What are my recent learnings as a business coach, a passionate Queenslander and Australian, a husband, father and grandfather?

  1. Never miss the opportunity to say “I love you” to every member of your family, at least once a day
  2. It is tough times for many businesses in Australia, but keep believing in yourself so that each day, you are as well prepared as you can be, and motivated to have another crack!
  3. Take time to reflect upon what we have; appreciate how good this country is; and then do everything you can do to preserve it

I hope you can use my learnings, especially over the Christmas period where you may have more time with family and the ability to reflect on the year.


Interested in what I have been up to since our last contact?

I have been doing some writing of which recent articles or tips are:

  • Beyond19 blogs with coaching tips for sales team leaders and sales process
  • Governance Institute article looked at the issues that sport face with good governance


Over the past few months there has been quite varied coaching and leadership engagements such as –

    • Boggabri Coal (Idemitsu) – assisting the Senior Leadership team to manage a major organisational, operational,  and technical change to the mine by running in parallel the longterm vision, values and culture that will differentiate Boggabri Coal from its competitors
    • Southern Region Victoria, Deputy Principal Network conference – leadership roles in schools have become quite complex. In order to navigate through the complexity, I provided the conference with my Everest Leader framework through a full day workshop.
    • The Victorian Public Service Commission (VPSC) have tasked the Victorian Leadership Academy (VLA) as the body to develop a new generation of public sector leaders who are high performing, diverse and collaborative leaders, delivering quality services and outcomes for the community. I am a member of the coaching panel, and provide executive coaching to senior members of the VPS
    • AFL Level 4 program involves mentor coaching with the next set of AFL Club head coaches
    • Queensland Public Service Commission (QPSC) conduct a variety of leadership programs for middle managers to senior leaders within the QPS for which I have been involved through the People Matters workshops.
    • Continuing the roles in International Leaders as Advisory Board member to Victorian Leaders and Director SA Leaders
    • Conducting the Everest Team workshop for growing law firm, Batch and Mewing
    • Interview and speaking for the main fundraising breakfast for the Hills and District Chamber of Commerce
    • And on the immediate horizon –
      • Sri Lanka Leaders group are looking to launch a leadership conference in Colombo
      • Western Australia’s HR Leaders Summit
      • Principals conference for SE Qld


Projects that are keeping me out of the garden and away from the beach but exciting and filled with possibilities:

  • Rpm360 – a performance management system and app for business
  • Launch Teespecially designed equipment to help young children gain greater success and enjoyment when involved with activities that require a bat/racquet/paddle and a ball
  • Digital disruption ambassador with REDD
  • Reinvent Australia  – One Vision Many Voices: Building Australia’s resilience and improving the quality of life for its people
  • Video blogs throughout the coming Ashes series


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Knowing what your role in an organisation is; delivering on that role; and being accountable for that delivery.

Not knowing is one of the reasons why we are constantly seeing poor leadership and decision making from many of our National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) and peak sporting bodies (eg Australian Olympic Council AOC).

Professional athletes, coaches and support staff are under this scrutiny all the time.

It appears that those who are involved in offield policy, strategy and organisational decision making are less accountable for their performance.

This may be perception only and not factual. However, recent examples such as Cricket Australia’s (CA) pay dispute; AOC continued public  dispute over an alleged bullying culture; the debacle of ARU’s ongoing reorganisation of Super Rugby franchises; the NRL’ s Commission and looming player pay dispute has maintained interest away from the actual playing of the game; and the list goes on.

Now Mark Taylor, CH 9 commentator, Cricket Australia (CA) Board member, former Test captain has weighed in on how the Australian Cricket team should be playing in Bangladesh.

As a former Test player, there is little doubt he has a right to his opinion – even if his opinion is inaccurate.

As a CH9 commentator, it would also seem he has the right to make comment about Australia’s fortunes as he has a vested interest in Australia playing well and continuing to build their performances towards an Ashes series for which CH9 are host broadcaster.

However as an administrator, as a Board member of CA, he will have his views, but these should not be expressed publicly for a few reasons –

  1. Good corporate governance and leadership should mandate Board members not to express personal opinions on the day to day operations of the business. Commentary of this nature must be handled by those who are employed and directly accountable
  2. In expressing personal opinion, it becomes a reflection on how the Board of CA operate as a leadership team. The Board develops policy and strategy to enable those who are employed to manage CA to return the expected results – one of which is onfield performance. So Mark Taylor’s comments, if reflective of the Board, are either a direct criticism of the coach, captain and playing group; or conversely, a direct criticism of themselves for adopting poor policy and/or poor strategy
  3. If it is CA Board policy to allow Board members to speak publicly on various matters, then the spokesperson should not be conflicted in how comments will be interpreted or perceived – is Mark Taylor a former player when he comments? Is he representing the interests of his employer Ch9? Is he a Board member of CA and speaking on their behalf?

While this article may seem trivial to some readers, I believe this example is further evidence of what is endemic within Australian sport and has been becoming more pervasive.

Good governance and leadership has not kept pace with the changing demands of sport, whether that be at professional level or at grassroots.

The professionalization of Australian sport has happened very rapidly on-field – it has a long way to go off-field.


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To see more about Taylor’s views on the plans of the struggling Aussies:


Over the past few months I have been interviewed on different aspects of leadership coaching, peak performance and current issues in cricket.

The first of these podcasts was done in the studios of ABC for the program The Minefield co-hosted by Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens.

Here’s the interview, I think you’ll enjoy the interesting mix of social and economic theory and thought, combined with a practitioners view of the pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the Players union.


Click to listen to John’s interview with ABC radio


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In the distance, steepling above the horizon, is Mt Everest. Then young mountain climber, Michael Groom had just scaled Cho Oyu (8612m), the sixth highest peak on the planet. His dream was to not only climb Everest, but also to climb all five highest peaks in the world without the aid of oxygen. For Michael, the use of oxygen could prove dangerous at certain times. However, his main driver was that he did not want to bring the mountain to him by use of an aid such as O2 – he wanted to climb each mountain in its own challenging, inspiring and dangerously uncertain environment.


I have been fortunate to listen to Michael’s account of his Everest climb a few times, and on each occasion I do, the story, and the surrounding stories which lead him to climb Everest, only become more remarkable. Cheating death on a number of being told he would never walk again let alone climb again by doctors as they amputated half his feet; being turned back by nature when the peaks were in sight and almost within reach; and all these adventures and misadventures started from a little boy dreaming.


When I look at why I have done what I have done, I know that dreaming is very much alive in me. I either picture what I want to be or achieve, and then begin the journey. Many of these journeys have ended prematurely, sometimes due to factors outside my control, others because of me.


It is a philosophy that I have taken with me into all the teams with which I have worked, and with all the people that I have had the opportunity to influence in some way.

I believe in the power of a seemingly unattainable picture, image, symbol, or abstract to help drive change, set new benchmarks, not do the same as everyone else – in other words, what’s your ”Everest” ? What might that be for the individual or the team?

And like Michael Groom, like my experiences – as one dream vanishes for whatever reason, this provides the next opportunity to look beyond your boundaries.


A few tips and personal reminders that I find useful are –

Better is always possible, so let yourself dream

Find your own quiet place which allows you to dream big

We all have limitations, but the only limits to what we can achieve, are set by ourselves

Have the courage and resilience to keep backing yourself