Intentional Performers with Brian Levenson

Executive Director of PeacePlayers, Brendan Tuohey on Building Peace

February 20, 2019

Brendan Tuohey joins us on this week’s episode of the podcast. Brendan is an Executive Director at PeacePlayers. Brendan grew up in the DC area in a diverse environment which has helped shape his life. At PeacePlayers they are inspiring people to see each other as people through the game of basketball. Brendan played Division 1 basketball at Colgate so he’ll talk about that experience, and then he’ll talk about his experience at Peace Players. Brendan serves over 100 employees and over 6500 kids throughout the world. PeacePlayers has sites in Israel, Cyprus, South Africa, Ireland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Brooklyn, and Baltimore. They are expanding rapidly into the U.S. and their mission is to have people leverage the game of basketball so they can go into areas of conflict and start seeing each other as humans and develop empathy. Brendan is a terrific leader that empowers people in his organization and is very thoughtful about how he sets up his organization and what he wants the organization to be moving forward.

In this episode, they discuss what childhood was like in the Tuohey household (5:20), if his parents were into basketball (8:30), how hard work played a role in his childhood (10:20), how much academics were stressed (11:40), how religion played a role in his life (13:00), what it was like growing up in DC (14:50), his experience at Gonzaga (16:40), if he had any fear leaving Gonzaga (19:20), what he means by “being in the middle of things,” (21:15), when he started to thrive at basketball (28:50), what his experience was like at Colgate (31:10), what he did to set his mind for success while playing basketball (37:00), what he was thinking he’d do with his major (39:00), his experience playing and coaching in Ireland (39:30), his experience coaching in Northern Ireland (46:50), where the idea for PeacePlayers came from (49:00), about his brother Sean (53:10), when he began full-time with PeacePlayers (58:50), where his overconfidence comes from (1:00:00), where he gained self-awareness to figure out how to build these programs (1:02:10), where his ability to ask good questions came from (1:04:20), what makes a good leader (1:06:30), how he balances the press (1:09:00), how he leads and supports people who work for PeacePlayers around the globe (1:13:15), what they’ve learned from the Olympics and other sporting activities (1:20:00), how many kids are touched by PeacePlayers and how many employees (1:21:10), how he manages 6500 kids and 100 plus employees on his shoulders (1:22:10) , the tools he uses to make sure he’s the best leader he can be (1:24:00), and how he prepares (1:25:10)

Thank you to Brendan for coming on the podcast. PeacePlayers is currently making plans this summer for Baltimore, Brooklyn, Detroit, Chicago, and LA. If people are interested in getting involved, they can look at their website They also have a program on their website that supports volunteers, so we encourage you to check out the website.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.


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