Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #180 Darren Fleming Mindset Mastery

Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #180 Darren Fleming Mindset Mastery

Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast #180 Darren Fleming Mindset Mastery

Mindset Mastery

On this episode of the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Darren Fleming about Mindset Mastery, mental momentum and the marvels of the human brain.

We also dive deep into the world of health and athleticism, meditation and awareness, using positive psychology, and dealing with unwanted thoughts.

Darren Fleming – Mindset Mastery

Darren Fleming is a Peak Performance Strategist, behavioral scientist, former international elite athlete, and a prolific author with six books on communication, leadership, and influence under his belt. He’s recently launched a new book called Mindset Mastery that’s bound to change the game.

With a degree in Psychology from the University of South Australia and a background in neuro-linguistic programming, he has an incredible journey to share with us. From being a para-legal to a debt collector, he’s taken up leadership, training, and coaching roles at Westpac and even worked as a statistician for the Australian government. He’s on a mission to help major Australian and international companies unleash their full potential. With a passion for helping people overcome their limitations and achieve their goals with greater ease, he’s worked with top Global 100 companies such as CISCO, Caterpillar, and Komatsu.

Darren talks about:

  • Growing up in a rough environment
  • Finding love in the world of sports
  • Mindset Mastery
  • Sensory body feedback loop and how do we engage with the world
  • Mental momentum
  • Don’t be a D!ck
  • Feeling the fear and doing things anyway
  • Taking ownership and responsibility of everything
  • Preventing moments of exclusion
  • Meditation and awareness


“Always have awareness a hundred percent all the time during the day. That’s the first thing. Action. Well, take action when you need to. It’s not an either-or.” Darren Fleming talks about meditation and awareness on the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast. 

“Don’t turn your back, don’t cover your ears, don’t close your heart.” How to prevent exclusion with Darren Fleming on the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast. 

“I would simply just say be curious, curious, act with love, act or come from love is probably the better perception. Just do something that interests you.” Darren Fleming on creating an energy flow for situations on the Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast. 

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Darren Fleming
Darren Fleming LinkedIn
Darren Fleming Twitter
Speakers Institute Corporate
Craig Johns
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn
Craig Johns Facebook
Inspiring Great Leaders Podcast

Recommended Reading:

Mindset Mastery Book
Don’t be a D!ck Book

active CEO Podcast 76 Paul Veric The Peaceful Warrior CEO

active CEO Podcast #76 Paul Veric The Peaceful Warrior CEO

active CEO Podcast 76 Paul Veric The Peaceful Warrior CEO
Paul Veric – Director BTE Consulting Ltd

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Paul Veric about being a Peaceful Warrior CEO, lessons learnt as a transformational CEO, allowing children to build their own resilience, speaking to students about suicide and love, and the responsibility of protecting communities.

We also talk about being Head Boy and Headmaster of New Plymouth Boys High School, why Surf Lifesaving is such an effective platform for developing future leaders, growing up in Taranaki in New Zealand, and what it took to be a New Zealand Kayak and Surf Lifesaving champion.

Paul Veric – The Peaceful Warrior CEO

Paul is a transformational leader, who is intuitive, professional and highly engaging. His talents go beyond the business world into community organisations such as, surf lifesaving, education and regional health, as well as being a national champion surf lifesaver and kayaker. He is a Peaceful Warrior, personable influencer, proud father of two sons and active CEO who you will regularly find recharging on a skateboard, surfboard, MTB or in the pool.

Studying at the University of Waikato, he has a Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Leisure Studies, Health and PE. Paul’s early career began as a teacher and then managerial roles at Surf Lifesaving New Zealand, Howard Wright Ltd and Gen-I/ Spark Digital. As a natural leader he has assumed CEO roles at Sport Eastland, Swimming NZ and Taranaki Rugby Football Union, as well as recently being the Headmaster of New Plymouth Boys High School. As a proud servant to the community, he has held Director and Board roles at the Taranaki District Health Board, Kaitake Community Board, Oakura School, NZ Academy of Sport and Surf Lifesaving Wellington.

Paul talks about:

  • Overcoming the shock of being announced as Head Boy & a fear of public speaking.
  • Why Tom Ryder had a profound influence in shaping him as a leader.
  • The New Plymouth Boys High School Haka, being truly world class.
  • Managing the huge passion involved in sport.
  • His leadership style & why it is suited to transformational change.
  • Being told that you can’t do it, then I will go out & prove them wrong.
  • Making mistakes in staff management & managing employees.
  • Creating simplicity as organisations try to be too clever & complex.
  • Responsibility of protecting the community in an environment that deserves so much respect.
  • Becoming headmaster of New Plymouth Boys High School.
  • What skills are you looking for? What skills do you want for the next five years.
  • Having the best seat in the house to observe everything that is wonderful about young people.
  • Why society protects our children too much.
  • Grave concerns for the mental health for young New Zealanders.
  • Perceived as being quite tough & uncompromising around standards.
  • Parents having real conversations with their boys about mental health.
  • Being a Peaceful Warrior CEO
  • Representing New Zealand, & winning national surf lifesaving & kayak titles.
  • Physical activity is a big stress release for me, as It is one place that you don’t have a phone.

Active CEO Performance Tip

CEO Preparedness – People make acquisitions because they like and trust the person or people they are speaking or planning to working with. Therefore the content and performance preparation, for a meeting or interaction, is an absolute must. Have you thought about how much time do you spend preparing for an interaction with a person or group of people, in regards to what you need to say to achieve the desired outcome, mood you want to set, focus needed and the way you need to use both verbal and non-verbal communication to achieve the result you are aiming for?


“How do I get across to these kids that they are actually cared about, we do take an interest in them and deeper than that, their life is worth something and worth something to us.” The why behind Paul Veric speaking to students about suicide and love, on the active CEO Podcast.

“I perhaps didn’t really get the scale of what I signed into until I arrived. Because I was naïve and didn’t really do my research into some of the things I was getting myself into.” Overcoming challenges in new CEO roles with Paul Veric, on the active CEO Podcast.

“I try hard as a parent I try to not rush in and solve my kid’s daily struggles with life and friends. Taking your hands actually off the steering wheel and letting them be kids and figure things out for themselves.” Paul Veric speaks about allowing children to build their own reslience, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Paul Veric LinkedIn
Paul Veric Facebook
Subscribe to active CEO Podcast on Itunes
active CEO Coaching
Craig Johns Keynote Speaker
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

He’ll Be Ok – Celia Lashlie Growing Gorgeous Boys into Good Men
4 Day Week – Andrew Barnes Order Now

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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active CEO Podcast #51 Chris Robb Money Can’t Buy Experiences

Chris Robb Mass Participation World Money Cant Buy Experiences
Chris Robb – Founder Mass Participation World

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Chris Robb about mass participation sport events, growing the Standard Chartered Marathon to over 60,00 participants, being the course manager for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games marathon, and changing people’s lives through money can’t buy experiences. We also delve into the immense power of pause, coping with it being lonely at the top as a CEO, collaborative leadership, inspiring others to make a powerful impact on the world and serving a tennis ball into the back of Sir Richard Branson’s head.

Chris Robb – Money Can’t Buy Experiences.

Chris is an international authority on iconic large-scale mass participation events; a humble, loyal and curious leader; and a passionate family man now living in Bali, Indonesia. He is an enabler of people to have an active and healthy lifestyle, author of Mass Participation Sports Events and Better business Better Life Better World, is a high impact consultant and a champion of Buy 1 Give 1.

Growing up in Zimbabwe, he studied a Bachelor Commerce and Bachelor of Agricultural Management at the University of KwaZulu-Nattal. Getting his first taste of event management while at high school, our guest has over 30 years experience organising and leading events. During his career he has been at the helm of events for more than one million participants in the likes of Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Zimbabwe, South Africa and India.

He established Spectrum Worldwide in Australia in 1992, where he worked on the 2000 Sydney Olympics, before establishing himself in Singapore at the commencement of the Asian health and fitness boom in the 2000’s. In 2015 he established Mass Participation Asia, an annual conference for event stakeholders, before selling Spectrum Worldwide to IRONMAN, in 2016.

Chris talks about:

  • Life growing up on a farm in Zimbabwe, during the independence war.
  • Having a rich upbringing from life experiences, even though they were financially poor.
  • The importance of embracing circumstances you find yourself in.
  • Being an 800m and 1500m runner training on farm tracks and dirt roads.
  • Planning to go back and run the family business on the farm.
  • Being involved in organising the Comrades Marathon while studying at University.
  • Changing people’s lives through money can’t buy experiences.
  • Getting parents out and getting active with their kids.
  • Getting more governments globally to recognise the value of sport especially the social and health impact.
  • Organising the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon with over 60,000 participants.
  • Expanding the JP Morgan corporate challenge running events into Asia.
  • Partnering with Dave Hansen from Supersprint Events and Robbie McEwan.
  • Going from zero to sixty thousand customers within 6 months.
  • Ramping up from a team of 30 to more than 5,000 people over a 3 month period.
  • A mindset expecting that there is going to be a curveball will be thrown at you.
  • Collaborative leadership where you are always looking for a solution.
  • Surround yourself with a great group of mentors much like an athlete has.
  • Having ritual’s and keeping yourself mentally and physically in shape.
  • Helping make it easier for our future leaders to grow in the industry.

Active CEO Wellness Tip

Life Is Not A Dress Rehearsal – It is important that you turn up, show up and be present right now. It’s not about what you did yesterday or what you plan in the future. It is all about this one second, one minute, one hour or even one day and you are ready to go.


“Connecting with a community and a tribe and doing training and things together and taking you into the outdoors. It’s crucial for the health and wellbeing of the world.” Chris Robb talking about the power of sport and events on bringing people together, on the active CEO Podcast.

“I love putting that jigsaw together and making sure that everyone knows what they are doing, but also empowering them to make decisions.” Chris Robb on leading people, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Chris Robb LinkedIn
Chris Robb Facebook
Chris Robb Website
Chris Robb Email
Mass Participation World
Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

Mass Participation Sports Events Chris Robb
Better Business Better Life Better World Chris Robb

High Performance Leadership

active CEO Podcast #49 Alex Baumann High Performance Leadership

High Performance Leadership

On this episode of the Sportspeople Recruitment active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Alex Baumann about overcoming tragedy to win two Olympic Gold swimming medals, transforming coaches of high performance into high-performing coaches, high performance leadership, and his new role as Chief Strategist High Performance at Swimming Australia. We also dive into being a swimming parent, balancing wellness and performance, the importance of empathy and building trust, and the principles of high performance leadership.

Alex Baumann

Alex Baumann sets very high standards, doesn’t settle for mediocrity, and has a proven record in leading successful teams and sport organisations. He is one of the worlds’ leading sports administrators, International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee, husband to Australian swimmer Tracey Taggart and humble sporting parent of two International swimmers.

He was born in Prague Czechoslovakia, however grew up in Canada winning two swimming gold medals and setting two world records at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Alex holds an Honours degree in Political Science from Laurentian University, a Graduate Diploma of Education from the University of Queensland, and holds an Honorary Doctorate from Laurentian University.

His career has included working as a sports administrator in Canada, Australia and New Zealand with roles as CEO and Executive Director roles at of Queensland Swimming, Queensland Academy of Sport, Canada’s Road to Excellence Program, Canadian Olympic Committee’s Own the Podium, High Performance Sport New Zealand and is currently the Swimming Australia’s Chief Strategist, High Performance.

Alex talks about:

  • When you have some success early on you want more.
  • Swimming with the Dr. Jeno Tihanyi and the legendary coach James ‘Doc’ Counsilman.
  • Winning the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games 200m IM and 400m IM swimming gold medals in World Record times.
  • Coping with the tragedies of losing both his father and brother.
  • A majority of Gold Medallists have had to deal with some sort of trauma.
  • The pressure of being the current world record holder going into an Olympic Games.
  • Balancing athlete wellbeing and high performance.
  • Transforming coaches of high performance into high-performing coaches.
  • You get the best out of athletes when you can empower them.
  • Winning when it matters to inspire a nation.
  • Embracing pressure, rather than seeing it as a negative.  
  • How Wilma Shakespeare guided his introduction to sports administration.
  • The ability to challenge in a way that doesn’t offend people.
  • The differences in High Performance leadership in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
  • How a CEO or leader balances resources versus being resourceful.
  • Sometimes we get too complex to get that additional 1%.
  • There was not one word of winning in the Swimming Australia High Performance strategy.
  • One of my challenges is ensuring I have enough balance between work and family life.
  • The importance of urgency and the need to react quickly.
  • You have to keep doing new things and reinventing yourself through new things.
  • What drives each individual?
  • Once you think you know it all, you are dead in the water.

Active CEO Wellness Tip

Commitment To Excellence – Own where you want to go, constantly work at it, have the discipline to strive for excellence around how you are going to do it and why you are going to do it and make sure you put that plan into action. You need to commit to excellence if you want to be excellent.


“Pressure is a positive thing as ultimately it gets the best out of us. Obviously if there is too much you get stiff, you just cant perform, The negative thoughts come into your mind and the pressure gets to you. Embrace it versus letting it consume you.” Embracing pressure with Alex Baumann, on the active CEO Podcast.

“When I got to the Olympics I had been through it all. You could throw anything at me and I would still be able to perform.” Alex Baumann on overcoming adversity, on the active CEO Podcast.

“I can’t worry about external things. I have to just concentrate on what I have to do. I have done the physical preparation, I am psychologically ready, I’ve competed against all these guys and I have beaten them.” Alex Baumann understanding the pressure of being an Olympian, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Alex Baumann LinkedIn
Alex Baumann Wikipedia
Swimming Australia
International Swimming Hall of Fame Bio
Craig Johns
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

Swimming With Alex Baumann: A Program for Competitive and Recreational Swimmers link

actve CEO Podcast Indiran Padayachee Rentcorp Winning Only Matters

active CEO Podcast #6 Indiran Padayachee Winning Only Matters

PCB Vol 6- Indiran Padayachee
Indiran Padayachee – Founder & CEO Rentcorp Forklifts

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns and Ben Gathercole speak with Indiran Padayachee delving into his performance and precision mind, discussing immigrating from South Africa to Australia, working in Toyota, leading Rentcorp, allowing people to mistakes, investing in your competitors, innovation through diversification of staff, being an active CEO and why racing Porsche GT Cup cars is his ‘Golf” outlet.

Indiran Padayachee

Indiran Padayachee is the Founder, Director and CEO of Rentcorp Forklifts. Indiran immigrated to Australia in 1987 and has been building RentCorp, a Forklift rental company, in Sydney. Indiran is also a dedicated and very successful Porsche Cup competitor, which is one of the most competitive one make series in the world. He is a very humble, well respected, and leads through empowerment.

Indiran talks about:

  • The challenges of immigrating from South Africa to Australia in the 1980’s
  • Dealing with leaving behind a well-established lifestyle and family network
  • How working with Toyota gave him the stepping stones to starting his own business
  • Why it was important to work locally, get to know the culture, what was and wasn’t acceptable, business environment, and meeting customers and people
  • What the materials and handling industry involves and how it is evolving
  • The importance of a rapidly changing IT world
  • Investing time in knowing what your competitors are doing, finding alternatives, in-house training, empowering people and providing exceptional service.
  • Using a collaborative and empowerment centered leadership style
  • Allowing people to make mistakes
  • If someone needs a solution, then the present 3 options
  • How Rentcorp fosters innovation
  • Why the staff write down five points each day
  • Opportunities to discuss new ideas
  • Finding something simple
  • What he does to stay active and healthy
  • The alignment of motorsport and business
  • Why the sign in the Rentcorp Boardroom says “Business is Like a war, only winning matters.”
  • Innovation through diversification of staff
  • Motorsport being his ‘golf’ outlet
  • Mental preparation before opening the door handle
  • Precision in the process of racing a Porsche GT Cup car
  • Why his licence plate reads “My Way”.
  • His wife having the greatest impact on his career


“Business is Like a war, only winning matters.” with Indiran Padayachee. You can listen here

Why is the innovation through diversification of staff, and the alignment between driving a Porsche and business, so important to success? Listen to Indiran Padayachee and gain an insight into leading by example on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben’s best selling book

Previous active CEO Podcast Episodes:

#5 – Suzie Hoitink (Clear Complexions) – Enemy of a Great Life is a Good One link
#4 – Rene Zondag (PBI) – People Are Our Greatest Asset link
#3 – Anne Gripper (NSW Office of Sport) – 6 C’s of Leadership link 
#2 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 2 link
#1 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 1 link