Leaside author Dane Jensen: No pressure, no diamonds

Photo of Dane Jensen
Dane Jensen.

Given the choice, most people would prefer to avoid pressure-filled situations. For Leaside’s Dane Jensen, author of a new book The Power of Pressure (HarperCollins), pressure is not something to be feared, rather something to be embraced and harnessed to help drive performance. Throughout his book, Jensen advocates accepting pressure as a natural part of life and helps the reader reframe pressure and use it as a catalyst for both personal and professional growth.

The Power of Pressure.
The Power of Pressure.

The CEO of Third Factor, Jensen is a graduate of Queen’s Smith School of Business and has been collaborating with his father, noted sports psychologist Dr. Peter Jensen to train organizations in the areas of leadership, coaching and resilience. Having worked with more than 50 Olympic medal-winning coaches, Third Factor uses approaches embedded in the team-based MBA and EMBA programs at Queen’s Smith School of Business. In addition to his work with corporations, athletes and coaches, Dane Jensen is an instructor at his alma mater and an affiliate faculty member at the Kenan-Flagler Business School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

When speaking with Leaside Life, Jensen spoke fondly of his teenage years and his Leaside friends. He appreciates Leaside’s “amazing schools, easy access to everywhere in the city, and as a runner, the trails in the nearby Beltline and Mount Pleasant cemetery.” Jensen, who grew up in North Toronto, moved to Leaside in 2020, and like us all, found himself, his wife and three children living under the umbrella of a pandemic lockdown. What better thing to do during a lockdown than put pen to paper and author the book that had been percolating for years.

Dinner table conversation at the Jensens’ often turned to performance and how one can achieve peak performance in times of extreme pressure. Jensen’s mother holds a double master’s degree in adult education and counselling psychology, and his father has attended 10 Olympic games as sports psychologist for the Canadian Olympic team.

For over five years, Dane himself had been asking everyone he met: what is the most pressure you have ever endured? From peak-performing Olympic athletes, politicians, and executives to busy parents and even Navy seals, Jensen discovered that while every experience is unique, pressure follows distinct patterns and develops in predictable ways. Jensen’s book offers readers practical tools and strategies to recognize the patterns and to use the energy one can derive from pressure-filled situations to thrive and move to greater levels of performance.

When asked which key takeaways he would like the reader to adopt, Jensen said that pressure does not have to be negative and, when carefully managed, can be the solution to a problem. He writes how the importance of an anticipated outcome along with the uncertainty of that outcome can lead to pressure-filled situations. “But what can make pressure relentless – especially in the modern world – is that third variable: volume.” He then helps the reader understand what is important and what is not, what is at stake and what is not, as well as how to develop techniques to manage the uncertainty and to build a platform to control the volume of things we are dealing with in our lives.

Learn more at thirdfactor.com. The book is available on Amazon or Chapters/Indigo Books.

This article was guest contributed by Stan Flemming.