Talking Resilience with Glenn McGrath

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Updated: September 24, 2021 at 5:21 am

Swoop recently eco-sponsored a virtual event with QuickFee and other leading FinTechs. The event focused on understanding and building resilience. In a session with almost 1000 attendees, guests had the privilege of listening to Australian cricketing great Glenn McGrath share his personal story of resilience and what he learnt in overcoming adversity both on and off the cricket field.

Aiming for success

Glenn believed there were 4 key things that held him in good stead and allowed him the great success he enjoyed:

  1. Self-belief: Knowing that despite what may be said, you know you have the ability and determination to achieve your goals. Glenn was often doubted early in his career, but truly believed he was good enough to compete at the highest level.
  2. Hard work: Being prepared to work hard to achieve your goals. From a young age growing up on a farm Glenn had a determined work ethic and was always prepared to work as hard as required to get what he wanted.
  3. Always look to improve: Fighting the desire to become satisfied and complacent with what you’ve achieved. The Australian team with Glenn in it were the best in the world for a long period, however they knew that others would always be catching up and unless they continually looked to improve their talent alone wouldn’t be enough.
  4. To have fun: Having a passion for whatever it is you’re doing is key to your success. If Glenn hadn’t simply loved playing cricket, he doubts he would’ve made it as far as he did.

Build yourself a support network

Glenn also emphasised the importance of having a strong support network to foster one’s resilience to adversity. While he states he doesn’t miss playing cricket 14 years after retiring from the sport, Glenn acknowledges the one thing he does miss is the comradery that he felt when playing for Australia. Being surrounded by a group of people who would do anything to help you succeed, and you for them, allows you greater ability to maximise your own individual contribution.

After the passing of his first wife Jane to cancer in 2008, these lessons took on new meaning. Without the support of his loved ones and especially the healthcare staff who took care of Jane, the ordeal would have been made immeasurably more difficult. Through recognising the impact breast care nurses in particular had throughout the treatment process, Glenn’s foundation reoriented itself to fund and increase the number of breast care nurses across Australia. Today, the McGrath Foundation’s team has supported over 90,000 families through its initiatives and continues to grow.

All these lessons ring true and are amplified by the events of the last 18 months. The Sydney New Year’s Test is one of the biggest events in the Australian cricket calendar, and in the last 13 years it has come to be known as the ‘Pink Test’ in honour of Jane McGrath and the McGrath Foundation. The Test is a vital fundraising opportunity for the Foundation yet with COVID restrictions limiting attendance to 25% capacity in January 2021, Glenn’s team anticipated a drop in expected contributions. After the McGrath Foundation team came up with the idea to promote ‘virtual seats’ through which supporters unable to attend could contribute, they ended up almost tripling their expected event fundraising total to $3 million.

Resilience goes a long way

Resilience has allowed Glenn McGrath to overcome enormous challenges and even use deeply hurtful events to gain greater perspective on life. While we cannot know what future challenges we might face in our personal and professional journeys, we do know that as long as we have committed to preparing ourselves for the best possible outcome we can, and will, overcome them.

Swoop would once again like to thank Glenn McGrath for contributing to the event, as well as the team at QuickFee for organising and all those who attended.

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