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“The key to your mental fitness success is the ability to do what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it.” - Neil O’Brien How you think directly affects the outcomes you produce, which is why the single most important factor that will influence a person's success is mindset - a concept that until recently, has been very underrated as part of the human psyche. Human behaviour is driven by passion, but our ability to absorb and utilise information is limited, so to strive we filter knowledge based on our education, culture, experience and skills. For CEOs and Senior Managers specifically, developing a more authentic leadership mindset is key to motivating high-performance teams and having greater impact through enhanced communication. We sat down with Neil O’Brien, Life Coach and Founder of Time To Fly, ahead of the Talent Garden Innovation School Executive Mindset Masterclass, taking place on November 22nd.  1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? My name is Neil O’Brien and I am a Speaker, Coach, Advisor and Author from Dublin. I work with companies, their management team and staff in the form of coaching, advising and blogging on their intranet to help organisations become a ‘Healthy Human System' where people are genuinely happy and are therefore operating at their full potential. I’m in the business of human potential, which means that I share expertise on topics such as confidence, motivation, self-worth and self-belief. In the summer months, I also coach sports people and have worked successfully at Inter-County and Senior Club level in football and hurling, along with professional and amateur golfers. 2. What drives you personally? What drives me? That's easy! Human potential - helping people to discover what they are really capable of and being able to cope with that. Very often when people glimpse their potential, it can scare them half to death! 3. Resilience, mental health and building brilliant basics are key to successful living - can you tell us why you are so passionate about teaching this? The fact that there’s an inconsistency in our mental health and mental wellbeing that will prevent us from reaching our potential - there are many other speakers on these topics but they often get it wrong and share misinformation and it’s important that this is rectified! 4. Can you explain what the term 'Mental Fitness' means and what is the best way that we can look after our mental health? I invented the term 'mental fitness' about 15 years ago and it was a result of my one-to-one coaching practice - I wanted a very practical way to help my clients become stronger mentally. By taking a ‘fitness’ approach to mental health it means that we only do what works - exactly like physical fitness e.g. mental fitness should be practical, measurable and predictable. I also created the 3 components of Metal Fitness which are:
  1. Mood Management - there’s no such thing as a confident person, but there are people who are good at getting themselves into a confident mood when they need to. What have you learned to do to lift your mood?
  2. Habit Management - small micro changes in the areas of ‘move, eat, rest and tidy’ can lead to massive results. The secret is to start really small. Where have you good discipline? Could you borrow it from there and use it somewhere else? Starting really small is much smarter than some massive life-changing effort.
  3. Effortless Resilience - I define resilience as an ordinary, quiet, everyday commitment to brilliant basics. This is what everyone who makes a comeback does – they realign with their core basics and put all their energy and faith into these.
5. Developing teams and good managers is crucial to creating a positive culture - why do you think Executive Mindset works so well in helping people achieve this and how else do you think the Masterclass at Talent Garden benefits CEOs and Senior Managers? It's very simple, Executive Mindset works so well for two reasons:
  1. The unique mix of presenters and speakers at Talent Garden Innovation School - I haven't seen such a good mix of faculty anywhere else. Each speaker has been charged with delivering their best work in such a way that the participants leave with personal and professional benefits that they won't get elsewhere.
  2. I think that Talent Garden is a sensational environment for a masterclass of this type - it creates an irresistible blend of a relaxed atmosphere combined with an urge to study, learn and develop.
6. What 3 qualities do you think are important for managers to have in this digital age?
  • Focus - their ability to retain attention so that the job gets done
  • Availability - being available to mentor, guide and coach others
  • Mindset - having a growth mindset that encourages others to do the same
Article updated on: 09 August 2023
Talent Garden
Written by
Talent Garden, Digital Skills Academy

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