Episodes

  • This episode is part of our ‘Experts In Their Field’ mini-series, presented by Salesforce.


    In this episode, we welcome Mo Gawdat, former Chief Business Officer for Google X, tech entrepreneur, and author of the best-selling books "Solve for Happy" and "Scary Smart” back to High Performance.


    Mo sits down with Damian to discuss innovation, a topic he is deeply passionate about and a leading voice in. Together, they explore how we innovate, how we can define a concept as elusive as innovation, and the common obstacles that hinder productivity and creativity.


    Mo shares his insights on the ever-changing goalposts that make us dismiss the present and forget how far we’ve come. He delves into the difference between creativity and innovation, explaining how creating something entirely new differs from improving existing ideas.


    Mo also emphasises the importance of a collaborative environment and aligned mission to foster innovation. He shares tips on overcoming the fear of failure, managing organisational resources, and addressing the lack of urgency that often stifles innovation.


    This episode was made possible by Salesforce, who value innovation as one of their core-values. With their AI platform Einstein 1, you can combine various AI-powered tools and features under one umbrella to help businesses automate tasks, gain insights, and enhance customer interactions.


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  • Four-time Olympic Champion Michael Johnson joins us on High Performance to explore the mindset and strategies that propelled him to extraordinary record-breaking athletics success.


    Known for his electrifying running style, Michael Johnson made history at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics by becoming the first man to win both the 200 and 400 metres at the same games. In this episode, Michael talks about the importance of having a strong support system and staying grounded in reality.


    Michael recounts difficult decisions he faced in his career, including his choice to return a relay gold medal tainted by doping allegations, showcasing his commitment to integrity and fairness in athletics. He also opens up about recently facing a life-threatening stroke, sharing the debilitating impact on his body and his incredible road to recovery.


    Michael goes on to share his journey of overcoming self-doubt, the lessons learned from his family and coaches, and his approach to handling pressure and setbacks. He reveals new insights from his experiences on the track, the intricacies of racing, and the mental strategies that helped him become one of the world’s fastest men.


    Throughout the episode, Michael underscores the resilience, integrity, and balance necessary to excel in sport and life, offering a glimpse into the mindset of a legendary athlete who’s navigated both triumph and adversity.


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  • After England's heartbreaking loss at Euro 2024 and Gareth Southgate stepping down as manager, Jake and Damian dive into the highs and lows of the tournament and Southgate's impactful tenure. 


    They reflect on the unexpected turn of events throughout the tournament, noting the optimism for England's chances before the final. Jake and Damian discuss how Southgate transformed England's team from the low point of losing to Iceland in 2016 to becoming consistent contenders in major tournaments. They highlight his influence in fostering a culture of high expectations and nurturing a generation of young players proud to represent their country. 


    Jake and Damian explore how Southgate's humility and leadership left a lasting impact, showing that success is measured not just by trophies but by positive changes and foundations for the future. Despite not winning a major trophy, he leaves behind a stronger, more hopeful England team.

     

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  • In this episode, respected neuroscientist and author Dr. Tara Swart joins Jake to uncover fascinating perspectives about the complex interplay between our brains and bodies.


    Tara sheds light on how our constant smartphone use impacts us both mentally and physically, and what we can do to reduce the side effects of technology. She also discusses the impact of stress on weight gain, highlighting why our bodies hold onto fat when we’re stressed.


    Exploring how high stress levels affect our brains and bodies, Tara explains the impact of reduced creativity and a weaker immune system. She emphasises the importance of having meaningful social relationships and spending time in nature for better mental and physical health.


    Touching on the practical tips from her book, “The Source”, Tara shares insights into how we can achieve High Performance, including using action boards to manifest our goals and the crucial role of nutrition.


    This episode provides practical advice on managing stress and enhancing brain health, motivating us all to reconsider our digital habits and lifestyle choices for a healthier future.


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  • Jake and Damian are joined by Great Britain Olympic medal favourite Keely Hodgkinson, to dive deep into her journey as a middle-distance runner and her mindset as an elite athlete.


    Keely Hodgkinson is a rising star in athletics, winning 800m silver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at just 19 years old, before becoming European Champion in June 2024. She shares how she manages nervous energy and the importance of staying relaxed and focused before races at the highest level.


    Keely discusses balancing external expectations with staying true to herself, even in high-pressure environments like the Olympic Games. She openly shares her personal challenges following the 2020 Olympics, and highlights the support of her mother in overcoming some of her toughest moments.


    Emphasising the crucial role of her coaches in her development, Keely cites their ability to push her to reach her potential whilst balancing a sustainable and positive training environment.


    This episode uncovers the journey of Great Britain’s most promising Olympic talents, highlighting the importance of recovery, avoiding burnout and the mental strength required to excel in modern-day athletics.


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  • In this special episode, Jake and Damian reflect on England’s iconic Euro 2024 journey so far, revealing insights into the work Damian has conducted with the England team as part of their tournament preparations. Damian shares the details behind the conception of England’s penalty shootout ‘buddy’ system, highlighting how the support of other players was critical to creating a safe environment for each penalty taker to succeed. Using moments from our conversations with Ollie Watkins and Gareth Southgate, this episode explores the true mentality of the England squad and their attention to detail throughout their journey to International success.


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  • Discover profound insights into the workings of the brain and how we can optimise its functions, with this conversation with neurosurgeon and neuroscientist Dr Rahul Jandial.


    In this episode, Rahul discusses the dynamic nature of the human brain, comparing neurons to floating jellyfish and highlighting our ever-changing emotional and behavioural states. He explains how understanding brain pathways can help manage anxiety, stress, and emotions, drawing parallels to the challenges faced by astronauts and athletes.


    Rahul reflects on his transformative experiences conducting hundreds of brain surgeries, revealing the beauty and complexity of our brains. He also shares how to reach the perfect flow state, where mastery and creativity blend seamlessly, allowing individuals to perform at their peak by trusting their instincts.


    Drawing from his extensive experience with patients, Rahul offers a unique perspective on resilience and high performance, urging us to see the brain as an evolving ecosystem capable of constant renewal.


    This episode provides a fascinating look into the brain's workings, and offers practical advice on achieving high performance and emotional regulation through understanding our most powerful organ.


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  • Jake and Damian welcome former footballer Joleon Lescott to High Performance, discussing the highs and lows of his career, the influential people in his life and the challenges he faced on and off the pitch.


    Joleon Lescott is best known for his time at clubs including Everton and Manchester City, contributing to City's Premier League triumphs in 2012 and 2014 and earning numerous caps for England.


    In this conversation, Joleon opens up about the resilience instilled in him by his parents and the intimidating environment of his early football years. He discusses growing up after a life-changing accident as a child and how football helped him to handle taunts about his scars.


    Moving to Manchester City, he talks about his initial reluctance to discuss the transfer and the feeling of stepping into a squad filled with top-tier players. He also recounts his mixed relationship with managers Mark Hughes and Roberto Mancini, and praises coach Glenn Hoddle for getting the best out of him as a player.


    Reflecting on Man City’s dramatic Premier League victory in 2012, Joleon expresses his happiness and gratitude in the moments that followed. He also addresses criticism faced by the club since he signed, emphasising the dedication and teamwork behind their success.


    This episode provides an unfiltered view to the challenges and triumphs of a Premier League and International footballer, highlighting the significance of perseverance and personal growth both on and off the field.


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  • In this episode, we revisit a compelling conversation with the new Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer. We explore the man behind the politician, and what he’s learned about leadership throughout his career


    Reflecting on his journey from barrister to party leader, Keir opens up to Jake and Damian about his formative years, the challenges of his legal career, and the profound impact of his mother's resilience in his life.


    From his passion for football and lessons learned from following Arsenal, to navigating the adversarial world of politics and his vision for reform, Keir shares insights on leadership, decision-making, and staying true to our principles.


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  • Renowned doctor, researcher and advocate, Chris Van Tulleken joins Jake and Damian for a candid conversation on the impact of ultra-processed foods on our mental and physical health.


    He shares his insights on how certain foods not only harm our bodies but also mess with our minds, leading to anxiety, depression, and a lack of control. He explains his own 30-day junk food experiment and its effects and describes the physical and mental toll of such diets, highlighting their effects on sleep, mood, and digestion.


    Chris expresses the urgent need for systemic changes, such as warning labels on food and removing financial ties between the food industry and government committees. He shares how his book ‘Ultra-Processed People’ aims to empower readers and spark a grassroots movement for better food policies.


    He offers practical advice for families looking to make healthier choices now, without waiting for policy changes. This episode encourages us to channel our frustration with the food system into activism and policy change to create a healthier future for everyone.


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  • In part 2 of this episode, Joe Hart opens up to Jake and Damian about the challenging yet transformative period in his career when he moved to Torino.


    Despite facing setbacks and being sidelined at times, Joe emphasises the importance of staying present, enjoying both good and tough times and finding clarity in difficult situations. He also reflects on his stints at West Ham, Burnley, and Tottenham, and how those experiences shaped his perspective on football and life.


    Reflecting on his time at Celtic, Joe describes the joy of becoming central to a team again and the deep connection he feels with the club and its supporters.This episode highlights the importance of resilience and embracing both the highs and lows in one's career.


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  • In the first of this two-part episode, we welcome former England goalkeeper Joe Hart to High Performance, discussing his remarkable career and the mindset that has driven him to success.


    Best known for his time at Manchester City and the England national team, Joe is a multiple Premier League FA Cup winner, and has played in some of the most memorable matches of the 21st century.


    Joe discusses his time at Manchester City, including his relationships with teammates and the pivotal moments that defined his career. Joe also shares his perspective on being dropped by Pep Guardiola and how he dealt with the frustration of not fitting into the new vision for the club.


    Reflecting on his England career, Joe talks about the pride and the criticism he faced, especially after the 2016 tournament. He emphasises the unique pressures of being a goalkeeper and offers advice on handling setbacks and maintaining a strong mindset.


    This episode provides an in-depth look into the highs and lows of Joe Hart's career, revealing the determination and resilience that have made him one of English football’s standout goalkeepers.


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  • Jake and Damian sit down with Olympic record-breaker Laura Kenny to discuss the highs and lows of her illustrious cycling career, and the personal challenges she's faced along the way.


    Legendary British track and road cyclist Laura Kenny made her mark as a five-time Olympic champion and the most successful female cyclist in Olympic history. In this episode, Laura opens up to Jake and Damian about the intense pressure of competing at the highest level, and what led to her retirement this year.


    Laura openly shares her experiences of the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, recounting the overwhelming nerves she felt and the unique mindset required to overcome such immense pressure. She also reflects on the invaluable support and lessons from her father, emphasising the importance of constructive feedback over harsh criticism.


    Laura talks about the emotional toll of her struggles with conceiving and the impact it had on her mental health. She bravely shares how speaking out about her miscarriage and the pressures of being a top athlete helped her cope and heal.


    This conversation provides important insights into managing pressure, fostering supportive relationships, and the crucial role of communication in overcoming personal challenges.


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  • In this episode, Jake joins world-leading nutrition expert Tim Spector to dive deep into the myths and truths about diet and health.


    Tim Spector is a renowned epidemiologist, geneticist, and author. Known for his work on personalised nutrition, he explains why calorie counting often fails in the long term. Emphasising the importance of food quality over quantity, Tim points out how ultra-processed foods can sabotage our health despite being low-calorie.


    Tim breaks down the complex relationship between diet, exercise, and mental health, sharing insights on why exercise alone isn't enough for weight loss and how our food choices impact our mood and mental health.


    He also talks about the transformative changes he'd make to our food systems, like ensuring real food in all institutions, stressing the interconnectedness of diet, exercise, and sleep for optimal health.


    With practical tips on how to improve your diet and lifestyle, this episode provides trusted insights from one of the most respected experts in the health and wellness field.


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  • In this episode, we revisit our insightful conversation with England Manager Gareth Southgate prior to Euro 2020. Gareth reflects on his journey, including leading the Three Lions to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals, and his ambitions for future tournaments.


    Gareth shares stories from his distinguished playing career; earning 57 international caps and playing in four major tournaments with England, and how these experiences shaped his outlook on management.


    As England aim for Euro 2024 glory, discover Gareth’s insights on leadership and development, from his experiences traveling across Europe to observe other coaching methods, to the lessons he’s carried forward from his own playing career.


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  • In this episode, Jake and Damian sit down with Premier League footballer Ollie Watkins, discussing his staggering journey from non-league football to reaching the Champions League.


    England and Aston Villa forward Ollie Watkins joins us on High Performance after a breakthrough season, achieving the most assists in the Premier League. Ollie opens up to Jake and Damian about his route to the top, discussing his rejection from Exeter City at age nine, struggling with concentration, and his determination to prove people wrong.


    Reflecting on key mentors and moments throughout his career, Ollie highlights the impact of High Performance culture, emphasising the importance of humility and consistency instilled by coaches such as Unai Emery. He advocates for breaking down the stigma around mental health challenges among athletes.


    Ollie also recalls the pressure of scoring his first goal for Aston Villa, highlighting the memorable feeling of a weight being lifted from his shoulders when his aim became a reality. He shares a defining moment against Arsenal, where his goal and celebration asserted his belonging in the Premier League.


    This episode uncovers the remarkable journey of one of England's most promising footballing talents; from Ollie’s humble beginnings, to his Premier League success and Champions League aspirations.


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  • In this episode, former Special Forces Soldier Jason Fox joins Jake and Damian to share his insights on navigating life's challenges and embracing fear.


    The former Royal Marine Commando and Special Forces Sergeant is a well-known TV personality, author, and motivational speaker. Throughout this conversation, Jason shares compelling stories from his military career and personal life, providing a unique perspective on resilience and enjoying chaos.


    Jason reflects on the emotional journey of having a daughter born with challenges, and what he’s learnt about shared human vulnerabilities. He discusses the superhuman strength needed to control reactions to difficult situations and his daughter's resilience in her battles.


    Transitioning from military life to civilian life, Jason opens up about his struggles and how he eventually found his footing outside the structured environment of the military.


    Jason also dives into the themes of his new book, "Embrace The Chaos", explaining how it stems from his own experiences and mistakes. He talks about the importance of managing fear, learning from failure, and conducting emotional stock-takes during stressful situations.


    In this engaging and thought-provoking conversation, Jason Fox provides valuable perspectives on overcoming adversity, managing fear, and finding strength in the midst of chaos.


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  • In this episode, Jake meets with Daniel Lieberman, a renowned researcher in human evolutionary biology and a Professor at Harvard University, to discuss the profound impact of exercise on our health and longevity.


    Daniel delves into the evidence revealing how just a moderate amount of physical activity can significantly lower our risk of death from numerous diseases, including cancer. He challenges the notion of exercise as a modern demand, highlighting its importance for human well-being throughout history.


    He also shares personal strategies for staying active, emphasising the social and enjoyable aspects of physical fitness. Daniel also highlights the physiological benefits of exercise, from combating inflammation to promoting mental well-being.


    Touching on the importance of sleep, Daniel explains how society can better support healthy lifestyles through public education from a young age. He discusses that improving our exercise habits and diet could drastically enhance our quality of life and reduce chronic diseases.


    With insights grounded in evolutionary biology and supported by compelling evidence, this episode challenges us to rethink our relationship with exercise and prioritise health in a sedentary world.


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  • In this episode, we revisit our fascinating conversation with McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris.


    After a rapid rise to the top of the podium in Formula 1, we look back at Lando’s chat with us in 2022, as he dreamt of becoming a race winner and championship force.


    Listen as Lando speaks to Jake and Damian about his tough beginnings in F1, how he struggled with mental health and imposter syndrome, and what it’s like racing against his heroes.


    Uncover Lando’s mindset on confidence and self-belief, his views on privilege growing up, and the sacrifices he’s made to reach the top of the world’s fastest sport.


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  • Renowned for his captivating presence on screen and innovative business endeavours, Jamie Laing joins Jake to share candid insights into his career and overcoming personal struggles.


    Jamie Laing is more than just a reality TV star: he’s also recognised as an investor and entrepreneur, establishing the confectionery company 'Candy Kittens', and hosting several podcasts including ‘Great Company’ and ‘Newlyweds’.


    Despite his privileged background, Jamie emphasises the importance of hard work and determination in building his businesses, debunking misconceptions about his success solely stemming from family wealth. He highlights the necessity of surrounding ourselves with the right people and embracing resilience in the face of challenges.


    Jamie also opens up about his experiences with anxiety and depersonalisation, shedding light on the struggles many face with mental health. He discusses the importance of acceptance and seeking help, offering hope and encouragement to those grappling with similar issues.


    Discussing the impact of social media and criticism, Jamie shares his experience of facing online abuse and maintaining confidence in his creative pursuits.

    Whether it’s building a business or facing personal battles, this conversation with Jamie Laing explores how with the right mindset and support, we can navigate through life’s ups and downs and emerge stronger on the other side.


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