Donal Vaughan

Donal Vaughan is Director of which was recently voted  Best New Website 2018 across all sectors at the Retail Excellence Awards. Vaughan Shoes have 3 brick and mortar stores all based in Mayo.

Donal also plays Gaelic football for the Mayo Senior team in his spare time.

What has sport taught you about leadership?

Sport is a brilliant way of testing your character and sport has a huge amount of similarities with business. The hardest working and smartest working people in business and sport are usually the most successful. Doing the simple things right all the time. Success is determined by your daily choices and habits. Being able to relate to people on their level is a key part to getting your team to perform with you. Understanding what makes different people tick. In sport and business you have to be willing to take risks and when those risks pay off the rewards and buzz are priceless.

What are the essential components to building a winning team?

Understanding your team. Recognising peoples’ skill sets and choosing a role to suit them. Communication sounds basic but it’s a key component of a successful team. In business and the field your team need to know and understand what they are doing.

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

Resilience, as a leader you have to be willing to take that first step to start and especially after a set back. Every journey begins with a single step. On your sporting and business journeys there will be set backs and what separates the good from the great is having that resilience and ability to just pick yourself up and go again. To win the Olympics ice skating event you have to fall on your ass 20,000 times before mastering the triple jump. Some people are willing to fall 10,000, 15,000 times but it’s the ones who are willing to fall 20,000 times and get back up are the ones who end up winning gold.

If you could wind back the clock to when you were starting your sporting career what advice would you give yourself?

Tell myself that talent isn’t born it’s made. ”It all about smart repetition”

What leaders outside your own organisation do you admire and why?

My father John is successful business man and has been a big influence on my sporting and business career. For me it’s just great to have someone to bounce some of my mad ideas off and send you in the right direction.

What are a few resources (books, blogs, podcasts, courses etc) you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?

Tim Ferris podcasts
“The Obstacle Is The Way” by Ryan Holiday.
The Irish Man Abroad-Podcast
”Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferris-a good read