After the success of the virtual coffee sessions we ran during the first lockdown, we’re back with another series of interviews featuring some brilliant guests. Our latest chat was with Dean Rock. It’s a name you might know from his role as a senior player for Dublin GAA, but as we announced earlier this year we’re delighted to say that he’s also signed for our team here at Metis Ireland.


Resilience is key


For us, what we do is all about high performers working in a team environment to give our clients the best possible outcomes. It got us thinking, perhaps business and sport isn’t so very different? So we asked Dean, what trait or characteristic does a successful sports team or athlete need – and is that the same for a successful business leader?


“That first part is a question I get asked a lot”, said Dean. “I would always say the answer is resilience – and yes, I do think it’s the same for business. I think it shapes who we are as people, our experiences. Over time you build up this sort of armour and it protects you when things aren’t going so well.”


“When I was getting started at Dublin it wasn’t always easy for me. I got dropped off the Dublin panel twice, which was hugely difficult, but when I reflect on it it’s probably the reason I’m the player I am today. The career that I’ve had to date is because of those experiences.”


“The last 12 months have been very difficult in all aspects of life. But I think, you know, maybe these experiences that we’re going through now are shaping us and getting us ready for the things we’ve always hoped for and wanted. When you look back in, say, 18 months’ time, you might say ‘okay, how I came through that has really stood me in good stead going forward.’”


Stress the small stuff


That makes a huge amount of sense to us at Metis Ireland. Resilience is something that we know is important in our field – you have to accept there might be bad days, but having that resilience means the bad days don’t take over. It means you’re ready to get back on the horse and go again. It’s all about taking baby steps.


Dean agrees. “I worked with a sports psychologist on the Dublin team and he would always tell me to ‘stress the small stuff’. That doesn’t mean fret over the minor details and get worked up over it, but to pay close attention to the small pieces of the puzzle that will ultimately impact the bigger picture. What gets you in the right frame of mind? What can you do now to make sure you get the right result later?”


“It’s not always about getting the biggest of the tasks done. It’s getting the little baby steps right along the way ¬– and that’s going to guide you and give you the best platform to perform.”


He’s right, you know. We stress the importance of Sticking With The Plan and looking at the bigger picture, but we mustn’t forget how the big picture gets created along the way.


Dean elaborated, “for me personally, ‘stressing the small stuff’ manifests as habits. I’m a big habits person – getting to bed at the right time, yoga every day, or five minutes of meditation. It’s the real monotonous, boring stuff that enables me to perform and be the person I want to be. So when I go into a game, I know that I’ve gone through all these small steps, so my mind is free. I’m at ease because I’ve done the work that’s prepared me for the challenge ahead.”


World-class, inspirational, innovative


So perhaps the million-dollar question is, what made Dean want to join Metis Ireland? His answer is just what we want to hear. “When I did a bit of research on Metis Ireland, I kept coming back to the same three words that really stuck with me: world-class, inspirational and innovative. It made me think, okay, I’m potentially going into a team with the same sort of values that Dublin have. I know the vision that you guys have over the next couple of years, and I’m delighted to be a part of that.”


Join in the fun


Did you enjoy Dean’s take on the connection between sport and business – and why he believes resilience is key to being successful in both? Then join us for our next virtual coffee session where we’ll have another fascinating speaker in the chair.


Image credit: Sportsfile via Getty Images/Eóin Noonan


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