What type of business leader are you? Do you feel you could ‘up your game’ with the right guidance? Here, we speak to Enda Lynch, head of the Munster High-Performance Leadership Programme about the importance of resilience and authenticity in leadership.

If you are a business leader or business owner, you will be interested in the art and the science of leadership. But how much time do you allow yourself to focus on ‘you’ the leader?

“A lot of business leaders will focus on the management side of things, the managerial aspects of leadership such as one-on-ones and workflows,” says Enda Lynch. “What they don’t focus on is themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, which is worrying because they’re the ones taking responsibility for others, for their staff for their families and for their business.”

The Munster High-Performance Leadership Programme is aptly named. It focuses on high performance. “Just as our senior rugby team members have to make serious decisions in very high-pressure environments every time they play a competitive game, business leaders, c-suite executives and entrepreneurs face tough decisions in high-pressure situations every day they go to work.”

The programme was designed and built by Munster Rugby and the University of Limerick’s Kemmy Business School. It takes place over two and a half days at Munster Rugby’s senior team’s world-class high-performance centre in Limerick.

“75% of what we cover on the programme is about decision making. 25% is about helping people understand their strengths and weaknesses,” says Lynch.

What do people find out about themselves when they take the programme?

“Some have called it life-changing,” says Lynch. “We look at each person in the whole – their physical being, their personal being, their work being and their emotional being. We want to empower people with long-term decision-making skills.”

“Jerry Flannery does a session on learning how to be an authentic leader. It’s a very impressive session.”

The tools of resilience

Lynch says the programme gives attendees the tools to be a more resilient and capable leader. “Leaders need to be able to manage the rapidly changing daily environment around them. We equip people with the skills we work on with our players each and every day, growing them into internationally recognised high performing leaders through the pillars of The Fitness to Perform, Balance and Alignment in the Workplace and Personally and Energy Management.”

The programme is led by senior staff including Dr Patrick Ryan, University of Limerick’s doctor of psychology, Dr Catherine Norton, the doctor of nutrition in UL’s Physical Education and Sports Science department and Prof. John Fahy who oversees a number of interactive sessions on authentic leadership.

“There is a massive difference between a manager and a leader.”

munster high performance leaders

Authentic leadership

Jerry Flannery, the Munster forward’s coach also discusses the authentic leadership theme in depth with the group.

“Jerry Flannery does a session on learning how to be an authentic leader. It’s a very impressive session, and people always talk about it afterwards. Jerry is on his own journey as an authentic leader. He’s one of the fittest people I know, but he’s also a very successful businessman,” says Lynch.

What makes an authentic leader? “An authentic leader will listen to feedback, they seek feedback from their work colleagues, their family and friends, so they can understand their weaknesses and build on their strengths,” says Lynch.

“There is a massive difference between a manager and a leader. Management is about workflow and process. To be a leader you have to be able to understand people and communicate with them at a different level. Leaders look holistically at a much bigger picture, and they can look at themselves. They always seek to understand more about themselves.”

To find out more about the Munster High-Performance Leadership Programme, go here.

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