and that's not the way we built humans are not built by humans are built to be connected and understand and empathy. And I'm going to talk about great footie clubs, great footie clubs are connected and understand people's different views and understand where they're coming from and their backgrounds and throughout the whole process you helped them and you guide them and you wrap your arm around them and you lift them up. We've got to start lifting people up and not pushing people down. Now when you and I grew up there wasn't very much social media, certainly, I didn't see it. How do you think social media is? Because there's always a big emphasis on how social media affects women, women's body image etcetera. How do you think social media is impacting men dramatically in a negative point of view?

And the main reason I say that is because let's explore that was a really good Dylan um asked me a question was the last year or the year before, I said, dad, if you could grow up in any era, what would you grow up? And I was like, that's a pretty deep question. So I actually sat down and thought about it for a while, I came back and said I wouldn't change anything and then I went into why our whole I'm 58, so let's say born in 1963, started playing sports in, you know, eight or nine. So yeah, it's early seventies through came to fitzroy in sort of 1980 so My 10 years was outside playing sport, riding a bike. You know, my I would come home from school, literally put my bag down I would go in a couple of pieces of vegemite on toast and I'll be gone and then I come back for dinner. So my point is always active and what I'm saying about social media from that point of view, but also my role models when social media people thank you.

Yes, my role models were see touch and feel, Yes, that's that's who my role models were, they was, they would see touch and feel they were dad, mum, friends, parents, teachers, teachers, uh basketball coach Owen human, you know, rob morgan john Thompson, I can name them to this day, they were my role models and they really impacted you on a human level on this social media. Look at me enormous, enormous level of because I can see their flaws, not only got to see what they did and what they achieved and what they spoke about and how they guided me, I could see their flaws and you know, so now what we are younger generation role models, people, we have no idea who they are, you know, it all we see is the fancy cars, fancy boat, the number of followers, we really have no idea what their values are, what their morals are, what their behaviors are etcetera, etcetera.

So there's so many reasons we could, we could go into, you know, so I think one of the things we've got to get back to is outside, which you talk about this, this mess that we're in now, the worst thing you take away activity, takeaway playgrounds and absolutely, you know, bicycle courts and 40 grounds. It's the last thing you should be doing. Absolutely last thing. Um, but also, you know, role models, look, look around, you know, who you aspire to be that, you know, and you've seen etcetera, etcetera. Yeah. Yeah. I've seen some positive about it because we can see people's travels and their stories and what they're doing and we can see our friends a bit more and all those sorts of things. It's not all negative. But I think that's when it started though. That's what it was about. Certainly for me, I got on facebook to keep in touch with friends and see what was happening and especially friends who maybe were overseas, but now it's turned into this monster of comparison and people putting up whatever they want to show us what they want us to see.

Yeah, definitely. And so we're not, we're not living out through lives, we're living our lives through people were really, yeah, we've got no chance of becoming and do we really want to become the, you know, like that's the thing you do. We really, I mean that's that's that's my question. Yeah, clearly there's parts of it, you know, and stuff like that. But I think, yeah, I wanted to make my dad proud of my mum proud, you know? I wanted to emulate the things that I got caught by my basketball coaches and my football coaches and I don't wanna let them down. Yeah, I don't wanna let my teammates down. And when I got the Fitzroy role models, I had a Fitzroy, Gary, Wilson, Bernie Quinlan, Laurie, Serafini, Micky Conlan, You know, those guys, I wanted to be like them generally, you know, because they knew what they stood for as human beings. Yeah. The question I would ask some of these young people today that are following some of these other people, do you really want to be like him? Well, do you just want to have a lot of money? Exactly.

Right. Do you just want to flash what part of it you really like? Yeah. And regarding sport, how much of how much do you think sport plays in the health, the mental health of community? Obviously we know physical health, it's crucial, but, you know, as far as sport goes, I think we need more sport, not less. How do you see sport playing a role in either corporate community or Oh, local community, a sport is incredibly underrated. Like it's so underrated, you know? And yeah, I got a really good friend of mine, unfortunately. Their sons passed the son passed away, which was really, really sad, but my boys played with him at the at the local footy club eastern somewhere, bulldogs. And even as recently as last week I said mama text and I said, you know, I really miss those times and they miss those times. We all miss those times because the connection that we had his parents, the connection that players had together and you know, it was a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful time and I'm so disappointed that we're seeing the youth of today missing out on the opportunities, you know, even though I remember the pE teacher at primary school, you know, we do cross ball, remember mine Tunnel wall and we'd be outside and lacrosse and red remember well yeah, well the things we did um joe's second was my was my high school pE teacher.

Yeah, we play hockey and and and cross, you know, as I said, and I love those times, you know the things I learned. Yeah. And I know I've gone on and and been in that industry for many, many years. But even in the corporate world, let me tell you this, I will tell you this unequivocally And what I picked up probably about 18 months in the the best leaders had always played some form of team sport. Men and women that the best leaders had always been involved in a team sport because they've learned concepts That no one else I couldn't work out why no one was picking up on him. And I noticed it was a really common theme. So to your point, this is not, it's not about sports. I mean, clearly there's an activity and is winning and losing and fun and all that, but it's so much more than if you think 40 at a junior level or net bullet journal level is just about shooting baskets and kicking the ball. No, no, 100%. No way.

It's it's it's so true because when I was involved with high level amateur footy club, Mount barker and I was there fitness trainer and the time, the best times that I look back on have actually nothing to do with the games and what happened during the games, Happy we won two premierships. But it's about, I have memories of standing on the sidelines and chatting to people and you know, the club rooms afterwards and um, you know, the going around to the footy players house for tennis as a group on a sunday and all of those things that happen when you're involved in a tight knit community and you know, even the local cops were part of it. And it was just amazing that the relationships that you build. Yeah, that's what I remember. I don't remember so much the actual games. I remember in my connection yeah, having played the highest level on the same. It's funny, like the thing is amazing.

The things I remember now as a successful player and coach is, and the stories that we tell on Sundays now, you know, about the little, the little things that had happened and, you know, the trainers and the boots starter and the football manager and all, and the fans and the people we see and know and all that sort of stuff. It's amazing. You know, I talked the other week about Legacy, a legacy talk and I explained, yeah, your bio is what you do. Your legacy is how you do it. Yeah. Your bio, your bio is what you do, but your legacy is how you do it. Yeah. And great organizations leave a legacy because great organizations do it the right way. Yeah. And I think that sums up what you're saying. It doesn't matter what it is. Yeah. It's not necessarily about that because you don't have to clubs in the same competition that have won two premierships, but one's got legacy.

They both got the same bio. That one's got a much better legacy than the other one. That's that's really, really powerful. Can I just ask you, I'm very conscious of your time, why what has built you to be such a great leader because there are other people in afl that don't coach, their clubs, like you, there are other coaches that would not get a player like Spider giving them words like that. Um what has built this ability within you to provide this for other people. I think the experience that I had were incredibly invaluable and you know, that's why I'm so passionate about culture and creating the right environment because my parents crowded the right environment for me, you know, to play, we moved out to Don Bar, which was a bunch of orchards back in the seventies and they provided me with an amazing environment to play sport. They both played sport by then, was taught the right way by the fitzroy players.

And Then I went through a lot of hardship in terms of the club itself and the lack of money and all that sort of stuff. So I think it's the experience that I've seen and the people that have come in contact with that allowed me to see a lot of different things and they're moving to Sydney and seeing the swans and going from a poor club to win playing in the grandfather in 1996. So I think I have a really good self awareness and I think that's one thing, you know, I think I have, yeah, healthy ego without, without thinking, I'm too important, you know, I think the things that I'd see that that destroy organizations or ego, lack of self awareness, I think is absolutely real impediment to success and an enormous egos, impediment success over the long term, you can get over that hurdle in the short term, but I think in the long term, but I've got a credit so many people that have come in contact with over the years that have been great role models to me and helping shape the person I am today.

That's amazing response for your incredibly humble and I know anyone that knows you will say that about you. Yeah, everything you've achieved. I've been taught that by Gary Wilson and Bernie Quinlan, who two of the probably most talented players, you know, that I've ever seen and reached the highest accolades. But one of the things that struck me at fitzroy when I walked into that club is a 16 17 year, there were no groups, there's no cliquey groups, there's no, there's Gary Wilson Bernie Quinlan and four or five of the best players, it was never like that, you know, and the Gary and Bernie is out to most talented players were her best people. So how can you help not be like that if you're superstar players are like that and you're a young person trying to fit into to our point earlier on. So I'm a young person going, what, what gets valued at this club and why and what are our leaders do. And then, and then, you know, some of my first experiences to go away with these guys, you know, leon leon Harris, but Peter Francis had come from Carlton and come to fitzroy and lee Carlson what human beings, you know, I went to a lie and they took me under their wing and you know, we went to the North Shore and so we weren't drinking during the day.

We were actually exploring. And so my reality is based on their behavior. Yeah, that's the way I look at things. Because they were incredible role models and their legacy on you. Oh, absolutely. And one of things I'll never forget. You know, when I won the premiership in 2005 with the swans, a number of Fitzroy players are genuinely were excited. They had a function for me down and out of the park. And it was so, My success was their success. And I felt that as well. And I was so glad that they did because I wouldn't have achieved what I did with Sydney had I not been at Fitzroy as a 17 year old. Yeah, in no way shape or form what I've reached the heights as a coach and won the premiership. Had I not gone to that football club? Amazing. Well, thank you so much for easy. I really appreciate your time and I know that anyone listening and will get so much out of this, especially the men listening. Now, if anyone wants to get in touch with you regarding corporate culture leadership, how do they get in touch with you website www dot by design dot ceo.

But also, um I'm look, I'm accessible through LinkedIn and those who know that sent me a message through that platform, always get back to people. So jump on linked in. But you can go through the website, look up performance by design, you can connect with us there and I'm always accessible and always happy to help. And yeah, even even guys that are struggling, please don't please reach out. If you want to reach out directly through Nant to get hold of her, she can get hold of me more than happy to have a conversation directly as well. Thanks. Rosie. That's amazing. Remember years ago we were talking about traveling to Fiji. So we'll just we'll just we'll just keep it in house for the moment and we'll just we'll just talk to people over the phone and of his own. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it seems a long time ago, isn't it? Thank you so much for your time. I will speak to you soon. Thanks.

Leadership and Men’s Mental Health with Paul Roos
Leadership and Men’s Mental Health with Paul Roos
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