active CEO Podcast #96 Christian Boucousis Leading Out Of The Danger Zone

active CEO Podcast #96 Christian Boucousis Leading Out Of The Danger Zone

active CEO Podcast #96 Christian Boucousis Leading Out Of The Danger Zone
Christian Boucousis – High Performance Coach and Speaker

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Christian Boucousis about Leading Out Of The Danger Zone, fighter pilot emotions, the Afterburner FLEX flawless execution method, and  how leaders can execute like a fighter pilot.

We also deep dive into high performing teams, why the debrief is more important than the mission, optimising the peak stress curve and why people aren’t the best versions of ourselves.

Christian Boucousis – Leading Out Of The Danger Zone

Christian Boucousis is a high performing leader, who was born to fly fighter jets, thrives on highly complex and demanding environments, and is the co-author of “On Time On Target”. He is a high achiever who focuses on flawless execution, successfully transferred high-level skills of flying at over 1500km/hr to the business world and is a thriving entrepreneur.

His career started as a fighter pilot for the Royal Australian Air Force; before founding the Christian Thomas Group, which provides humanitarian support to developing nations; and directing W E Johns & sons. His current roles include founder and CEO of Mode Developments property company, Publisher of Australian Aviation, and High Performance Coach & Speaker of Afterburner Australia and New Zealand.

Christian talks about:

  • A lifetime obsession with being a fighter pilot.
  • Why a fighter pilot execution rate is about 98%
  • A high performing team is about individual accountability
  • How to get into a battle “execution” rhythm.
  • Situational awareness is the clarity that allows you to make better decisions.
  • Using the Uder loop from the top gun academy.
  • Maneuvering ourselves into another position to take advantage of it
  • Utilizing the peak stress curve to optimize performance.
  • Plan – Brief – Execute – Debrief
  • Leading out of the danger zone.
  • Why fighter pilots are the most emotionless robots on the planet.
  • Preventing burnout and stress as a fighter pilot.
  • The huge potential of the debrief for teams and organisations
  • Taking accountability for our own actions while leading teams.
  • Why humans as highly complex individuals and go off on a tangent.
  • You are always investigating, you are doing your analysis on the run.
  • Analysis and decision making is in perpetual motion
  • Why people spend little time debriefing a goal and the 3 simple questions of a debrief
  • What’s one thing you can say that can enable hundreds of people to do their job?
  • The habits and routines he does every day that allow him to execute flawlessly

Active CEO Performance Tip

Create A Ripple Effect With PURPOSE – Have you become too focused on yourself and you don’t feel fulfilled. Focus on something bigger than just yourself. Determine what your companies or your own real purpose is in life. Your why or your companies why? What work can you do to serve that purpose and leave a positive mark or dent on the world? 3 questions to ask yourself – 1. What makes you come alive? 2. What are your innate strengths? 3. Where do you add greatest value? NOW IF YOU ARE STILL STRUGGLING TO IDENTIFY YOUR WHY here are 3 more questions to ask yourself: 1. What do people come to ask for help on and thank you for? 2. What would do you love doing that you would do everyday without a paycheck? 3. If you found out that you only had one year left, what would you imagine yourself doing? Its time for you to do some self reflection and find clarity on your why!


“80% of what we did is mapped out, whereas the 20% we had to make decisions, we were able to do that, because the basics were all looked after.” The precision of a fighter pilot with Christian Boucousis, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Everyday we don’t come together as a team, we are diverging away from that goal.” Christian Boucousis talks about team alignment, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Christian Boucousis LinkedIn
Christian Boucousis Facebook
Christian Boucousis Twitter
Craig Johns
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

BOOK – On Time On Target Christian Boucousis

Fuel Your Body For Leadership Performance Read Article
How Exercise Enhances A Leaders Performance Read Article
Four Basic Fundamentals Of Being A High Performing Leader Read Article
How To Be A High Performing Leader In 2020 Read Article
Four Ways To Overcome CEO Loneliness In 2020 Read Article

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active CEO Podcast 88 Kate Maree O'Brien NRG2Perform GameChangersLive

active CEO Podcast #88 Kate Maree O’Brien Tenacious Spirit Of An Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur active CEO Podcast Kate Maree O'Brien Tenacious Spirit of An Entrepreneur Craig Johns NRG2Perform
Kate Maree O’Brien – Founder SHE Conference

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Kate Maree O’Brien about the tenacious spirit of an entrepreneur, coping with pressure and the feeling of isolation, understanding limiting beliefs, and the importance of adaptive leadership.

We also talk about having a number 8 wire New Zealand mentality, the future of SHE Conference, recently launching the She Leads A New Future Podcast, and why she tried exotic pole dancing.

Kate Maree O’Brien – Tenacious Spirit Of An Entrepreneur

Kate is a woman who lives and breathes personal leadership, overcome addiction and social anxiety, delivers breakthroughs, smashes through glass ceilings, and is the founder of SHE – Australasia’s largest women’s leadership and empowerment event. She is a highly regarded leadership coach, sought after speaker, who is known for her down to earth teachings and no BS approach to getting results. Known as a visionary performance leader, Kate tells it as it is, loves playing it big, empowers women to take charge of their life, and is living life to her fullest with her beautiful family in Bali.

Rising from depression, bulimia, anorexia and drug use, she has thrown everything into gaining her life back and making a positive difference to many peoples lives. She has served as a clinical nurse educator in New Zealand, curated two phenomenal conferences, SHE and GameChanger Global Summit, and collaborates with worldwide personal transformation leaders such as Jack Canfield and Brendon Burchard.

Kate talks about:

  • CEO loneliness and building a team of people around you.
  • “Feeling of knowing that we can create so much and we don’t have to have this idea that it is not possible, it can’t be done, I feel stuck.”
  • “If you feel stuck, you are not seeing the bigger picture and the opportunities around us. “
  • Realising there was hope & she can make a difference in people’s lives.
  • Having the tenacious spirit of an entrepreneur.
  • What changes people is not just knowledge, it is impacting our hearts.
  • It is always going to feel risky when you take something to a new level.
  • Leadership exists to alter the future.
  • Fundamentally we are wired to stay where it feels safe.
  • My core wiring is that “I have done something wrong”.
  • Strategies for people to unlock their limiting beliefs.
  • You can’t escape your humanity & that has been the most significant breakthrough for me.
  • The importance of influencing yourself & creating room to own our own space.
  • If we really want really big changes, we require an adaptive leadership decision.
  • Being willing not to be living from the ideas and rules and structure that is around you

Active CEO Performance Tip

Unique Leadership – Are you prepared to be vulnerable and have the courage to truly live your purpose? Are you willing to go beyond what is comfortable to make a difference in the world? If yes, then its time for you to “Stand up and live in an uncommon place.” As a leader it Is important that you be absolutely positively uniquely you. Lead from your heart and a place that brings out your true passion, energy and drive.


“Part of the entrepreneurial journey is to see a new future, but be willing to back yourself even when there is not a carved out path to get there.” The entrepreneurial journey with Kate Maree O’Brien, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Anytime an obstacle comes up, its an opportunity just to grow bigger, be more creative or be more resourceful or look at things from a new perspective. There is always someway through it or around it.” Kate Maree O’Brien talks about overcoming obstacles, on the active CEO Podcast.

“That narrator may not always be telling us the truth. It tells us stories to make us feel safe.” Kate Maree O’Brien goes deep on the narrator part of the brain, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Kate Maree O’Brien
Kate Maree O’Brien Speech
Kate Maree O’Brien Instagram
Kate Maree O’Brien LinkedIn
Kate Maree O’Brien Facebook
Kate Maree O’Brien Twitter
Kate Maree O’Brien YouTube
Kate Maree O’Brien Shop
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

4 Day Week – Andrew Barnes Order Now

Fuel Your Body For Leadership Performance Read ArticleHow Exercise Enhances A Leaders Performance Read Article
Four Basic Fundamentals Of Being A High Performing Leader Read Article
How To Be A High Performing Leader In 2020 Read Article
active CEO Lessons In 2019 Read Article
Four Ways To Overcome CEO Loneliness In 2020 Read Article

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8 Tips to Start 2019 With the Right Intent

You are finishing up your well-deserved Christmas and New Years holiday, and if you got it right, you will feel fresh, recharged, and have the passion to lead with purpose.

Now, works commences in a few days and you want to bring you’re A-Game and start 2019 with the intent and energy you wish to continue all year.

Last year, you probably came out with all guns blazing, without much thought, and within a few weeks, days or in some cases a couple of hours, were back to your old habits, routines and potentially mistakes.

There is a much smarter way, if you want to deliver a high performance environment for both your team and yourself.

Those closest to you will appreciate it!

Before we get started, did your plan of having a holiday that allowed you to relax, rejuvenate and forget all about the stresses of work come to fruition?

I would expect not for many of you as you were unable to switch off an allow yourself the time and space, from work, to fully recharge.

So lets take a look at some proven ways to ensure that you are being your best possible self, every single day, through the decisions you make, habits you create and mindset you start with when you walk into the office on day one:


Eat a healthy meal, hydrate yourself and go to bed early the night before your first day back in the office. Allow yourself the opportunity to get at least 8hrs sleep, leave the phone or any other electronic devices tucked away, and wake up and do at least 30 minutes of exercise and/or meditation. Wait until after you have had a healthy breakfast, which includes fruit, with your partner or family. Make sure you are present with those you choose to have breakfast with.

Groom yourself so that you present the image that creates a positive feeling for both yourself and the people you interact with. Take a deep breath, clear the mind and walk into the office with positive energy, a smile and posture that breaths confidence. Acknowledge everyone, be present and actively listen to their exciting holiday adventures.


Many people fly out the door in a rush on the last day before their vacation. In a perfect world, you will ‘wipe the table’ so to speak before you depart so that you can come in fresh on day one, without the stresses that have built up in the previous year. If not, clear your desk, remove any unwanted documents and ‘reset the table’ that will allow you to work with clarity, focus and without distraction, before you commence anything else.


Before you turn on a compute or check your phone for emails, you should write a plan. It will be the best 30minutes spent all year, because your mind will have greater clarity and broader perspective following a holiday. This will allow you to brainstorm what is important to your role; design and create a strategy; and put an action plan in place so you can commence your work with less stress and more than likely increased productivity for 2019. You may want to do this in nature or somewhere with a great view, before you sit down at your desk.


What will really make a difference in 2019? Being able to reset your priorities is so valuable after a break as what you thought was important prior to the break, may not have such urgency anymore. Setting priorities that create a quick win, to get the team energised and pumped up early in the year, are just as important as creating the priorities that will bring long-term benefits to both you’re the company and your performance.


Something that I have found really useful over many years is to create a simple weekly spreadsheet, with five columns:

  1. Urgent – Today
  2. Important – Tomorrow
  3. Valuable – By the end of the week
  4. Useful – Next week
  5. Completed – Everything that has been completed this week

What it does is allow you to prioritise and reprioritise daily to ensure that you are being the most productive. In general there will only be 3-5 items in each column. Anything more than that and you will become overwhelmed and stress levels will gradually build and take command of your mindset and actions.


Creating positive habits and routines that allow you to deliver performance in the work you do and with the people you lead requires both great self-discipline and self-control. Taking breaks every 45-60minutes, even for just 1-5minutes, allows your mind to recharge and focus. This doesn’t mean checking emails on your phone and talking about work to a colleague. It means switching off and giving your mind a break.

Constantly checking emails and having alerts going off on phones, is the greatest distraction of productivity that effect most people. Try checking your emails only 2 or 3 times per day. I find I am most effective when I check emails at 10am and 3pm. It allows me to focus my time on projects and important meetings, rather than cluttering my head with too many thoughts and ideas. You will also find that many problems are solved and questions are answered by the time you check the email.


After you have had breakfast, make your lunch, fill a couple of bottles of water, and grab some snacks like fruit, nuts and health bars to take to work. One you will save money and time going out to get food throughout the day, and two you will eat a lot healthier.

This doesn’t mean that you continue working while eating as you need to give yourself a longer break, especially during the middle of the day, you recharge and refocus so you can be productive right until you leave the office.


This year, you need to ensure that you are having fun, laughing and being inspired by the people you work with. This type of environment starts with how you arrive each day and ensuring you bring energy and a positive attitude.

Looking for More?

To perform you need CLARITY, PURPOSE, DIRECTION and ENERGY. It’s that time of year when you reflect on 2018 and think about what you want to achieve in 2019. Use our FREE active CEO Performance Planning tool.

Do you need a coach to help you focus your attention, setting the right goals and enhancing your personal development in 2019? Then find out more on what we offer by visiting the COACHING section

Keep up-to-date on the latest membership information, research and ideas by signing up the the NRGizer Newsletter. SIGN UP NOW

Are you looking for more insights and ideas? Then read the following inspiring and thought-provoking articles and podcasts: