A maker of men

The tributes to Australian rules coach Allan ‘Yabby’ Jeans this week have focused on his legacy not only as a coach but as an exceptional leader.

I often blog about leadership and read widely about leadership best practice.

Well, throw away your leadership books – and read, and watch, and then listen to these tributes to Allan Jeans on Melbourne’s 3AW website to start with, then read and watch some of the links to some great examples of journalism.

Bookmark the video. Watch it over and over again. It is incredibly moving. The hairs on the back of your neck will tell you how powerful the oratory of men like Barassi, Hafey, Kennedy and Jeans was, and how, when told well, stories of men in ghostly back and white, with gap teeth, can come alive.

Equally impressive was the tribute on ABC Victoria’s 730 program on Friday night. ‘We all played for Allan’, said Peter Schwab in the package. Kudos to Guy Stayner from the ABC – this is a really well crafted piece.

True leadership – the utter core of it – can not be written about in full, because words (unless you are as fine a writer as John Sylvester or Martin Flanagan, for example) can not connect with presence of true leadership. It can only be experienced. It can only be felt. Many journos this week, however, captured the essence of Allan Jeans brilliantly.

One thing struck me as I watched, and listened, and read about Allan Jeans: He was not a just a leader of men:

He was a maker of men.

Video courtesy of http://www.youtube.com/user/3AWRadio