Shane Finn is a 25-year-old endurance athlete based in Dingle. Over the last number of years Shane has completed 12 Marathons in 12 Days, most recently 24 Marathons in 24 Days and Ironman Triathlons all over the world! Currently, Shane is preparing to Ultra Run & Ultra Cycle across America in 36 days in the early summer of 2019.
Shane is an ambassador for Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Ireland, a charity very close to his heart. Over the last 5 years, Shane and his team have raised over €200,000 for the organisation! Shane is also the Co-Owner of WK Fitness Training Facility in Dingle with his business partner Mark.
What has sport taught you about leadership?
I often identify similarities between the two! For me growing up I played a huge array of sports and team sports. However upon deciding to channel all my energy into long distance running my perspective slightly changed. With the long distance stuff, you are out there on your own, it definitely makes you more resilient, I am sure of that. But it also shows that if you just consistently keep moving forward, keep challenging yourself and if you keep trying to make yourself better every day you see huge progress over time! To take that step further again, sport showed me how to be my own leader in life and in my business.
What are the essential components to building a winning team?
Communication & understanding are vital. Whether that’s in business or my crew during a big endurance event, everyone needs to know what their role is and why they are doing it. Communicating with one another clearly is also vital. If you look at some of the best leaders in the world, they communicate very well and both they and their team understand exactly what they need to do!
What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
There are a number of different characteristics, but all are completely individual to a person or business. I believe that they should lead by example, they should be role models for their employees, they should be a role model for their family and they should be a role model for society. I read an article before on a guy called Andy Frisella, he owns a huge nutrition company in the US. He and his business are worth a lot of money but he helps his cleaning staff clean the toilets and hoover the floors. He leads by example and is an amazing role model for his team.
If you could wind back the clock to when you were starting your sporting career what advice would you give yourself?
Relax! Relax a little bit more anyway! I would be a fairly energetic guy regardless but one thing I am trying to do currently is to just row back and enjoy my day’s training or my day’s work etc. We get so caught up in whats happening down the road and whats coming next that we often miss whats right in front of us! I think that applies to sport and to business.
What leaders outside your own organisation do you admire and why?
There are loads! As I mentioned Andy Frisella is a businessman I admire and have learned a lot from. Richard Branson also of course. And outside of all that I have to say, my parents. Both my parents are business people. I grew up watching them work very hard for everything they have. I remember only being 7 or 8 and my Dad coming home at 6 pm for dinner, after dinner he’d be gone again. To this day, I would come home after what I think is a long day, but my mother would be at the kitchen table working or doing book work. So that’s what I saw and that’s what I see and it helps me hugely too.
What are a few resources (books, blogs, podcasts, courses etc) you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
I am currently on the road a lot! So I use Audible all the time! It is an audiobook app for smartphones and I listen to podcasts all the time too!
MFCEO Project – Andy Frisella
Impact Theory – Tom Bilyeu
“Think And Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill
“Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck” by Mark Manson
“Redefine Impossible” by James Lawrence
“Shoe Dog-The Story of Nike” by Phil Knight