Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold reveals his secrets at the 2019 NRL season launch. Pics: Tara Croser.
Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold reveals his secrets at the 2019 NRL season launch. Pics: Tara Croser.

The advice behind Seibold’s stunning rise

Anthony Seibold has sought out elite sporting organisations all over the globe in an effort to learn best practices and gain any edge he could find as a professional coach.

But it was a young CEO with no real interest in sport who really changed his outlook on leadership.

Five hours swapping stories with Todd Sampson - Gruen panellist and guest on The Project - over lunch in Sydney's eastern suburbs, and Seibold had a foundation with which to base his coaching philosophy on.

"When I first got the job at the Rabbitohs I contacted a guy called Todd Sampson," he said at the NRL season launch.

"Todd's on the board of Fairfax, he's on the board at Qantas from my understanding, and he was a young CEO for a big advertising agency so I tracked him down.

"He didn't know too much about rugby league, he certainly didn't know who I was, and we went for lunch in Bondi - he lived close by there - and I just wanted to pick his brains for a few hours, he was a really creative type of person.

"And the thing I walked away with was this: When he got the job at the Leo Burnett advertising agency they took him across to New York and he presented to the organisation and the big bosses over there.

"Essentially his presentation came down to three things: People first, processes second and profit third. And the Americans said 'that's a great presentation Todd, we really want you to take on the role as CEO in Australasia there's just one thing we want you to do', and he said what's that? And they said, 'Well we want you to put number three up to the top and drop down one and two. And he said, 'I'm not willing to do that. If I get number one and two sorted out I know we're going to make a profit'.

"And the thing I've transferred to being a coach is if I think about what effective coaching looks like and what I am when I'm at my best as a coach it's if I value the relationships with the players and the staff, and engage those people and develop the players and obviously try and come up with an effective game model, then competitive performances are going to be a result of those three things."

Seibold's scientific approach to coaching is no secret, the Broncos mentor who won the Dally M Coach of the Year gong in his rookie season with the Rabbitohs revealed in a PlayersVoice column last year that he studied at Harvard, and conducts fact-finding missions across a host of sports.

"I've spent time with netball coaches, hockey coaches … just about every sport you can think of," he wrote.

"I've learnt a lot from AFL and have invested heavily in building relationships with AFL coaches.

"Luke Beveridge at the Bulldogs and Ken Hinkley at Port Adelaide are two guys I've built a really good rapport with, among others.

"It doesn't matter what sport you coach or what line of work you're in. There are many transferable learnings.

"As a coach, you're trying to get the best out of individuals and the group. This isn't unique to rugby league or sport."

He's also introduced alternative techniques aimed at improved performance including playing music during Broncos training sessions - a proven approach he learned while watching NFL teams and first introduced at Redfern.

There's plenty of pressure on Seibold after Wayne Bennett was forced out of Red Hill to accommodate the up-and-comer.

But he insists the results will come as long as he values his players and staff and pushes them to improve, and then delivers an effective game plan.

And it's one step at a time, starting with training on Tuesday.


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