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  • Dan Crouch

AFL Premiership Coach Paul Roos joined Flow FM to discuss leadership, culture in sport

AFL Hall of Famer Paul Roos is one of the great leaders Australian sport has seen; as a player Roos was twice named captain of the All-Australian team, and as a coach he led the Sydney Swans in 2005 to their first premiership in 72 years.



Roos built a legacy on his leadership and belief in the importance of good culture. He joined Flow Sports to discuss these important pillars, his business Performance By Design, and some of his experiences coaching the Sydney Swans and the Melbourne Demons.


"The word culture gets thrown around a lot. If you look at what is culture, culture is simply the behaviors that are rewarded and challenged. So if you're a young person coming into a poor culture, then it's harder to become a good leader because everyone wants to fit into whatever culture that is."

The premiership coach also spoke about the famous Sydney Swans 'Bloods Culture' and a certain policy that was made famous during his tenure.


"If you come to Sydney as a player, you act your way into the system or you act your way out of the system. So the most important part of that is having a system that's really clear"


"So yeah, we wanted good people, good players, but we had some good personalities as well. So it wasn't a fact that everyone had to be the same personality, but clearly we wanted to stand for something. We had some really clear standards and behaviours and you had the opportunity to act your way in, but you also had the opportunity to act your way out. And really that's how the no idiots policy came about."


Roos also touched on succession plans in the AFL, and how he was able to smoothly hand the top job over to his successors on two occassisons, both of which yielded premierships for his understudies.


"The succession plan has to come from the senior coach, you know, and that's probably the difference between the one that we did, the one that Collingwood did, the one that Hawthorne tried to do...


"I wanted to have someone underneath me that could then take over from me, because I always had this philosophy that why, when a coach is sacked, you always go outside the footy club. If you've set up your football club really well and you've got a really good culture, why don't you drive that internally? So, I think that's the biggest difference between the ones that I've done at Sydney and Melbourne... If you've set up your football club really well and you've got a really good culture, why don't you drive that internally?"




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