As part of the first week of the second year of trading for RedHolt we are featuring blogs with responses to 3 simple questions from exceptional people who we know and admire. We hope that these blogs enthuse the reader and provide authentic insight into the mindset and day by day attitude of these high achievers. We believe that all of us have exceptional potential, the key is about how you ignite your engine.
Conor Delanbanque, English University Boxing Champion and received call ups for the Antigua Barbuda Commonwealth Games Squad. Only took up competitive road cycling in June 2017 and in March 2018 won the NY State Criterium Championships. Conor also spent 3 years in the RAF Reserves during University undergoing pilot training, firefighting training and more. He is a published Marine Biologist and spent the last few years recruiting and leading recruitment teams focusing on DevOps, consistently as top performer. Using the knowledge gained during this time, Conor has recently taken on a new position as the Head of DevOps Practice for North America at a global technology consulting firm. He is a member of the Opensource DevOps Community Team and the Founder of the Future of DevOps Debate Group. He recently spoke on Software Engineering Radio and has been a keynote speaker at global tech conferences such as DevOpsDays Cuba. He also has a number of articles on tech websites such as DevOps.com and Opensource.com. A pretty busy guy as you can tell, here are the responses to 3 key questions that we have asked of each contributor to this weeks #winning blogs:
Is there a single characteristic you have that you would associate your success?
There is something I see within myself and other people who I would call successful and it seems to be that they all exceptionally focused. It’s like an unstoppable force within you and you feel like you can see your goal in HD. I always feel like I’m wearing blinkers – I know exactly what I want to achieve, and I just take the relevant steps to getting there. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly doesn’t happen by chance. You don’t wake up one day and say, “I want to be a CEO” or “I want to be the champion at this or that”. You start doing something, you probably enjoy that thing and then you apply yourself. More often than not, those that are coming in second, third or last place have not applied themselves to the same extent as the winner. This application happens every single morning from the moment you wake up and continues throughout every minute of the day. It doesn’t stop while you’re sleeping either. I spend most nights drifting off to the vision of myself achieving one of my upcoming goals. The single characteristic is focus because it encompasses the other important characteristics that define the winning mindset. If you are truly focused, you will be motivated, tenacious, driven, passionate and you will not let hardship or failure prevent you from achieving your end goals.
What is your attitude towards failing?
Failure is a part of the process. You have to work with failure. There is a common misconception that winners are lucky, but I would suggest that this is pretty much the opposite. I don’t fear failing but I use it to drive me. I’ve been told countless times in my life that I’m too positive or too optimistic. I find it funny every time I hear such a statement because it’s my positive attitude that allows me to push through the hard times and get to where I want to be. People make assumptions that I’m making bold claims about future plans without knowing how to get there or that I’m going to get hurt when I don’t achieve the intended goal. The truth is, I understand failure very well, so much so that I’m willing to do whatever it takes to avoid failure in whatever I do. I fail literally everyday in training or in my personal life. I have days where I’m not performing to the level I would like, but I don’t feel sorry for myself or beat myself up. We are humans, not robots and sometimes we have off days. I seldom complain, or moan and I take every circumstance as a learning curve and work towards improving for a better result next time. When I do fail, I spend a lot of time reflecting to make sure I learn from that instance and avoid repeating the mistake ever again – this is a very important process. I am constantly analysing my performances whether I’ve won or lost at something. I think too many people spend their time, energy and focus on negative things which usually stem from insecurity. They are looking outward to see what others are doing, filling their days with negativity and envy. They should be looking internally to figure out how to hit their own targets rather than wasting time, their most valuable asset. Balance is important as well, being successful requires resting at the right times and listening to what your mind & body needs. There is a fine line and you have to tread carefully. For me and my cycling, I wake up at 4am many days during the week to fit in 2.5+ hours on the bike before work. I ride around 250-300 miles per week and maintain a high-pressure full-time job. At the same time, I also have recovery days when I don’t train at all or I do lighter sessions. I’ve learned from the times when I’ve gone too hard and ended up bed bound for 4-5 days when my immune system shut down. You could have all the natural ability in the world but without the right mindset or intelligence, it’s unlikely you’ll be successful.
What advice would you give to your Son or Daughter when it comes to how to live their life?
I would advise my future children to challenge themselves and make the most of their lives. I’ll teach them the value of hard work and demonstrate that virtually anything is possible if you put your mind and energy into it. Being successful is as simple as following a number of basic repeatable processes every single day and finding your way around any hurdles life throws at you by staying positive. Sport is a fantastic way to help educate children about work ethic and working towards a goal.
Conor has achieved all of this below the age of 30 years old. One thing I would add about Conor, and all of the people we will feature this week, is their amazing relaxed and humble nature. They don't need to prove their potential with words, their actions do all of the talking. Thank you to Conor for being the leading article in our #winning series of blogs for this week and we wish you all the best in your new role as Head of North America at MThreeConsulting.
Conor Delanbanque Head of DevOps North America