Pat Divilly

Pat Divilly is a best selling author, corporate speaker, world traveller and high-performance coach. Over the last five years, he has emerged as one of Ireland’s best young entrepreneurs helping clients all over the world achieve success in both the weight loss and personal development space through his online training courses and best-selling books. He is passionate about helping people ‘upgrade’ their thinking to find more passion, purpose and fulfilment from all aspects of life, whether it be their physical or emotional fitness, their relationships, their career or their ‘crazy ambitions and dreams’.

Pat’s groups have raised over €250,000 for local charities in Ireland and are currently building a school in Nepal, a chance to promote youth leadership and education. Pat is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and recently climbed Aconcagua, South America’s highest mountain.

Can leadership be taught? If so, how?

To me, a leader is someone who lives by example and sets themselves meaningful targets, then does the work consistently to get where they want to be in the different areas of life. They are the people who take time to get to know themselves and what their core values and highest priorities are, then live in accordance with those priorities and core values. A leader is someone who takes 100% responsibility and recognises that only by working on themselves can they change their external world. With that in mind, anyone can become a leader by living with integrity and inspiring others through their actions.

What do you think is the difference between management and leadership?

For me, management conjures up thoughts of someone telling me what to do whereas leadership makes me think of someone inspiring me through their thoughts, words and actions. Management is knowing what to do in theory and implementing or delegating a game plan. Leadership is inspiring an individual or group through action, belief, words and a vision that compels a team to act.

The world around us is changing faster than at any time in human history and we need more leaders to emerge. How do we make this happen?

I think more authenticity and people slowing down enough to consider what really matters to them in life. I think a lot of people get caught up living lives to impress other people or gain acceptance and validation. It’s difficult because we live in such a fast-paced and noisy world that someone who is feeling stuck or unfulfilled may find it hard to see a path to more fulfilment. I think by stepping away from the noise we can practice more self-awareness figure out where we’d like to go and then start taking aligned action. To do truly inspired work you have to enjoy what you are doing. More people doing things they are passionate about is how we bring about more leadership.

What has sport taught you about leadership?

I would say sport has shown me that leadership is about taking 100% responsibility. As John Kavanagh says ‘we win or we learn’. In other words, you don’t have to be perfect or get things right all the time but you must be conscious of how you respond to struggles or obstacles. Every day is a chance to learn and grow, but only once we take full responsibility for our results can we truly grow.

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

Value the journey and fall in love with the process. I so often told myself “I’ll be happy when…” Doing a TV show, winning an award, hitting a financial target or releasing a book are all fleeting moments and if you’re telling yourself that those external things are what it’s all about you’ll be disappointed. Learn to fall in love with the work every day. Stop trying to jump ten steps ahead and get somewhere and do the best with where you are now.

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

Number 1 resource for me is a journal. I spent so long reading other peoples books and I learnt a huge amount, but it was always looking outside of myself for the answers. We can learn a huge amount from coaches, mentors, books, courses and seminars- but the most important journey is the one of self-discovery and that comes from creating time and space and getting to know yourself. A pen and paper can be your best friend! Ask simple questions to start, like “what are my fears and why?”, “what would my perfect day look like?”, “where would I like to be in 12 months?”, “what would my dream business look like?” No book can answer these questions for you, only you know the answers!