Adam Conlon podcast

015: Adam Conlon on performance on the frontline in warfare and disaster zones

Adam Conlon was a captain in the British Army, undertaking his officer training at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He the entered the Royal Artillery, and is a veteran of two tours of Afghanistan. Adam talks about the development path from basic training to the heat of battle, where his job was in leading teams, calling the shots and co-ordinating the use of weapons on the battlefield. Adam shares the intense feeling of receiving volleys of fire from the Taliban, how he responded under that pressure and how his training and camaraderie developed and enabled him to perform.

Poignantly, Adam shares the process and the emotions of decompressing after a tour and adjusting back to normal life.

Adam spent a brief time serving Her Majesty the Queen in Human Resources, but now is leadership consultant and speaker, but still finds time to out his skills to use in the first response teams that aid disaster zones and we get into that skill of developing rapid teamworking and the importance of listening and rapport in engaging with survivors and locals in catastrophe stricken areas.

This interview was humbling, richly engaging and I would say 1 hour and 25 minutes of pure performance. I finished the interview fascinated, moved and frankly I was thankful that we have people like Adam amongst our population that do what they do in order to make the world a better place.

Show notes

1:20 ANNOUNCEMENT: The Supporting Champions Conference 2019 will take place at the London Olympic Stadium on 19th and 20th March 2019, Early bird tickets available week beginning 13th August 2019
1:46 Adam Conlon and his background
6:23 Sandhurst, becoming a soldier, captain and leader
7:45 Leading people and making the decisions to fire artillery within the infantry
10:50 The importance of ‘fit’ in finding the right people for the right roles
13:30 Variety and being a generalist
15:15 Leading people, by developing followers – ego and vulnerability
18:00 Upping the pressure to test your skills
22:30 Being relaxed in chaos
24:00 High performance industries develop people because if they don’t the consequences are high
28:00 Nad Ali and the operations in Afghanistan
34:00 Getting on the front foot with the enemy
36:20 Response to the first rattle of fire
41:00 Humour as a pressure valve
45:35 Fight or flight is a good option, freezing is not
46:30 Decompression on the way home from a tour
51:00 Stressful heart rate response to post-tour come-down
51:47 Letting the emotion out with crying
54:45 Working for Her Majesty the Queen
58:00 Learning what he didn’t want to do
1:00:00 From tax consultant to frontline operations through sport
1:02:00 Applying skills to disaster zones
1:07:00 Operating in the Caribbean in 2017
1:08:00 Get face to face
1:10:00  Listen, empathy and trust
1:15:00 Arriving in Dominica – it was like a bomb had gone off
1:16:45 Sensing when there might be trouble – being observant when something is out of place – the absence of the normal
1:24:30 Who supports Adam, family, friends

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