Shane McLeod

Never Deter Someone From Being Better

Latest Podcast

Listen now: Apple | Spotify  | Google

Joining us for our series on Thriving Teams this week is New Zealand hockey player-turned-coach, Shane McLeod. 

Shane’s coaching career began while he was still a player, coaching teams in Europe before becoming the Belgium women’s team coach in 2002. 

A few years later in 2007, Shane headed back to New Zealand to lead the men’s team to the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. From there he returned Belgium, winning 2 National titles before becoming coach of the men’s national team in 2015. 

As Shane coached the men’s team from their world ranking of 15 all the way up to No.1, he saw them win silver at the 2016 Olympics, the 2017 and 2019 European Championships, and the 2019 and 2020 FIH Pro Leagues. They also received gold medals at the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup and the 2020 Olympic Games. 

One topic that Shane covers in his interview with myself and my co-host Professor Eric Knight is that of feedback; Shane himself was once told as a player that selectors felt the he liked the idea of playing for New Zealand more than he actually wanted to play for them, and this experience has had a significant impact on the way that he now delivers feedback to his own players. Ultimately, Shane’s goal is always to provide critique and observations in such a way that he never deters someone from wanting to be better.

Shane also shares a number of processes and techniques that he uses with his team, including a process in place to encourage athletes to develop their self-leadership skills and an exercise that is used to get players themselves to select their team’s lineup - an effective way of identifying each individual player’s strengths and identifying the team members that can be considered as the ‘glue’ keeping the group together. 

Make sure to give the episode a listen, and let me know if you try any of Shane’s techniques with your own team. 

Thriving Teams: Free Diagnostic

A great number of you have already given our Thriving Teams diagnostic a go, and I would love to hear how you’ve been getting on with implementing the Thrive model in your teams and groups.

Back in 2022, we were challenged by two Great Coaches to find a model for team leadership that aligned with the insights and advice that we’ve gathered from over 200 interviews with Great Coaches from across the world of sports.

After a lot of research and investigation, we discovered the Thrive model - a model that encompasses six integral elements for achieving the success and well-being of your team.

We’ll continue to focus on the topic of Thriving Teams on our podcast and social media posts for the next few weeks, but if you really want to make the most of the Thrive model, you’ll want to head over to our website to try our free, simple diagnostic which uses 18 questions to identify how close your team is to thriving, and (importantly) what can be done to improve.

Thriving Workshops

In addition to the podcast episodes and diagnostic tool, we’re taking things even deeper with our Thriving Teams workshops, offered both virtually and live. Some workshops can even include the participation of the Great Coaches that we have interviewed. 

For leaders who really want to move their teams closer to Thriving, we’re also offering individual coaching sessions. 

For more information, please get in touch at this address: [email protected]

If a friend, colleague, or family member shared this newsletter with you, why not subscribe to start receiving your own copy each week?

It’s completely free to sign up, and all you need to do is click the button below and register your email address.

Leadership Insights

When it comes to defining standards of excellence, where do you draw the line?

In this clip, Stanford Men's Soccer Coach Jeremy Gunn shares his simple but effective method for setting standards in teams and groups, overcoming the obstacles posed by varying perspectives and subjectivity.

How do you tackle this issue in your own workplace, home, or community?

If you like this, you can find more than 1200 other insight videos on our website, covering a variety of leadership topics such as setting up new team cultures, establishing team values, or helping others with their inner voice.


This newsletter is brought to you by Macquarie University Business School’s MBA program. Designed to empower, challenge and transform, the Macquarie MBA gives you the business skills and knowledge you need to succeed in an evolving global economy.

Contact Us

If you have any feedback or if you would like to speak to us directly feel free to contact us at [email protected].