What makes a good leader is more than just managing the people around you. Personal leadership is a telling trait and an essential skill for individuals in that role. Today’s guest has a fascinating story and is a prime example of personal leadership. Jeremiah Brown is a keynote speaker, father, and Olympic medalist. His book, The 4 Year Olympian, spent five weeks as a number one best-selling sports memoir in Canada and was featured in several media outlets. Today, Jeremiah has helped thousands find the courage to pursue ambitious goals and overcome the psychological traps and emotional pitfalls hidden along the way. In this episode, he shares what it’s like navigating life as an athlete, a father, and a leader. Listen in on his chat with Dr. Santor Nishizaki as they discuss imposter syndrome, resilience, parenting, and the future of work in the context of leadership.

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Personal Leadership: Lessons For Emerging And First-Time Leaders About Perseverance And Balancing Parenting From An Olympic-Medal Winner With Jeremiah Brown

Jeremiah Brown won an Olympic silver medal as a member of the Canadian men’s eight rowing team at the London 2012 Olympic Games. As a young father with a big dream, he has won the few Olympians ever to have started learning his sport only four years before winning a medal at the Olympics. Jeremiah spent the next four years after the Olympics working in a leadership capacity as a National Manager with the Canadian Olympic Committee implementing an athlete wellness and transition program for 3,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes. He has consulted for the International Olympic Committee and continues to advocate for athletes at all stages of development.

Jeremiah’s book The 4 Year Olympian spent five weeks as a number one bestselling sports memoir in Canada. His story has been featured on CBC, CTV, Rogers, Sportsnet, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and USA Today. As a top keynote speaker, Jeremiah has helped thousands of people find the courage to pursue ambitious goals and overcome the psychological traps and emotional pitfalls that lie hidden along the way. Let’s know what Jeremiah has to say about leading one’s self.

Welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here, Jeremiah. I’m excited to have an Olympics medal winner here. What age are you at the Olympics?

I was 26 when I was at the Olympics.

Tell me a little bit more about your story.

The story is one of wanting to achieve an audacious goal in my life. I was an athlete growing up. I played hockey and football. I tried a lot of different sports and never found the sport that at least I felt like I could truly excel at. When I was on the other side of university and after sustaining a shoulder injury, I was watching the Olympics and saw the Canadian men’s eight rowing team win a gold medal.

I remember watching them getting their medals and thinking, “They look a little bit like me so maybe I could do that.” That was the birth of this dream that unfolded into quite a journey of moving across the country with my family, finding a coach, starting to learn how to row frankly, falling out of the boat and taking it from there.

You started training for a sport you never played. I remember you telling me that you were watching it on TV and then four years go by, you’re holding an Olympic medal. That’s pretty incredible what you’re able to accomplish.

We’re skipping quite a bit of important steps in there.

We’re going to get into that for sure.

It was a wild ride and I was forced to learn a lot of lessons, both personal leadership and leading from within in the sports world. I was the benefit of the right timing, the right people around me, personal support networks, the teammates and the coaches guiding the way. It was a combination of an individual going after it, focusing on execution and also the right environment at the right time. You got to have both. That’s for sure.

Watching your keynote and hearing about your story, you talked a lot about you weren’t sure you should be there. This whole idea of Imposter syndrome has been a very popular topic. Anyone when moved to any type of field might feel Imposter syndrome. How did you handle that? What advice would you give to people who are dealing with that for the first time?

I’m still dealing with it. It’s something that we can catch up in thinking that other people don’t experience it and we uniquely do experience it. That’s the trap and the part of the whole issue with Imposter syndrome. The only thing that’s ever worked for me is to walk alongside the Imposter syndrome and not let it stop me from doing discreet things in the world chipping away.

Walk alongside the imposter syndrome and don’t let it stop you from doing things in the world. Share on X

It’s a matter of confidence that always catches up to actions. Eventually, it will dissipate but it will probably be much later than you would wish it to be. It will probably be at the point where you’re already on your way. There’s a reason why it’s not there anymore. It’s because you’re maybe competent and confidence soaring in your new field or whatever it is you’re trying to do. I don’t have a unique strategy for getting rid of it. One thing that I do is try to have a very strong personal narrative, that inner voice. I talk to myself.

Out loud or journaling?

I don’t talk out loud to myself but I do cultivate that inner talk to myself. It’s a mental affirmation saying, “Other people have been down this path. I’m not trying to do something that no one’s ever done before. I’m sure that I’m capable of learning and figuring out the mistakes along the way like all these other people who have done what I am trying to do that came before me.” Simple as that.

We have a pandemic, as we all know, which has been challenging. You’re an amazing keynote speaker. You speak to all types of large organizations about your journey. How have you been able to be resilient during this time? A lot of things were shut down and the industry was put on hold. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey there?

I invested a lot of my time and energy into live event presentations and keynote speaking. When Covid hit, the whole calendar got wiped out. For a lot of us in this space, it was a moment of, “Is my ability to earn income and create impact gone now?” I had to pivot to virtual. I was lucky because I had a big association event and it was one of the first events where instead of canceling it, they were going to pivot to virtual.

A client said, “We’re going to go to virtual.” I said, “I’m going to build my studio.” I had this strong incentive early on to get after it and figure out how to make it work. It was pretty stressful, especially with all the technical issues that as a speaker you had to be your own AV team at the same time and all that background stress while you’re trying to deliver a highly impactful presentation. It took living the message that I share in my keynotes, forcing myself to be adaptable and walking alongside the discomfort once again.

I’m sure you’re able to take a lot of your dealing with adversity to become an Olympic athlete and take those same types of concepts, which you speak about, to do this challenge. It sounds like you’re doing okay.

There’s a certain fatigue that you start to recognize. It’s that weight that never quite lifts. It doesn’t matter if it’s in sports or business. Once you’ve been through that enough times, maybe not thriving but you’ve come out the other side of it, you get used to, “This is something that’s going to suck for a while but also something that I can get through.” You’re creating that imprint each time. That’s what resilience is. Reminding yourself each time that you can get through it in the end. Here we are. Hopefully, the end is coming.

What about leadership? The reason why I created this show and my book is to guide the first-time emerging leaders because of the lack of training that first-time leaders receive but then their impact is so huge on their team. Tell me about a leadership challenge, whether in the corporate world or the Olympics world that you had to deal with the first leadership challenge or major leadership challenge. How did you solve it?

This problem you’re tackling is a huge issue and it strikes close for me. After the Olympics, I went into a leadership role with the Canadian Olympic Committee managing our athlete wellness and transition programs for all of our Olympians, Paralympians and national team athletes. We served about 3,000 elite-level athletes up here in Canada.

I was brought in to continue developing and rolling out all these programs. This is my first time as a leader having about 10 to 12 people reporting to me in different roles. The thing that made that role challenging, especially as a young leader, was that I was going into an environment that was rife with political private partnerships from the municipal level politics up to the federal level. There were so many hands in the pot that I quickly became overwhelmed.

As a young leader, you want to come out, make a statement and get things done. You’re still thinking as that high-achieving individual, that maybe as an individual contributor, that got you the success that you had in the past. It certainly was the case for me. Going into this leadership role, my instinct was to push forward. I got to a point where I hit a wall.

I remember listening to the ceiling fan above me humming. I was overwhelmed and stressed. I even called a counselor through our company’s Employee Wellness Plan. It was necessary. The fall came from me in that position where we were so mired in bureaucracy, red tape and politics that I had no choice but to serve my team. I carve out more time for one-on-ones. This was pre-Covid but we were already dispersed across the country so I was already doing this remote video conferencing with the team. As we’ve all learned with Covid, the sense is, “Let’s get to FaceTime and check it off.”

Through this whole first leadership experience, I went from, “I met with this and that person. Did they hear me? Do I need to meet with him five times because he needs more attention than Megan out East?” It was back to basics, back to human connection and empathy. As a young leader, the shift was going from trying to pull people along and have this huge impact right away to saying, “There’s no way I’m going to get there without them. How can I serve them?”

As a young leader, the shift is going from trying to pull people along and have this huge impact right away to saying, ‘there's no way I'm gonna get there without them. How can I serve them?” Share on X

It’s interesting how you get put in charge of first-time leaders of all these people and then figure it out. You pulled people into the deep end. I love the compassion, having more empathy and being able to be there for your team but it’s sometimes very hard to figure that out right off the bat. It sounds easy but it’s time management. Imposter syndrome can sometimes take its toll.

What happens with Imposter syndrome is that you fight harder in some of the wrong directions. You go further towards alienating certain members of your team. During the first 90 days or 6 months with the new team, you’re trying to create as much relationship capital as possible. You’re responsible as a leader for cultivating a unified vision and direction, at least generally and then moving forward but it’s so easy to lose people in those early months. If I could go back and do it again, I would have spent a lot more time upfront with the individuals on my team versus finding out I had to do it later but it worked out.

That’ll be good advice to the folks that are reading having to deal with it for the first time or this is what they want. A lot of times, organizations promote people because of the highest contributor that is best at what they do. It’s all about going from me to we. How do we do that? It’s about setting the time aside for each of those people and caring about that time instead of checking off the box.

It depends on what situation you’re walking into as well. I could have had a lot of success with the mentality I brought in if it was the same eight guys I went to the Olympics with. I know we’re thinking at that level. It’s the Canadian Olympic Committee but it’s a nonprofit organization. It’s a different culture. I had to adapt to what I was walking into versus transforming them into where I had been coming from. That was a big lesson for sure.

Jeremiah, my next question to you is what do you see with Gen Z, the generation behind us? What do you see as their greatest strength? What advice would you give to folks who are managing or leading them?

Things that come to mind are empathy, flexibility, adaptability and curiosity. If we may generalize as we are, these are generally people who are looking for a way to get it done effectively and not a lot of time for posturing, optics or falling in line maybe as much in the past. At least that’s my sense. I was a young leader and I had a lot of people that were older than me on my team and a couple of that generation. They also can require and thrive on that structure. They expect that leadership but then they want to have that swath room within which they can go, explore and figure out a way to do it their way more than ever.

It’s a continuation from my perspective of our Western society catering to the individual and wanting to feel that in their work as much as they do when they’re subscribing effortlessly to Google suite of products or Netflix, the user experiences that you want to bring up as an example. It’s almost like they expect the same thing in the workplace. My instinct is to say, “How can we work with that,” versus trying to say, “This is the rigid way we do things here.” Those are some initial thoughts.

As we entered the workplace, they’re saying, “They have to adapt to us.” As they learned, that’s probably not the best way to go. I do think a relationship is a two-way stream. We need to empathize going both ways but as Gen Z starts in the workplace, it’s important to understand them, take the time, have empathy and be able to help them adapt and mentor them.

The first section of my book, Jeremiah, is all about personal leadership, intrinsic motivation versus extrinsic motivation. You’ve accomplished what you’ve accomplished, which is an incredible feat, you had one goal. Tell me more about what a day in the life of your training looked like. What advice would you give to people who are trying to accomplish their goals? It’s hard but your goals are a lot different than probably most people reading.

I differentiate between ordinary goals that are reoccurring each year and then those big moonshot goals that seem out of reach. Maybe we think about them a lot, pursue them at some point in our lives or never do. That’s what this Olympic rowing goal was. For me, it was this moonshot big, scary goal. What I usually say to people is there are a few strategies that I employed while pursuing that goal.

A lot of them came from figuring out, “How do I deal with the sheer volume of hard work that was going to be required?” It’s hard enough to get into any Olympics, let alone learn the sports and deal with all the doubt of, “Am I going to learn this in time and get fit, fast and technically, proficient enough? Are my teammates going to accept me in time to be part of this?”

When you’re in that situation where it seems so unlikely all the time, you do have to think differently about the approach. When you’re first setting out, I always talk about the gap between expectations and reality. We go down this path where eventually we expected to be at a certain place at a certain point in time but we find ourselves almost invariably not where we expected to be.

Sometimes maybe you’re ahead of the curve but usually, we’re under the curve and there’s this gap that emerges between where we expected to be and where we are. We’re always reprojecting our progress into the future so we’re always reassessing, “Is this worth it?” For me, I had to find a way to turn that off and trust that progress is not linear. There are plateaus, breakthroughs, exponential surges and developments.

One of the early things I did was lock myself into a time horizon. It’s like working back from the big goal saying, “If I was going to achieve this, what is the least amount of time, reasonably speaking, that I would have to invest to be able to look back years later and say, ‘That was a valid test or experiment of me pursuing this goal?’” For me, in rowing, it was the full three and a half years that it took. That’s maybe an easy example because it was so outrageous from the beginning.

Even if I look at my first leadership role with the Canadian Olympic Committee, it was the same thing. I remember hitting walls and employing the same time horizon in my mind saying, “I’m not going to interact with each daily defeat by reassessing, “Am I in or out?” It doesn’t work. It’s almost like in your mind you’re waiting for yourself to have enough evidence to quit and get out of there.

A lot of the personal growth, talking about personal leadership, comes on the other side in that nebulous, uncertain, unknown, dark territory beyond when you would naturally maybe give up on your own. I did the time horizon in my leadership roles as well. I had to kill a project earlier on. I thought the CEO was going to fire me. I remember walking to his corner office and saying, “This is not viable. We should not be spending this money.”

It was a big partner of the committee and I was putting my neck on the line for what I thought was the right decision but I thought I was going to get fired. I didn’t get fired. The time horizon’s commitment is going to take me at least three years to have an impact in my leadership role. It was the same thing I use as a rower.

Jeremiah, even within that, in the past, let’s say five years and the pandemic has sped this up a little bit as consumers, a lot of what we expect is instantaneous or instant gratification. We’re working towards these long goals how to quiet that. I don’t know in Canada but with Amazon here, I remember when I was overseas, I came back and ordered something on Amazon and then it showed up on a Sunday. I looked at him and was like, “The post office is delivering something on a Sunday? That’s amazing. We can get rid of advertisements.” Much of the society has been tailored to, “I want it now,” but when you have some type of goal like a new leadership role with the Olympics committee or winning the Olympics medal, what advice would you give to the people who say, “I want it now?”

You have to find a way to shed that from yourself and produce more than you consume, even if we’re talking about the consumption of media. Even in investigating and trying to learn the path, we can get off the course of doing things, reflecting on our actions and learning from them. With these long goals, you almost have to begin there. You have to start with first principles’ conviction like, “This thing that is valuable to me is going to require me to invest a period in my life measured in years.” Not weeks or months.

When you start thinking in that unit of time, then you start to see the wall. The bricks become the wall. With instantaneous, I have no answer for someone who’s trying to pursue a big goal and looking for shortcuts. They’ll only get you so far. If you’re trying to do something that’s going to be meaningful, whether in sport or business or as an entrepreneur, you got to be thinking long-term. It’s part of what’s required. Lose it fast. That’s my advice.

Jeremiah, what I heard was meaningful. Maybe pursuing a purpose-driven type of work might help you get through the monotonous type of head-down cranking whatever work you’re trying to accomplish or the work that it takes to accomplish that goal.

I’m quite a pragmatic, realistic person so I think that there’s no escaping certain amounts of tedium and toil in doing the hard work, which sometimes is unrewarding work. Attach it to what is important in your life and what your anchors are. I always anchored this Olympics pursuit, for example, to my son that was a young father and a toddler when I was training. He would be running beside me on the treadmill some days in the gym. That was my anchor.

I always encourage people to thank themselves. This thing that you’re trying to do when we are most likely to let ourselves down before we’re going to let our family or friends down, let’s say, how do you switch it in your mind from something that you’re doing to something that you don’t want to let others down? Something that you’re doing in a way that you don’t want to let people around you down. It’s a bit of a mindset switch there but that’s what worked for me.

It comes back to, “Why are you doing it? What’s the purpose? What’s that emotional, psychological anchor that gets you through sometimes periods of months where you’re like, ‘I don’t know why I’m doing this?’” You don’t have a ready answer because you’re in the trenches. The breakthroughs that you want are probably coming but further away than you hope for. You’ve got to find a way to stay strong in those periods.

Jeremiah, that goes right into my next question. You became a dad at what age?

Nineteen.

I became a dad at 29 so I could only imagine how difficult that was. I remember hearing your story that you were working, training for the Olympics and figuring out what it’s like to be a dad. How did you manage those? What advice would you give to parents who are about to have their first kid and trying to balance their careers? With you, it’s intensified because you’re not only working but you’re also training for the Olympics and being a new dad. Can you tell us a little bit more about that experience?

Whenever people say, “How did you do it with kids and everything,” especially other parents who understand how much work it is, I say, “Find a way. Being thrown into that situation is a test of your character. Your character will reveal itself when the pressure is on.” That’s the way I think of it. We’re lucky that Ethan is a good boy. His mom was incredible. We’re an amazing team. We rely on and support each other in raising Ethan.

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One thing that came out of this whole experience that was an interesting epiphany for me was the best thing you can do for your kids is to role model for them your values in pursuing things that are important in life. I could easily have sat there in my living room with Victoria and talked to Ethan about how cool to go to the Olympics or why it’s important to work hard or I could bring him down to the gym and be like, “You’re going to run on a treadmill and dad is going to do this hour rolling machine workout.”

All along Ethan’s life, he’s been there watching me pursue these difficult goals. Knock on wood, I haven’t had to do much else. Maybe I’ve been lucky, I’m sure I have been. By his mom and I pursuing our goals and him being exposed to that, that’s the greatest gift you can give a kid, in addition to being there and giving them your time. Time is important. How are you going to invest your time? “This is what mom and dad are doing.” One million times more impactful than anything you could say to your kid is how you live your life.

I have a story. I ended up getting featured in The Wall Street Journal for my upcoming book. I ended up taking my son to Barnes & Noble to pick up a physical copy. He’s like, “What’s this newspaper?” He’s never seen one before. He was like, “I want to do this. All the work dad does, your sleep, in the morning and the weekends, this is the result of that.” I love that. It’s not quite the Olympics but it’s a huge career milestone for me.

Congrats. That’s amazing. That’s exactly it.

I know your son is doing well and everything as we talked about before so I’m excited to see his future.

Me too. Thank you. He’s doing well.

Being a dad is one of the best things in the world but it requires a lot of work. Were you the first one of your friends to have a kid?

Yes. I was nineteen years old. The plan wasn’t exactly to start that early, I’ll have to be honest with you. I wouldn’t change anything though. My son is doing well. He’s going off to university. It’s almost like if you invest in their early years, it’s easier in the later years. At least that’s been my experience. He’s very independent and autonomous. We’re rolling through life together. He’s a big basketball player so it’s exciting to watch his development. It’s all good. Kids are like trees. The best time to plant one is yesterday.

I want to transition here to the future of work. You speak to so many great companies. This Great Resignation, as we’ve seen, a lot of people are saying it’s because of money or could be maybe leadership as well. People got the chance to stop and reflect. What advice would you give to companies that want to retain their employees? What advice would give to employees on their future careers?

It seems like it’s a job seekers’ market out there. It’s a wake-up call. If you’re an employer, you’re going to have to shift pretty quick from them having a scarcity mindset to you having a scarcity mindset and trying to find all the talent you need to fill your roles. It points back to there’s going to be less patience for those rife and cultural issues that have been lingering sometimes for years. It’s been fine for senior leadership to overlook it. We’re still hitting our KPIs and rolling here as a business. That’s going to become more of a problem.

I talked to a lot of companies and the impression I get is that it doesn’t matter whether it’s pharmaceutical sales, tech or SMEs in commodities. With the desire to belong and the sense of team and community, it’s almost like people are expecting to get that more out of work. The challenge for employers is, “How are we going to, genuinely, foster that?” You would see a lot of stilted attempts. I’m not even going to name an example but I’m sure you and your readers can think of a lot of them.

How to go beyond gin Friday to create a sense of, “I’m on this team and I want to contribute beyond the monetary rewards. I’m connected to these people and my manager.” It’s that sense of belonging. As the Western culture becomes more secular, instead of going to church or your place of worship, it’s like more people are expecting to get that human need out of the work that they do. Whether that’s right or wrong, it is not for me to say but it’s a reality that employers are going to have to deal with.

Do you think that communicating the impact and purpose of what the company does or the impact they have in the community can help with that to keep people?

It depends on the industry. I talked to quite a few pharmaceutical companies and they’re bringing products to market for cancer treatments. You can tell that there is a strong sense of purpose. These companies are there to make money but the people are strongly tied to we’re saving lives or improving quality of life.

Sometimes though, you have to be careful because it can be a boilerplate bumper sticker. You can tell everyone is rolling their eyes when they have to listen to their mission statement or whatever it is for their company. The most important thing is it’s got to be genuine and authentic. There’s got to be a critical mass of people that feel it. Otherwise, what’s it doing there? It’s better not to have one if it’s not serving authenticity.

If we’re trying to create this culture of belonging or community, what are your thoughts on remote work versus in-person versus hybrid? They could change based on industry and what you do but I love to hear your thoughts on that as far as work is concerned.

I remember when I was in the pre-Covid era dealing with a distributed workforce, almost being there before it hit and feeling like a hybrid option would be great. Let’s assume that I was contributing as an employee and was effective in my role. It seemed ridiculous that you would risk losing a valuable employee because of inflexibility around where and how the work is done and how it takes place. We were knowledge workers. I was doing knowledge work.

My superiors don’t know 5% of what I’m doing. I’m keeping them informed of the outcomes and where we’re driving to but it didn’t seem necessary, especially since my direct reports were all over the country and we were already doing a lot of video conferencing and telework to do that. I’m a hybrid guy. It is important for a connection to have at least some FaceTime. I still find it difficult to build that over Zoom, Microsoft Teams or virtually. What we’ll see more of too going in the future is some hybrid version. That’s the sweet spot that intersects what everybody is looking for.

The best thing is to ask and say, “What do you want?’ Starting there is probably the first thing leaders should do.

Some people are trying to escape their houses and get back to work five days a week.

It’s funny you say that. I’ve talked to some people that are like, “I’d rather work in the office full-time because when I’m at home, kids are running around. Especially when summer comes around, it’s harder to get work done. When I’m at work, it’s easy for me to separate.” Giving people options would probably be the best.

If you’re an employer and you’ve got a hybrid option, you effectively have an option. Unless everyone’s coming into work the same two days a week let’s say. Those people who want that should be able to go to the office as much as they want because there’s the office there that’s available. They’re still paying the lease. For the people that think that they’re more effective or can do more from home or remotely, you got that option as well. It seems like it would work.

I lived in Los Angeles, Jeremiah. I’m still a professor so it took me 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to the campus. When I got there, the impact of being able to teach in person again and see my students were great and very rewarding. Pros and cons.

 We have to continue to navigate it.

My last question here is what advice would you give to someone who just got promoted or is a lead and is about to get promoted?

Take more time than you think at first instinct to understand the lay of the land and the level above you, perhaps the C-Suite or the executive leadership that you report into. Also, the team that you’re dealing with. Take the time to understand the history too. If you’re stepping into a role that’s been vacated, what was it like before you? What was the leadership style?

Interview the people that are going to be reporting to you and get a sense of what you think they want. You then got to go. You’re there for a reason. You have to bring your skills, personality and impact to the role. We don’t want to get stuck in paralysis. I’ve told you two opposing things but this is leadership. You have to hold that incongruency inside of you and still find a way to move forward. That’s the job.

This is leadership. You have to hold that incongruence inside of you and still find a way to move forward. Share on X

Take the time to understand both what’s happening above you and below you. Although those aren’t maybe necessarily helpful teams to think above and below but maybe a full 360 around you. Get a real sense of the lay of the land and then bring your vision and experience to the role. You’re there for a reason. You’ve been hired because you are being entrusted with having an impact. It is going to be your responsibility to bring the best of yourself to the role.

We’re gung-ho and sometimes we could be defensive. Sometimes we get promoted over our peers too. You may have to deal with that a little bit too.

TZL 18 | Personal Leadership

The 4 Year Olympian: From First Stroke to Olympic Medallist

That’s something I dealt with as well. The only answer I had was empathy, being open with people and saying, “I’m here shoulder to shoulder with you in some decisions.” There’s a reason why there’s a leadership role in this workgroup but I’m here to work alongside you and enable you as much as possible. That’s the best you can do. You’re never going to always be able to win everyone or get everyone on your side.

One of the mistakes I made was investing way too much time in one member of my team. It was dragging their heels. That person ended up being transitioned out of the organization into a role that they later reported back to me was a way better fit for them. We both tried for months to make something work that wasn’t going to work. You got to recognize that situation comes up as well.

Jeremiah, thank you so much for your time. I look forward to keeping in touch. I am excited about your book. Have a great rest of your day. Thank you so much for being here.

It’s my pleasure. Nice talking.

 

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About Jeremiah Brown

TZL 18 | Personal Leadership

Jeremiah Brown won an Olympic silver medal as a member of the Canadian men’s eight rowing team at the London 2012 Olympic Games. A young father with a big dream, he is one of few Olympians ever to have started learning his sport only four years before winning a medal at the Olympics.

Jeremiah went on to lead the Canadian Olympic Committee’s athlete wellness and transition programs for 3000 Olympic, Paralympic, and national team athletes. Whether supporting elite athletes reinvent themselves, or helping organizations adapt to change, Jeremiah is known for his deep insights into the psychology of high performance and human transformation, both from an individual and leadership perspective.

Jeremiah’s memoir, The 4 Year Olympian, spent five weeks as the #1 bestselling sports memoir in Canada. His story has been featured on CBC, CTV, Roger’s Sportsnet, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and USA Today. A top keynote speaker, Jeremiah has helped thousands of people find the courage to reach their goals and overcome the psychological traps and emotional pitfalls that lie hidden along the way.