The Profound Power of Authenticity with Stevie Ward

Season #2

Stevie is a former professional rugby player and part of the golden generation at the Leeds Rhinos, one of the most successful teams in Super League history. Stevie became the youngest grand final winner ever, won 3 Grand Finals, 2 Challenge Cups and was named captain at just 26. Amongst the highs, Stevie endured 10 operations, several mental health struggles, and had to retire from a brain injury at the age of 27.

Stevie launched Mantality in 2016, inspiring conversation around mental health for men. Mantality now offers counselling and life-coaching services and engages people through a stigma-breaking podcast.

Throughout all of the winning and losing in life, Stevie believes that the truest form of resilience is to realise the potential of our true selves. Stevie put this to the test by leading culture meetings as a captain of the Rhinos team in rugby league, one of the toughest sports there is.

Promoting authenticity formed championship-winning teams and formidable relationships. Stevie believes that authenticity is the only thing that aligns success with fulfilment, and we all crave it.

Stevie shatters the stigma around expressing how we truly feel in an increasingly complicated world. He has realised that authenticity aligns success with personal fulfilment, revolutionises internal comms and is essential for us to connect.

And this is why I’m excited to bring you this conversation with Stevie. I believe authenticity is lacking in many HP departments primarily because of reasons such as low psychological safety, the value of depth of knowledge over the ability to share knowledge and the hierarchical nature of sport that restricts true collaboration.


Talking Points:

  • How Stevie gained awareness of the importance of being truly authentic to form formidable relationships.
  • Why engineering smallness is prevalent is performance sport
  • How sport focuses on the technical elements (told who we are meant to be, no one buys into)
  • Blaming, shaming, fearing culture of sport and how to change it
  • Inner compass and leadership - Stevie's perspective on this
  • What the catalyst was to turn Stevie's awareness within himself
  • The power of feeling safe without removal of threat 


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