Dr. Andy Martin

In this episode, we head south, way south, to New Zealand and have a free-flowing conversation with Andy Martin. Andy is a Professor in Sport and Physical Education at Massey University (Palmerston North, New Zealand). He has won a variety of teaching awards, including the prestigious Aka Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards. He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK and his research covers topics as diverse as the Czech concept of dramaturgy, the organizational culture of the All Blacks and the development potential of Outward Bound.


welcome everyone thanks for joining us for another of these conversations

um today it’s our extreme pleasure to welcome Professor Andy Martin uh to the

conversation with Jessica and I so Professor Andy Martin uh is a professor

in sport and physical education at Massey University in New Zealand and just last year Andy was named a

principal fellow of the higher education Academy in recognition of his teaching scholarship and Leadership particularly

around work integrated learning this isn’t the first uh award that Andy’s

received he’s also received New Zealand’s National tertiary teaching award for sustained Excellence so that’s

through AKO aotearoa and he’s also been recognized with a number of University

Awards over the years in 2007 from the vice chancellors Excellence award for

sustained commitment to teaching excellence and also in 2015 for being an

outstanding ending role model committed to teaching Excellence so it’s really a

great pleasure to have you here Andy uh we can’t can’t wait for the conversation to start

great thanks Pat for the introduction and great to reconnect with you once again absolutely

so Andy we’ll just start with with a pretty open-ended question here um can you tell us your story how did

you get to where you are now as a university Professor uh receiving these

awards for excellence and and being an educational leader in this field

I I guess my my whole career has been around education um and if I think back about when I

started in education it really was as a coach um of an 11 year old football team

um my father coached me as a young kid at primary school and

um once I sort of left the primary school team um he um sort of stopped coaching and that

team and um I actually started coaching the team that he was coaching so um I’ve been coaching for a long time

without giving my age away um so that’s um you know 40 plus years uh coaching and I guess

um that’s continued I went through university did math because I was good at maths

um and ended up teaching maths at a private school or public school in in the UK a school called millfield school

um where which was also a sports school so I guess teaching and Sport have been

linked with me all the way through as a coach um and I guess I see myself probably

more as a coach than as a as a teacher um and I guess or maybe we’ll talk about

the difference between a coach and a teacher later but um and again moving on as a

um as now I guess an educator in a tertiary institution um I still might see myself more as a

coach um than a lecturer um particularly when I see other lecturers lecture

um and I’m definitely not a lecturer um there’s an adage of you know um

lecturing is about passing information from one person to the other without it going through the brains of either

um and um and hopefully I’m I’m not that um so yeah I definitely see myself more

as a coach um and um whether that’s at a school

setting whether that’s at a you know with my kids um my own kids who are now bigger kids

um but also now as a educator for the last 20 plus years

um at a university um it’s very much about coaching which is more than just uh subject-specific

stuff uh it’s I guess looking at trying to educate the whole person and and you

know we have a saying in New Zealand um better people make better all black

um and um I think that adage goes through and I guess as a educator in a tertiary

environment yes I teach sport management or sport coaching or I used to teach maths and

yet it’d be great if they’re all good at what they do in that area but I’m actually more interested that they

actually become better people when they leave University and um you know that that three-year period

at University is not just about subject specific knowledge it’s about becoming a better person and a better citizen going

forward so um yeah that’s probably in a nutshell my background from sort of coaching sport

teaching at a school and now ending up um teaching sports but also

um you know work integrated learning which is that next phase of actually the

theory that you’ve learned at University putting into the practice um so yeah definitely a practice-based

educator and you and I both come from that sort of experience or educator background

um Andy I’m really curious um about the sort of distinction between

coaching and teaching and I think you’ve articulated really beautifully through the lens of a show that I’ve just

recently watched called Ted lasso I don’t know if you’ve seen Ted lasso it is about American football coach from

um sort of the the Midwest who is brought in to teach or to coach a premier league

um team and he doesn’t know anything about English soccer he knows a lot

about American football and he is he is brought in and he puts a sign in the

locker room that says believe and it’s unclear over the two seasons whether that is believe in winning believe in

yourself belief in believe in belief um but there’s this entire episode where

um they have their their hopes up and in the region that he’s coaching they have um a sort of saying in the community

that says it’s the hope that kills and that’s very British all right like don’t get your hopes up don’t be too effusive

and he comes in with this sort of winsome hopeful American perspective and

he said you know it’s not the hope that kills us the hope that gets you up and it gets you moving and I want my players

to to have hope and to have belief and to not focus on you know past losses to

imagine themselves as goldfish right so that their their memories of past failures are a race and that they’re

always future facing and it strikes me that you share some pretty fundamental principles of Hope of belief of coaching

a whole person um and of of not being about the content although the content is really important

but to be about the the ways in which you can understand future facing

Performance Based on the individual capacities I wonder maybe if you could to speak to any of of those things that

resonate for you in your own experience yeah I think um they certainly do and I

I think back to when I was a a high school teacher teaching maths

um now I don’t know what you were like at maths at school maybe you thought it was great to like I did but um when I

went into a maths class like I was pretty excited about math you know when I was at school I did math and I did

more math and I did even further math and I did as many maths you know more maths and additional math that I could

do but when I started teaching it was pretty clear that whilst I might stand up at the front of my class and go hey

massive you know Matt’s rocks this is exciting like I wasn’t getting the same faces back

um so I kind of realized really early on that I actually had to do something a little bit different than just teaching

maths you know that wasn’t going to work that wasn’t really going to excite and connect these kids so

um I had to do other things and uh I guess going forward to being a

tertiary educator um this I know you have the same saying over in Canada but we have a saying here

of seas get degrees um now um for me I’m like I’m a sport

person you know and and the thought of you know competing to try and get forth

didn’t seem to you know work with me and I remember back to my one of my first classes as a math teacher and they were

called the borderline class we had grading I know nowadays grading maybe have gone out I’m not sure it has gone

out in Canada or not but um our classes were graded so you know you had class one which was the the bright kids and

you know the mass Geeks and then you went all the way down to class 10 who were probably going to fail and I ended

up with the borderline class so they’re the ones that were predicted to get C’s or D’s

um you know and so I was kind of in the middle and so and all these kids knew that they were the borderline class you

know and I was like this ain’t gonna work because you know if if you go

you know fourth sucks and you if you’re going for the gold medal you know fourth sucks I’m like why would we want to get

a dick you know why are we aiming for a d so or a c you know why are we aiming for a c if but c d you know because if

you don’t get a c you get a d it’s a bit like going for the bronze medal and you get fourth that sucks you don’t go for

bronze you go for golf so I actually said to this class hey guys I know you think you’re the borderline class but

hey we’re going for B’s and A’s and they looked at me like you’re a dummy you know like we don’t get bees

and A’s um but that was my whole pretext of the class like we’re gonna get B’s and A’s

in this class and through that just changing that persona for them that they

weren’t the borderline class anymore we’re going for B’s and A’s and I do exactly the same now in my tertiary

class so especially when they come into the workplace work integrated learning you know they’re going to do internships I’m

like how many of you are you know how many of you winged that to get through to third year with c’s

you know I said you don’t have to put your hand up but I’m like it’s okay but this class isn’t we’re not getting C’s

in this class we’re getting B’s and ice um so it’s changing that um expectation

and I guess I talk talk about it as Great Expectations

um and and setting great expectations so I guess that’s one of the things that I’ve always done whether I’m a coach or

whether I’m a teacher or whether I’m a lecturer is set Great Expectations you know and I and I don’t apologize

when I coach my sports teams and go hey we’re out here to win and that’s not very PC these days you know like we’re

supposed to have fun and yeah yeah but I’m like hey it’s much more fun to win um and okay we don’t win all the time

um and I remember about 10 years ago I had a I coached a girls team for the

first time never coached a girls team before and um this was a high school girls team

football team soccer in the states and um they’d managed to qualify for the

national tournament so it was a big deal for the school and they kind of asked me to be the coach

because they thought I was a good coach or somebody must have told them hey Andy’s a good coach and they’re going to Nationals and and at the start they were

like um you know like it was just a big deal to be at Nationals so there was no performance whatsoever

and um so then I started talking to them about so you know what are we going to do at Nationals

and they’re like well I don’t know we’re just going to play I’m like no we’re not just going to

Nationals to play what’s you know what’s the deal and so we changed around as like well actually

we had this group stage first of all and then if you won the group stage you got to the top eight

so I said to them and they’re like they’d never even been to Nationals before let alone get to the top eight so I’m like we’re a top 18. we’re going

topic and they all looked at me like you’re a dummy like we don’t we’ve only just

qualified you know we’re not going to get there but it was changing the expectation that we’re a top eight team

now in the end we finished 10th I so that’s okay but it was about changing

that expectation of where they could do and I see that with my kids that come into University class and they’ve

managed to wing it through and suddenly they’re in my class and then I’m like no this is B’s in a class

and I like well but once we have that expectation then they rise to the

expectation rather than rise to the bottom level so um yeah I guess that’s cool and I guess

the same for my kids you know like my own kids I have the you know they don’t have to win all the time but we have

that expectation you know that’s the the goal we’re not just there to have fun I mean we are there to have fun but

it’s much more fun to win so I am competitive and I don’t apologize for that

I do think you should watch Ted lasso because it is okay I’ll write it down understand ties like as an American he

does not understand what a tie is and so um and you know Pat and I as Canadians

sort of watch I I love it because it’s between these two cultures neither one of them is is ours and you can sort of

see the different kinds of ideologies of belief of Hope of where you meet the

individual where you where you have them um in context and how you transform together so I do I recommend it because

it’s it’s a surprise it was a surprise hit for me I was sort of getting ready to dislike it

um because I was like I don’t know about bringing somebody in who doesn’t know anything about the game is problematic

but but what he was framing for me or making visible or surfacing was the Elegance of coaching not the content of

it and I think you just really nicely I think that’s the you’ve made a really good point there like it’s the it’s the

it’s the wider thing that’s more important and I remember back when I was at school and in my final year at high

school and just remember I was good at maths and I had a math teacher they must

have for whatever reason not had any Math teachers that year to teach the top class now my math teacher was an art teacher

and she came in and she said I’m an art teacher I don’t know much about maths and I’m like freaking out because I’m

like you know I love math and like she was the best teacher ever

because she would write stuff on the board that was wrong and but me being good at math I was like

I had to follow her so closely the whole time because I had to spot the mistake she was an awesome teacher but exactly

as he said she was a teacher she was an educator the subject didn’t matter the fact that she knew nothing about math

doesn’t matter and I guess good educators are good Educators doesn’t matter about the subject it’s the

educator part they can make it fun uh they can make it enjoyable that you can set those great expectations whether

they know anything about the subject is not the important part it’s part of the process so no I think you’ve made a

really good point there and I think there’s also the point too like it’s about the culture that’s built

right and so Andy another piece of your bio that I neglected at the front end was that the fact that you’re a

co-author of these two books on the All Blacks and the silver Ferns and their

culture of winning right a will to win and and legends in black and these are globally high profile winning

organizations and there’s a culture there so I’m wondering if you have any lessons to tease out of there that maybe

relate to failure or growth from failure or you know if you’re always in a

winning culture with these expectations what does it look like um to fail yeah no I mean I think that

that they’re two slightly different teams there so the All Blacks have a

quite remarkable winning record um over 100 years you know probably the highest winning percentage of any team

globally so why do they win all the time that’s what were kind of interested about

um and and part of that is that they have an expectation that they’re going to win now they do lose but don’t play the All

Blacks the week after they’ve lost because they don’t lose two times in a row very often

um so what they do have is a very strong learning culture and I think I mentioned really early on that sort of saying

about better people make better all blacks and that is a saying that sort of come about really in the last 15 years

and the changes in cultures and you may not know the the names of the coaches and that’s not not important but they

realize that they actually had to change as coaches um they’d come from Graham Henry who was

the coach for the All Blacks when they won in 2011. the world World Cup

um he’d come from a teacher background he was he was a Headmaster and he and that’s how he coached he was very autocratic Mr Headmaster

but in terms of growing the team when you’re out on the pitch the players make the decisions not the

not the coaches so unlike basketball and American football where often it’s the

coach on the side that’s telling what to play is um whereas in rugby you’re on the pli on

the perch and you have to make the decisions and in football you have to make the decisions and they realize

there’s a coaching team if they didn’t change the All Blacks weren’t going to revolve

and they needed to make the players make more decisions so I think one of the key things there is that they’re a learning

it’s a learning culture in other words if you’re the number one team in the world everybody else is going to copy

you because you’re the best now once the other teams copy you that

means you’re not the best anymore because they’re just as good so you have to stay ahead so you’re you have to keep

changing but your fundamental beliefs and we looked at the culture of the All Blacks

so their beliefs and values are around winning around mateship

um so they have some very strong values they have I don’t know whether you can see I’ll just move so I got a a nice

t-shirt on here which has got this little Silver Fin which is a really big important album uh

emblem in New Zealand but that’s that’s there that symbol it’s really important

legit I haven’t got a black Jersey but the white jersey um it’s really important to them that

black Jersey the silver Fern and I guess for most national teams that would be the same so that sort of culture of

um those symbols the hacker that they do before you know all blacks games they’re the visual symbols that you and I can

see but below the service that sort of Iceberg they have these really strong values and core assumptions

um that are within that team and one of those is definitely this learning culture that we have to get better

and interesting enough with the silver ferns which is New Zealand’s uh netball team

I know netball is not necessarily a huge game in Canada although I’m not sure why not because it’s a commonwealth country

um and Australia are normally the best team in the world so um unlike rugby New Zealand isn’t the

best team in the world Australia is and has been you know basically it’s Australia or New Zealand have either won

the World Championships and netball forever but New Zealand don’t win that often maybe once in every four times in every

and actually looking back it was kind of like once every 16 years so that’s a long time to wait for a world

championship so we kind of looked back to see why they win sometimes and why

they don’t win all the time so a slightly different research and again

what came out was when they did one they had a coach that was strong was

autocratic but was also empowering and let the and let the players make the

decisions so they still had that strong culture and again within the silver

ferns in New Zealand and we have uh quite a Multicultural Society in New Zealand

um you know as well as our sort of um indigenous culture we’ve got the

Pacific island culture as well um and we’ve got other countries coming to join so for example within the New

Zealand team for a while they had some South African players that have sort of come and become new zealanders so they

had to meld that uh culture together so um I guess the key there was again learning

when they won how they won so now that hopefully will help the silver ferns

going forward and currently the silver fans are the world champions so it was

kind of like oh we actually knew they would be world champions before they became that because they had all the

elements of what we saw was going to be a winning winning culture

um so I think and again going back to your comment at the beginning about Ted lasso was it’s about that culture and

the coach sets the culture and I think that’s you know again as an educator and

for me being a tertiary educator we’re the ones that set the culture within our classroom

um and that so that culture becomes really important so um I mean I’ve uh this is the beginning

of our semester over here in New Zealand so beginning of our Academic Year I know it’s not quite for you

um but I’ve just done that with my first class um ask them about them so I I obviously

told them about me this is Andy Martin I’m a teacher educator blah blah blah but I’ve asked all of the students about

them about their culture their experiences their sporting backgrounds

about what they bring to the class because it’s not just about me

the learning is actually going to come from everybody in the club um so again it you know that team

culture and I think you know I’ve through doing that research with the All Blacks and the silver ferns that culture

is really you know critical to the success of a team so it’s not just the

coach the coach doesn’t form the culture the team forms the culture so when Ted

lasso was clearly is a good coach it’s actually the team that forms the culture

now obviously the coach has an impact on helping that culture along

hello I love this and it it reminds me of the podcast that I was listening to

recently um that was interviewing Pippa Grange who wrote a book she’s a sports

psychologist and she wrote a book called Fearless how to win at life without

losing yourself and she was brought into work with the English national team for

the Football Association so soccer in the in the UK but she has also worked with Australian and I think New Zealand

sports teams and she’s a she’s an expert on fear anxiety and perfectionism and

she’s just resonated entirely with what you’ve talked about with the learning culture which is how to not be without

fear so fear less is there are two words right so you’re still allowed to be

afraid you’re still allowed to feel discomfort but you fear it less or you

don’t allow that anxiety and perfectionism to take over and she says it happens when you make deeper

connections with one another so it’s really tied to that that culture that the players are building that the coach

is facilitating and value signaling so Mike my question is and I think that

we’ve we’ve got some sphere of control and influence within our classrooms and

so we can set culture there and sometimes we can set it in our department and and or division

how do we do it at an Institutional wide level how do we do it with assistance

because we are I think I’m going to just use I here I can create values and

systems and how things circulate within my own classrooms but I sometimes wail

in despair at my own University context which is not anchoring those values in

practice and in fact I think covet has exposed a number of um elements of toxic culture

how do we how do we take what we tell our students to do and how do we do it ourselves with our colleagues and our

administrative leaders yeah and I think that’s a really good issue and covert has highlighted that

because one of the things that that it’s created is this online culture which we’re doing now because we’re talking

online um and it it makes people hide and it maybe also makes our managers hide

um because it’s easier to stand behind a zoom screen rather than actually talk to somebody um and we have a culture now with our

younger people who are you know texting um so you know what we’re doing now

which is actually talking to each other is kind of almost old school these days um and you know one of the biggest

struggles I have one of the biggest challenges I give to my students when they go into the workplace when I’m

doing work in grade learning or cooperative education as it’s called in Canada um is pick up the phone just go and talk

to somebody um so at the moment when my students are arranging their workplaces they tell me

I know I’ve I’ve sent an email I’ve sent a text and I’m like yeah when did you do that

I’m like and they’re like oh maybe a week ago I’m like well what happens if you don’t get a response well I’ll send

another text all right chances are you won’t get a response again how about pick up the phone so I think old school

talking and that’s definitely me and your your point around how do we

um deal with our bosses Etc or that wider thing is for me around coaching

um and the word coaching again and I um being an older person I went on a

leadership course um a while back and it was run by an organizational psychologist

and um the same comment that you just made and he said um Andy you get frustrated by these difficult sort of

people don’t you and I’m like yeah I get real frustrated it’s really annoying and we actually

talked about the coaching thing too because um I used to struggle with

um coaching the real talented athlete you know you’re you’re Ronaldo or something like that

you know how do you coach them because they’re not team players they they they’re so good but they don’t play as a

team and um so it was about um and again this being in the workplace

you know when you get frustrated or you’re dealing with a difficult person it might be a difficult staff member

um you know I just used to get frustrated ah um and he’s like well you’re a coach

why don’t you coach them and he actually flipped this around in terms of saying this is a difficult

situation or a difficult person or a challenging person he just said hey you’re a coach this is a problem solving

this is a this is a fascinating person this is this is a really good challenge

um so with my good player um I um well it wasn’t him that this

this was something else but I it was hey with the good player it’s not how do I

make you better it’s actually how do we make the team look good and this was something coming back to

um uh Michael Jordan who you would know from the from

basketball now he played obviously for the Bulls and the Bulls didn’t win

for a long time and then they’ve got a no-name coach who actually is not a no-name coach anymore

because they won lots of championships but how do you be a no-name coach coming in you’ve got Michael Jordan in the team

and they Michael Jordan was trying so hard to make the balls better and he’d

score 40 points or 50 points or you know and then they’d be 10 points down and Michael we try but the other teams it

was easy they triple teamed him and you know game was over and then so the no-name coach came along and said hey

Michael I just want you to make the team look good so instead of trying to beat three players how about beat two Lay It Off

make the other guy look good and they can get two points so I want you to score 30 but I want the rest of the team

score 10 each and obviously the the rest of the story is there and so I started doing this with my

really talented players and it was about coaching them you know in the same and I

used again I remember one of my really talented footballers hey Ryan you gotta you gotta make the team look good and

after he’d lay the ball off he’d run back to the halfway line give me a little smile

we both knew he’d made the team look good he still did the selfie skills he’d still beat two players if sometimes he’d

try and do too much but he’d laid off make the other other guy look good got it and then coming back to that your

question which was about the organizational how do we make our bosses look good well we coached them

so um you know and universities are uh hierarchical type of organization so

like you say we’re we’re low down in the pecking order but hey we can coach them

so um my boss may be listening to this but I

coach him yeah you know and and I go you know things like hey I suggest you might do

that you know might do that so we’re not necessary so it’s the same way

um and you know I suggest we might have more team meetings now it doesn’t always

work and and you might still get frustrated but at least you’re trying at least you

have rather than just kind of giving up and going this is a shambles um and and you know this isn’t a culture

I really enjoy you can you can work work with them and and with the work integrated learning so I cheer the work

integrated learning committee for our University and I have a great team I’m not um you know whilst I’m good at working

great learning I can’t do it on my own but it’s about coaching up so one of the

key things um that the organization psychologists told me was keep telling them what

you’re doing um so we have regular feedback to the big bosses our senior leadership team at

the University about what we’re doing they don’t ask for it we just give it every month or every couple of months we

give them a feedback saying this is what we’re doing and with my boss every month I tell him

what I’m doing because he’d never asked but I’m just going to tell him so

hopefully he realizes I am doing something and hopefully from the University they realize that we’re doing

stuff but what happens is then they start coming back going oh well done that was really good

ah maybe so now we have you know more of that more of that in our strategy for

the University um Etc and so you start getting some whims it seems to become naturalized

right like it’s no longer an outlier it’s a it’s a core piece because they have been told about it so many times

the next time they’re asked to write any sentences it’s in there absolutely so we

now have a statement within our University about working in our strategy about working great learning and I often

joke with my team that we’re running the University it’s just the university doesn’t know that that’s what’s happening so you know

Jess you can still run your University they may not realize you’re running the university but at least you feel good

that you’re you know you’re doing your bit rather than just going oh this is so frustrating I’ve had enough of it

um and I think you know that um communication and regular communication is really important especially now when

we’ve all gone online and it’s really easy to hide like my boss is in Auckland which is you know a six hour drive from

here so I now I never see my boss I haven’t seen him for for two years

um and with the online and the lockdowns all that sort of stuff it has made people sort of become more insular

but it’s also made our bosses more insular because it’s easy for them just to send out a zoom message or an email

you know manage it’s managed management by email it’s not management by talking

um so you know I think it’s much easier you and I can see facial expressions now but you know we can see laughter we can

see smiling um but when you just get an email then we might just get a grumpy email

but that might not be the intent of the email but we have that you know we tend to

form that so it’s much easier so that’s why we now um you know try out with my group

um and me as a coach so I coach up so I talk it about talk about coaching up

um and I think that’s been really good for me as an educator because I do coach but we tend to coach

you know our team or our students or whatever almost coach I shouldn’t say coaching gown that’s not right but

um in terms of that hierarchy coaching up I think is a really useful skill and as a good educator and a good

coach we have those skills to do that and like I say we don’t get wins all the time but as time goes on hopefully you

do and it you know if you don’t get if you don’t get any of them eventually maybe you leave or you retire but

um yeah I think you’re right it that’s how you can change the culture

um and one of my bosses so the dean we have so we have a dean of enterprise

and I just rang him yesterday and said well maybe you should be the dean of Will and Enterprise

tongue-in-cheek but actually now that’s the thought that’s there um and he’s like well actually that

sounds good and he loves the culture that we have he loves being in our meetings he loves

coming to our meetings because they’re Smiley and they’re happy and they’re fun and will is a great space to be in

because there’s lots of positive outcomes and that’s not the sort of meetings he normally goes to

um where we’re worried about budgets and you know all that the financial drama of universities so I think it’s a again

it’s about creating a culture where it’s a winning culture um and we have you know within our

massive environment we have a winning world culture and what’s really interesting there is

just like it’s such a fine line between one and the other like I I heard it I heard it this said about a fantastic

employee who I happen to know um where their their a nuclear bomb or

they’re a nuclear reactor depending on how you manage or coach them right don’t

coach them let them go off in all wild directions it’s going to explode it’s going to make everybody look bad up down

and sideways but harness that power and it’s just ticking over like positive

outcome over positive outcome over positive outcome and I think that’s probably the case with a number of the

concepts here that we’re talking about right it’s not far from Despair and

failure and vulnerability to growth and hope and resilience right and so I’m

wondering if you can speak to any of those on a more General sense Sandy no I I think if you’ve hit it there and I

think I said right at the start you know am I am I an exceptional educator well the answer is for some or for many

the answer is yes but there are still students that don’t like me you know

we’ll make a complaint uh there are staff that are you know there are lots of staff that I Inspire and think you

know Andy’s a fantastic educator or supervisor for a PhD but there are others that don’t so I don’t you know

that’s my challenge um is you know you’re not and you’ve just talked about that fine line of

about going back and forth you know my my footballer who is a great footballer but actually

as a team player wasn’t but once I got in playing as a part of the team he was fantastic so you you

gave an example there of a staff member who kind of doesn’t fit the bill but actually if you can get him

alongside you he contributes really well but if you let him go he’ll undermine everything you do

so I think that’s you know that again that communication and and it comes down

to coach it does come down to coaching and creating that culture um I think within the world culture we

have here at Massey within our team you know we’ve created that positive environment where people can go and do

their own thing but they’re really contributing to the team um and that’s what we wanted across the

whole university because uh there are so many different people doing different types of will we’re not telling them hey

you’ve got to do it this way but if we can actually kind of Empower them to go well actually we’ll support

you to do it the best you can and then that’ll help their practice so yeah I

think you’re you’re dead right and that balance that we have between being a

good educator and a bad educator sometimes isn’t that is it almost a fine line you know if I give bad grades to my

my students potentially they don’t think I’m a very good lecturer but eventually I talked to them about I

had a student yesterday literally who I’d failed so I failed his first assignment for his

work in grade learning dang and then he was starting a second one and he hadn’t bothered to read the information

whatever and he just started doing it and he said I’ve done all this work you know what do you mean but then I got an email from him last

night saying hey Andy thank you so much for talking this through with me um I realize you don’t have to do that

but it’s made a big difference I will now go and do what you want me to do

um I mean that’s I paraphrased what he said but again it was about it would have been very easy for him to go

because he’s only just met me as an educator to go Andy’s a bad lecturer he’s failed me I’m out

but hopefully we’ve managed to just talk to him through and actually now

you know he could be an a student um you know and hopefully he will so

um that um I guess you know I talked earlier about those great expectations but the

other thing I think we are as Educators is a catalyst for change

and you’ve just highlighted potentially it could be a negative change you know uh but hopefully it’s also a

positive change that’s what we’re looking for as an educator you know so whether you know as a parent

you can get it wrong lots of time and they’re like dad’s the worst parent you know I hate that

you know but hopefully the lesson you’ve just taught that is you know been sent through his room or whatever

hopefully you know going okay well the penny might drop but on the other hand is like dead

you’re awesome so yeah that’s you know as parents we’re often on that fine line too sometimes

aren’t we between gee what an awesome parent you are to God you’re a horrible parent

um so yeah it’s about being that Catalyst for Change and sometimes the change isn’t always that we’re

advocating isn’t always a positive you know it’s actually you’ve got to do this better it’s not always about the A and

the B it’s actually how do we stop getting the C and the D because we might need to address that first

control over it and send some tech to the nuclear reactor versus

the nuclear bomb the byproduct is going to be toxic sludge right yeah just gotta

you just gotta get that in the chin and deal with it but I think one of the things one of the ways to minimize that

the damage and maximize the transformation is something that you talked about a little bit with um Michael Jordan and the way in which she

was coached by Phil Jackson and Phil Jackson coming in as a sort of no-name coach and coming in and doing things

totally differently and changing the culture and one of the things that he did was he gifted each teammate a book

and he gave them a book based on their personality and their inclination he said I want you to go as always Scottie

Pippen go read this book Michael Jordan go read this book you know um and he would send them out and then he would do

like um indigenous practices and teachings and meditation and got them into yoga

and got them into thinking differently and I um just watched a special with Michael Jordan I’m sure you watched it as well

um where he was he was coaching Phil Jackson was coaching for curiosity and and I would take that one step further

and maybe tie it to some of the work that you do in work integrated learning but also as an educational leader which

is coaching for curiosity and critical reflection right and those things are

kind of tied and I understand a design principle of work integrated learning or at least experiential learning is the

necessity of critical reflection right it’s a stop and to be metacognitive about what where and how you’re learning

at various points could you talk a little bit about um critical reflection and and maybe

that’s a way forward to change the culture of the university is to to build that in more explicitly both in our

classroom practice but also in our promotion tenure review um in performance assessment for our

colleagues and even our senior administrative staff yeah you know there’s about 10 questions

there but I think let’s go back to the work integrated learning part I mean I think on Pat and

I come from outdoor backgrounds that you know experiential educator um and John Dewey who I guess is our

grandfather of terms of books and stuff on education experience education said you know just having an experience

doesn’t mean you’ve learned anything and again that was the conversation with my student last night he said like you

know I’ve been I’ve done four weeks of work and I said yeah but what have you learned in four weeks

you know there’s no reflection there’s no link to Theory which is you know the

key part of um working great learning that that reflection on practice and

you’ve done two years of study but if you haven’t learned anything for two years when you go in the workplace you’re not going to be any good so

um you know I talked to him about that reflection on his practice you know what he’d learned you know we’re looking for

those learning outcomes and I think um you’re right you know probably the

biggest thing for me as an educator has been reflecting on

when I go wrong um and I I am if I go back to being a

teacher I might just see if I can find that there’s a nice

there’s my little quote um

it was really I can’t find it there but when I was a teacher as a math teacher it was those kids that I couldn’t engage

with that I struggle with the most um but it was Finding ways that I could

engage with those so the fact that I can engage with the good ones that’s cool but as I said as

an educator it’s engaging with those that you can’t and for me teaching’s all about that engagement you know and again

whether you’ve with your kids as your own kids if you if you lose that engagement if they’re not engaging with

you you’ve kind of lost them um so it’s trying to find that little

trigger with each of those individuals that will engage them uh going forward

and I guess that’s what I’m looking for with all my so you’re you’re treating

them all as individuals rather than this is the maths class or this is the work integrated learning class it’s finding

those little triggers um I remember in one of my math classes early on

um student wasn’t that great at math but she was good at cooking so um I was a boy I was a staff I was

living I was single at the time and living you know on so she was in a boarding house so she

couldn’t take the cooking back so she started bringing the cooking to class well that was the engagement and her

mess just suddenly didn’t become amazing but math classes were okay after that because I was like wow this is amazing

like that cooking and we would share stuff in class and about the cooking it was supposed to be a maths class and

we’re talking about cooking but for her there was an engagement there um so I think it’s it’s about that

engagement and again you moving forward in terms of the culture of the organization it’s engaging

stuff you’ve got to keep them engaged and when Pat mentioned the start the staff member that’s going to go AWOL and

do his own thing well how do we engage them and go well actually

maybe these these practices we don’t like but these practices we do like so actually you can if you keep doing that

you you carry on doing that because that’s amazing you know I want you to do more of that and I think sometimes at

University we are trying to make people good at everything

um and I think it’s interesting too that you mentioned about you know performance reviews and that sort of thing because

often in a normal workplace if you’re doing a good job your boss

will reward you but in Academia often you have to self-promote

um and so what I’ve done with a number of staff is actually I’ve

self-promoted them so I’m not their boss but I’ve gone actually you should be a

professor or you should be a senior lecturer or you should and actually I’ll write your CV for you or I’ll write your

promotion application and I just did this the other day so staff member who is just an amazing educator

but maybe because they haven’t got the odd publication or whatever they’re not a professor well they’re going to retire

without being a professor that’s not right so I’ve written gone hey bosses you need to promote this guy

before to us um so I think there’s more of that where we can support colleagues doesn’t

necessarily have to be ahead of a hidden apartment doesn’t necessarily want to promote colleagues because it costs them

more in his budget so how do we prom how do we promote a culture of promoting each other because

actually if we’re all good then we also get promoted and that’s much better and that’s really combating

like that’s combating the sort of all of those myths of like tall poppy syndrome

or crabs in a bucket or whatnot it’s like saying you know I’ve reached this level in leadership and now I’m not

going to cut off all the tops I’m going to encourage all the tops to grow as high as they want and it’s okay if

everybody gets a hundred percent or like it’s it’s great to celebrate and that’s

such a sort of Guerrilla concept within uh within higher ed

I think one of one of the ways I’ve I’ve done this particularly is with my let’s

say postgraduate students Masters or PhD students and very early on I say to them

hey you’re the expert not me I I might be an expert in in how to get

a PhD or how to get a masters because I’ve done quite a few of these before but your particular topic you’re the

expert not me and it’s flipping them around and I

actually get my students and I I do a lot of stuff to doctoral students first year doctoral students and they’re all

like oh my God I’m on this journey of you know trying to become a doctor and I get them to sit in class and I

said right repeat after me I am doctor whatever it is Mayor Riddell Martin

and they look at me like I’ve gone nuts and they’re and I’m like no no repeat

after me I am Dr Martin and like do this a couple of times and

nobody’s responding and eventually they kind of flex and they all look at me and they’re all

saying I’m Doctor whatever it is and I’m like you know why I’m saying that because you will be

and you actually have to think what it’s like to be Dr Riddell or Dr Mayer or Dr

Martin even though you’re not now because you will be and if you if you don’t think you will

be you probably won’t so put it on your desktop or whatever I

am doctor and it was the same when I became a professor what does being a professor mean

you know what does that mean there’s no particular job description for being a professor or for being a doctor or

whatever but what does being a professor mean and again it was a conversation I had with this organization psychologist

and he was like well what do you want to be in 10 years and and it was about being a you know a highly respected

professor but what does that mean you know so you have to kind of embody that person

um and again as a doctoral student you haven’t got a clue what being a doctor is but eventually you do know

that your doctor because you can tell your supervisor actually no that’s not right because they’re they’re the expert and

you know I think one of the key things I’ve learned is from my students like I’m not the expert they are and

that’s why you know at the beginning of class I go you know what’s your background where are you from what are your sporting experiences I am the

expert because I have a title lecturer or a professor and I’m standing at the front of the class but all my class

brings something to the party where they have expertise

um and I think you know comes back to you know an organization you and I know really well Pat you know Outward Bound

um and their motto of round there’s more to you than you think um around

um you know at the moment they just think they’re students so I you know in class the other day

first class I said how many of you are students and again they look at me like

he’s a dummy so you know I’m like put your hand up if you’re a student am I like okay so they all put their hands up

cool well done all right so I said how many of you are professionals

one student puts their hand up so I’m like okay so I asked the question

again I said so how many of you are professionals two or three hands up

so the Penny’s starting to drop because these are all work working to grade learning students they’re all out there in the workplace so then eventually I’m

like okay guys how many of you professionals so then they all put their hand up okay you got it so I said now

the challenge for you guys is are you a student or are you a professional are you going to stay in your student

Persona or are you going to be in your professional persona and that’s the same for us we might be

you know what does a professor mean now there are some professors that are professors that clearly should be a

professor and there are some maybe that aren’t professors so you know it’s that Persona the same

with a PhD student when is appear when’s a PhD student of you know a doctor for

me when they can actually tell me I’m a I’m Doctor whatever they are because then that you know they have

that Persona of being Dr Martin or Dr Adele or Dr Miller or whatever so I

think that’s you know that’s key and again you know that’s part of the setting expectations

um yeah and Andy you know it strikes me um that you’ve you’ve just given us a

really nuanced understanding of what you mean by a winning culture because you’ve just talked about the academy as a

winning culture that is not deficit focused right that if I’m a professor it

means you can’t be a professor and you can’t be a professor it actually means that not only are are we winning we’re

also now our responsibility is to help others win because there are not a finite number of pieces of pie there are

infinite pieces of pie where everybody can share the winning without diminishing without being in opposition

to a loser right so you’ve taken that binary opposition and I I love that you declared earlier I’m competitive but but

you’re not competitive at the expense of collaboration you’re competitive because of collaboration because there’s a

winning culture that you can take a lot of people along with you as you do a

values based Leadership Model and I love that I think that’s a really important nuance and it’s one where

um in in some of our Canadian institutions anyway we have um because of scarcity because of cuts

to funding because of um austerity measures there is a culture

that people have internalized which is um a deficit culture there’s not enough there’s never enough X or Y and I think

it’s internalized to I’m never enough and then it gets really gets really tricky and people do treat Awards as

well Pat just got one so I’m not going to get one or Andy just got promoted to full Professor so I’m not going to which

is actually false like everybody can get all of the things especially if they

apply for them but there’s this sort of energy in some of our institutions that

is um pretty narrow and and I can’t I think a false culture can you want to talk a

little bit about how to how to yeah I’ve been at University quite some time

probably more than you two guys but um and I’ve seen quite a change in culture

so when I first came to University as a staff member we had morning teas uh we

had team meetings um teaching was really a focus we often

taught about you know our classes and what we had to do hey that’s our business we are a business where you

know we’re supposed to be Educators and I’d come from that background and I love the teaching part of my role and then

and I know this has happened in in Canada and the UK the sort of publish or

perish and it may have been around for a long time in others so we we had this sort of ranking system

around you know publishing so if you published ABC you

were sort of like a you know an a-ranked professor and then you’re a b ranked and then you’re a c ranked and then you are

what were they called research inactive in other words you’re the lowest of the low so a real sort of grading of but it

became a very individual culture because you got recognized for your Publications

now what that forgot was to get Publications he had a team of people

supporting that so when you’re a PhD student to get some Publications it’s

your supervisors that are helping once you’ve got a PhD then often you maybe are managing projects and other people

are getting all those Publications so the fact that I’m a professor actually

has a small part of me in it in a huge part of everybody else in it

um and and I know that I wouldn’t have become a professor because I’ve collaborated with lots of people along

the way either in a small way or a big way um and I think that has been one of the

challenges within University Systems of not recognizing teaching and so often we

have to self-promote our teaching but the research outputs are a little

bit more explicit because you’ve got a citation index or something like that or you’ve got a it’s more tangible

so I you know I can say I’ve got 100 Publications or whatever and I’ve got so many in a top so it’s more quantifiable

so the scientific it’s easier for scientists so the system tends to be a form but from an Educator’s point of

view it’s hard to be tangible to say you know how do I say that I’m a better

educator than you or you know so it’s hard to say that and that’s where the

you know the reflective process has been really good for me it’s it’s it is more holistic around that why am I a good

teacher and going through that reflective process and the hea now has sort of you know associate fellows

fellows senior fellows principal fellows so maybe there is a ranking system there as well

but you have to have demonstrated why you’re an associate fellow or a fellow through reflective practice

um and and an evidence-based reflective practice and I would argue again in terms of a research portfolio it should

be the same it’s more it should be more of a holistic not just because it favors

clearly the scientists that have 15 authors on a paper whereas in social

science it might be you on a paper so how do you compare one with one and you know science has citation indexes for

for Africa but you know we don’t in social science so we’re not comparing like with like so maybe that more

holistic and I guess that’s you know what we’re arguing here all along is a more holistic approach to

teaching um so looking at the individual so I work with some amazing staff that don’t

necessarily have the same attributes as me but does that mean that they shouldn’t get promoted just as I do

just because I might have a few more Publications than them I don’t think so

but in a holistic way they contribute just as much or if not more to the the

greater good and again that the educator example that I talked about you know

probably one of the leading Educators in the world but he’s not he’s not a professor go figure

um so yeah I think uh it is looking at that more holistic way

um and maybe that’s part of that coaching up Jess that we you know we need to coach up with our organizations

to say actually there is more of a team approach here um and I guess I’m probably just as a

proud that I’ve helped other people become an associate professor or a professor than I am that I got it too

um and it’s you know it is playing it’s playing the academic game I guess but if I’ve played the game for others

and helped coach them then I’m the co you know I’m a coach so I guess that comes for me as well whether I’m

coaching my students or coaching colleagues that’s probably my

um what makes me more excited sort of come full circle Andy right like

it’s sort of uh you know you feel better at the lifting up of of others right and

uh and you know all boats floating together it’s you know if I sort of had one one last question for you when we’re

talking about this holistic teaching and learning um what are the pieces of that that sort

of keep you keep you awake at night what are the pieces that drive you nuts and continually drive you nuts or what are

the pieces that get you up in the morning because you’re like I’m ready to go I’m ready to be the Catalyst for

Change and and fix this and and maybe it’s the same thing both sides of the coin right but uh just wondering your

thoughts there I think it encompasses all of what I’ve said so the setting Great Expectations

is one that Catalyst the change um but I think that what we’ve just been

talking there at the end is is as Educators we’re leading a legacy or leaving a legacy so my contribution is

is a tiny amount compared to the graduates that have now gone out into

the industry that in a small way I’ve impacted as a catalyst or set some great expectations but they’re now doing way

better things than I’ve ever done you know like one of our one of our students managed the Rugby World Cup here they

were there they were the event director you know I’ve had graduates managing facilities at the Olympics

um so me as an educator is is a small part but as Educators we lead a legacy

or leave a legacy and and that you know as parents um you know I remember my father saying

early on when you know as a kid growing up I was like I want to make a millionaire I want to be a millionaire

you know I want to make lots of money as many kids will do and my dad said to me he said you know what for me being a

success for me is I’ve got a great wife and I have two great kids

that success and I think as Educators you know that sort of binary principle

of you know if we educate two people that’s twice what we do and

then they educate two people and you know so we have that snowball and as Educators especially as we’ve been here

for a long time you know I’ve impacted a lot of people you know so the sport management industry in New Zealand has

flourished now I as a you know as that little Pebble in the pond have started uh those ripples

have gone much further than me so my impact myself is really small but the impact of my graduates

um is is way bigger um so I think that that would be my yeah if I was going to summarize three things

it would be the setting those great expectations being a catalyst for Change

and and leading or leaving a legacy uh and all of us as Educators do that um

hopefully in a positive way Andy I just want to pick up on um an

essay I think you might enjoy reading about John Dewey you mentioned John Dewey is the sort of father of of our

educational principles and and sort of values-based education and he wrote an essay in 1939 right before World War II

broke out and he was writing a speech it’s only two pages but he coins this

term called creative democracy where he says that the reason why we have gotten

into trouble in the first place is we understand principles as monolithic rather than as

um created together and co-designed and the fact that we’ve created and he talks

about democracy as something outside over Beyond ourselves our institutions our role as catalysts and change agents

is why we’ve gotten into this Pro to this problem so he he counters the

antidote for him is creative democracy that we cannot do anything alone that we must do it together and continuously

that there is no end there is no final point there is always moving towards

something together and I think that you’ve captured that beautifully in your conversations about building a winning

culture about coaching up about modeling things for your students about amplifying others and about the Legacy

that you’ve created which is it is a constant effort towards Excellence that

is collaborative rather than competitive as a solo Sport and I just it’s been

such a privilege to to connect with you and and learn from you and and see all of the different kind of clusters of

coaching philosophy and and the all that blacks and and pulling those all things together and into this conversation I’ve

learned so much today and I really really am grateful to you thank you Jason I’m just going to turn

around for a second because actually there’s another impact on me too so I’m just going to turn around hopefully you can see this too

can you see what’s on the back of my t-shirt the objects

so um what Pat will know is that I’m actually I’m married to a Czech lady

um so I think you know you just talked about that um you know democracy and culture and that sort of thing and I

think that’s um you know understanding of of different cultures Etc and you know

probably one of the biggest influence obviously for me is being my wife but also the check culture as well and and

we’ve your comment highlighted how again we often don’t understand so you know as

growing up I I’m English I was brought up in the UK so the the East was bad

you know and the West was good and of course growing up in the um East in communist

chick the West was bad but of course that’s you know that’s not the conversation that’s not the truth

actually there’s lots of good in both um and you know I think again it’s that

a new highlighted with that um Pat with the colleague that sort of goes AWOL and you know at the moment with these

challenging Wars that’s happening in Ukraine it’s awful but you know again it’s that total lack of understanding

that actually we’re probably not that too far away from actually thinking the same

but you know we’re going to drop bombs on each other which is dumb you know that’s totally stupid

um but actually let’s just have a conversation and work this out because it can’t be that hard and I think that

understanding um when it comes back to me you know with my you know going back to my maths

kids you know they don’t like myths so I could have hammered away saying

maths is fun maths is fun and they could have hammered back going math is not fun

I’m not enjoying this so no engagement so you know that has been critical for

me in terms of that engagement uh going forward and you know whatever class as

an educator you have you’re you’re looking for that the light to go on you know how and you

know my conversation with my student yesterday who’d filed failed their first assignment looked like they found the second assignment but

I’m pretty sure the lights gone on and and I’m you know hopeful at the end that he’ll be a you know at least the brna

student um and I’ve got lots of examples of that where students have failed early on with

me because I’ve set those expectations High and they’ve gone wow and I failed but

the light I’ve managed to get the light go on now it doesn’t always happen but

um you know if you can get the light to go on you know and actually one of my one of my favorite students came back

um he failed his learning contract but he always comes back to me and he often talks to my classes and said I’m Andy’s

best student but I failed my learning contract you know so you know I failed my first

assignment but I’m Andy’s best student um so um yeah it’s real I think that’s the key

it’s that engagement and when we fail communication whether that’s in a relationship or with a student or with

your bosses it’s nine times out of ten out of lack of Engagement lack of communication and I think you know the

challenges we have at the moment with phones and being online and death by

zoom and all those things uh just you know those are the challenges that we have at the moment

um you know I have to do classes on Zoom too so how do I engage with my students on Zoom you know that’s been a challenge

for me over the last two years but I guess that’s what keeps me going as an educator every year is different every

student is different if I was just teaching the same math subject for 25 years

but it probably doesn’t you know do my light bulbs either but hey

you know this year’s I’ve got a new class this is exciting you know it might be the 28th year I’ve had the same class

of the same topic but hey it’s a new class and they bring and they give me

the energy that I’m going to have throughout this year and their growth in the next six months is what excites me

um and you know I always say that you know outward bound’s a three-week course sometimes now a bit shorter University

is just a three-year course you know and but it’s the personal growth you get at the end of it and you know you see these

young kids grow to being amazing people so I guess that’s what keeps me going as an educator even though I’ve been doing

it for a long time and hopefully I’ve got a little bit more to go that’s awesome thanks so much Andy I

mean it’s been an absolute pleasure to chat with you today um really really great conversation yeah

thanks so much now my pleasure and great to have a conversation with two people who are

also so enthusiastic about you know being good Educators and I’m sure you are you guys are too and

um you know hopefully there’s a couple of nuggets there that you can take going forward and I’ve written a couple of

books down that I need to start going to have or videos I need to have a go and look at so I’ll certainly do that

that’s all


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