002 | How Mindfulness Makes You a Better Leader with Paul MacCormack

Episode 002

How Mindfulness Makes You a Better Leader

with guest Paul MacCormack

It’s not very often you hear that being fired was the best thing to happen to someone–but for Paul MacCormack, it was the turning point that changed everything.

Paul is a 23-year veteran of the golf industry and is currently the Superintendent/GM at Fox Meadow Golf Course in Prince Edward Island, Canada. He’s also an author, speaker and certified mindfulness meditation teacher. 

After recovering from an episode of burnout, Paul founded Mindful Island Consulting, a leadership and mindfulness training company that helps workplaces improve their employment culture, retention, and overall well-being.

The Turning Point

For the first half of Paul’s career, he had the pedal to the floor. He sacrificed his health and time with his family to work his way up to superintendent. But once he got there, he was too burnt out to enjoy the dream job. 

Being fired from his position turned out to be a blessing in disguise. By then, Paul knew something needed to change, and when his wife handed him a book on mindfulness, he found the answer. 

Mindfulness allowed Paul to get to know himself on a deeper level. He realized he’d been setting an impossibly high bar for himself and that his self-worth relied on hard work. And it wasn’t just him–this was a pattern he saw reflected in other superintendents too. 

Adding Quiet to Your Day

If you recognize yourself in Paul’s story, there are a few steps you can take to find balance. Mindfulness doesn’t have to look like sitting in silent meditation (although it can). You can also try journaling, going for walks, or just sitting in quiet after the day is done. The important thing is to carve out space for yourself each day.

The more mindful you become, the more you’ll start to recognize patterns in your life. You’ll notice idiosyncrasies in yourself and better emphasize with others. You’ll also get to know where your limits are, so you know when to push and when to pull back.

The Impact of Mindfulness on Your Work

Paul jokes that, in the second half of his career, he’s able to get twice as much work done in half the time–all because he allows himself proper rest. He no longers wastes time at working when he’s being unproductive. Taking time off allows for greater creativity and problem-solving.

One of Paul’s other takeaways from his brush with burnout is to trust his team. Even as the superintendent, you don’t have to do it all. Your job is to make sure it gets done, but that could mean hiring, training, and supporting others on your team. 

Not only has Paul found this new approach more efficient, but it’s also more fun. It’s brought joy back to the game and to his career.

Enjoy this episode with Paul MacCormack…


“For the first half of my career, I did everything I thought I needed to do. But the problem was there wasn’t much rest involved and the gas pedal was only to the floor. There was no pumping of the break at all.” 

“Self-inquiry and self-reflection are the most powerful tools one can use to build your leadership style.”

“It’s really hard to lead others when you can’t lead yourself and you don’t know who you are.”

“I work half as much and get twice as much done because I don’t waste time at work getting nothing done.”

“I don’t have to be the beginning and the end of it all. I don’t have to be the one who knows and I don’t have to be the one that does it all. It’s my job to make sure it gets done. And for me, that means training, hiring, trusting, and enabling the people that work with me to do the job.”  

“Expectations in our industry can be ruinous. They can really eat you away both externally and internally because we succumb to completely unrealistic expectations.”

“Golf is a game. It’s meant to be fun and to be enjoyed by people.” 

“You can have the greatest job at the greatest golf course in the world, but if you’re burnt out and you’re not living a life, what’s the point?”

Links mentioned in this episode:

Mindful Island Consulting: https://www.mindfulisle.com/  

Connect with Paul on LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/paul-maccormack-02749bb1 

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Tyler Bloom

Who is Tyler Bloom?

Tyler Bloom is the leading expert on workforce development in the golf and turfgrass industry. He has worked with dozens of leading golf and sports companies in the United States including The PGA of America, Top 100 golf courses, public, municipal to professional sports teams, universities, and national historic landmarks.