Sometimes living as the best version of yourself means knowing when to say “no”, avoiding drastic fad lifestyles, and allowing both joyful leisure time and periods of overwork to play together. Which is why we’ve asked Sarah Robb O’Hagan, the author of Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat, to join us on the first episode in our new series studying Moderation.
Sarah inspires colleagues, readers, and those who have heard her speak to make brave choices in their lives. But she’s also a big-picture dreamer, wrapped up in an energetic, vulnerable, humble, and friendly package. So join us as we dig into: how can we be our most extreme selves without going too far and burning out?
About Extreme You
There’s so much misleading and even harmful advice about success. We hand our young people trophies for showing up and tell them “everyone’s a winner,’ but it’s not true — everyone is not going to be a winner. Meanwhile, so many junior employees seem to think that if they just do what they’re told and work hard to please the boss, they’ll get safely promoted, but that’s not the business world today.
What’s the truth? With every opportunity and every challenge, personal or professional, we face a choice. We can take the safe path and conform to the accepted norms, but at a heavy cost: passions stifled, talents ignored, and potential squelched. Or we can make the other, far bolder choice, and embrace what author Sarah Robb O’Hagan calls Extreme You: to confidently bring all that is distinctive and relevant about yourself to everything you do. You’ll achieve more if you’re willing to step up—and out—of line.
In EXTREME YOU: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat (HarperCollins; April 2017), Sarah draws unconventional insights and kickass lessons from her own personal and professional experiences, including getting fired twice in her twenties on her way to turning around a five-billion-dollar sports drink business. She also draws insights and stories from her band of highly accomplished “Extremers” ranging from entrepreneurs, and corporate leaders through to a former secretary of state, an Olympic champion downhill skier, and even a world-renowned tattoo artist. Robb O’Hagan has codified a method to help you rock your career and live the boldest version of yourself.
About Sarah Robb O’Hagan
Executive, activist, and entrepreneur, Sarah Robb O’Hagan has been described by the media as everything from “Superwoman undercover” to the “Pied Piper of Potential.” She is a high-energy combination of disruptive business leader, fitness fanatic, and cheerleading mom, and has been named one of Forbes‘ “Most Powerful Women in Sports” and one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business.”
As Chief Executive Officer of the fast growing indoor cycling company Flywheel Sports, she is currently leading the transformation of the business through digital content and services. Prior to this role, Sarah became an internationally recognized re-inventor of brands, having served as global president of the $5Bn sports brand Gatorade, where she successfully led the business through a major repositioning and business turnaround, and global president of the luxury fitness company Equinox, where she reinvented the offering through a significant technology transformation.
Sarah’s career journey has led her through some of the world’s most iconic brands. Her early successes included the breakthrough marketing campaign she led for Virgin Atlantic Airways in collaboration with the Austin Powers movie, in which she rebranded the airline “Virgin Shaglantic” and turned a 747 into an international flying showcase. Later, Sarah transitioned to the sports industry, where she was a key member of the Nike team that launched the game-changing innovation Nike Plus in collaboration with Apple. What Makes Sarah more proud, however, are her self-proclaimed “epic fails,” including back-to-back firings in her mid-20s and a close call with deportation from the USA – a period she fondly refers to as her “canyon of career despair.” The deep learnings of humility, self-awareness, and resilience she drew from that time became the basis of her Extreme approach to life and informed her later successes.
Sarah is a passionate advocate for an active lifestyle and believes the lessons learned from sports and fitness can be applied to improve performance in the workplace. She has served on Hillary Clinton’s US State Department Council to Empower Women and Girls through Sports and as a trustee of Billie Jean King’s Women’s Sports Foundation. She also sits on the board of STRAVA – the social network for athletes. As a proud Kiwi America, Sarah is an active member of the World Class New Zealand Network, she remains committed to helping her birth country’s development, international competitiveness, and economic growth.
Throughout her career Sarah has been recognized for her many achievements including being named to the top 40 Under 40 lists by the Sports Business Journal (2009, 2011, and 2012), Sports Goods Business (2010), and Crain’s Chicago Business (2010), and Ad Age magazine’s “Women to Watch” (2010). In 2014 Sarah was awarded the Sir Peter Blake Trust Award for outstanding leadership and in 2016 she was recognized in her native country with a “World Class New Zealand” award for leadership.
Sarah and her husband, Liam, and sons Sam and Joe and daughter Gabby live in New York. They have a chocolate Labrador named Edmund “Eddie” Hillary.