RWC Large-01

We were delighted to host Phil Waugh former Wallaby (and ex Vice Captain) at our recent Executive leader’s dinner where we explored the theme of ‘Leading Championship Teams’. 40+ Executives packed out the room on the eve of the Rugby World Cup kicking off in Japan later this week, Waughy was both engaging and entertaining.

Phil’s career as a rugby player began at Shore, playing in the First XV captaining the team in 1997. His professional career began in 1999, playing for the Waratahs, and later that year gaining selection for the Wallabies Spring tour of the UK and Europe. He was rewarded for his performance in 2003 by winning the John Eales Medal for the Wallabies Best and Fairest Player. Post his professional rugby career in 2011 he spent a number of years working in leadership roles with Commonwealth Bank and more recently with St. George Bank. Phil is a Non-Executive Director with Australian Finance Industry Association and Rugby Australia and holds a Master of International Business from University of Sydney.  

I have commented that one of the best aspects of a recruiter’s job is interviewing talented leaders. After 20+ years I still find it a real privilege and enlightening experience. During my interview with Phil I tried to leave no stone unturned; from his time meeting the great leader Mandela to discovering the unusual “reverse psychology” of Eddie Jones and even stories of being in the bedroom of Berrick Barnes! 

It was fascinating to hear about Phil’s experience of leadership from around the World, both in business and from within the game. Noting Phil played under the likes of Eales, Little, Burke, Gregan and Mortlock to name a few. We touched on the importance of vision and clarity of communication – and the parallels of leadership in business and sport. Even sharing some learnings from his time on the sea during Sydney to Hobart pursuits.

I really loved Phil’s story about the team’s simple mantra to keep them aligned as a team, just six words:

“Team Performance”

“Team First”

“Own Backyard”

Thanks to our amazing community that attended the dinner our collective contributions raised a much needed $2,000 for Rural Aid Ltd as Australia’s farmers and regional communities doing it tough throughout one of the worst droughts in Australian history. A special thanks to Simon Rabbitt of Rugby Australia and John Nicholl of TEG / Ticketek for their kind donations and congratulations to our raffle winners picking up some unique and memorable prizes. 

Wishing Cheika and the entire team all the best for Japan RWC 2019.