Endurance Sportswire Executive Interview Series – Gregory McDonough of the Chief Endurance Officer Podcast

April 15, 2024

Most of us in the business of endurance sports are athletes in our spare time and feel fortunate to have parlayed our passion into a related career. Today’s interview is with Gregory McDonough, an endurance athlete, successful business owner, and host of the podcast Chief Endurance Officer. His passion for endurance sports combined with his business acumen and successful podcast have taught him what it takes to launch several endeavors of his own in the endurance industry.

You have a long history in the sport personally. Can you share with us how you transitioned your passion for triathlon into your popular podcast?

To be honest, my wife is to blame for my passion for endurance sports and triathlon, in particular.  She was training for Ironman Wisconsin when we started dating, what feels like a century ago.  Her commitment to her Masters Swim program urged me to get up most mornings to join her and scratched my itch for the pool that had ended with the high school varsity team.  Those pool sessions turned into a handful of long-distance swims.  Long story short, we eventually decided to tackle Ironman Lake Placid together in 2014.  Ten years later we completed 6 long-distance triathlons together plus a couple more that I have done solo.

Something deep down inside of me has been wanting to build content and community around Endurance Leadership for years.  It is a wonderful combination of my passion for endurance sports and my love for leadership development.  As someone who runs his own business and supports those who run businesses, the importance of leadership is clear to me.

I hosted a podcast for an entrepreneur community for a year and a half before coming up with the idea for the Chief Endurance Officer podcast.  The idea and its name came to me while on a long ride or run and as it marinated, it became obvious that this was the right path forward.  A way to connect with our community on a different level while also sharing stories and messages that resonate and inspire.  I have noticed that several of my podcast guests who run businesses have changed their titles from Chief Executive Officer to Chief Endurance Officer.  It’s great.  I am so happy we are having an impact on the community.

What common characteristics or traits have you found in the leaders you have interviewed?

The leaders I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing share several common traits. They all stress the critical importance of having a clear vision and mission to guide themselves, their teams, and their organizations. A vision provides a long-term goal, and a mission focuses on the present and how to move toward that vision. Secondly, they are adaptable, capable of focusing on achievable goals despite obstacles, and make sure their actions are aligned with objectives. Additionally, their involvement in community and charitable causes reflects a commitment to social responsibility. Lastly, they are driven by personal ambition and aspiration, setting examples for others to follow.

Do you have any tips for someone wanting to start their own podcast?

For those looking to start a podcast, it’s crucial to define your niche and a clear theme that excites you and resonates with your audience.  Be sure to invest in quality equipment like a good microphone and recording software can significantly enhance your podcast’s audio quality.  Your audience will quickly turn off if the show quality is not there.

You have parlayed your podcast into some new projects. What are those projects?

The Chief Endurance podcast unexpectedly became a cornerstone for expanding our reach into the endurance leadership community. After nearly 50 episodes, we launched the Endurance Leadership community on Mighty Networks and a CEO Podcast Rewards Program that offers discounts to endurance brands. We’ve also invested in companies we’ve connected with through our podcast outreach.  On the business side, we provide fractional CFO services and financial management coaching to companies in and around the endurance space.  I am always looking for ways to support the endurance community.

What is your background?

I ran a professional services company for many years before starting my current business.  We were in the publishing services space supporting non-profits and government agencies.  It was an extremely difficult industry and it’s those experiences that differentiate me.  Over the past three years, my company has assisted businesses and non-profits in improving their financial management practices, from high-level financial strategy to restructuring finance and accounting operations.  We are also launching a new 9-week financial management course aimed at helping business owners align their purpose with long-term prosperity.

For someone who loves the sport of triathlon and is now getting immersed in the business side of the endurance sports industry, what have you learned that might help others looking to do the same?

I’ve learned the importance of patience and openness to new ideas and directions. While my long-term vision remains unchanged, the path to it weaves and evolves. Building solid, genuine relationships is key, as we prioritize sharing the stories of those we meet, letting the broader story unfold naturally.

Where can we find you?

You can always find me on LinkedIn or send me a note directly at gmcdonough@blackburncap.com.  I would also love to have you listen and subscribe to our podcast at https://www.chiefenduranceofficer.com/.

If you are in the market for new gear, I would also invite you to sign up for our Rewards program at: https://ceopodcast.myezrewards.com/

And of course, our new community site: https://endurance-leadership-community.mn.co/share/ZZRGvmDYBmF7KoHk?utm_source=manual