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Project Apollo - Leading through adversity!



The recent Covid-19 global pandemic highlights the importance of quality leadership.


In this rapidly changing, unstable and complex environment that is the year 2020, people are looking for someone to step up and inspire them with hope and provide a sense of certainty regarding the future.


As an Australian Rugby League Commissioner and team leader of the NRL’s Project Apollo team, Wayne Pearce was front and centre in the NRL’s challenge to resume the competition as quickly and safely as possible.


On the advice of an expert epidemiologist, the Telstra Cup premiership was suspended on March 23rd with only two rounds of the competition completed. Four days later, at the request of ARL Commission Chairman, Peter V’Landys, Wayne assembled and led a “Project Apollo” task force to examine ways to restart the competition. On April 1st (April Fool’s Day), Wayne and his Apollo team members met and decided on May 28th as a challenging, yet achievable restart date only 8 weeks away.


With then current daily Covid-19 infection rates growing at a rate of around 25%, to many people, this date was not only pure fantasy but outrageous and unsafe. 

However, under the leadership of ARL Chairman, Peter V’landys and Project Apollo team leader Wayne Pearce, the NRL on May 28th, became one of the first professional sporting codes in the world to resume their competition.

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The NRL 2020 season relaunch is an amazing case study on how to effectively lead through adversity. As Project Apollo team leader, Wayne has demonstrated an ability to defy the odds and push through adversity to get results. Although outcome went according to plan, there were many setbacks and valuable leadership lessons learned along the way.


If you are looking for an inspirational leadership keynote based on a recent high-profile case study delivered by the team leader, then “Project Apollo- leading through adversity” presented by Wayne Pearce is exactly what you’ve been waiting for.    

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