A Rugby Legend and a Rock Star – What Can You Learn from Them?

At first glance, there’s nothing to suggest that a Talent leader has anything in common with a rugby legend and a rock star.

A rugby legend is typically known for his extraordinary feats on the field, and of course a rock star is famous for, well, being a rock star. And you, a Talent leader, are good at managing and acquiring Talent for your organisation (maybe you can play a guitar or kick a football, but I’m guessing you probably aren’t the best in the world at winning a scrum or filling a stadium).

However, you three might have more in common than you’d think. Let me explain.

What can recruiters learn from a rugby legend & a rock star? More than you think says @trevorpvas Click To Tweet

My wife Cathy and I had an amazing weekend recently out at the Hunter Valley catching the Bruce Springsteen concert. We stayed at the Tonic Hotel, which is run by my good mate Ian Wood, when we bumped into Laurie Daley. Given my firm AFL-footy background, I didn’t recognise Laurie, even though I did notice that he seemed to have a lot of “friends” who wanted photos with him. It wasn’t until later on in the night that it twigged for me that he might actually be someone famous.

So why didn’t I pick up on it sooner? Easy – Laurie treated everyone like they were important and special to him. It didn’t matter who, hi vis or high society, Laurie was humble, warm, and accommodating, and so for a while I just assumed he was the kind of bloke who have a lot of friends. There was absolutely no difference in how he treated anybody.

This reminds me of how we, as Talent leaders, need to be more like Laurie. When we first start working in any job, I am sure most of us start out treating the people we interact with as unique and special. We want to make a good impression and we haven’t really had time to form any thoughts or biases about anyone. We go that extra yard to be helpful. In every situation we’re grateful to have the opportunity to connect and interact.

However, the challenge lies in maintaining this attitude. Observing Laurie mingling with his “friends” (who turned out to be his fans) all night was a fascinating experience and here are a few lessons I learned:

  1.  Treat people as if they were uniquely special;
  2. Understand and empathise with the person I’m speaking to;
  3. Do my best to leave people better off for having met me;
  4. Practice unexpected acts of kindness; and
  5. Make every interaction memorable.
How much effort u put into managing your candidate will most definitely count towards your success Click To Tweet

So then I watched Bruce Springsteen perform and it was like the universe was trying to reinforce the points I’d just noted. Bruce absolutely knocked it out of the park and walking out of there after three solid hours of rocking I was feeling we’d gotten far more than our money’s worth. I’ve been to many concerts and seldom have a seen a performer who gave, gave, and then gave some more. He connected to the audience and took total control over creating a great night for every one of them. It seemed like this was becoming a running theme for the evening.

So here’s my second penny drop:

How often do we truly give 120 percent into the things we do? When running ATC events, I do my best to give 120 percent to all delegates and sponsors and it is the same when I am recruiting. It can be exhausting but the feeling of satisfaction I get when I know that I have made a difference in another person’s life makes it all worthwhile.

So whether you are recruiting, running events or dealing with family members, friends or coworkers, ask yourself – am I treating this person as unique and special, and am I giving 120 percent? If you’re managing both, I truly believe you’re on the way to success.


If you’re keen to rewire your recruitment mindset to achieve recruiting success, check out the Australasian Talent Conference, starting 21st June.

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