Stop telling. Start teaching.
Neale Daniher addresses the young Melbourne players before the Queen’s Birthday game against Collingwood a few years ago. It is a big game for the improving Demons – the promise of an 80,000ish crowd at their home ground, the magnificent MCG.
The man speaking to them is very familiar to everyone in the room. He is their old coach, and while few of the young Demons played under him, he is again their coach and mentor for those few precious minutes.
For Neale Daniher, every opportunity to speak is an opportunity to teach.
It is a beautiful lesson for leaders.
Our role is “build a child for the path, not a path for the child”.
“Stop telling. Start teaching.”
Everyone in the room understands that their old coach is dying. He has Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and has known his fate for several years.
And Neale’s response to his tragedy?
Firstly, give his disease a name, “The Beast”, and secondly, dedicate his life to building a not-for-profit to raise money to fight it.
As he speaks to the Melbourne players, he is asked the question, “Neale, knowing that you are dying, why aren’t you working through your bucket-list of stuff?”
Neale pauses, and while his disease has impacted his speech, in his very familiar Ungarie/Daniher drawl, he says:
“Because son, when it is all said and done, more is said than done.”
Neale well and truly understands that to find a cure for MND is to play a long game, and Neale doesn’t have a long time. His relentless efforts to slay “The Beast” are for the benefit of those who will receive the same heartbreaking news he and his family received a few years ago.
Neale’s charity FightMND has raised many millions of dollars, investing in medical research, and from recent reports, the signs have been positive, a sense of progress, a light at the end of an otherwise long, dark tunnel.
Neale’s commitment and that of the Daniher family has been nothing short of extraordinary. At a time when he could be forgiven for some selfishness and indulgence, he has created a platform to inspire and teach, as well as generate the kind of revenue that just might make the difference, perhaps be the tipping point, to help people he will never get to meet.
It is hard to imagine a more powerful legacy.
Please check out FightMND to see how you or your organisation can help Neale slay “The Beast.”
“The best teams allow brilliant individuals to be just that, yet they also do it in the umbrella of a shared understanding and awareness. Equally, individuals feel responsibility to the team and so their actions are coloured by the motivation of the team. Their egos must come second to the team and the measure of every action is ‘was this good for the team, does this benefit the team’?”
Ric Charlesworth, Former Coach of the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos, voted Coach of the Year on eight occasions.
…and a timeless song lyric:
Rapture – Blondie.
Fab Five Freddy told me everybody’s fly
Dj spinnin’ I said, “My My”
Flash is fast, Flash is cool
François c’est pas, Flash ain’t no dude
And you don’t stop, sure shot
Go out to the parking lot
And you get in your car and drive real far
And you drive all night and then you see a light
And it comes right down and it lands on the ground
And out comes a man from Mars
And you try to run but he’s got a gun
And he shoots you dead and he eats your head
And then you’re in the man from Mars
You go out at night eatin’ cars
You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too
Mercurys and Subaru
CEO & Founder
Leaders are in the ambiguity business. If we are not doing ambiguity, we are not doing leadership.read more
Leadership finds you wherever you are now but never leaves you where it found you.read more
I have no doubt it was these setbacks, personally challenging and heartbreaking at the time, that created the path to the work I now do.read more
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