Damian Hughes

A Peak Performance Expert

Damian Hughes is the author of eight best-selling business books, including Liquid Thinking, Liquid Leadership, How to Change Absolutely Anything, How to Think Like Sir Alex Ferguson and The Five STEPS to a Winning Mindset. His latest book, High Performance: Lessons from the Best on Becoming Your Best, has been a no 1 Sunday Times best seller. His work has been translated into ten languages.

He was nominated for the 2007 William Hill Sports book of the year for Peerless, his biography of Sugar Ray Robinson. In 2009, he co-authored the acclaimed biography, Hitman: the Thomas Hearns Story. His 2013 biography, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, became the UK’s bestselling sports biography.

He was appointed as a visiting Professor of Organisational Behaviour & Change at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2010.

Damian is co-host of the popular High Performance Podcast, and has served on the coaching teams for England Rugby League, England Roses, Scotland Rugby Union among many others.

Damian’s talk

How Peak Performers Find the Path to Courage

The legendary Manchester United player Roy Keane is famously quoted as saying, “People say ‘go with the flow’ but do you know what goes with the flow? Dead fish.”

Naturally no conscious human with an ounce of ambition for their future hopes to be reduced to the passivity of a dead fish. But surprisingly getting beyond going with the flow is a hell of a lot harder than you might think.

For many people, it’s remarkably easy to unthinkingly follow the crowd and then get lost in it. In Damian’s talk, he wants to show the pattern of change that all high achievers have to pass through in order to take control of their lives: Ridicule, Opposition & Acceptance.

The paradox which lies at the heart of courage is in learning to overcome allodoxaphobia, which is the official name given to the fear of being ridiculed by other people. It is the second most common phobia in the UK (behind our fear of spiders). Damian will show how courage is not about great acts of bravery, moments of glory or heroic achievements: it is a willingness to stand apart, to risk ridicule and looking foolish. He hopes this talk will inspire you to take the courageous path.

Sally Adee
Anthony Ogbuokiri
Angela Samata

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