Burnout Prevention & Building a Resilient Mind with Leo Cullen

Leo Cullen has a history as a prolific rugby player. He won 32 caps for Ireland and 221 for Leinster, and he has won titles at Blackrock College, Leinster Rugby, and Leicester Tigers. His success as a player has followed him to management: he became Leinster Rugby head coach in August 2015, and in 2018 he became the first man to win a Champion’s Cup title as both a player and a head coach. He presided over the first-ever Guinness PRO14 and Champion’s Cup double for Leinster, and in February 2021 he was voted the inaugural winner of Guinness PRO14 Coach of the Month.

Today Leo joins me to talk about what resilience means to him. We speak about leadership and values, and how to overcome obstacles. We talk about the value of focusing your attention where it matters at each moment in time. He gives his thoughts on burnout prevention and talks about the importance of doing what you love. We discuss professionalism in sports and talk about commitment to continuous improvement. We also discuss the power of purpose on and off the field.

“When you’re doing something you really enjoy, it never seems like particularly hard work, does it?”

This week on In the Doctor’s Chair

  • Carving your career around what you love
  • The importance of gratitude
  • Recognizing when you’ve reached your peak in an area of your life and weathering the transition
  • Understanding your blind spots so that, when the pressure comes on, you can think clearly to overcome them
  • Coping with success
  • Reviewing the result vs. reviewing the performance
  • The importance of quality time with your loved ones
  • Taking time to be able to think before making a decision


In the Doctor’s Chair

Thanks for listening to In the Doctor’s Chair, the show where you’ll hear conversations that share life lessons, health habits, and leadership practices that focus on positive psychology, lifestyle medicine, and ways for you to live with more vitality.

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