Some of my most cherished memories of growing up in the late sixties & early seventies are about going to Unley Oval with my Dad to watch the mighty Double Blues in action. Fast forward 50 years, I get great pleasure and enjoyment from going to the Adelaide Oval with my son to watch the Adelaide Crows play.
What has not changed a bit over the years is the rollercoaster of emotions I feel that hinges on the outcome when my two favourite footy teams play against the arch enemy, Port Adelaide.
On the other hand, my Mum had absolutely no interest in football. However, in the late 1940s she worked in the post office with Fos Williams. Hence when I was lamenting a poor performance against the arch enemy, she always reminded me that she was the cause of my pain as it was, she who encouraged Fos to apply for the Port Adelaide coaching job and even typed up his application.
Whilst I never really doubted the story, I was always sceptical about how true it really was. That all changed with the publication in 1999 of the book Dynasty – A Legend, A Family and the Port Adelaide Club. The book chronicles the Fos Williams story and the profound influence he had in creating the unparalleled success of Port Adelaide.
On p38 of that book is the following story:
“As he read the newspaper report detailing the names being attached to the vacant Magpies job Willaims uttered loudly, I can do a better job than him…than all of them.
As his colleagues goaded and mocked him, the office typist, Edna McDonald, looked at Williams and said, “Well Fos why not have a crack at it?”
“I think she even typed my letter of application,” Williams said. “It all went from there.”
As a business coach, in this story I recognised Fos’s initial attitude to applying for the job mirrors the mindset of so many business owners. They talk a big game about changing themselves and the business but do nothing to make those changes. Much like my Mum did with Fos, I encourage them to take a chance and see where it takes them.
In the immortal words of Nike – “JUST DO IT!”