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Finding Mastery: Conversations with Michael Gervais
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Finding Mastery: Conversations with Michael Gervais

Author: Dr. Michael Gervais

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I’ve been in the trenches with some of the best performers in the world – some who shift how we conceive what’s possible — others who have pushed their own boundaries — ranging from hall of fame athletes to action sport game-changers, entrepreneurs, Mixed Martial Artists, to musicians who influence the rhythm of the world. I’m Dr. Michael Gervais, and I’m excited to decode the many paths toward mastery and provide applied practices that we can all use to be and do more in our lives.
171 Episodes
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Matt Brady, Retired U.S. Army Major
This week’s conversation is with retired U.S. Army Major Matt Brady.Matt is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point where he was ranked #1 of 940 cadets in leadership for 7 consecutive semesters and graduated in the top 5% of his class overall.While serving in the Army on active duty, Matt flew over 2,000 hours in the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior (Reconnaissance), MH- 47D, and MH-47G Chinook helicopters (Army Special Operations).A seasoned combat veteran, he has deployed 12 times to both Iraq and Afghanistan and commanded forces during multiple high stakes/pressure conflicts including the 3rd Infantry Division charge to Baghdad in 2003 and “Operation REDWING,” the tragic SEAL mission depicted in the movie “Lone Survivor.”His awards include the Air Medal for combat Valor in both Iraq and Afghanistan and the Bronze Star Medal.Matt retired from the U.S. Army in late 2016 after two decades of service to the Nation.There is so much to unpack in this conversation.I’m sure many of you are familiar with the “Lone Survivor” story but for those who aren’t, definitely take a moment and look up it.While Matt was fortunate enough to survive that mission, the decisions he faced that day lived with him for years afterwards.And that’s a focal point of this conversation.What was his thought process like in an incredibly hostile situation? One that was near impossible to prepare for?How did he cope with those decisions after the fact and how did it impact his life?You may rethink what you deem as a “difficult decision” and the things that are worth “dwelling on” after listening to this conversation.This episode is brought to you by:Athletic Greens: The most complete supplement for a better you. With 75 ingredients covering 11 areas of health, it gives you the optimum nutrition you need to perform your best, everyday.Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!Claim here: athleticgreens.com/findingmastery
Suzy Whaley, PGA of America President
This week’s conversation is with Suzy Whaley, the PGA of America's first female President.Prior to being elected President last November, Suzy served for two years as PGA Secretary, and two years as Vice President.She is also the PGA Owner of Suzy Whaley Golf in Cromwell, Connecticut and the PGA Director of Instruction at the Country Club at Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.Suzy is recognized as one of the country’s top golf instructors and has won numerous teaching awards including: Golf Digest Top 50 Instructor, LPGA Top 50 Instructor, Connecticut PGA Two-Time Teacher of the Year, Golf Digest State Teacher of the Year 10 times, and she’s instructed more than 300 children to collegiate golf.A dual member of the PGA of America and LPGA Teaching & Club Professional division, Suzy was a LPGA Tour member in 1990 and 1993.She famously qualified and participated in the 2003 Greater Hartford Open, becoming the first woman since Babe Zaharias in 1945 to qualify for a PGA Tour event.We discuss what that experience was like for her: the pressure that went into competing on the Men’s tour and how she overcame a moment where her nerves got the best of her.And …. how did that experience prepare her for current role, as she once again finds herself in a similar situation, charting new territory, this time as the leader of a massive organization.Athletic Greens: The most complete supplement for a better you. With 75 ingredients covering 11 areas of health, it gives you the optimum nutrition you need to perform your best, everyday.Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!Claim here: athleticgreens.com/findingmastery
Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors Head Coach
This week’s conversation is with Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors.Currently in his fifth season as head coach, Steve has guided the club through four of the most prolific seasons in NBA history with a list of accomplishments that includes:Three NBA championshipsFour-straight NBA Finals appearancesThe NBA’s single-season wins record (73)An NBA Coach of the Year award (2015-16)Four of the five winningest seasons in franchise historySteve, who won five NBA championships during a 15-year playing career, now owns eight championships as either a player or coach, becoming the first to win three NBA titles as a player and three as a coach.So I think it’s clear – Steve understands winning but he’s searching for something beyond that.He has made it a point to revolve the Warriors’ culture around joy.In this conversation, we discuss how Steve went about building the Warriors’ culture, what he’s most hungry for, and his biggest challenge at the moment – finding a way to keep the Warriors motivated and playing with joy after they’ve already experienced so much previous success.Steve is one of the brightest minds in the game of basketball and I think you’re going to love his insights on not just basketball, but life as a whole.This episode is brought to you by:Athletic Greens: The most complete supplement for a better you. With 75 ingredients covering 11 areas of health, it gives you the optimum nutrition you need to perform your best, everyday.Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!Claim here: athleticgreens.com/findingmastery
Kevin Carroll, Author, Speaker, Creative Catalyst
This week’s conversation is with Kevin Carroll, an author, speaker and creative catalyst.It is Kevin’s job to inspire businesses, organizations and individuals - from CEOs and employees of Fortune 500 companies to schoolchildren - to embrace their spirit of play and creativity to maximize their human potential and sustain more meaningful business and personal growth.He has helped turn creative ideas into reality for organizations such as Nike, Starbucks, Adidas, Walt Disney, Target, Proctor & Gamble, Under Armour, Mattel, the NBA and many others.The focus of this conversation is much more about how Kevin became the man he is today rather than the “what” of his accomplishments so I want to give a quick rundown of Kevin’s stops along the way.Raised by his grandparents in Philadelphia, Kevin spent endless hours at the neighborhood playground where he found his calling: a red rubber ball.His subsequent pursuit of play and his ‘red rubber ball’ took him overseas with the Air Force, where he served as a language interpreter and translator, gaining fluency in Croatian, Czech, Serbian, and German.After serving in the Air Force for ten years and earning his college degree, Kevin became an athletic trainer at the high school and collegiate levels in Philadelphia.His expertise in sport performance recognized by the 76ers organization and led to his job as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Philadelphia 76ers in 1995.While at the 76ers, Nike tapped Kevin to bring his unique experiences to the sneaker giant in 1997.Although no job “officially” existed at the time, Kevin was directed to create a position at the company that would add value to the overall mission of the brand.Kevin left Nike in 2004 to create his own company, Kevin Carroll Katalyst, committed to elevating the power of sport and play around the world. This episode is brought to you by:Athletic Greens: The most complete supplement for a better you. With 75 ingredients covering 11 areas of health, it gives you the optimum nutrition you need to perform your best, everyday.Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!Claim here: athleticgreens.com/findingmastery
Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank CEO and Group Managing Director
This week’s conversation is with Herbert Wigwe, a Nigerian banker, entrepreneur, and the Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank.He is an Alumnus of Harvard Business School’s Executive Management Programme.From his early 20’s, Herbert began what would become a successful career in banking and finance, and his first entrepreneurial venture, would be his most successful.In 2002, Herbert and his long-time partner were presented with the prospect of acquiring a small-scale commercial bank, Access Bank.Herbert had spent over a decade at Guaranty Trust Bank and was in-line to becoming the Executive Director in charge of institutional banking.To have even considered such a decision of obtaining what was then ranked the 65th largest bank in Nigeria seemed like career suicide but Herbert seized the opportunity.In 2016, The Banker Database ranked Access Bank in the top 1,000 banks in the world.Today, Access Bank is one of the largest Banks in Africa, a feat which is attributable to his ingenuity and expertise.I was invited to Nigeria to visit Herbert and Access Bank as a part of the work that we’re doing with them at Compete to Create.It was my first time in Africa and I was amazed by the vibrance of the people there.When we consider what's at the center of mastery, it’s so valuable to hear from people across the globe, so I think you’ll really appreciate getting to hear from Herbert.This episode is brought to you by:Athletic Greens: The most complete supplement for a better you. With 75 ingredients covering 11 areas of health, it gives you the optimum nutrition you need to perform your best, everyday.Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!Claim here: athleticgreens.com/findingmasteryWHOOP: Get Insight & Analysis into Your Body's Recovery, Strain, & Sleep with WHOOP. Join Now! Waterproof Strap. Monitor Strain. 24/7 Performance Tracking.Your first month of WHOOP FREE with the code FINDINGMASTERY at checkout!Claim here: https://www.whoop.com/findingmastery/
Scott Kriens, 1440 Multiversity Co-Founder
This week’s conversation is with Scott Kriens, chairman and former CEO of Juniper Networks.Scott has been in the technology industry for more than 35 years.Holding early roles at Burroughs Corp and Tandem, Scott moved to EVP of Sales and Operations at StrataCom before helping found Juniper Networks in 1996.During his tenure, he served as chairman and CEO, growing the company to more than 10,000 employees in over 100 countries worldwide and $4 billion in revenue, and remains chairman today.In 2010, Scott and his wife Joanie founded 1440 Foundation and recently completed 1440 Multiversity, a state-of-the-art immersive learning destination set on a 75-acre redwood forest near Santa Cruz County, CA.What really stands out in this conversation is Scott’s authenticity, his willingness to be vulnerable, and how much he genuinely cares about getting to the center of what’s real.While Scott appears wildly successful on the surface, the passing of his father made him rethink how he was living his life.He realized the external rewards he was chasing weren’t fulfilling anymore and forced himself to answer the question, “What really matters most to me?”Think about that question as you listen.This episode is brought to you by:Athletic Greens: The most complete supplement for a better you. With 75 ingredients covering 11 areas of health, it gives you the optimum nutrition you need to perform your best, everyday.Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!Claim here: athleticgreens.com/findingmasteryWHOOP: Get Insight & Analysis into Your Body's Recovery, Strain, & Sleep with WHOOP. Join Now! Waterproof Strap. Monitor Strain. 24/7 Performance Tracking.Your first month of WHOOP FREE with the code FINDINGMASTERY at checkout!Claim here: https://www.whoop.com/findingmastery/
Annabel Anderson, 5x SUP World Champion
This week’s conversation is with Annabel Anderson, the world #1 female SUP athlete from 2012-2017.Annabel has won the biggest titles in the sport of stand up paddling multiple times – She’s a 5x world champion, has beaten the best men in the sport, and orchestrated the campaign that resulted for equal pay and opportunities for female athletes globally.She is also an elite cyclist & mountain biker, skier, sailor, and surfer.If there was ever anyone who lived up to the moniker of versatile – Annabel Anderson is it.Career ending injuries curtailed a promising ski racing and triathlon career as a young athlete resulting in 11 major surgeries by the age of 24.Versatility, adaptability, and a relentless pursuit for marginal gains became common themes.But maybe the greatest challenge lies yet. This past year, she's had multiple freak accidents resulting in an extremely broken body. The challenge is now to return to normal function and to face what ever the next chapter holds.This conversation cuts right to the center of how Annabel became the person she is today and what’s been behind her success.It’s not everyday we get to hear from someone who’s won as much as Annabel and I think you’ll be interested to learn her views on it:In Annabel’s words:“Winning is really fun the first or second time and then it becomes normal, and then it becomes expected. How do you raise and elevate and deal with the internal pressure and the expectations of others? When winning becomes the one dependent it’s not exactly a great game to be playing. It has a finite end.”I can't wait for you to learn from Annabel. This episode is brought to you by:Athletic Greens: The most complete supplement for a better you. With 75 ingredients covering 11 areas of health, it gives you the optimum nutrition you need to perform your best, everyday.Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!Claim here: athleticgreens.com/findingmasteryWHOOP: Get Insight & Analysis into Your Body's Recovery, Strain, & Sleep with WHOOP. Join Now! Waterproof Strap. Monitor Strain. 24/7 Performance Tracking.Your first month of WHOOP FREE with the code FINDINGMASTERY at checkout!Claim here: https://www.whoop.com/findingmastery/Halo Neuroscience: Halo Sport, the first product from Halo Neuroscience, uses Neuropriming technology to improve the brain’s response to motor skill training.  $100 off Halo Sport when you purchase via this Finding Mastery link: http://gethalosport.com/findingmastery
Brian Mackenzie, Human Performance Specialist
This week’s conversation is with Brian Mackenzie, an expert in the development and application of custom protocols to optimize human health and performance.His work harnesses and integrates respiratory, movement, strength and endurance-based training approaches to elicit positive results.His protocols have been used to accelerate and raise both mental and physical performance in world-class Olympic and professional athletes, top executives, and elite military operators, as well as to improve the health for everyday people to those suffering from various chronic illnesses.Along with innovating the endurance, strength and conditioning paradigm, he has studied altitude, heat & cold exposure and breath work.Brian co-founded and created Power Speed Endurance (PSE), an online programming, coaching and educational platform that specializes in movement & skill development in sport.He also co-authored the books Power Speed Endurance, NYTimes Best Seller UnBreakable Runner, and most recently UnPlugged.This episode is brought to you by:Athletic Greens: The most complete supplement for a better you. With 75 ingredients covering 11 areas of health, it gives you the optimum nutrition you need to perform your best, everyday.Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!Claim here: athleticgreens.com/findingmasteryWHOOP: Get Insight & Analysis into Your Body's Recovery, Strain, & Sleep with WHOOP. Join Now! Waterproof Strap. Monitor Strain. 24/7 Performance Tracking.Your first month of WHOOP FREE with the code FINDINGMASTERY at checkout!Claim here: https://www.whoop.com/findingmastery/Halo Neuroscience: Halo Sport, the first product from Halo Neuroscience, uses Neuropriming technology to improve the brain’s response to motor skill training.  $100 off Halo Sport when you purchase via this Finding Mastery link: http://gethalosport.com/findingmastery
Dr. John Ratey, Neuropsychiatry Expert
This week’s conversation is with bestselling author, Dr. John Ratey, an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an internationally recognized expert in Neuropsychiatry.He has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles, and 11 books published in 17 languages, including the groundbreaking ADD-ADHD “Driven to Distraction” series with Ned Hallowell.With the publication of "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain," Dr. Ratey has established himself as one of the world's foremost authorities on the brain-fitness connection.His most recent book, “Go Wild” explores how we can achieve optimal physical and mental health by getting in touch with our caveman roots, and how we can “re-wild” our lives.Recognized by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America since 1997, Dr. Ratey was recently honored by the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society as "Outstanding Psychiatrist of the Year" for advancing the field.John is an expert in human focus and especially in this day and age, it’s one of the most valuable skills we can train.For those of you who are longtime Finding Mastery listeners, you may have noticed a question I like to ask is: “Where do you feel it in your body?”That’s one of John’s favorite questions and it highlights what this conversation is really about: attention.It starts with paying attention to your internal states of arousal.We discuss how arousal states, motivations, and the prefrontal cortex all play a role in making someone an expert at focusing.Being skilled at focusing goes hand-in-hand with being present and John shares some of his strategies for being present more often.This conversation is rich with insight and I hope it makes you more aware of your triggers for focusing deeply. This episode is brought to you by:Athletic Greens: The most complete supplement for a better you. With 75 ingredients covering 11 areas of health, it gives you the optimum nutrition you need to perform your best, everyday.Receive a free 20-count travel pack of Athletic Greens (valued at $99) with any purchase!Claim here: athleticgreens.com/findingmasteryWHOOP: Get Insight & Analysis into Your Body's Recovery, Strain, & Sleep with WHOOP. Join Now! Waterproof Strap. Monitor Strain. 24/7 Performance Tracking.Your first month of WHOOP FREE with the code FINDINGMASTERY at checkout!Claim here: https://www.whoop.com/findingmastery/Halo Neuroscience: Halo Sport, the first product from Halo Neuroscience, uses Neuropriming technology to improve the brain’s response to motor skill training.  $100 off Halo Sport when you purchase via this Finding Mastery link: http://gethalosport.com/findingmastery
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Comments (6)

Dan Rioux

Michael, as you know I love your podcast. but this one has been the best. you guys were very engaged, you let it flow, I cried, laughed, and took notes!!! how does that happen on one single podcast? bottle what you did here and repeat!!!!

Nov 17th
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Jennyfer Perdomo

thank you for this . will help me grow

Nov 1st
Reply

Alissa Johnson

90% of your guests are male. I would like a more gender-balanced guest list.

Oct 19th
Reply

Nelson Macias

buenos, sé zzt y tu familiaz

Aug 22nd
Reply

Lauren Chemplavil

I grew up in New England and was an age group swimmer there the same time as Erik, and can remember his work ethic as being legendary at that time (I'm shuddering thinking about a set of 30×1000s). I also remember meeting him once and was just the nicest guy, and that was reflected here. It's been so fun to watch his career end inspiring to hear his story as he transitioned to life after swimming. Great episode!

Aug 16th
Reply

Golden Whale

?

Jul 31st
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