Todd Greenberg NRL active CEO Podcast

active CEO Podcast #65 Todd Greenberg More Than A Game

Todd Greenberg CEO NRL active CEO Podcast
Todd Greenberg – CEO NRL

On this episode of the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Todd Greenberg about focusing on more than a game, the importance of EQ as a leader, choosing character before talent, CEO loneliness and life under intense public scrutiny as CEO of NRL. We also delve into Rugby League being owned by its fans, looking through the lens of what’s in the best interest of the game, channelling your competitive instinct as a leader, sport enabling social change and tribalism in professional sports.

Todd Greenberg – More Than A Game

Todd Greenberg is a grateful and humble leader, who loves connecting with people in one of the world’s toughest sports, Rugby League. Known as one of Australia’s top sport administrators, Todd is a handy cricket player who would love to be a defence lawyer, and is passionate about building inclusive and engaged communities through sport.

He completed a Sports Science degree at the College of Knowledge and a Masters of Sport Management at University of Technology Sydney. His career has included Events & Promotions Manager at Cricket NSW; Operations & Events Manager and CEO at Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs; General Manager at ANZ Stadium; Head of Football at the NRL; and is currently the CEO of NRL.

Todd talks about:

  • Growing up in one of the world’s great sporting cities, Sydney.
  • The life lessons from playing in a team sport environment.
  • Being from a family where work ethic was principally driven from his parents
  • Always believe intuitively in your own ability and back yourself consistently.
  • Bob Radford, CEO of NSW Cricket, was one of the early influences on his professional career.
  • Surviving in sports administration takes an equal set of IQ as well as EQ.
  • Being the youngest CEO in the NRL when appointed to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
  • As leaders of a sports club you effectively become the custodians for that period of time.
  • Fans are emotionally connected with the brand and the colours of that club.
  • Sports teams as a pillar of community bringing multiple cultures and communities together.
  • Your players inside the club need to understand the broader scope of their responsibilities.
  • The role of sport enabling social change in society.
  • Rugby league wants to be a game for all, irrelevant of where you come from.
  • Recharging the batteries and being disciplined to find time away from sport.
  • His first 100 days in office as CEO of NRL.
  • The most immediate challenge was people, culture and relationships.
  • The NRL tackling shifting the behaviours and mindsets of the players.
  • Supporting the family and their role in the players performance.
  • Mentally and emotionally coping with having to regularly fronting integrity-related issues.
  • The importance of a team of mentors.
  • Doing something for someone else and not expecting something in return.

Active CEO Performance Tip

active CEO Performance – Cultivate Performance – Performance doesn’t occur on its own. It requires hard work, consistency, recovering with purpose and most importantly discipline. You need to cultivate your performance through being disciplined and ensuring that you have established the small repeatable daily actions that are required to achieve your goals. Discipline is a work in practice, it is something you need to develop, train and then maintain to be successful.


“It’s not about being fitter, faster and stronger, it’s actually being a better person, a more rounded individual who can contribute back to their communities.” Todd Greenberg talks about character over player, on the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast.

“Playing a team sport particularly, irrelevant of what sport it is, provides you so many life lessons, particularly for your business life.” Todd Greenberg on the life lessons from team sports, on the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Todd Greenberg Twitter
Todd Greenberg Wikipedia
National Rugby League
Craig Johns Speaker
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

active CEO Podcast #57 Lisa Hasker Life Education Through Sport

On this episode of the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Lisa Hasker about life education through sport, building sport capability and capacity, improving diversity and inclusion on Boards, and getting people to be more active, more often. We also delver into employee and coach wellbeing and performance, her collaborative and coaching leadership style, and how we can improve active transport to and from work.

Lisa Hasker – Life Education Through Sport

Lisa Hasker is an impressive leader who has a wealth of industry knowledge and experience in the world of sport management. Known as a leader who is passionate about supporting the future of women on Boards through Change Our Game, and improving inclusion and diversity as the CEO of VICSPORT.

She has studied a Bachelor of Education in Physical Education and Science from the University of South Australia, Graduate Diplomas in Sport Science and Sport Management from Deakin University, a Masters of Marketing from Monash University and has completed a Company Directors Course in Governance from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Her career involves roles such as Head of Physical Education at Wesley College; Event and Sponsorship Manager Australian Running Magazine, Marketing Manager at Golf Victoria, Chief Executive Officer at Little Athletics Victoria, Public Affairs and Sponsorship Manager at Victorian Institute of Sport, Manager of La Trobe University Sport and General Manager of Community and Stakeholder Relations at Basketball Australia.

A love of sport goes beyond management as a 16-year coach at Sandringham Athletics Club and has governance experience as Director at AFL Sports Ready Foundation and Shooting Australia, as well as Vice President of Athletics Victoria.

Lisa talks about:

  • Being a hurdler and involved in sport for more than 50 years.
  • Having great physical education teachers who were role models.
  • Compulsory Physical Education at primary school at a must.
  • What will the next generation of adults look like?
  • Difficulty managing athletes on social media and potential PR disasters.
  • Her role as CEO of VICSPORT
  • Working with Bridie O’Donnell VIC Health and VIC Sport to deliver Change Our Game
  • Concentrating on diversity and inclusion on Boards.
  • Global Wellness Tracking.
  • Increase physical literacy and wellness in the general population.
  • Having a collaborative and coaching leadership style.
  • Employee’s personal development has as much importance as professional development.
  • More focus on wellness of staff and high performance staff.
  • Being curious about your sport and other sports
  • Going for a walk when a bit stressed at work.
  • Why have you never been involved in sport?

Active CEO Performance Tip

Business Is The Aggregate of Humans – Humans are the great asset in your company, so you need to look after them. Every single day you need to be helping them overcome their limiting beliefs and continually build on their strengths. Make sure they feel worthy in the organisation.


“Admit to your mistakes, learn from it and move on. ” Lisa Hasker shares her advice on leadership, on the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast.

“We tell athletes recovery is more important that the training, but I am not sure we all live that when we are in our corporate life. It is really important for people to be able rejuvenate and go again, and keep the effort up with some very lofty goals in high level coaching.” Lisa Hasker talks about employee wellbeing, on the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Lisa Hasker Twitter
Lisa Hasker LinkedIn
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

active CEO Podcast Jennie Wyllie (Netball New Zealand) – Challenge Privately Support Publicly

active CEO Podcast #44 Jennie Wyllie Challenge Privately Support Publicly

Jennie Wyllie – Chief Executive Netball NZ

On this episode of the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Jennie Wyllie about growing up watching the New Zealand Silver Ferns netball team, coping with intense public scrutiny, challenge employees privately and support publicly, and leading a high performing team as Chief Executive of Netball New Zealand. We also discuss standing out from other graduates at PricewaterhouseCoopers, the impact of the Tanya Dalton Foundation, an internal review following the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and resetting the body and mind by taking family vacations to her kiwi batch at the beach.

Jennie Wyllie

Jennie Wyllie is a wonderful leader who has navigated some major transformations in a short period of time. In her current role of Chief Executive of Netball New Zealand, she has led the implementation of the ‘Whole of Netball Plan’ strategy, has managed the move back to a domestic elite competition and is using all her experience to implement the recommendations following a recent independent review into the National team.

She went to Pakuranga College in New Zealand, before completing a Bachelor of Commerce specialising in Accounting and Tax, from the University of Auckland. Today’s guest has also completed an Institute of Directors Companies Director Course, is a certified New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountant and has a Postgraduate Certificate in Management Studies at the University of Waikato.

Her career began in accounting and finance with roles, in New Zealand and the UK, at Price Waterhouse Coopers, Discovery Networks, GlaxoSmithKline, Orange and Telecom New Zealand. While at Telecom New Zealand she spent time as a Next Generation Marketing Offers Lead before returning to finance as Head of Finance, Strategy and Services at Netball New Zealand.

Jennie talks about:

  • What is your differentiator – ‘just be me”
  • Being able to relate to everyone from the CEO and Board down to the receptionist.
  • Being an authentic leader – I am, what I am.
  • To be high performing you need to wrap yourself with experts in the field.
  • Balancing working in the business versus working on the business is a major challenge.
  • Coping with the intense public scrutiny, especially when the team may not be playing well.
  • The independent review of the unsuccessful 2018 Commonwealth Games Silver Ferns.
  • If you are not living the values of the team, who is going to hold you to account.
  • Balancing a focus on participation versus the elite side of the sport.
  • Recognising all the hard work that volunteers do in the netball community.
  • Ensuring that the health and wellness of our coaches and employees are being looked after.
  • Coaches challenges are not so much different to the athletes.
  • “How do we support our female coaches?” because they are different from the men coaches.
  • We encourage staff to stay active including a wellness day, where it is all tools down.
  • Requiring a growth mindset in sport as it reinvigorates you to go for that next challenge.

Active CEO Wellness Tip

It’s Not About You! – You are here to SERVE, You are here to CONTRIBUTE and you are here to make a DIFFERENCE. As a leader you have to let go of the ego and make sure that everything that happens is about the team, is there for them and they can shine every single day.


“Weird natural high, a buzz, for me that’s when I know that things are clicking, you come up with ideas, you interact with people and bounce ideas off without fears of reprisal. That’s when I know!” Jennie Wyllie explaining her peak state of mind on the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast.

“With an intense public scrutiny comes a level of engagement and ownership they have with the team… You have to back yourself to make good decisions, and be able to stand behind your choices and the decisions you make. ” Jennie Wyllie talks about coping with public scrutiny on the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast.

“In high performance the environment for athletes is inherently unsafe. You can be selected or not selected at any one time. But for a high performing team you need to feel safe, vulnerable to share your strengths and weaknesses.” The high performance environment conundrum, with Jennie Wyllie, on the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Jennie Wyllie LinkedIn
Netball NZ
Netball NZ
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole LinkedIn
Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben Gathercole