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IAM2057 – Mindset Coach Helps Clients Drive Their Performance to the Next Level

Podcast Interview with Susan Hobson

In this episode, we have Susan Hobson, a high-performance leadership coach, founder and CEO of Elite High Performance Inc. and host of the Leadership Launchpad Project.

The conversation focuses on the power of mindset in overcoming adversity, the importance of viewing challenges as opportunities for growth, and the role of high-performance coaching in both sports and business leadership.

Susan shares her journey from aspiring NHL player to high performance mindset coach, underscoring the importance of addressing the mindset at every level of leadership for effective behavior modification and achieving optimal results.

The episode also touches on personal insights and strategies for maintaining a high-performance mindset, such as the benefits of meditation for entering a state of flow and efficiency.


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Susan Hobson Teaser 00:00

I'd love that nugget to be something that everybody listening starts to brain train in their own mindset, right? It's like, how can I become the Victor rather than the victim? When that adversity hits, like, how can I get curious and dig in rather than hide in a way and avoidance and really just start to play with some of those opportunities for growth.

Intro 00:21

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:50

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast. And I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Susan Hobson. Susan, excited to have you on the show.

Susan Hobson 00:58

Excited to be here. Gresh. Thank you so much for having me. Let's get this party started.

Gresham Harkless 01:04

Let's get it started. And there's no better place to be than with Susan doing some really awesome things. And of course, before we jump into the party and hear about all the awesome things you're doing, what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Susan. So you can hear about some of those awesome things.

Susan is a high performance leadership coach publicly. founder and CEO of Elite High Performance Inc, host of the podcast, the Leadership Launchpad Project, and a member of the Forbes Coach Council.

Susan has been the leading industry for 15 years, working with some of the world's highest performing people and their teams, professional athletes, C suite executives, entrepreneurs, and many of the world's leading tech companies like Google.

And I was listening to one of the interviews that Susan did, and she said something that really is stuck with me during the pandemic. She said that adversity is just the opportunity for growth. And I think so many times we don't realize like how powerful our mindset is and how we can change our perspective so that we see those opportunities.

And I think she has a phenomenal story, which I'm sure we're going to jump into. She played women's hockey. She won a national championship at NWHL cup, all the things Susan has done. So excited to have you on Susan. Are you ready to speak to the I Am CEO community?

Susan Hobson 02:14

I am. So ready.

[restrict paid=”true”]

So as a little girl growing up in Toronto yeah, my parents, they knew how to plant them seeds in my mindset.

So they told me if I wanted to go on and pursue higher education that I had to get really good at hockey because I was told when I was a little girl dreaming of playing in the NHL for the Boston Bruins that was not possible for us girls. And so the best thing I can really shoot for back in the eighties, we weren't even in the Olympics as women yet.

Was higher education. So that's what I did. I got on my mission and I got really good at my sport and I was lucky enough at 14 to get offered a hockey scholarship to one of your elite prestigious boarding schools in New England there, where I then got recruited to go on to the Ivy Leagues to Princeton.

And so I just went into a tailspin in my performance. And so that was this really pinnacle moment in my hero's journey where With my finger two inches from the eject button, right? Oh, it's long here. I want to go home was actually because these fancy Ivy league schools, once you get through those gates, I'll do almost anything and make sure you get out onto the other side.

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So I got hooked up with somebody like me. I started to learn that like performance was 90 percent mental. Like I had never in all my training and all my years. even been exposed to that fact. And I right there as a highly intuitive young woman took notice. I was like, why do I have to get to the top 1 percent of my sport to even learn about the 90 percent that makes me successful?

Something wrong with that equation right now. And when I learned about the power of mindset, and how it's governing almost everything in terms of my actual performance. And I saw the turnaround when I actually was exposed to that, which was that I went from being a bench writer of the century. I lovingly refer to myself, my freshman year, getting seasoned D's for the first time in my life in the classroom to being on the like leading lineup, one of the top scores on the national Dean's list with my grades by my sophomore year, I was like, what is this?

Like I was put into this fancy institution for a reason. This is what I got to go out into the world and scream from the rooftops. This is a crime that we are not teaching this stuff in schools, in the grassroots of our sports. And then when I got into the working world on my mission after playing professional hockey and winning all that stuff you talked about at the top of the show, and I got into big business, I started to see, Oh my gosh, it's happening in big, big, big business too.

Like business professionals don't understand. That performance is 90 percent mental and it's mostly due to the mindset strategies that they're operating on. And that's when I really started to hit the ground running in my efforts to become a high-performance mindset coach. I wanted to pop up my elite athletes and teaching this stuff.

I wanted to pop up my hygiene professionals and teach them this stuff. But then I quickly realized that I was sending them both into these 1. 0 lead conditions, right? With leaders Who didn't have the mindset strategies either. And so that's when I was like, really, really clear. My mission needed to be that, that was where the disruption needed to live.

That's where we were going to change the world, right? By getting these strategies into the mindsets of the leaders who would then be empowered to trickle that all the way down to the front lines, whether that was sport or business. So that's the backstory. And that's why I'm so passionate about this because I just think it's a crime, right?

That we have to hit a brick wall. Or a glass ceiling and have pain be the thing that awakens us to our untapped potential. What's up with that?

Gresham Harkless 06:04

So I wanted to drill down more here a little bit more on how you're working with your clients and what that looks like, what that process looks like. And of course, here a little bit more on what I like to call your secret sauce, which you feel sets you apart and makes unique.

Susan Hobson 06:15

I think the thing that really sets us apart makes us unique in the leadership development space is the fact that I chose 15 years ago to specialize in the area of mindset. The Harvard business review now backs us up, right? Because one of the best silver linings I'm seeing coming out of this pandemic is all the research that we see, right?

All the data that we have now available to us. So they did a research project last year where they looked at the 356 billion Annual global dollars spent on leadership development and training and found that a whopping 75 percent of that training was rated completely ineffective, meaning it did not impact the damn result.

Why? Because the 25 percent that were effective were the ones that knew to go to the step of death known as mindset in their leadership development and training. Why is that such a differentiating factor? Because you can not affect behavior modification unless You go to the step and tap known as mindset.

Most people don't realize this, right? Like when they just try to stick it in a weekend workshop, right? Or get somebody in there to do a big motivational speech. It's great. Motivation will get you going, right? But it's the consistency of doing the brain training, which is what I like to call mindset work as an athlete.

That just makes sense to me. that consistently keeps you going and growing and changing in your behavioral patterns. And to me, Hello. Leadership is a set of behaviors after all. So if you're not going to the step of deaf known as mindset, how are you affecting behavior modification with your leaders?

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Another thing I'm just like, I don't get it. So I think that's definitely our secret sauce is the mindset strategy architecture work that we do. And so what does that look like? That looks like my leaders coming through the door. And me knowing how to get behind the gates, which is what I like to call the subconscious mind, right?

It's like that iceberg, you only see the little tip in terms of what we're consciously aware of the other whopping majority, like 95 to 97 percent of the choices that we make as leaders a day are being governed by your autopilot. They're being governed by your subconscious mind. And that's where the mindset lives.

Okay. That is where the playbook of beliefs live. The beliefs are the way that you filter everything, starting with the way you see yourself and therefore relate to yourself as a leader, which then sets up and predicts how you're going to relate to the world and your people. And that's what, triggers emotion.

And then that emotion is what governs decisions towards or away from anything. That's how the brain keeps us safe and alive. So that's the way I work with my leaders. I go to the stuff, the depth known as the mindset. I penetrate their belief system.

That's really the majority of the leaders that come through my door who haven't done the work. So I can help to deconstruct the ones that are old school broken and really, Replace them by re-architecting these intrinsically based 2. 0 strategies that are highly adaptive.

Which means that they're going to get optimal results in both themselves from a results perspective and with their people and their teams and ultimately yeah, I'm empowering them to go through a process of doing that work. I like to call it brain training, but it's the subconscious mind.

It's re-hardwiring, it's reprogramming. It's doing all of that at the subconscious level that you then see starts to manifest in different choices and different patterns of behavior. Which obviously takes them from here to here in terms of their results.

Gresham Harkless 10:05

Nice. I absolutely love that. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book or even a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Susan Hobson 10:16

Meditation for me is like one of the quickest hacks in terms of how to get myself into a parasympathetic response. For those of us out there who are not neuroscience geeks like myself, the parasympathetic state of the nervous system, that's when we're grounded. That's when we're most highly resourceful.

Which means we have access to the greatest amount of resources back here in the warehouse of old information known as our subconscious mind. Most people think again, high achievers. They think the sympathetic response pedal to the metal, is peak state, and I used to think that early on my hockey games, I was laying girls out, I was all hyped up.

I thought that was passion. But. Yeah, no, when you want to actually get into a state of flow. That's when you actually have to hear down your nervous system, right? Because when you're in a state of flow, it's actually more of a calm, confident place to be. But yeah, it's the most resourceful.

So if you're talking about efficiency and you're talking about productivity, then taking even just Five minutes to just meditate and ground your nervous system, you're going to see is one of the easiest ways to trip the switch on a flow state.

And that's been scientifically proven to be the most productive state of the mind.

Gresham Harkless 11:40

I appreciate you breaking that down. So what would you consider to be what I call a CEO nugget?

A little bit more word of wisdom or piece of advice. I like to say, it might be something you would tell your favorite business client, or if you happened to a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Susan Hobson 11:53

I just remember like one of my first brick walls, actually, when I didn't even mention this is when I went to college. craft school. I ended up getting diagnosed with Crohn's disease, which is a stress disease. And this is because I did not have the playbook. I did not know how to get this amazing opportunity to go away to the States, right?

Like totally unprepared for the pressure I was going to be thrust into. And so I was just like trying to be perfect. And I was trying to please everybody. And of course that meant sacrificing my damn self. And that meant, I was so stressed on the inside, striding on the outside, but just surviving on the inside, because I was so self-sacrificial by pressing my stress inside as if that was like going to make it go away.

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And so I wish I had known that was going to put me on my purpose-driven mission, which brought me here to all of you today. To do this work that I consider my life's calling. I wish I had known that because obviously I think as human beings, we all got to experience pain because pain and human beings is what awakens us to the untapped potential.

That we've got going on back there, right? So don't be afraid of the adversity. I like to retrain my client's experience in their brains specifically by getting them excited when the adversity hits, because there's always, always, always going to be a tremendous opportunity for growth buried in that pain and that adversity.

And that takes us from being. In the victim mindset, which is like, Oh, why is this happening to me? So being in what I like to call the Victor mindset, which is like, all right, why is this challenge showing up today? What is this here to teach me? And I actually get excited because I know that's thrusting me into this unknown.

Yeah. What I like to call growth zone. And so for a high performer That's literally our number one value, right?

Is growth so that we can continue to impact and serve this world. So yeah, I'd love that nugget to be something that everybody listening starts to brain train in their own mindset, right? It's like, how can I become the Victor rather than the victim? When that adversity hits, like, how can I get curious and dig in rather than hide in a way and avoidance and really just start to play with some of those opportunities for growth.

Gresham Harkless 14:21

Yeah. I appreciate you sharing that. So now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And our goal is to have different quote-unquote CEOs on this show.

So Susan, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Susan Hobson 14:34

I think being a CEO means having the potential to help optimize the potential of Your people, which starts by having the opportunity to realize max potential. In yourself, like we said, that's where the responsibility begins, but ultimately when you capitalize on both of those, because you actually see being a CEO as that, then really having the opportunity to help our world optimize its untapped potential.

Gresham Harkless 15:06

Absolutely. Susan, truly appreciate that definition. And of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I want to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best people get ahold of you, find out about your podcast, find out about all the awesome things you do in your entertainment world.

Susan Hobson 15:23

You can find my contact information and a form to be able to book time with me on my website, You could find out everything about all the many opportunities you have to work with us here. At Team Elite, I've got a dream team of coaches working all over the world. So we can serve the world.

The Leadership Launchpad Project on every major podcast platform. We get to interview the world's foremost leaders and experts in the.

2. 0 space every single week on that show. Those shows drop every Monday morning for your inspo on your way to work. Then you can find me on LinkedIn, Susan Hobson. Or Instagram.

Susan L. Hobson. Yeah, I think that's probably enough places for you to come and plug into some of what we've got going on here at Team Elite.

Gresham Harkless 16:08

Nice. Of course, to make it even easier, we're going to have the links and information as well in the show notes that everybody can follow up with you.

Subscribe, listen to the podcast, have that conversation, all those things. So we can find out about all the things that you are doing.

So thank you so much for doing that work so that we can do that work. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Susan Hobson 16:26

I really deeply appreciate you, sir.

Outro 16:28

Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media tune in next time and visit us at I Am CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community.

Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at This has been the I Am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless, Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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