The Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Podcast provides a platform to prepare performance leaders to navigate the moral, mental, emotional, intellectual and physical rigors in high-risk and ultra-competitive settings by developing strength of mind, body, character and critical thought. The podcast features guests who are performance leaders in a myriad of industries and explores human performance at the tactical/individual level, the operational/team level as well as the organizational level. The LUF Human Performance podcast endeavors to synthesize ideas, concepts and practices from divergent industries where uncertainty, risk, time-pressure and resource limitations are pervasive, and the consequences of sub-optimal performance are severe.
In 2014, the Leadership Under Fire team hosted the 3rd Annual Making Yourself Hard to Kill Conference. During this event, a Navy SEAL Commander with extensive operational experience shared his thoughts on navigating risk, mutual trust, decision-making among SEAL teams and more. This conversation was moderated by the LUF team’s Leadership Director, Eric Nurnberg, who joins us in this episode. Nurnberg is a Deputy Chief with the Iowa City Fire Department and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
“Thrilling” and “thought-provoking” are just two words to describe the work produced by our guest in this episode. Sebastian Junger is an American journalist, author and filmmaker whose work demands contemplation regarding what history, science and experience tells us about the ability to endure hardship and how to navigate our current cultural terrain. Junger’s work includes the books: Tribe and The Perfect Storm as well as the Academy Award-nominated film: Restrepo, which he co-directed with Tim Hetherington. Junger holds a degree in anthropology, has a propensity towards dangerous jobs and an admiration for the “working man.”
In an era where many elite athletes specialize in one sport, the Fowler brothers stand out. Brendan Fowler was a two-time NCAA Champion during his days of playing lacrosse at Duke, the NCAA Championship most outstanding player in 2013, and the single-season leader all-time in face-offs won in the same year. Also on the football team during his time at Duke, Fowler was a part of the Blue Devils squad that made its first bowl since 1994. After graduating, Fowler spent half a season with the Charlotte Hounds of Major League Lacrosse. Fowler then made his way onto the wrestling mat for a final season of NCAA eligibility. His professional lacrosse career has been spent with the Vancouver Stealth and New York Lizards. Danny Fowler was named an Under Armor All American in 2013 as the Chaminade High School star lacrosse goalie. That year he also helped pin down the Catholic State Championship in wrestling. He followed his older brother’s footsteps to Duke where he too played on the lacrosse and football teams. He’s now coaching lacrosse at Highland Park High School in Texas. So, how is it these multi-sport athletes excel in competition and in other areas of their lives?
Jason Brezler is the Founder and President of Leadership Under Fire (or LUF). In this episode, we’ll get to share how Leadership Under Fire came to be and how the LUF endeavor has evolved over time. We’ll also learn how Jason’s personal experiences have influenced his views on how to develop leaders and optimize human performance. Jason serves as a FDNY Special Operations Firefighter in Rescue Company 2 in Brooklyn, New York. Prior to becoming a firefighter and creating the Leadership Under Fire Team, Jason began his career as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He’s led Marines on several deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan where he was decorated for his combat service. Jason holds a masters degree from Oklahoma State University. He completed his undergraduate degree at the United States Naval Academy where he also played Division 1 baseball for the Midshipmen.
It’s something we all do every day of our lives. Breathing! And yet, most of us are doing it wrong. In this episode, Dr. Belisa Vranich, a renowned clinical psychologist, public speaker and author, will tell us some surprising information about breathing and walk us through the simple, revolutionary program she developed to improve mental and physical heath through breath work. As the founder of The Breathing Class™, Dr. Belisa has taught and lectured nationwide, and so we are honored to have her on the Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Podcast.
In 2018, the FDNY’s highest honor for the most outstanding act of heroism was awarded to Lieutenant Mickey Conboy. Lt. Conboy has more than 30 years with the FDNY. He is presently assigned to Rescue Co. #3 in the Bronx. Conboy previously served in Engine Co. 79, Ladder Co. 37 and Rescue Co. #3 as a firefighter and Squad Co. 41 as a Lieutenant. Conboy is an Adjunct Instructor at the FDNY Fire Academy and the FDNY’s Technical Rescue School. He was instrumental in the development of the course curriculum for the Firefighter Victim Removal training for FDNY Special Operations Command firefighters and officers. External recognition aside, he’s also experienced quiet moments of accomplishment and fulfillment in the fire service and in his personal life.
“Life As Sport.” It’s an approach to performance and everyday situations that Dr. Jonathan Fader strongly believes in based on his experience working with top athletes. Dr. Jonathan Fader is a licensed performance psychologist who served two seasons as the Director of Mental Conditioning for the New York Football Giants and also served as the team psychologist for the New York Mets for nine seasons. In this episode, we’ll unpack some the of skills Dr. Fader teaches professional athletes and find out more about how he is influenced by his experience working with high performers in various fields.
Our guest in this episode has spent two decades traveling to some of the most dangerous and remote areas of the world—masterfully capturing all facets of the human experience. Lynsey Addario is an American photojournalist whose work appears regularly in the New York Times, National Geographic and Time magazine. She’s covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur, and the Congo, and has received numerous awards, including the MacAthur Fellowship. In 2009, she was part of the New York Times team that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. She’s been kidnapped twice, nearly killed, married and had a son, but still is committed to documenting injustice in the world. Why does she do it? We’ll discuss this and more on the Leadership Under Fire Optimizing Human Performance Podcast.