How the Light Gets In with Bruce Ross · ShiftWorkPlace

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E30 How the Light Gets In with Bruce Ross

Bio for Bruce Ross

Bruce Ross is a Leadership Development Consultant who operates in the realm of the ‘inner game of leadership’. His proprietary approach to leadership development is research-based and has been honed over 37 years of working directly with the full spectrum of leaders: from emergent through to established.

The resulting framework (FlowPreneur™: Unshakeable Bold Leadership) integrates Brain Science and Optimal Psychology directly into business to help individuals and teams tap unsuspected reserves of human performance, intelligence, and potential.

Bruce has spoken at over 33 annual conferences and been published internationally – on the topic of leadership and accessing peak performance states. He has personally coached over 1200 business owners, leaders, and entrepreneurs.

Bruce was inclined towards social work at 21, but found it emotionally draining. He then worked in recruitment and HR. He joined a company called Entrepreneurs Success Program, which led him to business coaching. He then started his own company, Ignite Business Leadership.

Bruce is married and had 2 daughters, one of whom (Danni) passed away of cancer. Although it was devastating to the family, it helped him slow down and revaluate what he considered important in life and decided to help people increase their psychological immunity for high performance. He is an avid ultramarathoner and feels most at home in the mountains.

Episode highlight

Bruce Ross went through deep emotional loss and grief, which catapulted his search for meaning and helped him discover that raising people’s energy states inspires him. Listen in on his journey from free-spiritedness to pain to finding his purpose.



  • “We have well-being, we have our psychological immune system, we have our biological immune system then we have disease… and then death… The thing that actually rips through the firewalls of our psychological immune system and biological immune system [is] the stress, and at the moment, we are living in stress on steroids with the COVID environment we’re in… so we need to understand what’s going on in the body, how do we… balance and reset our nervous systems.”
  • “Being in a flow state is when you’re in the zone… it could be when you’re deep in conversation, you’re lost in conversation… it could be when time expands or time contracts.”
  • “What happens at a personal level, you can also transfer it to team and organizational leadership.”
  • “You’ve got ‘Preneur’ which is your drive, your spurt, your mojo, how you turn up on a day to day basis, and you’ve got ‘Flow’ which is a peace state of consciousness where we perform our best and feel our best.”
  • “The group that I was in was very high-level philosophical purpose of life: is there life after death… then the university stuff was mid-level so handy in a job, what job are you going to get, what skills do you have… You live your life, and you try to blend the different philosophical approaches.”
  • “When you have children, you don’t project that they’ll die before you, and so when it happens… it causes a deep existential revaluation, reanalysis… For me, there was a cracking open, that if this could happen, what else could happen… My expectations of life and that they should be predetermined, that they should happen a certain way… that broke.”
  • “There are multiple worlds and multiple opinions and approaches.”
  • “The core of… life is energy and therefore, it needs to be aware of what takes and what saps it”
  • “Where I come from is that I have a love of seeing people in the full expression of themselves so whatever it is, in whatever area I want to expand into.”
  • “There is a recognition that we’re not living at the fullest level we possibly can… and… what are the tools, the understanding… the concepts to enable us to get there.”
  • “The spiritual process is one of the dimensions I take people into… I’m interested in bringing spirituality into the workplace and I don’t talk about spirituality but how that turns up to me is how do I ensure I am tapped into high energy states and how do I share those high energy states with the people around me, so to bring them up… because when we have high energy, we’re the best versions of ourselves.”
  • “What’s going on with the core premises of this energy concept is that there is nothing wrong with you; something is leaking your energy, or something is giving you energy.”
  • “There’s been a cracking open, the things that you project into the future, because who can say where can we go from here, and therefore causes you to step back and go… what is life, what is my relationship with life, what is it that I’m missing, what is it that I missed, how can I be more present and just the whole nature of life gets more deeply revaluated… So, what I have found subsequent to that is a treasuring of the moments, a recognition of what it is that really deeply moves me.”
  • “There is nothing wrong with you or me or the people out there; something is sucking or leaking their energy because when you have high energy, we’re in the best of ourselves.”


Childhood incidents:

Bruce experienced an ease and a love of life when he began running at the age of 3. Running made him feel like he was flying, and all other experiences paled in comparison. He still chases “the glory of life feeling” every time he runs, and it informs the work he does today.

Groups you were born into and belonged to:

Bruce’s parents divorced when he was 1, which caused his mother to be ostracized as a “fallen woman for having divorced”. He experienced the stigma, too, and did not have much social interaction in his childhood. However, watching his mother run the house with a meagre salary “brought out a deep respect for… what women are capable of”.

Being a European living amongst Maoris, he did not face any racism, and considers the atmosphere as one that offered him a stable upbringing. He also enjoyed his time in nature, feeling a “sense of abundance” offered by orchards.

He had assumed that going to university would make him wise like an elder, but he found that another organization which offered him esoteric education was where his “thirst got quenched”. He considers that group formative in his thinking and overview of life.

Temperament and personality influences

Bruce says that he is a Virgo, so he does focus on perfectionism and analysis. He is also a self-confessed introvert. He claims that the death of his daughter changed him drastically and inspired him to work in the field he is in now.

A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experience

When Bruce was 18, he visited the Philippines and was taken aback by the heat, the humidity, and “opulence like I’ve never experienced before”, he states. He lived in a gated community with security guards carrying guns and had servants at his beck and call.

He remembers leaving the area in a van and being thronged by beggars, who lived in precarious housing and were being ignored by the locals. “How can those two polarities still exist?” he wondered, and this drove him to study politics and economics at university.

Advice to an employer to work with me

Bruce works with business owners and business leaders who are on the “hunt for their higher selves”. He works one on one with people through coaching as well as the FlowPreneur program, in person and online. He teaches his clients to identify their energy leaks and work to fix those to make flow a “regular, consistent, predictable process”.

Bruce claims that the people who benefit most from his work are driven people who want to excel and achieve their highest self-expression. These people are also the ones who are motivated by a purpose, even if they are not able to articulate it.

More great insights from our guest!

Bruce says that the passing of his daughter, Danny, brought many gifts in the form of opportunities to grow and evolve. When she was battling cancer, Bruce’s counsellor told him, “I need you to understand something… there is nothing wrong with Danny… parts of her have cancer”. He then changed his perspective from dealing with her as a sick, broken person to acknowledging the whole person that she was.


Cracking Open: A New Zealander business coach shows us how to take one’s personal grief and turn it into the purpose of one’s life.


Bruce Ross is a business coach with a very well-thought-out system based on energy levels and flow. He seeks to help people realize their potential, both personal and professional.


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