Prior to working at Leading Teams, I worked for over 25 years in the NRL as an Assistant Coach, Development Manager and a Player. During my time as a coach, I was always puzzled why some teams who had talented lists and were financially secure performed below expectations. On the flip side, I noticed other teams with limited talent (on paper) performed above their expectations. I also was fortunate to be exposed (or rather immersed) in the Leading Teams program at 3 separate NRL clubs. It was easy to see that teams that heavily invest in their culture and leadership had improved outcomes on the field with team performance. It was a clear competitive advantage that took time and deliberate effort to develop and maintain, but the payoff was immense in an environment where these marginal gains had a significant impact to individual & team performance.
So, I made a decision in 2017 that I’d like to pursue a career with Leading Teams as a facilitator. The work aligned closely with my purpose as a coach, that being – To help people get better and achieve.
It’s strange how most people know what a good culture looks like and feels like, yet it is still very elusive in many organisations. The beauty of the Leading Teams program is it practicality and its simplicity. As I have developed as a facilitator, I have understood that it is the bedrock from which all successful organisations are built on.
How would you like to be described by your family, friends, and clients?
Competent, Responsible, Invested, Positive.
What is your favourite piece of leadership advice, or quote?
‘Your actions speak so loud I cannot hear what you say’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
It cuts to the heart of what Leadership is all about. Leadership is not about what you say or the position that hold. Its way more about what you do, your actions and the consequence of those actions.
What does success look like with a client?
From a client’s perspective, success means that we have helped them solve their problems. In practical terms you would see an organisation with a clear purpose and everyone strongly connected to it. You would also see high levels of trust understanding and respect particularly when they are under pressure. Furthermore, that trust would allow them to be able to have genuine conversations about behaviour and performance. The team would have a defined trademark and behaviours that they all strive to attain everyday.
Tell us about your culture and leadership experience?
My reflections as a coach, I quickly began to realise that it wasn’t about what I knew (tactical & strategic smarts) and what I told people to do. It was more about how strong my relationship was with my players and how I influenced them to develop their knowledge of the game and to make good decisions in high pressure situations. As Simon Sinek says, “I wasn’t in charge, I was responsible for the people in my charge”
The other thing I learnt was that everything can be reviewed and improved upon if you look hard enough and are honest enough. It’s not about criticising, it is more the idea that improvement is never ending.
Kurt has been trusted by
“Of all the assistant coaches I’ve worked with his skillset is the most rounded – he knows a lot and he knows how to teach it. Kurt has the ability to help a person become a better player, whether that’s one on one or working with a whole team.”
Head Coach, Newcastle Knights