The spirit of sport instills so many positive values from a focus on personal development and pure hard graft, to the pursuit of excellence. What greater way to get the insider scoop on sporting perspective and achievement, than chatting to Dublin GAA star Paul Flynn! From early on, Paul was passionate about Gaelic Football and here he chats to Stephen Rice, Director of Intermediaries.
Paul Flynn is an elite sportsman and Commercial Director for Lincoln Recruitment Specialists. He played an integral role in Dublin Senior Men’s GAA All Ireland success over a number of years and has been awarded four consecutive All Star Awards for exceptional performance on the field. He also sits on the board of two not-for-profit organisations.
Growing up, what were your ambitions from both a sporting and career perspective?
From a young age, when I realised I wanted to focus on football, my ambition was to play for Dublin. I can remember attending GAA summer camps with Dublin legends at the time and my ambition was to emulate them. This ambition and desire to play for Dublin continued into my teens but as I entered my 20’s I realised the importance of combining my football with building a professional career.
With a 16-year gap in Dublin winning All Ireland titles between 1995 and 2011, what do you think has driven the recent success which has seen Dublin win 5 All Ireland titles in the last 7 years?
At a top level there are 3 key attributes – leadership, talent & team work. The change in culture which started under Pat Gilroy has been built on by Jim Gavin. This includes learning from training methods of similar sports and understanding what drives successful teams in other sports. The county board has also put strong foundations in place to help develop the game from the underage set-up through to the senior team, which has seen the continued flow of players during this period.
As an elite sports person, what motivates and drives you each season despite the significant level of success you have enjoyed, and can you apply it to your professional career?
I continue to be motivated to be the best I can be, in both my sporting and professional life. In my sporting capacity I am keen to continue to evolve my role as I get older. Likewise professionally I want to keep learning and to build on my skills. My goal is equally to help others develop, to pass on what I have learned over the years, and to bring out the best in my team mates both in Dublin and Lincoln Recruitment.
You are juggling two full time careers, one in sport and the other in your role as Commercial Director of Lincoln Recruitment, what is your typical day?
The key is preparation and being organised. Preparation starts the night before to ensure that I have the right foods for the day (based on my training schedule) and correct training gear packed. An early morning session can run from 6am. After this, it will be breakfast and then into the office for the day. The evening might involve some light stretching or a yoga session. The key factors to balancing both roles are to be organised and disciplined. Being efficient with time management is vital.
Do you find it difficult to maintain work-life balance? How do you switch off and stop thinking about it all?
It can be a challenge to switch off and ensure you make quality time at home for family. I try to include 5-10 minutes of meditation a day, in between work and training, and then again before going home. This is a good way for everyone to reset and get the most from each area of their life.
Has the preparation and discipline you’ve invested in your sporting career helped you to build a successful career in the recruitment industry? Are there similarities in how you prepare for big sporting occasions and key business decisions?
Again, proper preparation and discipline are key to ensuring you are performing at your best. By preparing properly it helps me to be more productive, be it in a sporting environment or when making pitches to new or existing clients with Lincoln. It helps to make big events more enjoyable, and also to achieve your goals. I tend to focus on the time critical items in work or training first, prioritising what is most important. Being involved in sports from a young age has given me a lot of the tools to help with being prepared and disciplined in my professional life.
Is a sporting background considered an advantage for candidates when applying for roles?
Employers definitely look at anyone who engages in activities outside of work as a positive. This is not restricted to sports and can include activities such as drama for example. It helps develop character and shows a different dimension to the individual. It can also help the individual to work better in a team environment. People who engage in team based activities outside of work tend to be more disciplined and organised, which carries over into the work place and benefits the employer.
How important is it for employers to encourage their staff to partake in sporting activity, and to maintain a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally?
I see a big drive with my clients at the moment towards workplace wellness programmes, which can help improve physical and mental health, benefitting both the employee and the employer. There is a link between promoting wellness and activity in the work place, productivity levels and reduced absence due to illness. Encouraging physical activity is also a great way to help people reset after the working day and leads to better work-life balance.
So what’s next for Paul Flynn, are you enjoying a break ahead of the 2018 football season?
I’m extremely busy with the growth in Lincoln across both Ireland and the UK, whilst also trying to give the body time to recover from the long season which has just finished. I am looking forward to January however, to getting back into training with Dublin.
Click here to read our November Investment Journal, where we share some exciting sporting news from within our own ranks on both Killian Clarke who will represent Ireland on the International Rules Panel for 2017 and Barry King, who was recently appointed Vice Captain of the Irish Davis Cup team.
To speak with a Portfolio Manager or Account Executive today, phone the Cantor Fitzgerald dealing desk on 01 633 3633.