Lee Eldridge – Understand what you’re hiding.

Lee Eldridge
Lee Eldridge is an Entrepreneur, CEO, and a Performance Coach. He shares why you should “Understand what you're hiding”; “Be careful what you think”, that “Failure is an option” and much more. Hosted by Robert Hossary.

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About Lee Eldridge

Lee Eldridge is the founder and performance director of Cognitive Athlete a bespoke human performance coaching company, on a mission to lead elite business executives towards obtaining and sustaining optimal results over the long term. Throughout his 20-year career, he has worked with athletes and business executives in elite environments, including professional rugby and football players, world-ranked tennis players and C-Suite executives at multi-national companies. Lee holds an MSc in Human Performance and a BSc in Sports Science and Coaching.

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: Understand what you’re hiding. 05:49
Lesson 2: Develop your tribe of people. 10:54
Lesson 3: Develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence. 17:20
Lesson 4: Understand your values. 20:40
Lesson 5: It shall pass. 26:43
Lesson 6: Develop systems, not goals. 33:06
Lesson 7: Be careful what you think. 40:24
Lesson 8: Engagement is the key to sustainable performance. 44:29
Lesson 9: Failure is an option. 47:04
Lesson 10: Define your own success. 50:27

Lee Eldridge – Understand what you’re hiding.


[00:00:08] Robert Hossary: Hello and welcome to 10 Lessons Learned, where we talk to sages and gurus, leaders, and luminaries from all over the world to dispense their wisdom for career, business, and life. That’s wisdom for your career, business and life. that way we make the world a little wiser lesson by lesson. My name is Robert Hossary, and I’m your host for this episode.
[00:00:33] Robert Hossary: Today’s guest is Lee Eldridge. Lee works with athletes and business executives in elite environments, including professional rugby and football players. And for those of you in the US soccer players
[00:00:46] Robert Hossary: world ranked tennis players and C-suite executives at multinational companies. He is the founder and performance director of Cognitive Athlete, a bespoke human performance coaching company on a mission to lead elite business executives towards obtaining and sustaining optimal results over the long term.
[00:01:09] Robert Hossary: You can find out more about Lee on his company page, cognitive athlete.co.uk or in the show notes on our website,
[00:01:19] Robert Hossary: Lee holds a Master of Science in human performance and a Bachelor of Science in sports Science and coaching.
[00:01:26] Robert Hossary: His life passion is coaching people to achieve their full leadership potential. And we are really happy to have you with us here today. Welcome, Lee.
[00:01:36] Lee Eldridge: Thanks so much. Roberts Great to be here.
[00:01:38] Robert Hossary: tell us a little bit about you and a little bit about, the cognitive athlete.
[00:01:42] Lee Eldridge: Okay, so professionally, yep. a human performance coach, probably in the elite environment, you’d say around 15 years previously to that. some kind of different sports. a father sort of based in North London. I’ve spent some time working in Switzerland and in Spain and moved back this July 2020, sorry, 2022.
[00:02:04] Lee Eldridge: because we had our second child, and we wanted a little bit more family support. So yeah, so in an all-around terms, that’s what’s going on at the moment, basically. And cognitive athletes started its journey probably about 13 months ago. It had been in my head for a long time, and that came about from a conversation with a CEO when I was trying to talk to him about what we can bring across from working with professional athletes.
[00:02:30] Lee Eldridge: Where we’re all about maximizing performance because we’re trying to get as much out of the athlete because they’ve got such a short career. So, when we look at, with business, it’s more about optimization because it’s a long-term kind of endurance events basically. So, I basically then turned around and said, hey, look, you’re a cognitive athlete, meaning that your brain is the performance indicator, and that’s the one that we’re trying to improve performance or sustain performance.
[00:02:57] Lee Eldridge: But obviously now we know that we need to look at it like as a holistic point of view, i e every area, body, brain, all those types of different things. So that’s where it came from.
[00:03:09] Robert Hossary: That’s wonderful. It’s an approach that when you put it that way, it’s an approach that should be, taken by a lot of senior executives because the world is also changing so quickly.
[00:03:22] Robert Hossary: Constantly. And what got you here is not going to get you there.
[00:03:28] Lee Eldridge: No.
[00:03:28] Robert Hossary: So, now that, that’s a great business and it’s a great way of maximizing that, optimizing as you put it, that performance from the senior executives. Look, before we get started on your 10 lessons, let me ask you, this question, Lee, what would you tell your younger self if you had the opportunity?
[00:03:50] Lee Eldridge: So, I would say don’t worry about what other people think. And I think that’s a huge lesson. from my side is that lots of times we go about life worrying about what others thinks, and that really stops us from, you know, whether it’s stepping out on stage or singing or learning a language or whatever it might be, because we’re so kind of ingrained in terms of that.
[00:04:15] Lee Eldridge: And I think that true high performers or true sustainable performers understand that process. And they’re the ones that are willing to kind of, we all understand this idea of, you know, getting out of your comfort zone on a daily basis. And for me, that’s one thing that, whatever it might be, it doesn’t have to be a daily occurrence, because that sometimes can be quite difficult, but as long as each week you are kind of like putting yourself out there and you’re doing it.
[00:04:42] Lee Eldridge: And the more you do it, it’s like anything, you know, it’s like the best analogy for me is you know, learning to ski. You know, you go on the green slope and you’re like, oh my, and then you go blue and you’re like, oh. And then you just keep going and going, and then eventually you get to the black run, basically.
[00:04:59] Lee Eldridge: And that’s, you know, and then you’re like, right, I’m trying to get better and better at that. And that’s, I think for me is, yeah, I’m not worrying about what people think.
[00:05:07] Robert Hossary: I love that because it took me decades to understand that. And I think it’s a pressure that society puts on us as individuals, and we cave to it instead of being the individual that we should be and realizing. Yep. No one’s really thinking of you anyway, so it doesn’t matter.
[00:05:29] Lee Eldridge: So, for me, it’s interesting because obviously I’ve got a young family and young kids don’t care about what they look like. They’ll dance at stupid at parties. And then we kind of go through this transition period of really worrying, sometimes really worrying about what people think.
[00:05:42] Lee Eldridge: And then we get to the age and we’re just like, ah, we don’t care. Yeah. And we just, you know, whatever happens, you know, people won’t remember us anyway.

[00:05:49] Lesson 1: Understand what you’re hiding.

[00:05:49] Robert Hossary: I think that’s a fantastic lesson. I love it. I love it. Well, alright, let’s just jump into your 10 lessons. let’s start with lesson number one.
[00:05:58] Robert Hossary: Understand what you are hiding. Explain that to us, Lee.
[00:06:04] Lee Eldridge: Yeah, so this came about, I’d always kind of struggled through school, academically. And growing up there was some, yeah, some tough moments in terms from teachers and also friends or peer groups. And then I kind of got to somehow university and then the lecturer pulled me on side and he’s like, I think you might be dyslexic.
[00:06:26] Lee Eldridge: I think you better go get tested. So that started that whole process of kind of understanding how I learned. Then I kind of stepped out into the world in terms from a career point of view. And in the back of my head, I was like, I don’t want people to know about this. it’s not seen as kind of something that, you know, are people going to not want to employ me because they’re like, Ugh.
[00:06:51] Lee Eldridge: You know, what comes with that in terms of that? And that kind of went around my head for a long period of time. and. The only way that I could really understand that was by facing up to it, understanding that, you know, it’s not what happens to us, it’s what happens inside of us.
[00:07:09] Lee Eldridge: It’s how we go about, interpreting what happens to us. And so that’s what I’ve done now in terms of being quite open about it. So, when I say that to people, it’s like, right, if you keep continuously hiding something and we look about sustainable performance, that takes a huge amount of energy, to put on that facade every day.
[00:07:29] Lee Eldridge: And for me it was worrying about emails being sent, taking ages on bits, you know, and the comments that would come back if you made a mistake, you know, you’re lazy. Did you not check this? This is stupid. And you’re just like, right. Whereas. It’s not an excuse, but I’m like, look, this is what’s going on.
[00:07:46] Lee Eldridge: This is what’s happening. And I found that really freeing. And also, what is really good is once you open up to that, there are so many more people that are going through similar situations that will be like, yeah, I understand, you know, that, that makes sense to me. And that’s a real big kind of like, right, I’ve got, got people to talk to and go through there.
[00:08:07] Lee Eldridge: So that was it from my point of view, from hiding,
[00:08:10] Robert Hossary: that is very important. I mean, the point you’re making is incredibly important in many ways. if you are true to yourself, if you have that self-awareness and you understand what you’re hiding and you don’t hide it, as you say, you, you are surrounded by people, one who will support you, and two by people who will understand that issue and give you the space you need to rectify it.
[00:08:37] Robert Hossary: Or to deal with it. it is a shame that there are so many people who don’t understand that they are actually hiding something. and they just go through life for those pressures. Look, I think that’s a, again, a powerful lesson and, I could talk about this for hours, but it’s very, it’s just touching a nerve for me right now because again, I see that in my life, in what I have done in the past, and it took me a long time to overcome it.
[00:09:07] Robert Hossary: So, it’s just such a wonderful lesson to put out there so that our listeners can start thinking and saying, what am I hiding? So, I, I urge all the listeners, all our audience should take this question, pause this podcast, or pause the video that you’re watching and think about it. Think about what you are hiding, and then come back to us, because I think you’ll find the epiphany will come very strongly.
[00:09:36] Lee Eldridge: Yeah.
[00:09:37] Lee Eldridge: So, and on that there’s a model called the Jahari Window. I don’t know if you’ve come across it.
[00:09:41] Robert Hossary: Never heard of it.
[00:09:42] Lee Eldridge: so, if you imagine you’ve got a window and it’s got four panes of glass. So, the top left is, you know, if we knew each other for a long period of time, it’s like, right, what do we both know about me?
[00:09:53] Lee Eldridge: What do I know about myself and what do you know? And then if you move across, it’s like, what do I know about myself, but you don’t know. So that’s things I’m hiding. And then what do you know about me? But I don’t know, they’re my blind spots. And then in the bottom corner is what do we both do not know about me, basically. And that’s really the untapped potential in, in terms of that.
[00:10:17] Lee Eldridge: We use it a lot when we work with teams, or I use it a lot when we work with teams to really get to understand, you know, what are you hiding and what are your blind spots, basically? and by going through that process, and it can be very uncomfortable because you’ve got to be open and you know, if you realize what you’re hiding, but you don’t actually admit that you’re hiding it, it’s just like compounding the problem.
[00:10:40] Lee Eldridge: So, it’s just a quite a nice thing to do, basically. So, I check people, if people, it’s called a jahari window, basically.
[00:10:45] Robert Hossary: Self-discovery is very hard.
[00:10:49] Lee Eldridge: it’s painful, but that’s the process that you need to go through basically.
[00:10:52] Robert Hossary: But incredibly rewarding.
[00:10:54] Lee Eldridge: Yeah.

[00:10:54] Lesson 2: Develop your tribe of people.

[00:10:54] Robert Hossary: Okay, let’s move on to lesson number two. we’ve had variations of this Lee, but I’m really interested in how you have, put this and your explanation for it. So, develop your tribe of people.
[00:11:11] Lee Eldridge: Yeah, so obviously working in professional sports, I’ve been in cultures, and we’ve been in the environments where we’ve been very successful and very unsuccessful or the failures that come with that.
[00:11:23] Lee Eldridge: And it’s clear to me that the talent pool that we had or how good those players were, was obviously very important. But if I look back now, when we were successful or unsuccessful, they were probably about the similar kind of style, but the environment or the individuals or the personalities we had in that made that successful.
[00:11:44] Lee Eldridge: And I think that sometimes we just let people into our tribe. So, we don’t really kind of understand if they’re going to kind of from a positive point of view, and we have to be careful. And that’s kind of not being, right, I’m the star of, you know, I’m the chief of this tribe, or whatever.
[00:12:03] Lee Eldridge: But being careful and just making an audit of the people that you’re around, because obviously we understand, if you want to get fit, then start hanging around with fit people. If you want to learn about business, start hanging around with businesspeople.
[00:12:16] Lee Eldridge: And I think that it kind of helps you and supports you in your developments because it enables you, like I said, in lesson number one, to, to understand if you’ve got any, failings or you need to improve yourself. So, it keeps you kind of grounded, but then also it helps you to say, look, this is what I’m doing.
[00:12:36] Lee Eldridge: So, an interesting one for me personally, is moving from full-time employment to starting up my own performance company and all the struggles that comes with in terms of, lead generation clients, proposals, all that stuff before I actually get to do what I really enjoy.
[00:12:54] Lee Eldridge: And, you know, you, you kind of explain that to some of your friends who are in employment and they’re just like, sounds so much, you know, so stressed. just go get a job. But then if you find a tribe of people who are doing exactly the same of you or maybe just a little bit further, you know, they’re like, look, you’re doing the right things.
[00:13:10] Lee Eldridge: It’ll come patience because consistency is king and that’s another thing. But it’s just one of those things basically.
[00:13:17] Robert Hossary: I love that because, what you are describing from a corporate sense is culture, but you’ve taken it even further than the corporate culture. You’ve taken it into, the person, your personal sphere.
[00:13:32] Robert Hossary: So, the people who are in your sphere of influence, who influences you, where do they sit in your success, what are you learning from them? What are you teaching them? So, do they fit your values? This is what I’m hearing. I mean, would I be correct? Is that the path where we’re talking about?
[00:13:50] Lee Eldridge: Yeah, so yesterday or the day before, I was talking to a lawyer in a law firm, and they have gone through some massive growth and they’re like, we are struggling to get lawyers in. And I said to him, look, you know, what’s your prerequisites? And he was like, well, most people talk about skillsets as in, experience in a company or qualifications, but actually what’s really important is making sure that person holds similar values to the culture they’re walking in.
[00:14:17] Lee Eldridge: We can all talk about New Zealand and the All Blacks and their culture is, you know, well regarded in terms of people understand what’s expected of them as soon as they come in, you know, their unwritten rules, what they come through the door and he was like, oh, well, we don’t really think about that.
[00:14:32] Lee Eldridge: They just kind of fit in. And you’re like, well, yeah, you don’t want them just to fit in because I’ve been in professional environments where, we’ve signed very talented players, that have proven at the top level, but they’re not great fit for the culture and that sets off a chain reaction.
[00:14:51] Lee Eldridge: One of the coaches, he’s like, look, it’s a game of thirds. And I was like, what do you mean by that? He’s like, well, I’ve started off, I’ve come to this club and I, we’ve got 30, 30 players. So, he’s like, 10. I want to keep 10. I’m not really sure about, they’re on the fence and 10 I want to get rid of.
[00:15:06] Lee Eldridge: So, I’ll get rid of those 10. And he’s like, another 10 will come in and it’ll be three out of those. I want to keep three. And he’s like three. So, he’s like, once I’ve gone through three years, he’s like, I’ve built up, you know, 25 players that I want here. And he’s like, those five that come in,
[00:15:24] Lee Eldridge: they’ll just either fit in or they’ll go straight away, and we won’t have to worry about it. And I was like, that’s amazing. And now obviously in sport it’s a bit more like, we don’t want you, you know, in a corporate setting, we can’t be like, right. You don’t fit the mold off you go. But what I’ve tried to think there is yeah, skillset, experience is really important, but are kind of talent people kind of really digging down and seeing is this person the right fit for the company?
[00:15:49] Lee Eldridge: And the biggest challenge I see we have is if you’re exponentially growing and you’re like, this is a great time, and you start taking on loads of people that don’t fit your culture. The culture always molds around the majority.
[00:16:01] Robert Hossary: Yep. Yep. Right.
[00:16:02] Lee Eldridge: And sometimes I talk to people, you know, they say, oh, for me, values are actions.
[00:16:07] Lee Eldridge: You know, they’re not just words. But sometimes what I say to people is like, right, what are your anti values? What are the things that you just do not accept in this company? And nine times out of 10 people are like, I’m not sure. So, you know, honesty is one that people say that’s the value of our company.
[00:16:25] Lee Eldridge: And I’m like, well, dishonesty then is an anti-value. So, if anyone is dishonest, right, what’s your process? so yeah, that’s one my thoughts on that.
[00:16:36] Robert Hossary: Brilliant. No, I like it. it’s got, it’s got a lot of legs. Again, another topic that we can discuss forever, but I, there’s some really good nuggets of wisdom there.
[00:16:47] Robert Hossary: I love the game of thirds. I really do like that. And I think it’s absolutely correct. yeah, and what you said at the end was really profound. If you let the wrong people in, whether it’s into your organization, whether it’s in your life, whether it’s in whatever, that is going to end up being the culture that is going to end up Yeah.
[00:17:09] Robert Hossary: being the dominant, part of how you interact and yeah. it’s really, as I said, profound and it’s just such a great insight.

[00:17:20] Lesson 3: Develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

[00:17:20] Robert Hossary: Well, thank you there. Let’s, let’s move forward to lesson number three. Develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Couldn’t agree more but give us your take on that.
[00:17:33] Lee Eldridge: So, yeah. similar kind of on the back of what I’ve just been saying is that I was heavily influenced or heavily driven to improve my skillset, so masters in performance, accreditations, et cetera, et cetera. And it was only really till I kind of went through a time in my career when somebody was put on top of me in terms of promoted above me or brought in and they said, look, don’t think you are able to do this.
[00:18:04] Lee Eldridge: And for me, you know, that was a bigger of a challenge. And then he was right. He said, he pulled me to one side. He said, look, he said, I’m the pilot. You are the co-pilot. If you don’t tell me there’s a mountain in front of us, both of us are in a bad way basically. And then I got to understand him, and he was big into kind of right.
[00:18:25] Lee Eldridge: You know, it’s, we can give technical advice to an athlete, but one area is what we need to understand is how we come across and understanding how they come back to us as well, so that then we can develop a relationship where they’re more willing to, you know, buy into what we’re saying. And also, to maybe push themselves a little bit harder because of that respect that’s been served.
[00:18:53] Lee Eldridge: So that for me, and then also in terms of from a dyslexic point of view, you can, sometimes you can come across as quite harsh, you know, because of just the way that maybe you write or how you react to certain things. And then it’s like, right, okay. You know, trying to develop that emotional intelligence.
[00:19:13] Lee Eldridge: And I think obviously self-awareness is hugely talked about in terms of, business and the way that we are going and, we’re, we can’t just turn around and expect people to do things like we used to, we need to kind of develop, right. How am I coming across and what is my presence in the room to the people around me.
[00:19:34] Robert Hossary: That’s again, so true. I’m a great supporter of self-awareness, and I’ve got too many stories about that, about working with, senior execs and board, board directors who just have no idea. and then that’s because they’re not self-aware. But the emotional intelligence part is crucial for leadership.
[00:19:57] Robert Hossary: It’s something that you’ve just hit on. You’ve just discussed it and given us, an insight. You’ve got to be open. And yes, there’s compassion, there’s empathy, all of those things go into it. But you have to be aware of those elements within yourself and within your leadership style.
[00:20:18] Robert Hossary: So, look, these are all very deep. Lee and I wish we could go through; we wish we could have an episode for each one. but that’s the nature of 10 lessons learned. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what we do. We give you nuggets and it’s up to you to then follow up and find out more. I’m sure that you can find out more, you know, through Lee’s website.

[00:20:40] Lesson 4: Understand your values.

[00:20:40] Robert Hossary: Let’s move on to lesson number four. Now, this is something that we have talked about many times, I’ll preface this before I, I give the lesson. A lot of people don’t do this, Lee, and I don’t understand why.
[00:20:55] Robert Hossary: Lesson number four, understand your values.
[00:20:59] Lee Eldridge: So, I’ve been into many gyms and.
[00:21:04] Lee Eldridge: Companies and performance where they, you know, they have their values written on walls and they’re great, and it looks great and it looks great for photo opportunities or videos or, and I always say to company, I was like, right, what actions does that mean? So, you know, we want to have fun.
[00:21:23] Lee Eldridge: Well, right. Okay. That’s an interesting one. Well, what does fun mean to you? Because fun to one person might not be fun to another person. You know, we want to be, you know, we want ha hold honesty or integrity. I’m like, right. Well, as I just mentioned previously, it’s like, right, how do we go about that?
[00:21:42] Lee Eldridge: And then personally to yourself, and this is where I see the mismatch, and if there’s a mismatch, then it creates massive energy and frustration. So, one value for me is I want to be healthy for my kids. You know, so that, I believe that it’s not always about being on this planet for a long time.
[00:22:01] Lee Eldridge: It’s also being on this planet for, a good time in terms of, from a movement point of view, being able to play with my grandchildren and, and we understand the challenges that, you know, people are living longer, but maybe not as healthy as they used to be in later life. Yeah. So that’s my value.
[00:22:19] Lee Eldridge: Now, if you then come into my house and go in my fridge and there’s unhealthy food or no healthy food at all, then in my actions there’s a mismatch and that will lead to me, walking in and being frustrated that I’m not living up to that value. So, lots of work that I do, especially in this area is understanding that from the individual and then those kinds of actions, right, where we need to create habits.
[00:22:50] Lee Eldridge: And then how do we go about creating habits? Well, we create routines. Then once we’ve created re routines, we start to create some consistency. Once we start to create consistency, we start to create progress. Once we create progress, we’re, you know, we are in that momentum stage basically. and that’s where you have to have those discussions with yourself and with your team.
[00:23:09] Robert Hossary: I can’t believe you’ve just given away the secret to getting anything you ever want. those steps that you’ve just outlined are the secret of how you do things.
[00:23:20] Lee Eldridge: yeah.
[00:23:21] Robert Hossary: So again, if you’re listening to this, if you’re watching this rewind, get this again because this is gold people, this is absolute gold.
[00:23:30] Robert Hossary: But understanding your values, the one thing that you said there that just rang such a massive bell is that, If you profess to have these values and yet you are not living these values, you, you end up having what, what one of our previous hosts, Duff Watkins said, a civil war with yourself internally, you don’t align with yourself.
[00:23:59] Robert Hossary: And so, you try to justify the fact that, oh, look, it’s okay. I’m only having it once, or I’m only doing this, you know, a few times. And then on the other hand, you’re saying, but I am this, I, it took me, and I’ll just come back to me for a moment. It took me many, many years to get this message.
[00:24:22] Robert Hossary: And only recently have I understood the profound, fulfillment you get. When you live your values. it is just amazing. you know, mission statements aside, we can all talk about that and make fun of them, you know, because they are, they’re, a lot of them are stupid, but when you actually fulfill your own values in your own life, it, it is just, it’s just, there is no other way to describe it other than fulfilling.
[00:24:55] Lee Eldridge: if you are matching your values and you understand them, energy is much easier. Getting outta bed is much easier. Yep. in theory, eating healthier, doing all the things we know that we should be doing, having great relationships, self-development, all those areas.
[00:25:11] Lee Eldridge: If that civil war is not going on inside our brain or, and in, in terms of our body, everything becomes a little bit easier. And if you notice that people who, some people are like, oh, wow, that successful person, they have it so easy and there’s lots obviously going under in terms of how much work they’re doing, et cetera, but they want to do the work.
[00:25:32] Lee Eldridge: You know, I know professional athletes that I’ve worked with that just don’t want to be there. You know, you’d be surprised how many don’t enjoy training or don’t enjoy.
[00:25:42] Robert Hossary: And then come on, Lee, you’re not going to tell me they’re just in it for the money. You’re not going to say that, are you?
[00:25:49] Lee Eldridge: no. I think that, you know, it’s a.
[00:25:52] Lee Eldridge: Obviously, they don’t start off thinking like that. no. professional soccer player or football player starts off by thinking, right? I don’t know, maybe they do now with, because it’s easier to see how much certain players are earning and the lifestyle and, you know, all that, that they want with it.
[00:26:08] Lee Eldridge: But I just don’t think that happens. But I think at some point going down the line, with some players, there might be a shift where they’re like, right, okay. And rightly or wrongly, you know, it’s a short career. So, they’re trying to, they’re trying to milk every ounce of whatever it is, media photo opportunities out of their body to, to get to where they want to go.
[00:26:30] Robert Hossary: if we go back to what you said, if you’re actually fulfilling your values, you’ll find it a lot more enriching. and your life will be so much better for it. look, I love that one.
[00:26:41] Robert Hossary: That one’s fantastic.

[00:26:43] Lesson 5: It shall pass.

[00:26:43] Robert Hossary: lesson number five. Lesson number five is probably one of my favourites because I live this day to day, lesson number five. It shall pass. Tell me about it.
[00:26:54] Lee Eldridge: So, this came about probably not that long ago, but I was looking at, on social media, had Tom Hanks talking about it and he was like, it shall pass.
[00:27:03] Lee Eldridge: And to a guy that you would think is very successful, he talked about dark times when he wasn’t successful or he wasn’t being cast or things were going on and then, amazing kind of, you know, in terms of awards, et cetera. And he was like, look, it’s. what happens to us, what happens to us!
[00:27:21] Lee Eldridge: it’s going to be a rocky road. There are going to be great times in business, and there are, as everyone’s going through, lots of people are going through some dark times at the moment, but it’s a little bit, I suppose again, like, you know, with young children, you, they start sleeping through the night and you’re like, we’ve got this, we’ve got this packed, we, yeah.
[00:27:39] Lee Eldridge: Happy days. And then five days later, you know, you’ve got two weeks of hell, or they get a cold or they’re sick or whatever it is. And you’ve kind of got to be, I think if you kind of go through this and everyone talks about being present and all that, but it keeps you grounded.
[00:27:56] Lee Eldridge: And I’m not saying, you know, when you’re have good times, don’t, you know, don’t enjoy them. I’m not saying don’t do that or, but if you’re on that kind of up and down scenario where you’ve got good times and you’re really happy and then when the bad times come, you’re not enjoying yourself, it’s like, wow, okay.
[00:28:10] Lee Eldridge: You know, you are really, again, controlled by external factors and we want to be, and a big area that I talk about because people are talking about control, developing control and I’m like, there’s not much we can control. to some degree we, we can’t control our body, unfortunately some people get really sick that we, that are healthy, and they’ve done all the right things.
[00:28:31] Lee Eldridge: And likewise, from a mindset point of view. But for me, I’m like, right, what can Robert influence? what can you start to influence in your life? and what can you do from that point? So, when you’re going through bad times, have an understanding that it’s not always going to be bad. And again, what can you start to influence?
[00:28:52] Lee Eldridge: What can you know, what can you do? And again, when you’ve got really good times, you know, like, what can I influence? what can I do? So that’s me.
[00:28:59] Robert Hossary: Look, it’s incredibly powerful. It always has been powerful. It will pass good times will pass; bad times will pass. I, if I can, we’ve published a, an episode with two Psychiatrists, Dr.
[00:29:12] Robert Hossary: Dillip Jest and Dr. Samantha Boardman. and this was hosted by Duff Watkins and there was, I’m going to paraphrase this, but Dilip was talking about a study that was done, post covid. Like just post covid when, it was, we were still in the pandemic, but it wasn’t that high death rate that we had and the study was done on the population because the psychiatrists were concerned about older people not dealing with the social distancing, with the isolation.
[00:29:51] Robert Hossary: because younger people would have Zoom, they would have other ways of communicating. So, you know, this is, this was the thinking. The results were surprising that the fact that the older people, about 15%, again, not really sure, but roughly around 15% of those that were surveyed were suffering some sort of anxiety or depression for the younger people, I think up to 28 or so, it would like 75%.
[00:30:21] Robert Hossary: And when they dug into it, they found exactly what you’re talking about. The older you were, the more you realized it’s going to pass. So, the anxiety wasn’t there. And the younger people who’d never experienced it before, it was the end of the world. So, it’s a really important point you make, Lee. It really is.
[00:30:43] Robert Hossary: And it’s backed up by a lot of research, a lot of science, and got a lot of Buddhism as well. A lot of philosophy backs it up.
[00:30:51] Lee Eldridge: And then from a studies point of view, there’s some really good studies about the negative problems with delaying happiness. So, what I mean is it’ll be okay when, you know it’ll be okay when we’re out of the pandemic.
[00:31:04] Lee Eldridge: It’ll be okay when we’re through this crisis. And I meet so many business founders, you know, when I’m, when we’re turning over a million dollars or pounds or whatever, it’ll be okay. Or whatever it is. And you’re just delaying happiness. And I’m
[00:31:23] Robert Hossary: laughing because I’ve been there. I’m laughing because I’ve been there, and I know exactly what you’re saying.
[00:31:28] Lee Eldridge: So, you’ll go through maybe these five, 10 years of if, when yeah. And it probably leads on to the next kind of lesson. But you get there and you’re like, oh, I’ve just wasted 10 years of unhappiness for this one, two moments of happiness. And you’re like, you can’t go through life like that. And talking to financial investors and advisors, it’s quite interesting because from an economic point of view, we’ve had it pretty good for 10, 12 years and we understand that, you know, it’s going to be a rough time for the next.
[00:32:03] Lee Eldridge: Two, three, however many years, but it will pass. And then we’ll be on to the next. And you know, you can’t kind of, yeah, it’s a, it’s an interesting one when you speak to people. I’ll be happy when.
[00:32:16] Robert Hossary: it is, it’s again, you know, I’m blown away by the depth, of these lessons. look, I thank you for that one.
[00:32:24] Robert Hossary: That one was brilliant. but we’ll, if you don’t mind, we’ll take a short break now. we’d like to thank our affiliate partner Audible. Audible is an amazing way to consume 10 lessons learned books and other podcasts, allowing you to build a library of knowledge all in one place. You can start your free 30-day trial.
[00:32:44] Robert Hossary: Yes, I did say free 30-day trial by going to audible trial.com/ten. Lessons learned with Audible, you can find your favourite lessons while at home or on the go. Once again, that’s Audible trial doc. com slash one zero lessons learned for a free 30-day trial. The link will be in the show notes.

[00:33:06] Lesson 6: Develop systems, not goals.

[00:33:06] Robert Hossary: Our guest today is Lee Eldridge, founder, and performance director of Cognitive Athlete.
[00:33:12] Robert Hossary: So, Lee, let’s move on to lesson number six. Develop systems, not goals. Now this goes, pretty much against a lot of what, many of the gurus back in the eighties used to tell you to do.
[00:33:28] Robert Hossary: You got to develop your goals. So, tell us why we should develop our systems and not goals.
[00:33:34] Lee Eldridge: So, this comes from the work of James Clear and his book Atomic Habits, whereby, we are all, we were all goal driven. you know, I was goal driven from myself personally and the athletes that I worked with in terms of, lifting this much weight, running this fast, et cetera.
[00:33:52] Lee Eldridge: And he kind of put it quite nicely. And I suppose, let’s look at the World Cup Football final or soccer finals just finished. Both teams had exactly the same goal, but one didn’t achieve it and the other one did. So
[00:34:06] Robert Hossary: what an excellent point. What an excellent point.
[00:34:09] Lee Eldridge: does that mean that, France’s goals were not the right goal?
[00:34:13] Lee Eldridge: And you’re like, right? No, actually a lot of it comes down to the systems in place, and I think too many, too long. We’re like, right, get your goals sorted. Set your goals now. For me, goal setting is important, and I do use it, but we have to take it that it’s a double-edged sword. And what I mean by that is, let’s say monetary-wise, that you wanted to earn a million pounds or a million dollars this year, whatever it might be, and you get, 990,000 you earn.
[00:34:42] Lee Eldridge: Well, you haven’t hit your goal, you know, so from a motivation point of view, that can be a real kick in the teeth that you kind of haven’t achieved what you set out, even though you’ve earned 900. And so, you’ve done, all right, if that’s the, your marker for success. And then likewise, let’s say you did 1.1 million, our brain is pretty quick to say, well, you should have set that goal a bit higher.
[00:35:04] Lee Eldridge: If you set it to 1.5. We might have been. And you play this kind of back and forward. So, for me it’s like, right, okay, what are the systems that, that you need to put in place? And that comes back down to habit, routine, consistency, progress. Lots of people, if they don’t reach their goal, they’re more interested about the goal, not the reason why they didn’t, and the systems that they put in place.
[00:35:29] Lee Eldridge: An ex-colleague of mine, a big mountaineer, and she was saying that one of the big highest points for mountaineering is obviously climbing Mount Everest. But then one of the lowest points is kind of like when you get back to base camp and you’re just sat there going, what am I going to do now?
[00:35:48] Lee Eldridge: Johnny Wilkinson, the famous rugby player at the age of. Whatever it was, six or seven, he wrote down he wanted to win the World Cup and he did it at 21, and then he won it. And then five minutes later he is like, what am I going to do now? and the goal is defining the person, not trying to reach the outcome, basically.
[00:36:03] Lee Eldridge: And that’s where we spend a lot of time, or I spend a lot of time really digging down into people’s systems because there are lots of systems in process for business, but not many systems in process for humans. it’s a weird one.
[00:36:15] Robert Hossary: Well, what do you mean by systems? Now we all understand what you mean by goal.
[00:36:23] Robert Hossary: but what do you mean by system?
[00:36:25] Lee Eldridge: So, in terms of like, right. how am I going to work? So, one area that we look at is kind of cognitive performance. So cognitive performance. if we move out of kind of, you know, from a. An actual physiological point of view. For me, there’s three big areas of cognitive performance and that is understanding what’s your most important tasks, when do you work the best, so your peak performance time, and what’s your environment like to enable you to do that.
[00:36:51] Lee Eldridge: So that’s a system. So, when I speak to people, I’m like, okay, Rob, what’s your most important thing you need to do today, and you need to do every day that’s going to push you to achieve that goal? Most people don’t get that. You know, most people wake up of a day, open their emails up, and then they’re kind of reacting all the time to people.
[00:37:11] Lee Eldridge: You know, emails are normally people’s problems that you are, you’re having to solve. Then it’s like, right, okay, some people work better in the morning, some people work better in the afternoons or the evenings. Understanding that and then making sure that what you’re trying to do is put your most important tasks into that time.
[00:37:27] Lee Eldridge: And then lastly, that environment. we’re so easily distracted, you know, messages on our phones, emails, notifications, This is why I hate open plan offices to a certain degree, because you go there and you’re in the flow state or the zone or whatever you want to call it, and you, and then somebody will come across and they’ll say, Hey, how you doing?
[00:37:50] Lee Eldridge: da, and that, that’s broken it. So, protect that environment basically. where do you work the best and what can you go and do? So, lots of companies that go in, I’m like, right, we need to get kind of hubs of work so that you can get booths so that if you really need to focus, you go and lock yourself away and you get it done.
[00:38:06] Lee Eldridge: So that’s a simple kind of system, basically. for a cognitive performance,
[00:38:11] Robert Hossary: that makes a lot of sense. and the way I’ve translated that in my head is from a strategic point of view, you’ve got your strategic plan, your vision for an organization.
[00:38:23] Robert Hossary: Then you have your tactical plan, which is the execution. And within that, each element of your tactical plan. has got an optimum, time for it to be deployed and implemented. And I think that’s what I heard when you were talking, would I be on the right track thinking that way?
[00:38:43] Lee Eldridge: Yeah.
[00:38:43] Robert Hossary: So at least in the right direction?
[00:38:47] Lee Eldridge: Yeah. Yeah. So, you’re breaking everything down because the biggest way or the way that we improve, and James Clear talks a lot about this is compound self-improvement. And that is basically trying to be a little bit better each day. And if we put those systems in place, that’s what happens.
[00:39:03] Lee Eldridge: Yeah. So, we’re, you know, we’re recording this just before January 1st, so everyone will be like, right, I’m going to the gym or eating healthy or whatever it is. And, you are looking at sustainable performance, Obviously the idea of, mastery is 10,000 hours, and that’s kind of changed, but there’s an element of consistency with every top performer that you looking at in, in business, in sport, even, one area that, and I’ve read about the bit, in terms of creatives, oh, they don’t have structure, but really good creatives spent hours doing what they love.
[00:39:40] Lee Eldridge: You know, painters don’t just, they are talented, but they also practice a hell of a lot. and we don’t allow that. So how can we develop the system to enable us to practice at the right time?
[00:39:52] Robert Hossary: May, I just make this point, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, but developing systems, it’s not a.
[00:40:00] Robert Hossary: Generic system. It’s unique to the individual. It’s what works.
[00:40:04] Lee Eldridge: Yeah.
[00:40:04] Robert Hossary: For you that you are talking about. Find a system that works for you that will enable you to achieve a goal that you set.
[00:40:15] Lee Eldridge: Correct.
[00:40:16] Robert Hossary: That’s, that’s excellent. Look, I love that this has been a very insightful and enlightening, conversation.

[00:40:24] Lesson 7: Be careful what you think.

[00:40:24] Robert Hossary: Let me move on to lesson number seven. now if you’ll bear with me, lesson number seven is, part of a quote that, and I want to read out the full quote. The quote is from, Lau Tzu, who is a, I think a, an ancient Chinese philosopher.
[00:40:40] Robert Hossary: Be careful what you think for your thoughts. Become your words.
[00:40:45] Robert Hossary: Be careful what you say. For your words, become your actions.
[00:40:49] Robert Hossary: Be careful what you do for your actions. Become your character.
[00:40:53] Robert Hossary: And your character is everything.
[00:40:56] Robert Hossary: So, lesson number seven, be careful what you think all yours, Lee.
[00:41:01] Lee Eldridge: yeah. So again, if we think about is it our own thoughts that we’re, we are getting, or where are our influences coming from?
[00:41:09] Lee Eldridge: You know, what are we reading, what are we watching? Who are we hanging around with? and again, you’ve just put it, if you think about that quote, it’s like, right, okay. So, we start to think that we start to tell ourselves that our actions then drive that, and then that becomes who we are. So, we’re a product again, of our environment to a certain degree.
[00:41:28] Lee Eldridge: And, you know, we can look at the science of epigenetics and how, our environment initiates a way that our genes are turned on and everything like that. And again, another great quote is, you know, that comparison’s a thief of joy and it’s, we can be very easy to compare ourselves to others and to think about that.
[00:41:45] Lee Eldridge: So
[00:41:45] Robert Hossary: I’m just going to stop you right there, because you’ve just said something that I’ve never heard before, but I love instantly. Comparison is the thief of joy.
[00:41:56] Lee Eldridge: Yeah. I’m not sure who said it, but I use it loads because,
[00:41:59] Robert Hossary: Well, you said it now as far as we’re concerned, that’s from Lee Eldridge. That’s fantastic.
[00:42:04] Robert Hossary: Sorry to interrupt, but it was just brilliant.
[00:42:06] Lee Eldridge: you know, it’s so easy to compare yourself to others and think, oh, you’re not good enough, or, and then you’re like, right, okay. So, if I start to think I’m not good enough, then. What I say and my actions just like that amazing quote. And you just think to yourself, right?
[00:42:23] Lee Eldridge: And a big concern for me, and people who have children growing up is like, where are their influences? So gone are the days where, my parents could pull me on sign and say, look, I don’t think you should be, hanging out with that friend of yours because, they’re not good for you or whatever it is.
[00:42:41] Lee Eldridge: We are just ingesting lots of influences in terms from, sports stars, movie stars, et cetera, et cetera. So, there are lots of people who are like, I don’t watch the news anymore, or I don’t do this, or I don’t do that. And it’s like, just be careful that what you think and understand where’s that, that coming from?
[00:43:00] Lee Eldridge: And. It’s great to have conversations with that people, especially in a coaching scenario, because it really challenges you to be understanding, right, okay, what am I thinking here? is it me? Is it you? And then it, like, in terms of all these lessons, it goes all the way back up to kind of the Jahari window and right.
[00:43:19] Lee Eldridge: What’s hiding. And you’re like, wow, okay. So that’s the process of going through these lessons for me when I was going down that,
[00:43:26] Robert Hossary: well, I was about to say that, but you beat me to it. But every one of your lessons so far is interlocked. Everyone leads into the next one. and it takes you on this journey of, and I don’t mean to sound wanky, but it takes you on this journey of enlightenment.
[00:43:43] Robert Hossary: Self-awareness seems to be the key to almost every one of these lessons. that I just love that. I love, be careful what you think, especially today in the echo chamber world we live in, that we’re only listening to people who agree with us. you know, it makes it difficult, to then expand yourself.
[00:44:09] Robert Hossary: It makes it difficult to be aware of your own biases, because you’re not exploring that now. Look, I Lee, this has been wonderful.
[00:44:21] Robert Hossary: again, I’m, I would love to continue about on more, on all of these, but let’s move on because, it’s, we’ve got a few more to get through.

[00:44:29] Lesson 8: Engagement is the key to sustainable performance.

[00:44:29] Robert Hossary: and then one more question that I’d like to ask you, but lesson number eight. Engagement is the key to sustainable performance.
[00:44:39] Lee Eldridge: So, lots of people are talking about being present, you’ve got to be present, but for me it’s you’ve got to engage. and so, a lot of my work is with what I’d call business dads.
[00:44:50] Lee Eldridge: So, I work with, founders or senior leaders that are dads. And it’s really difficult sometimes to be, to engage with your kids because you’re too busy thinking about something else. And a famous football player talked about how his performance really struggled because he couldn’t engage.
[00:45:08] Lee Eldridge: And we had this with an international rugby player. And his performance was just dipping. And we were like, what’s going on there? You know, his training wasn’t great, And I’d built up a relationship with this individual, and then I was like, look, what’s going on? And he’s like, look, you know, I’m about to go through a divorce.
[00:45:26] Lee Eldridge: And that really hit me that I, right. He wasn’t unable to engage in gym sessions, in training sessions or during a game because he was thinking about something else. And we really struggle in this day and age to engage on one thing because we have distractions. Because in our brains we’re right.
[00:45:47] Lee Eldridge: What are we missing out on? You know, the fear of missing out and, you know, this idea of like doing a hundred different things basically. So, what I try to do, especially with the people I work with, it’s like, right, just get really good at engaging. Some people struggle to concentrate on one thing for five minutes, let alone.
[00:46:07] Lee Eldridge: An hour and a half, whereas really that’s the max that we can do. It’s practice that, and eventually you’ll become better at it. And I think that’s the way that people can only truly perform at their best.
[00:46:21] Robert Hossary: I agree. I see the value in what you’re saying.
[00:46:24] Robert Hossary: engagement is incredibly important. I would like to hear more about your business dads, but we’ll get to that before we, we sign off, because I think that’s also really interesting. No engagement is being present and being in the present, not just observing, but interacting with what’s happening now.
[00:46:50] Robert Hossary: incredibly important, and. Vital, as you say, vital for performance, vital for success, vital for you to achieve all of the things we’ve been talking about.

[00:47:04] Lesson 9: Failure is an option.

[00:47:04] Robert Hossary: lesson number nine, probably again, one of my favourites because society has drilled into us the opposite of this. But lesson number nine is wonderful, and I really want to hear your take on it.
[00:47:18] Robert Hossary: Failure is an option.
[00:47:20] Lee Eldridge: Yeah. I think going back to the people I’ve worked with, you know, fear of failure was a huge motivator and a huge driver of them. and to a certain point, quite unhealthy. And if I go back to that first question that you asked me, if, what would you go back and tell your younger self?
[00:47:36] Lee Eldridge: Well, not worrying about what people think about me is if I could remove that, then the fear of failure would go, you know, and. there’s nothing wrong. I think, everyone understands, we learn way more about failing than we ever do about kind of being successful. But again, you’ve just touched on it.
[00:47:54] Lee Eldridge: In society, we kind of say to the successful ones, well done. You’ve made it. Whereas I’m really interested to hear about people that failed, and you learn those lessons,
[00:48:05] Robert Hossary: well, you have to fail to succeed,
[00:48:09] Lee Eldridge: you know, and people say, right, you know, you learn from your mistakes. But if you can learn from others’ mistakes as well, you can enhance that learning process and get to where you need to be much quicker.
[00:48:20] Lee Eldridge: and that kind of fear of failure is, it’s a weird thing. Again, it goes back to, as a kid, you ride your bike down a hill as fast as you want. you don’t really think of the outcome of failure. Do you? you know, my youngest. Well, my son is 10 months. He’s standing up, falling down, standing up, falling down, and he doesn’t care.
[00:48:38] Lee Eldridge: he’s just in it, he’s just like, right. And somewhere along the line we’re like, oh, don’t take that risk. Oh, don’t, don’t fail. You know? I, it’s, yeah, it’s, we could talk for ages about education systems and what’s going and how can we push that out? And, again, coming back to, what do you think, we only see successful people.
[00:48:58] Lee Eldridge: We only see successful people on social media and it’s, yeah. it’s quite stifling and it pulls you back.
[00:49:05] Robert Hossary: It really is. And I think we don’t appreciate the fact that they are successful because they failed. And then they got up, they learned from that failure and moved on to the next thing and failed or succeeded and moved on.
[00:49:22] Robert Hossary: You can’t succeed at everything all the time. So
[00:49:27] Lee Eldridge: Correct.
[00:49:28] Robert Hossary: Failure is part of success. Failure is absolutely an option, and I’m right there with you. I’m in camp Lee. You don’t need to be afraid of it. It’s something that happens and go back a few more lessons. You know, you fail, it’ll pass.
[00:49:46] Robert Hossary: You know it all intertwined. They’ll love it.
[00:49:50] Lee Eldridge: People will push back and say, oh, well, Special forces and people in the Army, like obviously failure is for them, is not great. You know, there’s big repercussions of that and I agree with that, but I’m like, what they are doing is they are putting themselves; they are training themselves and failing and training themselves and failing.
[00:50:08] Lee Eldridge: So, when that moment comes, they don’t fail. And I think to myself, if you don’t think like that, then when’s that moment going to come? And you want to be prepared for that moment to say, right, actually I’m not going to fail because I’ve failed, you know, 20,000 times or whatever it is.

[00:50:27] Lesson 10: Define your own success.

[00:50:27] Lee Eldridge: I just love this. I think it’s brilliant. It’s brilliant. Alright, let’s move on to lesson number 10.
[00:50:37] Robert Hossary: So, Lee, lesson number 10, define your own success. I think I understand what you mean by that, but I’ll let you explain further.
[00:50:48] Lee Eldridge: Kind of you go back all the things we’ve spoke about, and that’s a huge area of kind of the work I do is that what’s driving your success? Is your success again something that, that you are looking up to someone else doing?
[00:51:02] Lee Eldridge: Or is it you inside of you? and for me, success comes from people when, their visions, values, and purpose kind of meet, they’re on points. they have good foundations in terms of being a human being, moving, walking, eating, sleeping, et cetera. And they also have an understanding of their significant others around them, and that they’re supporting them in times when they need to.
[00:51:26] Lee Eldridge: And that for me is, it’s like, wow, okay. how do we go about sitting down and saying, right, what does success look for me and being brutally honest that when I get this success is it what I want? Basically, because I’ve worked with lots of businesspeople and who’ve sat inside and they’re earning big money and they’re head of companies and they’re not happy people and that area of their life is a success.
[00:51:50] Lee Eldridge: But the other areas, you know, their health is lacking, their relationships with their family and their children’s not great. They’re struggling to have friends. It’s not really their purpose then, and you’re like, wow, okay, before you go on this big, long journey and this success, It can change because you know, as we know, life’s a game of chapters that once you get married or you find a partner that you love or you get kids or whatever it is, that success changes.
[00:52:18] Lee Eldridge: But just be aware of what you’re driving for.
[00:52:21] Robert Hossary: Love it. I’ve got nothing to say. I’ve got plenty to say, but I’m not going to because that was so articulate. all I will say though is to our audience, rewind the whole damn thing and listen to it all again. Because what Lee has said, the lessons Lee has shared with us today are so profound and deep.
[00:52:43] Robert Hossary: It’ll probably take you a second listen to, to fully comprehend how important these are to you.
[00:52:49] Robert Hossary: So, Lee, let me ask you one final question before I then ask you to tell us about, business dads, what have you. Unlearned?
[00:53:00] Lee Eldridge: Unlearned?
[00:53:01] Robert Hossary: Something that you held to be true, a truism for Lee Eldridge. And as you’ve developed and matured, you’ve realized, well, not really the thing I should be doing or believing.
[00:53:16] Lee Eldridge: That’s a great question. we are always about, gaining more knowledge and becoming more experienced. I think that it’s probably a big one is that you can support people and yourself in so many different ways, and money is probably not up there in terms of the one that, that we need.
[00:53:36] Lee Eldridge: So, what I mean by that is, especially being a dad, it’s You have to, you know, be the breadwinner and yeah, okay. There’s a part of that, but there’s also a huge area of like, right. You also need to be a dad. And I think that, A great, somebody, I saw it the other day, is like, I don’t want to be a parent, I want to be a dad, or I want to be a mom.
[00:53:57] Lee Eldridge: You know? So that for me has been the big one for me, especially in the last kind of five or six years that really have stepped back basically.
[00:54:04] Robert Hossary: So, shaking off what society expects you to do is something you’ve unlearned.
[00:54:09] Lee Eldridge: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:54:10] Robert Hossary: And that’s no small feat, my friend. No small feat.
[00:54:14] Robert Hossary: okay, so tell us about business dads, that sounds, is that what you call it?
[00:54:19] Lee Eldridge: Yeah.
[00:54:20] Robert Hossary: it sounds fan absolutely fascinating. Tell us more.
[00:54:24] Lee Eldridge: So basically I, as I, I’ve mentioned, I was in a professional sport, so new athletes would come, I’d be working in a performance company, new clients would come, and then I was like, right, okay, let’s kind of step away and do your own thing.
[00:54:38] Lee Eldridge: And then kind of probably in no November, my, my daughter was just screaming at me basically because it was a Saturday morning and she, it is, it’s daddy time and she wants to play with me. And I think I was on LinkedIn or doing something and I just thought to myself, this is not what I signed up to, to do, I wanted to kind of, understand, and I was like, right, I’m trying to develop a business and drive it forward, but then I’m also trying to be a dad.
[00:55:02] Lee Eldridge: And I was like, right, there must be other dads in the same situation that, and so I was like, right. So, what I went off did, I went off and I interviewed business dads. So, I’m, I’m up to just over 65 now. And what we would do in a sport, if I went into a new sport that I’d never worked into, we’d do a needs analysis.
[00:55:23] Lee Eldridge: So, we would go off and find all the research, we’d speak to coaches, we’d watch games, and then we’d say, right, okay, where’s the gaps that we need to plug? And for me to work with what I call business dads is like, right, I needed to go out and do that needs analysis by speaking to people to know what the needs are and stuff.
[00:55:40] Lee Eldridge: And it’s not to take away from working mums at all. And it’s not to, you know, not to say it’s just like, right. Okay. We know that men are notorious for being that lone wolf and going it themselves and just head down and yeah. And so that is kind of where it’s come from, basically.
[00:56:00] Robert Hossary: Well, you’ve gone out and you’ve found your own tribe, you’ve taken your own advice.
[00:56:06] Lee Eldridge: Yeah. So, to sit there and well, to interview people and then sit there like you must do and think, right, okay, wow, I’m going through the same thing. You know, it’s great and great to hear that person. And although people are struggling or they’ve got challenges, you know, it’s like, right.
[00:56:21] Lee Eldridge: it’s nice for somebody to say, yeah, I understand that. I’m, you know, I’ve been through there, or I’ve done that, or this is, yeah, maybe think about this a different way.
[00:56:29] Robert Hossary: And that’s what we do on 10 lessons. That’s why we do 10 lessons. because everyone’s gone through what you think you may have gone through alone, and as Lee has just pointed out, you’re not alone.
[00:56:43] Robert Hossary: Someone else has gone through this. So yeah, hopefully we get them on the show. We talk to them as we’ve done with Lee and share their wisdom with you. look, all I can say, Lee, it’s been an absolute pleasure.
[00:56:59] Lee Eldridge: you’re welcome,
[00:56:59] Robert Hossary: and I’ve learned so much today. so, for someone with my ego, you wouldn’t think I would learn anything, but no, I, I learned so much today.
[00:57:08] Robert Hossary: it’s absolutely wonderful. and I, there’s nothing that you have said, that I have. Taken any issue with, or have any contrary belief with, because I actually live by most of these. I haven’t put them as articulately as you have, but it’s just wonderful. It’s just, I’m very honoured that you agreed to be on our show and share your wisdom with us.
[00:57:32] Lee Eldridge: You’re welcome.
[00:57:33] Robert Hossary: So where can people find out more about you?
[00:57:36] Lee Eldridge: So, yes, the website is pretty good. So ww dot cognitive athlete.co.uk. from a social media point of view, LinkedIn’s probably the best place to find me. and that’s just my name and you can see me and search there. And then I’m always happy to chat with more business dads and to speak to people and to support, you know, I think, yeah, there’s a big area of performance that’s needed at the moment.
[00:57:59] Robert Hossary: Well, once again, thank you All of these contact details will be in our show notes. So, you’ll be able to just click the link and go straight to his website and have a chat to him.
[00:58:09] Robert Hossary: So, with that we’ll end here. Today. You’ve been listening to 10 Lessons Learned.
[00:58:14] Robert Hossary: Our guest today has been Lee Eldridge, the founder and performance director of Cognitive Athlete, sharing his 10 lessons with us all. This episode is supported as always by the Professional Development Forum. So please tell us what you think about today’s lessons. you can even email us at podcast 10 lessons learned.com.
[00:58:34] Robert Hossary: That’s podcast at the number 1 0 10 lessons learned.com. So go ahead and hit that like button, subscribe and turn on your notification bell so you don’t miss. An episode of the only show on the Internet that makes the world wiser. Lesson by lesson. Thanks for listening. See you on the next episode.
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 This episode is produced by Robert Hossary. Sponsored as always by Professional Development Forum. You can find the www.professionaldevelopmentforum.org you’ve heard from us we’d like to hear from you. Email us it’s podcast@10lessonslearned.com. Remember, this is the podcast the only podcast. That’s makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.

 
Lee Eldridge

Lee Eldridge – Understand what you’re hiding.

Lee Eldridge is an Entrepreneur, CEO, and a Performance Coach. He shares why you should “Understand what you're hiding”; “Be careful what you think”, that “Failure is an option” and much more. Hosted by Robert Hossary.

About Lee Eldridge

Lee Eldridge is the founder and performance director of Cognitive Athlete a bespoke human performance coaching company, on a mission to lead elite business executives towards obtaining and sustaining optimal results over the long term. Throughout his 20-year career, he has worked with athletes and business executives in elite environments, including professional rugby and football players, world-ranked tennis players and C-Suite executives at multi-national companies. Lee holds an MSc in Human Performance and a BSc in Sports Science and Coaching.

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: Understand what you’re hiding. 05:49
Lesson 2: Develop your tribe of people. 10:54
Lesson 3: Develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence. 17:20
Lesson 4: Understand your values. 20:40
Lesson 5: It shall pass. 26:43
Lesson 6: Develop systems, not goals. 33:06
Lesson 7: Be careful what you think. 40:24
Lesson 8: Engagement is the key to sustainable performance. 44:29
Lesson 9: Failure is an option. 47:04
Lesson 10: Define your own success. 50:27

Lee Eldridge – Understand what you’re hiding.


[00:00:08] Robert Hossary: Hello and welcome to 10 Lessons Learned, where we talk to sages and gurus, leaders, and luminaries from all over the world to dispense their wisdom for career, business, and life. That’s wisdom for your career, business and life. that way we make the world a little wiser lesson by lesson. My name is Robert Hossary, and I’m your host for this episode.
[00:00:33] Robert Hossary: Today’s guest is Lee Eldridge. Lee works with athletes and business executives in elite environments, including professional rugby and football players. And for those of you in the US soccer players
[00:00:46] Robert Hossary: world ranked tennis players and C-suite executives at multinational companies. He is the founder and performance director of Cognitive Athlete, a bespoke human performance coaching company on a mission to lead elite business executives towards obtaining and sustaining optimal results over the long term.
[00:01:09] Robert Hossary: You can find out more about Lee on his company page, cognitive athlete.co.uk or in the show notes on our website,
[00:01:19] Robert Hossary: Lee holds a Master of Science in human performance and a Bachelor of Science in sports Science and coaching.
[00:01:26] Robert Hossary: His life passion is coaching people to achieve their full leadership potential. And we are really happy to have you with us here today. Welcome, Lee.
[00:01:36] Lee Eldridge: Thanks so much. Roberts Great to be here.
[00:01:38] Robert Hossary: tell us a little bit about you and a little bit about, the cognitive athlete.
[00:01:42] Lee Eldridge: Okay, so professionally, yep. a human performance coach, probably in the elite environment, you’d say around 15 years previously to that. some kind of different sports. a father sort of based in North London. I’ve spent some time working in Switzerland and in Spain and moved back this July 2020, sorry, 2022.
[00:02:04] Lee Eldridge: because we had our second child, and we wanted a little bit more family support. So yeah, so in an all-around terms, that’s what’s going on at the moment, basically. And cognitive athletes started its journey probably about 13 months ago. It had been in my head for a long time, and that came about from a conversation with a CEO when I was trying to talk to him about what we can bring across from working with professional athletes.
[00:02:30] Lee Eldridge: Where we’re all about maximizing performance because we’re trying to get as much out of the athlete because they’ve got such a short career. So, when we look at, with business, it’s more about optimization because it’s a long-term kind of endurance events basically. So, I basically then turned around and said, hey, look, you’re a cognitive athlete, meaning that your brain is the performance indicator, and that’s the one that we’re trying to improve performance or sustain performance.
[00:02:57] Lee Eldridge: But obviously now we know that we need to look at it like as a holistic point of view, i e every area, body, brain, all those types of different things. So that’s where it came from.
[00:03:09] Robert Hossary: That’s wonderful. It’s an approach that when you put it that way, it’s an approach that should be, taken by a lot of senior executives because the world is also changing so quickly.
[00:03:22] Robert Hossary: Constantly. And what got you here is not going to get you there.
[00:03:28] Lee Eldridge: No.
[00:03:28] Robert Hossary: So, now that, that’s a great business and it’s a great way of maximizing that, optimizing as you put it, that performance from the senior executives. Look, before we get started on your 10 lessons, let me ask you, this question, Lee, what would you tell your younger self if you had the opportunity?
[00:03:50] Lee Eldridge: So, I would say don’t worry about what other people think. And I think that’s a huge lesson. from my side is that lots of times we go about life worrying about what others thinks, and that really stops us from, you know, whether it’s stepping out on stage or singing or learning a language or whatever it might be, because we’re so kind of ingrained in terms of that.
[00:04:15] Lee Eldridge: And I think that true high performers or true sustainable performers understand that process. And they’re the ones that are willing to kind of, we all understand this idea of, you know, getting out of your comfort zone on a daily basis. And for me, that’s one thing that, whatever it might be, it doesn’t have to be a daily occurrence, because that sometimes can be quite difficult, but as long as each week you are kind of like putting yourself out there and you’re doing it.
[00:04:42] Lee Eldridge: And the more you do it, it’s like anything, you know, it’s like the best analogy for me is you know, learning to ski. You know, you go on the green slope and you’re like, oh my, and then you go blue and you’re like, oh. And then you just keep going and going, and then eventually you get to the black run, basically.
[00:04:59] Lee Eldridge: And that’s, you know, and then you’re like, right, I’m trying to get better and better at that. And that’s, I think for me is, yeah, I’m not worrying about what people think.
[00:05:07] Robert Hossary: I love that because it took me decades to understand that. And I think it’s a pressure that society puts on us as individuals, and we cave to it instead of being the individual that we should be and realizing. Yep. No one’s really thinking of you anyway, so it doesn’t matter.
[00:05:29] Lee Eldridge: So, for me, it’s interesting because obviously I’ve got a young family and young kids don’t care about what they look like. They’ll dance at stupid at parties. And then we kind of go through this transition period of really worrying, sometimes really worrying about what people think.
[00:05:42] Lee Eldridge: And then we get to the age and we’re just like, ah, we don’t care. Yeah. And we just, you know, whatever happens, you know, people won’t remember us anyway.

[00:05:49] Lesson 1: Understand what you’re hiding.

[00:05:49] Robert Hossary: I think that’s a fantastic lesson. I love it. I love it. Well, alright, let’s just jump into your 10 lessons. let’s start with lesson number one.
[00:05:58] Robert Hossary: Understand what you are hiding. Explain that to us, Lee.
[00:06:04] Lee Eldridge: Yeah, so this came about, I’d always kind of struggled through school, academically. And growing up there was some, yeah, some tough moments in terms from teachers and also friends or peer groups. And then I kind of got to somehow university and then the lecturer pulled me on side and he’s like, I think you might be dyslexic.
[00:06:26] Lee Eldridge: I think you better go get tested. So that started that whole process of kind of understanding how I learned. Then I kind of stepped out into the world in terms from a career point of view. And in the back of my head, I was like, I don’t want people to know about this. it’s not seen as kind of something that, you know, are people going to not want to employ me because they’re like, Ugh.
[00:06:51] Lee Eldridge: You know, what comes with that in terms of that? And that kind of went around my head for a long period of time. and. The only way that I could really understand that was by facing up to it, understanding that, you know, it’s not what happens to us, it’s what happens inside of us.
[00:07:09] Lee Eldridge: It’s how we go about, interpreting what happens to us. And so that’s what I’ve done now in terms of being quite open about it. So, when I say that to people, it’s like, right, if you keep continuously hiding something and we look about sustainable performance, that takes a huge amount of energy, to put on that facade every day.
[00:07:29] Lee Eldridge: And for me it was worrying about emails being sent, taking ages on bits, you know, and the comments that would come back if you made a mistake, you know, you’re lazy. Did you not check this? This is stupid. And you’re just like, right. Whereas. It’s not an excuse, but I’m like, look, this is what’s going on.
[00:07:46] Lee Eldridge: This is what’s happening. And I found that really freeing. And also, what is really good is once you open up to that, there are so many more people that are going through similar situations that will be like, yeah, I understand, you know, that, that makes sense to me. And that’s a real big kind of like, right, I’ve got, got people to talk to and go through there.
[00:08:07] Lee Eldridge: So that was it from my point of view, from hiding,
[00:08:10] Robert Hossary: that is very important. I mean, the point you’re making is incredibly important in many ways. if you are true to yourself, if you have that self-awareness and you understand what you’re hiding and you don’t hide it, as you say, you, you are surrounded by people, one who will support you, and two by people who will understand that issue and give you the space you need to rectify it.
[00:08:37] Robert Hossary: Or to deal with it. it is a shame that there are so many people who don’t understand that they are actually hiding something. and they just go through life for those pressures. Look, I think that’s a, again, a powerful lesson and, I could talk about this for hours, but it’s very, it’s just touching a nerve for me right now because again, I see that in my life, in what I have done in the past, and it took me a long time to overcome it.
[00:09:07] Robert Hossary: So, it’s just such a wonderful lesson to put out there so that our listeners can start thinking and saying, what am I hiding? So, I, I urge all the listeners, all our audience should take this question, pause this podcast, or pause the video that you’re watching and think about it. Think about what you are hiding, and then come back to us, because I think you’ll find the epiphany will come very strongly.
[00:09:36] Lee Eldridge: Yeah.
[00:09:37] Lee Eldridge: So, and on that there’s a model called the Jahari Window. I don’t know if you’ve come across it.
[00:09:41] Robert Hossary: Never heard of it.
[00:09:42] Lee Eldridge: so, if you imagine you’ve got a window and it’s got four panes of glass. So, the top left is, you know, if we knew each other for a long period of time, it’s like, right, what do we both know about me?
[00:09:53] Lee Eldridge: What do I know about myself and what do you know? And then if you move across, it’s like, what do I know about myself, but you don’t know. So that’s things I’m hiding. And then what do you know about me? But I don’t know, they’re my blind spots. And then in the bottom corner is what do we both do not know about me, basically. And that’s really the untapped potential in, in terms of that.
[00:10:17] Lee Eldridge: We use it a lot when we work with teams, or I use it a lot when we work with teams to really get to understand, you know, what are you hiding and what are your blind spots, basically? and by going through that process, and it can be very uncomfortable because you’ve got to be open and you know, if you realize what you’re hiding, but you don’t actually admit that you’re hiding it, it’s just like compounding the problem.
[00:10:40] Lee Eldridge: So, it’s just a quite a nice thing to do, basically. So, I check people, if people, it’s called a jahari window, basically.
[00:10:45] Robert Hossary: Self-discovery is very hard.
[00:10:49] Lee Eldridge: it’s painful, but that’s the process that you need to go through basically.
[00:10:52] Robert Hossary: But incredibly rewarding.
[00:10:54] Lee Eldridge: Yeah.

[00:10:54] Lesson 2: Develop your tribe of people.

[00:10:54] Robert Hossary: Okay, let’s move on to lesson number two. we’ve had variations of this Lee, but I’m really interested in how you have, put this and your explanation for it. So, develop your tribe of people.
[00:11:11] Lee Eldridge: Yeah, so obviously working in professional sports, I’ve been in cultures, and we’ve been in the environments where we’ve been very successful and very unsuccessful or the failures that come with that.
[00:11:23] Lee Eldridge: And it’s clear to me that the talent pool that we had or how good those players were, was obviously very important. But if I look back now, when we were successful or unsuccessful, they were probably about the similar kind of style, but the environment or the individuals or the personalities we had in that made that successful.
[00:11:44] Lee Eldridge: And I think that sometimes we just let people into our tribe. So, we don’t really kind of understand if they’re going to kind of from a positive point of view, and we have to be careful. And that’s kind of not being, right, I’m the star of, you know, I’m the chief of this tribe, or whatever.
[00:12:03] Lee Eldridge: But being careful and just making an audit of the people that you’re around, because obviously we understand, if you want to get fit, then start hanging around with fit people. If you want to learn about business, start hanging around with businesspeople.
[00:12:16] Lee Eldridge: And I think that it kind of helps you and supports you in your developments because it enables you, like I said, in lesson number one, to, to understand if you’ve got any, failings or you need to improve yourself. So, it keeps you kind of grounded, but then also it helps you to say, look, this is what I’m doing.
[00:12:36] Lee Eldridge: So, an interesting one for me personally, is moving from full-time employment to starting up my own performance company and all the struggles that comes with in terms of, lead generation clients, proposals, all that stuff before I actually get to do what I really enjoy.
[00:12:54] Lee Eldridge: And, you know, you, you kind of explain that to some of your friends who are in employment and they’re just like, sounds so much, you know, so stressed. just go get a job. But then if you find a tribe of people who are doing exactly the same of you or maybe just a little bit further, you know, they’re like, look, you’re doing the right things.
[00:13:10] Lee Eldridge: It’ll come patience because consistency is king and that’s another thing. But it’s just one of those things basically.
[00:13:17] Robert Hossary: I love that because, what you are describing from a corporate sense is culture, but you’ve taken it even further than the corporate culture. You’ve taken it into, the person, your personal sphere.
[00:13:32] Robert Hossary: So, the people who are in your sphere of influence, who influences you, where do they sit in your success, what are you learning from them? What are you teaching them? So, do they fit your values? This is what I’m hearing. I mean, would I be correct? Is that the path where we’re talking about?
[00:13:50] Lee Eldridge: Yeah, so yesterday or the day before, I was talking to a lawyer in a law firm, and they have gone through some massive growth and they’re like, we are struggling to get lawyers in. And I said to him, look, you know, what’s your prerequisites? And he was like, well, most people talk about skillsets as in, experience in a company or qualifications, but actually what’s really important is making sure that person holds similar values to the culture they’re walking in.
[00:14:17] Lee Eldridge: We can all talk about New Zealand and the All Blacks and their culture is, you know, well regarded in terms of people understand what’s expected of them as soon as they come in, you know, their unwritten rules, what they come through the door and he was like, oh, well, we don’t really think about that.
[00:14:32] Lee Eldridge: They just kind of fit in. And you’re like, well, yeah, you don’t want them just to fit in because I’ve been in professional environments where, we’ve signed very talented players, that have proven at the top level, but they’re not great fit for the culture and that sets off a chain reaction.
[00:14:51] Lee Eldridge: One of the coaches, he’s like, look, it’s a game of thirds. And I was like, what do you mean by that? He’s like, well, I’ve started off, I’ve come to this club and I, we’ve got 30, 30 players. So, he’s like, 10. I want to keep 10. I’m not really sure about, they’re on the fence and 10 I want to get rid of.
[00:15:06] Lee Eldridge: So, I’ll get rid of those 10. And he’s like, another 10 will come in and it’ll be three out of those. I want to keep three. And he’s like three. So, he’s like, once I’ve gone through three years, he’s like, I’ve built up, you know, 25 players that I want here. And he’s like, those five that come in,
[00:15:24] Lee Eldridge: they’ll just either fit in or they’ll go straight away, and we won’t have to worry about it. And I was like, that’s amazing. And now obviously in sport it’s a bit more like, we don’t want you, you know, in a corporate setting, we can’t be like, right. You don’t fit the mold off you go. But what I’ve tried to think there is yeah, skillset, experience is really important, but are kind of talent people kind of really digging down and seeing is this person the right fit for the company?
[00:15:49] Lee Eldridge: And the biggest challenge I see we have is if you’re exponentially growing and you’re like, this is a great time, and you start taking on loads of people that don’t fit your culture. The culture always molds around the majority.
[00:16:01] Robert Hossary: Yep. Yep. Right.
[00:16:02] Lee Eldridge: And sometimes I talk to people, you know, they say, oh, for me, values are actions.
[00:16:07] Lee Eldridge: You know, they’re not just words. But sometimes what I say to people is like, right, what are your anti values? What are the things that you just do not accept in this company? And nine times out of 10 people are like, I’m not sure. So, you know, honesty is one that people say that’s the value of our company.
[00:16:25] Lee Eldridge: And I’m like, well, dishonesty then is an anti-value. So, if anyone is dishonest, right, what’s your process? so yeah, that’s one my thoughts on that.
[00:16:36] Robert Hossary: Brilliant. No, I like it. it’s got, it’s got a lot of legs. Again, another topic that we can discuss forever, but I, there’s some really good nuggets of wisdom there.
[00:16:47] Robert Hossary: I love the game of thirds. I really do like that. And I think it’s absolutely correct. yeah, and what you said at the end was really profound. If you let the wrong people in, whether it’s into your organization, whether it’s in your life, whether it’s in whatever, that is going to end up being the culture that is going to end up Yeah.
[00:17:09] Robert Hossary: being the dominant, part of how you interact and yeah. it’s really, as I said, profound and it’s just such a great insight.

[00:17:20] Lesson 3: Develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

[00:17:20] Robert Hossary: Well, thank you there. Let’s, let’s move forward to lesson number three. Develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Couldn’t agree more but give us your take on that.
[00:17:33] Lee Eldridge: So, yeah. similar kind of on the back of what I’ve just been saying is that I was heavily influenced or heavily driven to improve my skillset, so masters in performance, accreditations, et cetera, et cetera. And it was only really till I kind of went through a time in my career when somebody was put on top of me in terms of promoted above me or brought in and they said, look, don’t think you are able to do this.
[00:18:04] Lee Eldridge: And for me, you know, that was a bigger of a challenge. And then he was right. He said, he pulled me to one side. He said, look, he said, I’m the pilot. You are the co-pilot. If you don’t tell me there’s a mountain in front of us, both of us are in a bad way basically. And then I got to understand him, and he was big into kind of right.
[00:18:25] Lee Eldridge: You know, it’s, we can give technical advice to an athlete, but one area is what we need to understand is how we come across and understanding how they come back to us as well, so that then we can develop a relationship where they’re more willing to, you know, buy into what we’re saying. And also, to maybe push themselves a little bit harder because of that respect that’s been served.
[00:18:53] Lee Eldridge: So that for me, and then also in terms of from a dyslexic point of view, you can, sometimes you can come across as quite harsh, you know, because of just the way that maybe you write or how you react to certain things. And then it’s like, right, okay. You know, trying to develop that emotional intelligence.
[00:19:13] Lee Eldridge: And I think obviously self-awareness is hugely talked about in terms of, business and the way that we are going and, we’re, we can’t just turn around and expect people to do things like we used to, we need to kind of develop, right. How am I coming across and what is my presence in the room to the people around me.
[00:19:34] Robert Hossary: That’s again, so true. I’m a great supporter of self-awareness, and I’ve got too many stories about that, about working with, senior execs and board, board directors who just have no idea. and then that’s because they’re not self-aware. But the emotional intelligence part is crucial for leadership.
[00:19:57] Robert Hossary: It’s something that you’ve just hit on. You’ve just discussed it and given us, an insight. You’ve got to be open. And yes, there’s compassion, there’s empathy, all of those things go into it. But you have to be aware of those elements within yourself and within your leadership style.
[00:20:18] Robert Hossary: So, look, these are all very deep. Lee and I wish we could go through; we wish we could have an episode for each one. but that’s the nature of 10 lessons learned. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what we do. We give you nuggets and it’s up to you to then follow up and find out more. I’m sure that you can find out more, you know, through Lee’s website.

[00:20:40] Lesson 4: Understand your values.

[00:20:40] Robert Hossary: Let’s move on to lesson number four. Now, this is something that we have talked about many times, I’ll preface this before I, I give the lesson. A lot of people don’t do this, Lee, and I don’t understand why.
[00:20:55] Robert Hossary: Lesson number four, understand your values.
[00:20:59] Lee Eldridge: So, I’ve been into many gyms and.
[00:21:04] Lee Eldridge: Companies and performance where they, you know, they have their values written on walls and they’re great, and it looks great and it looks great for photo opportunities or videos or, and I always say to company, I was like, right, what actions does that mean? So, you know, we want to have fun.
[00:21:23] Lee Eldridge: Well, right. Okay. That’s an interesting one. Well, what does fun mean to you? Because fun to one person might not be fun to another person. You know, we want to be, you know, we want ha hold honesty or integrity. I’m like, right. Well, as I just mentioned previously, it’s like, right, how do we go about that?
[00:21:42] Lee Eldridge: And then personally to yourself, and this is where I see the mismatch, and if there’s a mismatch, then it creates massive energy and frustration. So, one value for me is I want to be healthy for my kids. You know, so that, I believe that it’s not always about being on this planet for a long time.
[00:22:01] Lee Eldridge: It’s also being on this planet for, a good time in terms of, from a movement point of view, being able to play with my grandchildren and, and we understand the challenges that, you know, people are living longer, but maybe not as healthy as they used to be in later life. Yeah. So that’s my value.
[00:22:19] Lee Eldridge: Now, if you then come into my house and go in my fridge and there’s unhealthy food or no healthy food at all, then in my actions there’s a mismatch and that will lead to me, walking in and being frustrated that I’m not living up to that value. So, lots of work that I do, especially in this area is understanding that from the individual and then those kinds of actions, right, where we need to create habits.
[00:22:50] Lee Eldridge: And then how do we go about creating habits? Well, we create routines. Then once we’ve created re routines, we start to create some consistency. Once we start to create consistency, we start to create progress. Once we create progress, we’re, you know, we are in that momentum stage basically. and that’s where you have to have those discussions with yourself and with your team.
[00:23:09] Robert Hossary: I can’t believe you’ve just given away the secret to getting anything you ever want. those steps that you’ve just outlined are the secret of how you do things.
[00:23:20] Lee Eldridge: yeah.
[00:23:21] Robert Hossary: So again, if you’re listening to this, if you’re watching this rewind, get this again because this is gold people, this is absolute gold.
[00:23:30] Robert Hossary: But understanding your values, the one thing that you said there that just rang such a massive bell is that, If you profess to have these values and yet you are not living these values, you, you end up having what, what one of our previous hosts, Duff Watkins said, a civil war with yourself internally, you don’t align with yourself.
[00:23:59] Robert Hossary: And so, you try to justify the fact that, oh, look, it’s okay. I’m only having it once, or I’m only doing this, you know, a few times. And then on the other hand, you’re saying, but I am this, I, it took me, and I’ll just come back to me for a moment. It took me many, many years to get this message.
[00:24:22] Robert Hossary: And only recently have I understood the profound, fulfillment you get. When you live your values. it is just amazing. you know, mission statements aside, we can all talk about that and make fun of them, you know, because they are, they’re, a lot of them are stupid, but when you actually fulfill your own values in your own life, it, it is just, it’s just, there is no other way to describe it other than fulfilling.
[00:24:55] Lee Eldridge: if you are matching your values and you understand them, energy is much easier. Getting outta bed is much easier. Yep. in theory, eating healthier, doing all the things we know that we should be doing, having great relationships, self-development, all those areas.
[00:25:11] Lee Eldridge: If that civil war is not going on inside our brain or, and in, in terms of our body, everything becomes a little bit easier. And if you notice that people who, some people are like, oh, wow, that successful person, they have it so easy and there’s lots obviously going under in terms of how much work they’re doing, et cetera, but they want to do the work.
[00:25:32] Lee Eldridge: You know, I know professional athletes that I’ve worked with that just don’t want to be there. You know, you’d be surprised how many don’t enjoy training or don’t enjoy.
[00:25:42] Robert Hossary: And then come on, Lee, you’re not going to tell me they’re just in it for the money. You’re not going to say that, are you?
[00:25:49] Lee Eldridge: no. I think that, you know, it’s a.
[00:25:52] Lee Eldridge: Obviously, they don’t start off thinking like that. no. professional soccer player or football player starts off by thinking, right? I don’t know, maybe they do now with, because it’s easier to see how much certain players are earning and the lifestyle and, you know, all that, that they want with it.
[00:26:08] Lee Eldridge: But I just don’t think that happens. But I think at some point going down the line, with some players, there might be a shift where they’re like, right, okay. And rightly or wrongly, you know, it’s a short career. So, they’re trying to, they’re trying to milk every ounce of whatever it is, media photo opportunities out of their body to, to get to where they want to go.
[00:26:30] Robert Hossary: if we go back to what you said, if you’re actually fulfilling your values, you’ll find it a lot more enriching. and your life will be so much better for it. look, I love that one.
[00:26:41] Robert Hossary: That one’s fantastic.

[00:26:43] Lesson 5: It shall pass.

[00:26:43] Robert Hossary: lesson number five. Lesson number five is probably one of my favourites because I live this day to day, lesson number five. It shall pass. Tell me about it.
[00:26:54] Lee Eldridge: So, this came about probably not that long ago, but I was looking at, on social media, had Tom Hanks talking about it and he was like, it shall pass.
[00:27:03] Lee Eldridge: And to a guy that you would think is very successful, he talked about dark times when he wasn’t successful or he wasn’t being cast or things were going on and then, amazing kind of, you know, in terms of awards, et cetera. And he was like, look, it’s. what happens to us, what happens to us!
[00:27:21] Lee Eldridge: it’s going to be a rocky road. There are going to be great times in business, and there are, as everyone’s going through, lots of people are going through some dark times at the moment, but it’s a little bit, I suppose again, like, you know, with young children, you, they start sleeping through the night and you’re like, we’ve got this, we’ve got this packed, we, yeah.
[00:27:39] Lee Eldridge: Happy days. And then five days later, you know, you’ve got two weeks of hell, or they get a cold or they’re sick or whatever it is. And you’ve kind of got to be, I think if you kind of go through this and everyone talks about being present and all that, but it keeps you grounded.
[00:27:56] Lee Eldridge: And I’m not saying, you know, when you’re have good times, don’t, you know, don’t enjoy them. I’m not saying don’t do that or, but if you’re on that kind of up and down scenario where you’ve got good times and you’re really happy and then when the bad times come, you’re not enjoying yourself, it’s like, wow, okay.
[00:28:10] Lee Eldridge: You know, you are really, again, controlled by external factors and we want to be, and a big area that I talk about because people are talking about control, developing control and I’m like, there’s not much we can control. to some degree we, we can’t control our body, unfortunately some people get really sick that we, that are healthy, and they’ve done all the right things.
[00:28:31] Lee Eldridge: And likewise, from a mindset point of view. But for me, I’m like, right, what can Robert influence? what can you start to influence in your life? and what can you do from that point? So, when you’re going through bad times, have an understanding that it’s not always going to be bad. And again, what can you start to influence?
[00:28:52] Lee Eldridge: What can you know, what can you do? And again, when you’ve got really good times, you know, like, what can I influence? what can I do? So that’s me.
[00:28:59] Robert Hossary: Look, it’s incredibly powerful. It always has been powerful. It will pass good times will pass; bad times will pass. I, if I can, we’ve published a, an episode with two Psychiatrists, Dr.
[00:29:12] Robert Hossary: Dillip Jest and Dr. Samantha Boardman. and this was hosted by Duff Watkins and there was, I’m going to paraphrase this, but Dilip was talking about a study that was done, post covid. Like just post covid when, it was, we were still in the pandemic, but it wasn’t that high death rate that we had and the study was done on the population because the psychiatrists were concerned about older people not dealing with the social distancing, with the isolation.
[00:29:51] Robert Hossary: because younger people would have Zoom, they would have other ways of communicating. So, you know, this is, this was the thinking. The results were surprising that the fact that the older people, about 15%, again, not really sure, but roughly around 15% of those that were surveyed were suffering some sort of anxiety or depression for the younger people, I think up to 28 or so, it would like 75%.
[00:30:21] Robert Hossary: And when they dug into it, they found exactly what you’re talking about. The older you were, the more you realized it’s going to pass. So, the anxiety wasn’t there. And the younger people who’d never experienced it before, it was the end of the world. So, it’s a really important point you make, Lee. It really is.
[00:30:43] Robert Hossary: And it’s backed up by a lot of research, a lot of science, and got a lot of Buddhism as well. A lot of philosophy backs it up.
[00:30:51] Lee Eldridge: And then from a studies point of view, there’s some really good studies about the negative problems with delaying happiness. So, what I mean is it’ll be okay when, you know it’ll be okay when we’re out of the pandemic.
[00:31:04] Lee Eldridge: It’ll be okay when we’re through this crisis. And I meet so many business founders, you know, when I’m, when we’re turning over a million dollars or pounds or whatever, it’ll be okay. Or whatever it is. And you’re just delaying happiness. And I’m
[00:31:23] Robert Hossary: laughing because I’ve been there. I’m laughing because I’ve been there, and I know exactly what you’re saying.
[00:31:28] Lee Eldridge: So, you’ll go through maybe these five, 10 years of if, when yeah. And it probably leads on to the next kind of lesson. But you get there and you’re like, oh, I’ve just wasted 10 years of unhappiness for this one, two moments of happiness. And you’re like, you can’t go through life like that. And talking to financial investors and advisors, it’s quite interesting because from an economic point of view, we’ve had it pretty good for 10, 12 years and we understand that, you know, it’s going to be a rough time for the next.
[00:32:03] Lee Eldridge: Two, three, however many years, but it will pass. And then we’ll be on to the next. And you know, you can’t kind of, yeah, it’s a, it’s an interesting one when you speak to people. I’ll be happy when.
[00:32:16] Robert Hossary: it is, it’s again, you know, I’m blown away by the depth, of these lessons. look, I thank you for that one.
[00:32:24] Robert Hossary: That one was brilliant. but we’ll, if you don’t mind, we’ll take a short break now. we’d like to thank our affiliate partner Audible. Audible is an amazing way to consume 10 lessons learned books and other podcasts, allowing you to build a library of knowledge all in one place. You can start your free 30-day trial.
[00:32:44] Robert Hossary: Yes, I did say free 30-day trial by going to audible trial.com/ten. Lessons learned with Audible, you can find your favourite lessons while at home or on the go. Once again, that’s Audible trial doc. com slash one zero lessons learned for a free 30-day trial. The link will be in the show notes.

[00:33:06] Lesson 6: Develop systems, not goals.

[00:33:06] Robert Hossary: Our guest today is Lee Eldridge, founder, and performance director of Cognitive Athlete.
[00:33:12] Robert Hossary: So, Lee, let’s move on to lesson number six. Develop systems, not goals. Now this goes, pretty much against a lot of what, many of the gurus back in the eighties used to tell you to do.
[00:33:28] Robert Hossary: You got to develop your goals. So, tell us why we should develop our systems and not goals.
[00:33:34] Lee Eldridge: So, this comes from the work of James Clear and his book Atomic Habits, whereby, we are all, we were all goal driven. you know, I was goal driven from myself personally and the athletes that I worked with in terms of, lifting this much weight, running this fast, et cetera.
[00:33:52] Lee Eldridge: And he kind of put it quite nicely. And I suppose, let’s look at the World Cup Football final or soccer finals just finished. Both teams had exactly the same goal, but one didn’t achieve it and the other one did. So
[00:34:06] Robert Hossary: what an excellent point. What an excellent point.
[00:34:09] Lee Eldridge: does that mean that, France’s goals were not the right goal?
[00:34:13] Lee Eldridge: And you’re like, right? No, actually a lot of it comes down to the systems in place, and I think too many, too long. We’re like, right, get your goals sorted. Set your goals now. For me, goal setting is important, and I do use it, but we have to take it that it’s a double-edged sword. And what I mean by that is, let’s say monetary-wise, that you wanted to earn a million pounds or a million dollars this year, whatever it might be, and you get, 990,000 you earn.
[00:34:42] Lee Eldridge: Well, you haven’t hit your goal, you know, so from a motivation point of view, that can be a real kick in the teeth that you kind of haven’t achieved what you set out, even though you’ve earned 900. And so, you’ve done, all right, if that’s the, your marker for success. And then likewise, let’s say you did 1.1 million, our brain is pretty quick to say, well, you should have set that goal a bit higher.
[00:35:04] Lee Eldridge: If you set it to 1.5. We might have been. And you play this kind of back and forward. So, for me it’s like, right, okay, what are the systems that, that you need to put in place? And that comes back down to habit, routine, consistency, progress. Lots of people, if they don’t reach their goal, they’re more interested about the goal, not the reason why they didn’t, and the systems that they put in place.
[00:35:29] Lee Eldridge: An ex-colleague of mine, a big mountaineer, and she was saying that one of the big highest points for mountaineering is obviously climbing Mount Everest. But then one of the lowest points is kind of like when you get back to base camp and you’re just sat there going, what am I going to do now?
[00:35:48] Lee Eldridge: Johnny Wilkinson, the famous rugby player at the age of. Whatever it was, six or seven, he wrote down he wanted to win the World Cup and he did it at 21, and then he won it. And then five minutes later he is like, what am I going to do now? and the goal is defining the person, not trying to reach the outcome, basically.
[00:36:03] Lee Eldridge: And that’s where we spend a lot of time, or I spend a lot of time really digging down into people’s systems because there are lots of systems in process for business, but not many systems in process for humans. it’s a weird one.
[00:36:15] Robert Hossary: Well, what do you mean by systems? Now we all understand what you mean by goal.
[00:36:23] Robert Hossary: but what do you mean by system?
[00:36:25] Lee Eldridge: So, in terms of like, right. how am I going to work? So, one area that we look at is kind of cognitive performance. So cognitive performance. if we move out of kind of, you know, from a. An actual physiological point of view. For me, there’s three big areas of cognitive performance and that is understanding what’s your most important tasks, when do you work the best, so your peak performance time, and what’s your environment like to enable you to do that.
[00:36:51] Lee Eldridge: So that’s a system. So, when I speak to people, I’m like, okay, Rob, what’s your most important thing you need to do today, and you need to do every day that’s going to push you to achieve that goal? Most people don’t get that. You know, most people wake up of a day, open their emails up, and then they’re kind of reacting all the time to people.
[00:37:11] Lee Eldridge: You know, emails are normally people’s problems that you are, you’re having to solve. Then it’s like, right, okay, some people work better in the morning, some people work better in the afternoons or the evenings. Understanding that and then making sure that what you’re trying to do is put your most important tasks into that time.
[00:37:27] Lee Eldridge: And then lastly, that environment. we’re so easily distracted, you know, messages on our phones, emails, notifications, This is why I hate open plan offices to a certain degree, because you go there and you’re in the flow state or the zone or whatever you want to call it, and you, and then somebody will come across and they’ll say, Hey, how you doing?
[00:37:50] Lee Eldridge: da, and that, that’s broken it. So, protect that environment basically. where do you work the best and what can you go and do? So, lots of companies that go in, I’m like, right, we need to get kind of hubs of work so that you can get booths so that if you really need to focus, you go and lock yourself away and you get it done.
[00:38:06] Lee Eldridge: So that’s a simple kind of system, basically. for a cognitive performance,
[00:38:11] Robert Hossary: that makes a lot of sense. and the way I’ve translated that in my head is from a strategic point of view, you’ve got your strategic plan, your vision for an organization.
[00:38:23] Robert Hossary: Then you have your tactical plan, which is the execution. And within that, each element of your tactical plan. has got an optimum, time for it to be deployed and implemented. And I think that’s what I heard when you were talking, would I be on the right track thinking that way?
[00:38:43] Lee Eldridge: Yeah.
[00:38:43] Robert Hossary: So at least in the right direction?
[00:38:47] Lee Eldridge: Yeah. Yeah. So, you’re breaking everything down because the biggest way or the way that we improve, and James Clear talks a lot about this is compound self-improvement. And that is basically trying to be a little bit better each day. And if we put those systems in place, that’s what happens.
[00:39:03] Lee Eldridge: Yeah. So, we’re, you know, we’re recording this just before January 1st, so everyone will be like, right, I’m going to the gym or eating healthy or whatever it is. And, you are looking at sustainable performance, Obviously the idea of, mastery is 10,000 hours, and that’s kind of changed, but there’s an element of consistency with every top performer that you looking at in, in business, in sport, even, one area that, and I’ve read about the bit, in terms of creatives, oh, they don’t have structure, but really good creatives spent hours doing what they love.
[00:39:40] Lee Eldridge: You know, painters don’t just, they are talented, but they also practice a hell of a lot. and we don’t allow that. So how can we develop the system to enable us to practice at the right time?
[00:39:52] Robert Hossary: May, I just make this point, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, but developing systems, it’s not a.
[00:40:00] Robert Hossary: Generic system. It’s unique to the individual. It’s what works.
[00:40:04] Lee Eldridge: Yeah.
[00:40:04] Robert Hossary: For you that you are talking about. Find a system that works for you that will enable you to achieve a goal that you set.
[00:40:15] Lee Eldridge: Correct.
[00:40:16] Robert Hossary: That’s, that’s excellent. Look, I love that this has been a very insightful and enlightening, conversation.

[00:40:24] Lesson 7: Be careful what you think.

[00:40:24] Robert Hossary: Let me move on to lesson number seven. now if you’ll bear with me, lesson number seven is, part of a quote that, and I want to read out the full quote. The quote is from, Lau Tzu, who is a, I think a, an ancient Chinese philosopher.
[00:40:40] Robert Hossary: Be careful what you think for your thoughts. Become your words.
[00:40:45] Robert Hossary: Be careful what you say. For your words, become your actions.
[00:40:49] Robert Hossary: Be careful what you do for your actions. Become your character.
[00:40:53] Robert Hossary: And your character is everything.
[00:40:56] Robert Hossary: So, lesson number seven, be careful what you think all yours, Lee.
[00:41:01] Lee Eldridge: yeah. So again, if we think about is it our own thoughts that we’re, we are getting, or where are our influences coming from?
[00:41:09] Lee Eldridge: You know, what are we reading, what are we watching? Who are we hanging around with? and again, you’ve just put it, if you think about that quote, it’s like, right, okay. So, we start to think that we start to tell ourselves that our actions then drive that, and then that becomes who we are. So, we’re a product again, of our environment to a certain degree.
[00:41:28] Lee Eldridge: And, you know, we can look at the science of epigenetics and how, our environment initiates a way that our genes are turned on and everything like that. And again, another great quote is, you know, that comparison’s a thief of joy and it’s, we can be very easy to compare ourselves to others and to think about that.
[00:41:45] Lee Eldridge: So
[00:41:45] Robert Hossary: I’m just going to stop you right there, because you’ve just said something that I’ve never heard before, but I love instantly. Comparison is the thief of joy.
[00:41:56] Lee Eldridge: Yeah. I’m not sure who said it, but I use it loads because,
[00:41:59] Robert Hossary: Well, you said it now as far as we’re concerned, that’s from Lee Eldridge. That’s fantastic.
[00:42:04] Robert Hossary: Sorry to interrupt, but it was just brilliant.
[00:42:06] Lee Eldridge: you know, it’s so easy to compare yourself to others and think, oh, you’re not good enough, or, and then you’re like, right, okay. So, if I start to think I’m not good enough, then. What I say and my actions just like that amazing quote. And you just think to yourself, right?
[00:42:23] Lee Eldridge: And a big concern for me, and people who have children growing up is like, where are their influences? So gone are the days where, my parents could pull me on sign and say, look, I don’t think you should be, hanging out with that friend of yours because, they’re not good for you or whatever it is.
[00:42:41] Lee Eldridge: We are just ingesting lots of influences in terms from, sports stars, movie stars, et cetera, et cetera. So, there are lots of people who are like, I don’t watch the news anymore, or I don’t do this, or I don’t do that. And it’s like, just be careful that what you think and understand where’s that, that coming from?
[00:43:00] Lee Eldridge: And. It’s great to have conversations with that people, especially in a coaching scenario, because it really challenges you to be understanding, right, okay, what am I thinking here? is it me? Is it you? And then it, like, in terms of all these lessons, it goes all the way back up to kind of the Jahari window and right.
[00:43:19] Lee Eldridge: What’s hiding. And you’re like, wow, okay. So that’s the process of going through these lessons for me when I was going down that,
[00:43:26] Robert Hossary: well, I was about to say that, but you beat me to it. But every one of your lessons so far is interlocked. Everyone leads into the next one. and it takes you on this journey of, and I don’t mean to sound wanky, but it takes you on this journey of enlightenment.
[00:43:43] Robert Hossary: Self-awareness seems to be the key to almost every one of these lessons. that I just love that. I love, be careful what you think, especially today in the echo chamber world we live in, that we’re only listening to people who agree with us. you know, it makes it difficult, to then expand yourself.
[00:44:09] Robert Hossary: It makes it difficult to be aware of your own biases, because you’re not exploring that now. Look, I Lee, this has been wonderful.
[00:44:21] Robert Hossary: again, I’m, I would love to continue about on more, on all of these, but let’s move on because, it’s, we’ve got a few more to get through.

[00:44:29] Lesson 8: Engagement is the key to sustainable performance.

[00:44:29] Robert Hossary: and then one more question that I’d like to ask you, but lesson number eight. Engagement is the key to sustainable performance.
[00:44:39] Lee Eldridge: So, lots of people are talking about being present, you’ve got to be present, but for me it’s you’ve got to engage. and so, a lot of my work is with what I’d call business dads.
[00:44:50] Lee Eldridge: So, I work with, founders or senior leaders that are dads. And it’s really difficult sometimes to be, to engage with your kids because you’re too busy thinking about something else. And a famous football player talked about how his performance really struggled because he couldn’t engage.
[00:45:08] Lee Eldridge: And we had this with an international rugby player. And his performance was just dipping. And we were like, what’s going on there? You know, his training wasn’t great, And I’d built up a relationship with this individual, and then I was like, look, what’s going on? And he’s like, look, you know, I’m about to go through a divorce.
[00:45:26] Lee Eldridge: And that really hit me that I, right. He wasn’t unable to engage in gym sessions, in training sessions or during a game because he was thinking about something else. And we really struggle in this day and age to engage on one thing because we have distractions. Because in our brains we’re right.
[00:45:47] Lee Eldridge: What are we missing out on? You know, the fear of missing out and, you know, this idea of like doing a hundred different things basically. So, what I try to do, especially with the people I work with, it’s like, right, just get really good at engaging. Some people struggle to concentrate on one thing for five minutes, let alone.
[00:46:07] Lee Eldridge: An hour and a half, whereas really that’s the max that we can do. It’s practice that, and eventually you’ll become better at it. And I think that’s the way that people can only truly perform at their best.
[00:46:21] Robert Hossary: I agree. I see the value in what you’re saying.
[00:46:24] Robert Hossary: engagement is incredibly important. I would like to hear more about your business dads, but we’ll get to that before we, we sign off, because I think that’s also really interesting. No engagement is being present and being in the present, not just observing, but interacting with what’s happening now.
[00:46:50] Robert Hossary: incredibly important, and. Vital, as you say, vital for performance, vital for success, vital for you to achieve all of the things we’ve been talking about.

[00:47:04] Lesson 9: Failure is an option.

[00:47:04] Robert Hossary: lesson number nine, probably again, one of my favourites because society has drilled into us the opposite of this. But lesson number nine is wonderful, and I really want to hear your take on it.
[00:47:18] Robert Hossary: Failure is an option.
[00:47:20] Lee Eldridge: Yeah. I think going back to the people I’ve worked with, you know, fear of failure was a huge motivator and a huge driver of them. and to a certain point, quite unhealthy. And if I go back to that first question that you asked me, if, what would you go back and tell your younger self?
[00:47:36] Lee Eldridge: Well, not worrying about what people think about me is if I could remove that, then the fear of failure would go, you know, and. there’s nothing wrong. I think, everyone understands, we learn way more about failing than we ever do about kind of being successful. But again, you’ve just touched on it.
[00:47:54] Lee Eldridge: In society, we kind of say to the successful ones, well done. You’ve made it. Whereas I’m really interested to hear about people that failed, and you learn those lessons,
[00:48:05] Robert Hossary: well, you have to fail to succeed,
[00:48:09] Lee Eldridge: you know, and people say, right, you know, you learn from your mistakes. But if you can learn from others’ mistakes as well, you can enhance that learning process and get to where you need to be much quicker.
[00:48:20] Lee Eldridge: and that kind of fear of failure is, it’s a weird thing. Again, it goes back to, as a kid, you ride your bike down a hill as fast as you want. you don’t really think of the outcome of failure. Do you? you know, my youngest. Well, my son is 10 months. He’s standing up, falling down, standing up, falling down, and he doesn’t care.
[00:48:38] Lee Eldridge: he’s just in it, he’s just like, right. And somewhere along the line we’re like, oh, don’t take that risk. Oh, don’t, don’t fail. You know? I, it’s, yeah, it’s, we could talk for ages about education systems and what’s going and how can we push that out? And, again, coming back to, what do you think, we only see successful people.
[00:48:58] Lee Eldridge: We only see successful people on social media and it’s, yeah. it’s quite stifling and it pulls you back.
[00:49:05] Robert Hossary: It really is. And I think we don’t appreciate the fact that they are successful because they failed. And then they got up, they learned from that failure and moved on to the next thing and failed or succeeded and moved on.
[00:49:22] Robert Hossary: You can’t succeed at everything all the time. So
[00:49:27] Lee Eldridge: Correct.
[00:49:28] Robert Hossary: Failure is part of success. Failure is absolutely an option, and I’m right there with you. I’m in camp Lee. You don’t need to be afraid of it. It’s something that happens and go back a few more lessons. You know, you fail, it’ll pass.
[00:49:46] Robert Hossary: You know it all intertwined. They’ll love it.
[00:49:50] Lee Eldridge: People will push back and say, oh, well, Special forces and people in the Army, like obviously failure is for them, is not great. You know, there’s big repercussions of that and I agree with that, but I’m like, what they are doing is they are putting themselves; they are training themselves and failing and training themselves and failing.
[00:50:08] Lee Eldridge: So, when that moment comes, they don’t fail. And I think to myself, if you don’t think like that, then when’s that moment going to come? And you want to be prepared for that moment to say, right, actually I’m not going to fail because I’ve failed, you know, 20,000 times or whatever it is.

[00:50:27] Lesson 10: Define your own success.

[00:50:27] Lee Eldridge: I just love this. I think it’s brilliant. It’s brilliant. Alright, let’s move on to lesson number 10.
[00:50:37] Robert Hossary: So, Lee, lesson number 10, define your own success. I think I understand what you mean by that, but I’ll let you explain further.
[00:50:48] Lee Eldridge: Kind of you go back all the things we’ve spoke about, and that’s a huge area of kind of the work I do is that what’s driving your success? Is your success again something that, that you are looking up to someone else doing?
[00:51:02] Lee Eldridge: Or is it you inside of you? and for me, success comes from people when, their visions, values, and purpose kind of meet, they’re on points. they have good foundations in terms of being a human being, moving, walking, eating, sleeping, et cetera. And they also have an understanding of their significant others around them, and that they’re supporting them in times when they need to.
[00:51:26] Lee Eldridge: And that for me is, it’s like, wow, okay. how do we go about sitting down and saying, right, what does success look for me and being brutally honest that when I get this success is it what I want? Basically, because I’ve worked with lots of businesspeople and who’ve sat inside and they’re earning big money and they’re head of companies and they’re not happy people and that area of their life is a success.
[00:51:50] Lee Eldridge: But the other areas, you know, their health is lacking, their relationships with their family and their children’s not great. They’re struggling to have friends. It’s not really their purpose then, and you’re like, wow, okay, before you go on this big, long journey and this success, It can change because you know, as we know, life’s a game of chapters that once you get married or you find a partner that you love or you get kids or whatever it is, that success changes.
[00:52:18] Lee Eldridge: But just be aware of what you’re driving for.
[00:52:21] Robert Hossary: Love it. I’ve got nothing to say. I’ve got plenty to say, but I’m not going to because that was so articulate. all I will say though is to our audience, rewind the whole damn thing and listen to it all again. Because what Lee has said, the lessons Lee has shared with us today are so profound and deep.
[00:52:43] Robert Hossary: It’ll probably take you a second listen to, to fully comprehend how important these are to you.
[00:52:49] Robert Hossary: So, Lee, let me ask you one final question before I then ask you to tell us about, business dads, what have you. Unlearned?
[00:53:00] Lee Eldridge: Unlearned?
[00:53:01] Robert Hossary: Something that you held to be true, a truism for Lee Eldridge. And as you’ve developed and matured, you’ve realized, well, not really the thing I should be doing or believing.
[00:53:16] Lee Eldridge: That’s a great question. we are always about, gaining more knowledge and becoming more experienced. I think that it’s probably a big one is that you can support people and yourself in so many different ways, and money is probably not up there in terms of the one that, that we need.
[00:53:36] Lee Eldridge: So, what I mean by that is, especially being a dad, it’s You have to, you know, be the breadwinner and yeah, okay. There’s a part of that, but there’s also a huge area of like, right. You also need to be a dad. And I think that, A great, somebody, I saw it the other day, is like, I don’t want to be a parent, I want to be a dad, or I want to be a mom.
[00:53:57] Lee Eldridge: You know? So that for me has been the big one for me, especially in the last kind of five or six years that really have stepped back basically.
[00:54:04] Robert Hossary: So, shaking off what society expects you to do is something you’ve unlearned.
[00:54:09] Lee Eldridge: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:54:10] Robert Hossary: And that’s no small feat, my friend. No small feat.
[00:54:14] Robert Hossary: okay, so tell us about business dads, that sounds, is that what you call it?
[00:54:19] Lee Eldridge: Yeah.
[00:54:20] Robert Hossary: it sounds fan absolutely fascinating. Tell us more.
[00:54:24] Lee Eldridge: So basically I, as I, I’ve mentioned, I was in a professional sport, so new athletes would come, I’d be working in a performance company, new clients would come, and then I was like, right, okay, let’s kind of step away and do your own thing.
[00:54:38] Lee Eldridge: And then kind of probably in no November, my, my daughter was just screaming at me basically because it was a Saturday morning and she, it is, it’s daddy time and she wants to play with me. And I think I was on LinkedIn or doing something and I just thought to myself, this is not what I signed up to, to do, I wanted to kind of, understand, and I was like, right, I’m trying to develop a business and drive it forward, but then I’m also trying to be a dad.
[00:55:02] Lee Eldridge: And I was like, right, there must be other dads in the same situation that, and so I was like, right. So, what I went off did, I went off and I interviewed business dads. So, I’m, I’m up to just over 65 now. And what we would do in a sport, if I went into a new sport that I’d never worked into, we’d do a needs analysis.
[00:55:23] Lee Eldridge: So, we would go off and find all the research, we’d speak to coaches, we’d watch games, and then we’d say, right, okay, where’s the gaps that we need to plug? And for me to work with what I call business dads is like, right, I needed to go out and do that needs analysis by speaking to people to know what the needs are and stuff.
[00:55:40] Lee Eldridge: And it’s not to take away from working mums at all. And it’s not to, you know, not to say it’s just like, right. Okay. We know that men are notorious for being that lone wolf and going it themselves and just head down and yeah. And so that is kind of where it’s come from, basically.
[00:56:00] Robert Hossary: Well, you’ve gone out and you’ve found your own tribe, you’ve taken your own advice.
[00:56:06] Lee Eldridge: Yeah. So, to sit there and well, to interview people and then sit there like you must do and think, right, okay, wow, I’m going through the same thing. You know, it’s great and great to hear that person. And although people are struggling or they’ve got challenges, you know, it’s like, right.
[00:56:21] Lee Eldridge: it’s nice for somebody to say, yeah, I understand that. I’m, you know, I’ve been through there, or I’ve done that, or this is, yeah, maybe think about this a different way.
[00:56:29] Robert Hossary: And that’s what we do on 10 lessons. That’s why we do 10 lessons. because everyone’s gone through what you think you may have gone through alone, and as Lee has just pointed out, you’re not alone.
[00:56:43] Robert Hossary: Someone else has gone through this. So yeah, hopefully we get them on the show. We talk to them as we’ve done with Lee and share their wisdom with you. look, all I can say, Lee, it’s been an absolute pleasure.
[00:56:59] Lee Eldridge: you’re welcome,
[00:56:59] Robert Hossary: and I’ve learned so much today. so, for someone with my ego, you wouldn’t think I would learn anything, but no, I, I learned so much today.
[00:57:08] Robert Hossary: it’s absolutely wonderful. and I, there’s nothing that you have said, that I have. Taken any issue with, or have any contrary belief with, because I actually live by most of these. I haven’t put them as articulately as you have, but it’s just wonderful. It’s just, I’m very honoured that you agreed to be on our show and share your wisdom with us.
[00:57:32] Lee Eldridge: You’re welcome.
[00:57:33] Robert Hossary: So where can people find out more about you?
[00:57:36] Lee Eldridge: So, yes, the website is pretty good. So ww dot cognitive athlete.co.uk. from a social media point of view, LinkedIn’s probably the best place to find me. and that’s just my name and you can see me and search there. And then I’m always happy to chat with more business dads and to speak to people and to support, you know, I think, yeah, there’s a big area of performance that’s needed at the moment.
[00:57:59] Robert Hossary: Well, once again, thank you All of these contact details will be in our show notes. So, you’ll be able to just click the link and go straight to his website and have a chat to him.
[00:58:09] Robert Hossary: So, with that we’ll end here. Today. You’ve been listening to 10 Lessons Learned.
[00:58:14] Robert Hossary: Our guest today has been Lee Eldridge, the founder and performance director of Cognitive Athlete, sharing his 10 lessons with us all. This episode is supported as always by the Professional Development Forum. So please tell us what you think about today’s lessons. you can even email us at podcast 10 lessons learned.com.
[00:58:34] Robert Hossary: That’s podcast at the number 1 0 10 lessons learned.com. So go ahead and hit that like button, subscribe and turn on your notification bell so you don’t miss. An episode of the only show on the Internet that makes the world wiser. Lesson by lesson. Thanks for listening. See you on the next episode.
[00:58:57]
[00:59:04]

 

 This episode is produced by Robert Hossary. Sponsored as always by Professional Development Forum. You can find the www.professionaldevelopmentforum.org you’ve heard from us we’d like to hear from you. Email us it’s podcast@10lessonslearned.com. Remember, this is the podcast the only podcast. That’s makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.

 

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