Fergus Connolly joined us on the show to talk about his speciality: High-performance cultures. He helps us take lessons from sports and military that are specific and timely in this time of crisis. This interview is a great reminder that many successful companies have grown out of difficulty. The Covid-19 crisis does not have to mean we are destined to flounder or fail. This is a chance to learn, grow, and improve. As a result, you may find yourself shifting towards opportunity.
Dr. Fergus Connolly is one of the world’s foremost human performance thought leaders and influencers. He has had the opportunity to apply performance science with leading sports, military, and business teams. One of his favorite parts? Being immersed in high-performance cultures and surrounded by high-achieving individuals at every level.
He shares that he spent a lot of time developing systems to identify high-performance in organizations, and high-achievement in individuals. Over the last few years, Dr. Connolly has focused a lot on common themes emerging in high-performing leaders. He has found that leaders in sports, business, and the military all share many traits. Even though their fields of performance may seem drastically different, the traits they bring are not!
Spotting strengths also equipped him to notice red flags and potential problems.
Teams of any kind can grow stronger when they are able to identify and communicate about what is working, as well as what is not.
Shifting Towards Opportunity
However, his own DUI and complete burn out were an eye-opening revelation to Dr. Connolly. He hadn’t spotted his own performance red flags or risk factors…even though he was an expert at spotting them in others. Too often, as leaders, we miss the signs in ourselves. And when our leadership suffers, we can inadvertently derail our businesses and teams as well.
When he sensed his own life and business falling apart, a trusted mentor and colleague reached out and asked him why he hadn’t reached out for support. Initially, Dr. Connolly resisted; he didn’t WANT to share his darkness or reach out for help. His friend, however, helped him to see these difficult moments as opportunities. Instead of running away and hiding, it was vital to run IN to the fire and face the hard times. (He talks more about this on his incredible TED Talk.)
How can the rest of us make this shift?
If you sit down and go through your own life, you’ll find that your greatest growth and changes almost always follow setbacks and challenges. The hard times are the catalyst for change and growth. Rather than looking back at our lives through rose-tinted glasses, we can take the time to remember that great things CAN be birthed from hard times. When we choose to see opportunity, it is there.
Another practice? Right down gratitudes for difficult moments. Rather than just focus on being thankful for things that are easy, smooth, or great, you can change your mindset by identifying and being thankful for the beauty in the darkness. As you practice finding the blessings in the hardships, you’ll grow your resilience and capacity for finding the opportunities.
Bringing Awareness to Your Deeper Purpose
At their core, the best of the best have a specific awareness of what they do, who they are, and why they are here. This awareness allows them to continually find ways to make adjustments and improvements. In a way, this is about finding your deeper purpose and knowing what you stand for.
Dr. Connolly shares that, when working for the San Francisco 49’s, he was deeply inspired by Chris Borland. He shares that Borland came to believe that playing in the NFL wasn’t his calling, and so he left. The courage to follow one’s calling, and the willingness to walk away from external success, is incredible to witness. (During the interview, we discuss Rha Goddess’ book The Calling a few times. Feel free to check it out yourself!)
When there is a misalignment between a person and their work, there is often an internal struggle. It is impossible to feel content when not operating within your deeper purpose. Dr. Connolly desires to help others follow their purpose and identify the calling in which their soul can truly feel content and whole.
Many entrepreneurs pride themselves on being adaptable and following their callings. However, sometimes what’s being projected isn’t always the truth. When there is an inner alignment issue, it is incredibly difficult to operate as a high-performance individual.
You can learn more about following your purpose, shifting towards opportunity, and becoming a high-performance individual by listening in to the full DealQuest episode with Dr. Connolly!
Corey Kupfer is an expert strategist, negotiator and dealmaker. He has more than 35 years of professional deal-making and negotiating experience. Corey is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, consultant, author and professional speaker who is passionate about deal-driven growth. He is also the creator and host of the DealQuest Podcast.
If you want to find out how deal-ready you are, take the Deal- Ready Assessment today!
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