On Friday the 22nd of June during prime time TV two footballers from opposing teams in the ladies State of Origin kissed after the game. The NRL received complaints after posting the photo on social media.
To their credit, the NRL responded by saying:
“Welcome to 2018 … can’t wait for you to join us!”
I admire the NRL’s swift, assured and pragmatic leadership. They were confident to respond, they demonstrated clarity about what the NRL stands for and they didn’t waiver. That’s leadership.
Leaders have to stand for something.
Other things I admire about the NRL’s recent leadership:
- Putting women’s rugby league on TV during prime viewing time
- Giving the women’s NSW versus Queensland competition the brand and title ‘State of Origin’
- The NRL deliberately works to develop their athletes to be prepared for life after their sporting career ends
- The NRL has also established a unit to work on improving the representation of Indigenous and Polynesian people in their administration and management ranks
- The NRL has moved to improve the long term health and safety of its athletes by introducing the Head Injury Assessment (HIA) process and also by empowering referees to penalise defensive players for unnecessarily endangering attacking players.
I’m sure the NRL is not perfect, perfection is not human; I admire their efforts and I wish to see other institutions look at themselves, the shadows of their leadership and culture and ask “what could we do to improve things?”
How can your leadership create a more meaningful, profitable and sustainable business? After all, it is 2018.
Congratulations Todd Greenberg, congratulations NRL and congrats to the broadcaster.