I am a passionate Western Bulldogs supporter.

Luke Beveridge was appointed as the new Senior Coach in 2015 because the previous coach got sacked. The captain moved to another club, and things appeared to be falling apart.

Luke had a tremendous job ahead of him.

Even if you do not follow the AFL, you may recall the Western Bulldogs were the talk of the town by winning the 2016 premiership. That year, the Bulldogs finished 7th on the ladder, and no team has ever been able to win the premiership from 7th. Their premiership win is considered one of the greatest wins of all time.

I was fascinated to observe how Luke could get everyone on board and quickly change the culture to create the ultimate success.

I realised that regardless of whether you are leading a sporting team or a retail team. Some of the key attributes that build success were the same.

Watching the many area leaders I have led and trained, I have realised what stands out as the two key attributes. Successful area leaders (and sporting coaches) have a well-developed capacity to provide what I describe as high expectations and high support.

High Expectations – Area Leaders ensure everyone in their region knows what to expect of them in their role, which is communicated and understood. Area Leaders should also know what store managers expect of them.

High Support – Area Leaders need to ensure they have trusting relationships with their Store Managers. And ensure they have everything they need to do their jobs and deliver on those expectations.


The expectations you have, need to match the level of support you provide.

Suppose you are an Area leader with very high expectations but unable to provide a high level of support. Your store managers will feel defeated and will disengage in trying to achieve the goals you have set.

Alternatively, provide a very high level of support and very low expectations. Your stores might feel like a warm and fuzzy place to work without understanding the need to deliver results.

It is useful to reflect on the following questions…

  • Am I clear on the results I expect from each store?
  • Have I communicated clearly to each store manager what I expect of them and them of me?
  • Am I providing the appropriate level of support to each of my stores right now so they can achieve what I expect?
  • Are you in balance with how you are leading?
  • What changes might you need to make?
When a balance is reached, results will follow.

There is a correlation between the results achieved and how well an area leader has conveyed expectations and provided the support necessary to meet those expectations. When you can lead with high expectations and high support, you will see the resolution of many issues and a genuine increase in engagement and retention.

You will maintain momentum and stay invested in your region and its results.

Retaining and engaging great employees is a core pillar of all my Leadership Programs.