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Anne O’Neil on How Life Like Sports Is a Strategy by Design

Anne O’Neil (@heyanneoneil) on our life like sports is a strategy by design. | Brought to you by Masterworks ( use code passion to start).

Anne O’Neil is a former WNBA player for the Sacramento Monarchs and a Division 1 Academic and Athletic All-American at Iowa State University where she played for Bill Fennelly. She broke the Iowa High School State scoring record and was later inducted into the Iowa Girls Basketball Hall of Fame. Following a 12-year tenure in the athletic and healthcare industries, she took her expertise to Palo Alto Networks where she is a cyber transformational leader. She is also the host host of the Get Busy Livin podcast.

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If you’re a high performer in one area, it’s very hard to be a low performer in other things. You set that mindset on being the best and challenging yourself as much as possible.

Anne O’Neil

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What I Discuss With Anne O’Neil About Basketball, Coach Bill Fennelly, and Her Life After Sports

  • Anne O’Neil discusses how she developed the passion for playing basketball and why it defined much of hear early life.
  • The complexities of being a Division 1 athlete and how she persevered through injuries to become an Academic and All-American at Iowa State University.
  • The biggest lessons she learned from that experience and playing for Bill Fennelly, one of the winningest coaches in women’s basketball.
  • Her path to the Sacramento Monarchs and what it was like being on team that won the WNBA Championship.
  • Her life after sports becoming a mindset coach, cyber security leader, and starting her podcast.
  • How she has developed resilience throughout her career.
  • Anne and I discuss how life, like basketball, is really strategy by design.
  • Just as each play, makes a difference for each individual game, the same holds true for the moments that make up our daily activities.
  • Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at [email protected]m!
  • And much more…
132 | Our Life Like Sports Is a Strategy by Design | Anne O’Neil | Passion Struck with John R. Miles
132 | Our Life Like Sports Is a Strategy by Design | Anne O’Neil | Passion Struck with John R. Miles

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More About Strategy by Design From My Interview with Anne O’Neil

I asked Anne O’Neil about what she learned from Bill Fennelly and why he is such a successful College coach.

Anne O'Neil Quote on Athletic IQ from the passion struck podcast

Anne explains, “Coach Bill Fennelly is one of the most successful coaches and I love that he always coaches just depending on the team that we were playing. A lot of coaches have their one style and that style is going to work verse anybody. But Bill Fennelly was so strategic on each player and each play. The way he coached really made a difference for each individual game. It was like strategy by design. It was basketball by design, all the time.

Lots and lots of our practices were extremely strategic on the defense and what we would play against certain players. And the offense that we would run again, just depending on the personnel that we were up against in the game. Then we’re also dealing with injuries and who’s playing. So I would think that’s probably one of the biggest things about Coach Fennelly that I learned is strategy by design.

And I have learned that throughout my business career as well. It’s not one thing fits everyone or every team or every job or every role, or, every relationship or friendship. And so there it’s really kind of looking at it uniquely and what works in this moment. And guess what, if it doesn’t work there, then we switch and we try a new strategy.”

Thanks, Anne O’Neil!

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About Today’s Guest Anne O’Neil

Passion Struck with John R. Miles Episode 132 album cover with Anne O'Neil former Iowa State Basketball start and Sacramento Monarchs player

Anne has found herself immersed and intrigued by all things psychology and the neuroscience of growth mindset. 🧠🌟 During her time in athletics and business, she has worked with teams and executives developing strategic game plans and goals. Here are a few of her highlights in performance psychology:

Currently, she work as a Senior Cyber Transformation Leader at Palo Alto Networks where she consults with Global 2000 organizations at the C-Suite level developing 3-year roadmaps focused on cyber security strategy.

She also Trained for 2 years internationally under Steve Zaffron, founder of Vanto Group, a Forbes 2020 Top Management Consulting Firm. Zaffron is the author of National Best Selling Book, The Three Laws of Performance based on phenomenological ontology


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John R. Miles is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of Passion Struck. This full-service media company helps people live intentionally by creating best-in-class educational and entertainment content. John is also a prolific public speaker, venture capitalist, and author named to the ComputerWorld Top 100 IT Leaders.

John is the host of the PassionStruckPodcast. A show focused on exploring the mindset and philosophy of the world’s highest achievers to learn their lessons to living intentionally. Passion Struck aspires to speak to the humanity of people in a way that makes them want to live better, be better and impact.

Stay tuned for John’s latest project, his upcoming book, which will be published in summer 2022.

Learn more about me:

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