John Konrads

Winning in Sport, Career & Life

John Konrads is a unique mix of sporting legend and senior business executive. He has achieved incredible success despite suffering Bipolar Disease. John uses his own life experiences as an Olympic swimming champion, Chief Executive of l’Oreal and Board Member of the Black Dog Institute, amongst others, to shed light on this growing disorder and how it can be overcome to lead a contented life.

About John Konrads:

John Konrads astounded the sporting world when at the age of 15 he broke all world freestyle records from 200m to 1500m. Together with his sister Ilsa, the ‘Konrad’s kids’ dominated the record books during the late 50s and early 60s.

John represented Australia at the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games, winning gold in the 1500m freestyle at the Rome Olympic Games and bringing home three gold medals from the 1958 Commonwealth Games. His status as a swimming legend is recognised by the International Hall of Fame, the Australian Sports Hall of Fame and at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre.

John has had an equally distinguished career in Australian corporate life. For more than a decade he was Chief Executive of the Australian operations for the world’s largest personal care products company, l’Oreal, during which time he dramatically increased sales and market share. He went on to be General Manager Marketing for Ansett in the lead up to airline deregulation. John was Head of Melbourne Major Events Company where he was responsible for attracting many high profile events to the City of Melbourne including the Grand Prix.

Returning to the Olympic City of Sydney, John applied his experience and skills in executive career management along with his interest in active sports as a Director of the Cook + Phillip Park aquatic and fitness complex in Sydney’s CBD. As an indication of his stature in the Olympic family, John was the bilingual Master of Ceremonies for the 111th session of the IOC at the Sydney Olympics.

John Konrads was a Board Member of the Black Dog Institute and its Foundation, an organization supported by the NSW Government which addresses the diagnosis, treatment and destigmatisation of mental disorders. Although John is no longer a Board Member of Black Dog Institute, he continues his association with the organization as an Ambassador. He is also an Ambassador of beyondblue.

John Konrads speaks about:

John’s presentations draw fascinating parallels between the principles of success in sport and the corporate world, and he provides perspective with meaningful and relevant anecdotes. His extensive experience, success and skills as a communicator across the business and sporting spectrums, enable him to bring unique insights into enhancing the performance of individuals and teams. His client’s include AMP, IBM, Pacific Dunlop, Westpac, Southcorp, TAB and the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Manila.

Winning Gold in Sport, Career and Life - John’s presentation on the principles of success and happiness is unique and inspirational. His sincere, relaxed style and his ability to personally address individuals in the audience create intense motivation. People receive the messages deep inside. He uses many sporting and real life anecdotes to enforce his points, recounting his own unbelievable experiences with an open and frank manner that wins his audience!

John’s speeches are adapted to the audience with modules that can be included or left out:

  • Personal best. Easy to say, hard to do

  • Competitive. Eyes on the competitor or the ball?

  • Teamwork. A gold medalist is really part of a team

  • Coaching. Do executives need a coach?

  • Motivation. Where do champions get their energy from?

  • Work-Life Balance. How the winners do it.

  • The Olympic Games. What is the future direction?

  • Client testimonials

    John's speech was very topical, especially for the younger members of QTC's staff who were present. Overall, his tone and manner were very good. We couldn't have wished for a better speaker.

    Queensland Treasury Corporation

    I would like to sincerely thank you for contributing to the Retravision 37th National Seminar, in Bali recently. The Seminar was a huge success and your presentations were excellent.

    The Axis Group

    Your presentation was great and you fell into the role of Master of Ceremonies perfectly.

    Australian Business Annual Dinner