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Hardwick at Harvard: Tiger coach’s new leadership boost

Damien Hardwick has recently returned from a study trip to Harvard University

DAMIEN Hardwick has returned to Punt Road armed with a fresh approach to leadership after being granted leave to attend a Harvard University course over the past fortnight.

Hardwick relinquished the reins to his assistants as he travelled to the US as part of an program described by Harvard as ‘a career-changing learning experience’.

While many rival coaches and senior opposition football staff opted to upskill immediately post-season, Hardwick headed away after the club’s training camp on the Gold Coast in January.

It is understood a decision to add Sydney Stack as the club’s latest rookie was delayed until Hardwick’s return, after the premiership coach had invited the 18-year-old to live with him during his trial period.

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While Hardwick jetted away after the club’s camp, superstar Dustin Martin travelled to New Zealand to visit family.

Hardwick has previously attended Harvard courses in decision-making (2017) and ‘Authentic Leadership Development’ (2016).

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott and Carlton’s Brendon Bolton also spent time at Harvard University before Christmas, completing leadership programs.

St Kilda counterpart Alan Richardson also chose to partake in study at Columbia University in New York after previously heading to Harvard in 2015.

It continued a trend of coaches heading overseas during the off-season, with Greater Western Sydney’s Leon Cameron travelling through California with his lieutenants before Christmas.

Ken Hinkley also joined Port Adelaide assistant Michael Voss and head of football Chris Davies on a leadership course in Chicago in November.

Simon Goodwin toured the UK in November, joining up with his former Adelaide coach Neil Craig, who is working within English rugby.

Geelong coach Chris Scott was granted an extended leave period in December, while Collingwood’s Nathan Buckley headed to Italy.