John Eales As part of our monthly segment, Our Community Leaders - Great Australian Leaders in Focus which features the thoughts of some of Australia's great leaders, we speak to one of Australia's greatest sporting leaders, World Cup winning Wallaby captain, John Eales AM

John Eales AM

John Eales is one of Australia's greatest rugby players, captaining Australia for a record 55 Tests, including leading the Wallabies to victory in the 1999 World Cup. Described as one of sport's most inspirational leaders, since his retirement from the playing arena Eales has remained an Ambassador for rugby as well as working as an executive for BT Australia and running John Eales 5, a corporate events company.

Our Community: Who do you consider to be the great leaders of our time? And Why?

John Eales:

  • Nelson Mandela - he is humble, forgiving and pro-active.
  • Bob Mansfield - he has achieved in business while maintaining very strong family values.

Our Community: What are the three attributes you would consider to be essential to a leader? And Why?

John Eales:

  1. That their behaviour is grounded by very strong and consistent values.
  2. They are effective communicators.
  3. They lead by their own actions.

Our Community: What are the three greatest barriers to new leaders emerging in Australia?

John Eales:

  • Apathy
  • Selfishness

Our Community: What advice would you give to a potential leader to take them to the next stage?

John Eales: Get to know the people in your team both in terms of their skills and their being.

Our Community: Nature/nurture - are leaders born or bred?

John Eales: BRED - otherwise it is too depressing.

Our Community: What do you consider to be the three top leadership issues facing the nation?

John Eales:

  • The gap between the haves and the have nots.
  • The focus on material gain.
  • The lack of our nation truly embracing our indigenous heritage.

Our Community: What insights have you gained personally on your leadership journey?

John Eales: That it is all about values and people.

Our Community: Who have been your own leadership mentors and how did they assist in developing
your own leadership style?

John Eales: Everyone that I work with helps me in my leadership journey. I am always learning.

Published October 2003

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