Lightning light up business lunch
THE inspiration and team-work that is needed by elite sports people can easily be used in business.
Whether as individuals or teams, the lessons learnt on the sporting field can readily translate to the boardroom, office or factory floor.
Establishing an elite national sports club doesn't just happen overnight.
A lot of hard work from a number of dedicated people goes into making a dream become a reality.
It's the same in business.
At Maroochy Surf Club on Friday, Sunshine Coast Lightning Netball CEO Danielle Smith said that in less than a year the club had gone from concept to national champion. This was due to a winning combination of people, passion, excitement and good faith.
From being awarded a Suncorp Super Netball licence in July 2016 to competition winner in June 2017, it has been quite a journey for the Lightning.
Investing in a brand new team in a new market took courage and trust.
"We are firm believers in building long, lasting relationships,'' Smith said.
"We are a club built on family and community values where people are respected as our most important asset.
"We are passionate about our club and bring energy, emotion, focus and determination to achieve success.
"Everything we do is for a reason, everything we do has a purpose.
We pride ourselves on our uniqueness, diversity and individuality that when combined, gives us a competitive edge.''
And she should know.
As chief operating officer of National Rugby League pace-setter the Melbourne Storm, Smith was appointed as the inaugural CEO of Sunshine Coast Lightning - a joint venture between Melbourne Storm and the University of the Sunshine Coast.
"Right from the start, recruiting the right people was imperative,'' she told the Maroochydore lunch.
"Getting Noeline Taurua as head coach was the obvious.''
Taurua is a former New Zealand Silver Ferns international player and statistically New Zealand's most successful coach in what was the ANZ Championship.
"But it's not just about the ability on the court, a key was to engage with the community,'' Smith said.
"That has been one of the biggest influences on Lightning's development and success.
"It's not just on-court performance but off-court ... we needed people with passion, who were able to demonstrate excitement and a quest to be successful.
"They needed a good work ethic. Humility. No egos.
"There was no room for those who do not respect the opinions of others.
"We wanted those with the ability to chip in and help wherever.''
A start-up benefit of the Lightning was to provide a blank piece of paper in which the club could set its own agenda.
While Smith was from Melbourne and Taurua from New Zealand, both wanted to develop a one club mind-set.
"We did not want to have a division of those directly involved in the sport and those responsible for administration,'' Smith said.
"Neither can exist without the other. They must work together to get success.
"One club, that is what we hang our hat on. An environment where everyone could contribute.
"We have developed a vision of a world-class club and that has galvanised us as a team, a club.
"A year later we reviewed the success of that first year.
"The values mean more now than a year ago.
"Everyone went above and beyond.''
One of small things that Smith saw as important when setting up the office in 2016 was deliberately leaving the walls blank.
"It's up to you to create the history,'' newcomers were told.
A year later, there is a corridor of photos ... and the premiership trophy.