Episode 310 – Warwick Jackson

Warwick is an Accountant & Aussie Rules Football Player

Warwick returns to the podcast from episode 79 to update us on his Aussie football career! He talks about building connections with teammates and fans of football, making it to the grand finals, and his new hobby, playing the guitar!

Episode Highlights

Grand finals
Differences in Aussie Rules football
Connecting with people through football
Picking up the guitar

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    Welcome to Episode 310 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-Up Friday Edition. This is John Garrett, and each Friday I follow up with a guest who had been on the show a few years ago to hear what’s new with their passions outside of work and also hear how this message might have impacted them since we last talked.

    I’m so excited to let everyone know that my book’s being published next month. You can pre-order it right now on Amazon, Indigo, a few other websites, so check out whatsyourand.com for all the details. Or sign up for my exclusive list and you’ll be the first to know when it comes out in print.

    Please don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any of the future episodes of the podcast. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week, and this Follow-Up Friday is no different with my guest, Warwick Jackson. He’s a partner with Fox Group Chartered Accountants in Sydney, Australia, and now he’s with me here today. Warwick, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Warwick: Oh, wrapped that we can reconnect.

    John: I know. It’s so great to chat with you again and also hear that you’re still playing with the Bombers. That’s super cool, man.

    Warwick: Yeah, still getting out there and seeing what’s left in the old bones.

    John: Right. Well, I have these rapid-fire questions I start out with now. Last time, I mean, Episode 79, we did them at the end when I first started. Now it’s right out of the gate. So, if you had to choose, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones.

    Warwick: Game of Thrones, Daenerys all the way.

    John: Yeah. How about, do you have a favorite animal, any animal at all?

    Warwick: My daughter would disown me if I didn’t say our dog, Harvey.

    John: Okay. What kind of dog is he?

    Warwick: A Groodle.

    John: Oh, okay, very cool.

    Warwick: Big and cute.

    John: Yeah, yeah. This is a tricky one, brownie or ice cream.

    Warwick: I’m not disciplined enough to decide, so I’ll go both.

    John: Yeah, it is the right answer. Yes, warm brownie, ice cream on top. Ding, ding. All right, there you go. Good man, good man. How about when you fly, are you more of a window seat or aisle seat?

    Warwick: Long flight, aisle seat; short flight, window seat.

    John: There you go. That’s a pretty popular answer actually. Do you prefer more hot or cold?

    Warwick: Cold.

    John: Cold, okay.

    Warwick: Healthier in snow, skiing, football fight in winter. So yeah, I’ll go with the —

    John: It’s winter now in Australia.

    Warwick: Correct.

    John: That’s fantastic. Two more. How about a least favorite vegetable?

    Warwick: I’m going to go with tomato.

    John: Oh, okay, interesting. Are you one of those that likes ketchup but doesn’t like tomatoes?

    Warwick: I am exactly one of those, yeah.

    John: Okay, all right.

    Warwick: I’m fine with sauce. I’m happy with pizza and all the rest, but just the whole tomato in a salad, I’ll —

    John: And all the seeds and the…

    Warwick: Yeah. I’ve had a bad childhood experience that I’ve blocked from my mind that I just can’t get —

    John: Okay. Were you telling jokes and people throwing fruit — no, no, just kidding.

    Warwick: Yeah, that’s it.

    John: That’s hilarious. All right, last one, last one. Toilet paper roll, over or under.

    Warwick: Over. You’d be weird if you went under.

    John: Well, I thought so, but I didn’t know Australia. Since guys have the toilet go the other way —

    Warwick: Yeah, yeah.

    John: — if you do everything else the opposite, too. Well, that’s awesome, man. Yeah, Episode 79, we talked Aussie rules football. It’s cool to hear that, yeah, you’re still playing. How’s that been in the last couple of years?

    Warwick: Yeah. 2017, so, yeah, it’s been great. We’ve played in a grand final, which we managed to not win.

    John: Yeah, but still, you made it there, man.

    Warwick: We had the agony and the ecstasy of getting so close. The club’s going onto bigger, better things, and a lot of — probably since we last spoke, some success of other teammates that have now actually graduated to playing the highest level of Australia, so it’s pretty cool. Against, through no assistance for myself, mind you, but it’s just nice to see some guys, you see them on the way up, young kids that give it a crack and actually make it.

    John: Yeah. Well, don’t be so hard on yourself. I’m sure that there’s some guidance and just the way that you approach the sport. Or at the very least they’re like, I don’t want to be Warwick, so I’m going to work really hard.

    Warwick: Yeah, that’s it.

    John: No, I’m kidding.

    Warwick: So, still loving it, still a great outlet. Obviously, today’s environment, with a little bit of an uncertain world, it’s great to have that bonding and friendship and to be able to connect with people.

    John: The difference between — I had Max Eckstein on, a couple of weeks ago or a couple of months ago now, I guess. He plays US Aussie rules football. Just for people that are listening that didn’t catch that one, what’s the difference between this and rugby, let’s say, or even American football?

    Warwick: Yeah. Well, there are no offsides with, I think, players on each team, and it’s a 360-degree game. Any player can go anywhere. The ball is pretty much always in play. There’s not an offense or a defense. It’s just always in play. Whoever has the ball, has got it, so you really need to have eyes in the back of your head and just a relentless nature. Different positions on the field have different skill sets. Probably one of the things that my coaches, in my position I play in, I’m a ruckman which is a big, tall guy who just typically has to try to get their hands on the ball and get it to their small fast guys.

    John: Right, right.

    Warwick: The field could be 120 meters long and 120 meters wide. It’s a massive circle. We’ve just got to be everywhere. So you’ve got to pick and choose your toss/flip. Just getting to the contest is probably the key thing that my coaches told me. Just be around the ball and good things will happen.

    John: That’s really cool, and it’s something that you’ve been playing for a long time.

    Warwick: Yeah. I didn’t start as a teenager, but then gave it a break while I studied and I had my fast food career to focus on.

    John: Right.

    Warwick: So, yeah, I’m coming up to 20 years, which my knees are telling me.

    John: My knees are telling you.

    Warwick: Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. If you can do it, why wouldn’t you?

    John: Right. Yeah, absolutely, absolutely, and it’s so cool that you are. It’s got to be just invigorating for your teammates, and also colleagues at work and clients you have that know you for this. I think it’s so cool that you share that with them.

    Warwick: Yeah. Well, you pick and choose your people, but it’s a great way of connecting. I quite get a buzz out of the response with, oh, you used to play? It’s like, no, no, I still play. People are shocked that I’m out there getting bashed up by people half my age or sometimes a third my age and going out and giving as good as I get, kind of thing. You definitely slow down when you’re on the wrong side of 40, but you can make out with that with, hopefully, a few smarts and still have fun. Just your ability to get out and compete is a great release, and sometimes it’s fun to go out and hit or be hit. In many ways, we all have stressors in our life. To be focused completely somewhere else and in the moment, which you have to be on a footy field or whatever your passion could be, it’s as good as meditation in my book.

    John: Yeah, I love that. That’s so great, yeah, as a release. Because when you’re on a footy field, like you said, if your head’s on a swivel, you’re going to be down. You’re not going to be playing very long. Yeah, you have to 100% attention and 100% focus. You can’t be thinking about that spreadsheet or that project that you still need to get done. Hey, time out, everybody, hold on. I’ve got a macro I’ve got to email myself about.

    Warwick: Always, where’s the ball? I’ve got to be near it. Or, where’s my replacement, so I can sub off and go and have a rest on the bench.

    John: There you go. That’s fantastic. During this crazy time that we’ve all been in, is there a way you’ve been able to keep those connections with teammates, or watch some games or something like that?

    Warwick: It’s interesting when you think we can all take things in life for granted. So, we had a little bit of time off, but now we’re back. Actually, this Saturday, we’re having our first round one. There’s a few protocols that will change and safety protocols and whatever, but essentially, we’re back. It’s just great to be connecting with people. Probably the world needs that more than ever, in a time where we’re all under a little bit more stress and pain. The more we can connect rather than perhaps play the blame game, the better the society will be, and the better the planet will be for that.

    John: Some distractions, something that’s not what we’ve heard in the news, repeatedly, for months.

    Warwick: Yeah. One of the benefits of this period we’re going through, it really has highlighted what’s important and what’s not. Obviously, football is — well, your family is incredibly important, but your football is essentially an extension of your family if you’ve got the right team. So, taking care of each other, and when it looked like we weren’t going to get a season, and many, many leagues in the country, depending on the part of the country, have been canceled. When you think you’re going to lose something and you don’t, I’d imagine it’s a — I guess people that might have had a near-death experience and then come back, maybe have a new outlook on life, and maybe this is something we can all take a positive on, that — we’re wrapped to be back at footy and back seeing your mates and connecting.

    John: Yeah. No, that’s awesome, man. That’s so cool to hear. There are other passions as well that you’ve picked up, I think, in the last couple of years.

    Warwick: Yeah. I’m very aware that I’m at the back end of my career because knees are getting arthritic. Eighteen-year-olds are still out and you’re all playing footy. So I thought, well, what’s something I can do, aside from perhaps changing my role within the Football Club, which I’ll continue to do as a hobby. Early, it was cheaper than getting a sports car. It was just getting a guitar.

    John: There you go.

    Warwick: I’m strumming away, and I can say he’s become a really close mate, my guitar lessons every Monday afternoon and now, with Jake, who’s an amazingly talented musician. Because it is something so out of the ordinary and so not natural to me, you are completely focused and think about spreadsheets or all this client matter for that one hour. I’m not Eddie Van Halen here or Jimmy Page or anybody here. I’m just going to just crank out a few Beatles tunes or maybe some Eagles tunes or something, but you have to be focused and in the moment. Again, that’s like meditation. I really recommend anyone to just start something that they’ve always had an interest in but never been able to do. Who cares how good you are because it — and just set time. Three or four years of that and now I can play a few songs. I’m not quite at the level where the wife and kids are happy for me to sing them any songs yet.

    John: Those are singing lessons. Those are totally different than your guitar lessons. Those are separate. That’s cool though.

    Warwick: Anything that gets you — Look, I love business, and I love accounting. I love working with the team and the clients that we do, but it definitely makes you, frankly, better at business if you’ve got these outlets. What was it? Is it Seven Habits of Sharpening the Saw? You can’t just work in your business, 168 hours a week and not have anything else. Frankly, you’d be a boring person, if you did.

    John: Pretty much. Yeah, exactly. In what ways do you feel like it helps? It sounds like there’s like meditation, a mental release, at the very least, but in other ways?

    Warwick: Look, mental release, sometimes it’s just a good destressor, an excellent opportunity to go, right, I’ve got to be at the — work never finishes, right? Well, I’ve got to the end of the day, and there’s not one more thing I could do. Right?

    John: Exactly.

    Warwick: So, that’s a nice, all right, I’ve got my lesson here. I’m pulling up stops on the day and calling time and then that’s a nice — forces you to end the day, and then you’ve got an early — that’s just a good way of structuring of your week. It’s the same with football training. Thursday night, got to be there at 6:30. Often, I’ll be at my desk at 6:30. You’re leaving at 6 to be at the training grounds at 6:30. Then you’re off with your mates, having a kick around. With that comes discipline. You typically get all the work that you needed to get done in that shorter time rather than just dragging it out.

    John: Right. It’s amazing how we fill that time with the amount of work. I do the same thing. I’m terrible at that.

    Warwick: With your book, I’d imagine an immense amount of discipline. Your publishers have probably given you deadlines and all the rest.

    John: Oh, yeah.

    Warwick: The way back in uni days, you had 12 weeks to do the assignment, but 98%, they get that done in the two days prior. Right?

    John: Exactly. It could have been 10 weeks, and I would have — you could have given me one week, and I would have done the same thing.

    Warwick: One of my favorites, he’s actually one of your compatriots, Andrew Brandt, who is a manager with NFL Green Bay Packers. He’s got a podcast. One of his recurring themes is deadlines spur actions, and that is so true.

    John: For sure. No, this is so great to hear, Warwick, words of encouragement for people listening, and just how important it is to have these outside of work, hobbies, passions, interests, above and beyond family. Because family is certainly a part of you, but you have to have other things as well. If family is your answer, well, what do you do with your family? It’s not just family. It’s, well, hiking with the family or something like that.

    So, it’s only fair, before I wrap this up, that I turn the tables to allow you to now host the show. It’s the Warwick Jackson Show, everybody. Here it is, Episode One. So, you can rapid-fire question me.

    Warwick: Maybe, just relating to your business, in football, my coaches said to me, don’t worry about tackling, don’t worry about this, just focus on the one thing and that is getting to the contest. That’s the one thing he wants me to focus on if I’m going to be successful. Because there’s a million things you can focus — well, you can’t focus on a million things. With a million things you could do, there’s only one real thing you can focus on, and that’s the thing. For you and your business, what’s the one thing, when you get out of bed, you know that you just have to nail?

    John: Oh, man, this is a tricky one. I like it, though. I think, for me, it’s just, how can I serve the people that need me most? How can I rally the troops? How can I get information out to people that want to have better work cultures? How can I have these interviews make an impact on people? It’s amazing, the difference that we can make in each other’s lives. How can I provide information that’s actually worthwhile and serves the greater good, I guess, is kind of what my eye on the North Star, sort of a thing, and also just remembering that, hey, I can make a difference and what I’m doing matters. The other thing I love to do is just find random people on the sidewalk in front of my house and just tackle them. No, no, I’m kidding. More the first part.

    Warwick: Great answer. Okay, now this is going to my other passion of guitar. We’ve all read a lot of business books and whatnot, but what’s one song or album that you can relate to and might impact you and your business?

    John: Oh, wow. Man, there are so many great songs. The Killers have a song called, I think it’s Dancer. It’s, are we human, or are we dancers? I think that that’s something that applies to my business a lot because the book’s subtitle is Unlock the Person within the Professional. We’re human. We’re not robots. We’re not just Automatron dancers. We’re actually real people. So, I love that song. I love The Killers. It’s a great album too. Yeah, that’s probably a cool one.

    Warwick: Yes. Mr. Brightside, right?

    John: Yeah, yeah.

    Warwick: I think it might have been 2017, they actually played in the Australian rules grand final.

    John: Oh, wow.

    Warwick: At the post-match concert, and a couple of players from the winning team actually just got up onstage and started belting out the tunes for The Killers. It’s amazing.

    John: If you ever have a chance to see them live, anyone listening, go because it is a life experience. It’s three-dimensional. The music’s great, the singers, such a showman. It’s something to see. That’s for sure.

    Warwick: My plan is to keep practicing with my guitar, and I’ll just play support for them.

    John: Hey, there we go. I’ll see if I can make a call.

    Warwick: All right, and last question, the last time you cried.

    John: Oh, wow, the last time I cried. Yeah, that’s a good question because I do tend to get emotional often. Yeah, I guess it was probably just a little bit ago. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, as well as dementia. It just hit me that today is the best he’s ever going to be. Tomorrow will be a little bit worse, but it’ll be the best that he will ever be. It just hit me that he’s not going to maybe remember some cool things that we’ve done recently, or be able to, in the future. So, it’s just trying to take advantage of those opportunities and stuff. That’s probably the last time. Then, anytime I hear the the theme song to Rudy, the music of that movie, I will just cry instantly. I don’t really need to see the movie. I just hear the music, and it’s just like, tear up. Yeah, that’s what happens.

    Warwick: Well, thanks for sharing that. On Rudy, Nick who is a guy that I work with here, younger guy, I don’t even know if he owns a DVD player because you can stream everything these days. He mentioned he hadn’t seen Rudy, and I went and got it out of my DVD collection. It was like, don’t turn up on Monday if you haven’t watched this.

    John: Good for you, sir. You are my hero. That is awesome. It’s not totally, 100% true story, but it’s a really great movie. So, that’s awesome work. Well, thank you so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”? This has been so fun, catching up.

    Warwick: Glad to be here.

    John: Absolutely, and everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Warwick in action, or connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. While you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture, and check out my book, pre-order it now.

    Thanks again for subscribing on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread that who you are is so much more than what you do.


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