Paul Roos has had an incredible career in the AFL as a player, coach and media commentator.

In 2005, after playing 356 games with Fitzroy and Sydney, he coached Sydney to their first premiership in 72 years.

Paul's book ‘Here It Is’ details his coaching and leadership philosophy, and he hosts a podcast called ‘The Coach’ to help leaders learn and grow.

In this wide-ranging interview, Paul shares his thoughts on business, life and becoming the best leader you can be.


Welcome to Episode Seven. I'm Tristan White and today we have an interview with a coach, a leader, and an author by the name of Paul Roos. This is the second of two interviews with leaders from the Australian Football League, or the AFL.

Paul Roos will need no introduction for the millions of Australians who follow AFL. A legendary career saw Paul achieve success as both a player and a coach. So the Paul Roos summary sounds something like this: Highly decorated AFL player of 356 games, AFL premiership-winning coach at the Sydney Swans, former head coach of the Melbourne Demons, and author of a book on coaching, leadership, and life, called Here It Is.

A bit more detail about the man known as Roosy is that he began his AFL playing career at the Fitzroy Footy Club in 1982 and finished his playing career at the Sydney Swans in 1998, with 356 senior games, five Best and Fairest Awards, and seven All-Australian selections.

In 2005, Paul coached the Sydney Swans to their first premiership in 72 years, an achievement that elevated him to AFL Legend status. In 2013, Paul was appointed Head Coach of the Melbourne Football Club to rebuild their culture and success after some very lean years. He implemented the same performance model used at the Sydney Swans, and this year, 2018, has seen the Demons reach the Finals for the first time in many years.

I first met Roosy and his family at a Roos Men's Wellness and Leadership event here in Melbourne. Along with the Wellness and Leadership Club events, Roosy's very focused on helping people become the very best people and leaders they can be. He speaks, mentors, and hosts a podcast called The Coach, to help leaders continue to learn and grow. I really recommend that you grab a copy of his book, have a listen to his podcast, because they're both great resources for us culture-obsessed leaders.

Now this interview, there's a bit of footy-speak, but there's also a phenomenal amount of learnings that can be applied to business, life, and becoming the best person you can be. I loved Roosy's take on building a team by firstly selecting people based on character before competence. With the right character, competence can be taught.

That idea is completely aligned with the selection approach that I wrote about in Culture Is Everything. There is plenty to learn and reflect on here, from the man known in the AFL world as the Super Coach. Enjoy.

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