Durability of Human Performance
Building Stronger People

Durability of Human Performance is the ability to sustain Optimum Performance under pressure. Optimum is not peak performance and it is not perfection.  Optimum is the very best you can possibly do in the current circumstances.

We all intuitively know that continually maintaining peak performance or sustaining perfection is almost impossible. Circumstances change, markets change, clients change.  However, wouldn’t you like your staff, or yourself, to be able to sustain Optimum Performance under pressure? Sustain the very best they can possibly do!

Resilience is the current buzzword for managing personal and business challenges.  Resilience is known as the ability to ‘bounce back’ after failure. Resilience is a life skill we have all wanted to provide for our children, our staff, our students or our businesses.

Durability supersedes resilience.

Derrick McManus has developed a simple yet powerful process for ‘Durability of Human Performance’.  Durability thinking is the cutting edge of development in positive psychology. The University of South Australia, School of Psychology, is currently working with Derrick to further research and develop the Durability process.

Derrick draws on his inspirational history as a former sniper, diver and counter-terrorist operative with the elite SA Police Special Tasks and Rescue (STAR) Group.  In a high-risk arrest he was shot 14 times with a high-powered rifle in less than 5 seconds. He was lying on the ground for 3 hours before he could be rescued. The first doctor to reach him thought he was already dead and later said, “I actually don’t know how he survived, he’s an incredible human being.”

This story is pure inspiration in it’s own right. Derrick regularly speaks at conferences all around Australia and overseas. This story is also a very real and very powerful metaphor for Durability of Human Performance.

Derrick is sensational for opening a conference and inspiring people to believe in their own ability.  Derrick is awesome for closing a conference and bringing all the information powerfully together.  Derrick is also brilliant for a mid-conference Durability workshop or break-out session where people get a true insight into developing their own Durability of Human Performance.

The true strength in Derrick’s work is delivering  Durability of Human Performance workshops or break-out sessions at your conference after his keynote OR delivering full and half-day workshops in your workplace at any time.


I was a Sniper, Special Ops Diver and Counter-Terrorist Operative with the elite Special Tasks And Rescue (STAR) Group of the South Australian Police. I was a peak performer in a very demanding role.

During a high-risk arrest in 1994, I was shot 14 times in less than 5 seconds with a high-powered rifle. I was left lying on the ground, bleeding to death, for 3 hours before I was rescued. I was well aware of what happens to the body as it is drained of blood.  I lost so much blood that I could monitor my organs closing down.  My blood supply got so low that even my vision closed down and all I saw was a pristine white light.

The first Doctor to get to me later said to the media, “He’d almost lost all his blood, I still don’t know how he actually survived. He’s an incredible human being.”

There are many reasons I survived that shooting but they are mostly summed up in the process of Durability of Human Performance.  I had prepared myself physically, mentally and emotionally for what I could realistically expect to encounter as a result of the choices I made in my life.

I was so well prepared that at the time the bullets were hitting me and sending shock waves through my body, I was, for a split second, literally cracking jokes with myself about what ‘the boys’ were going to say about this when I get back to work.  This was not a disregard of risk or seriousness or enormity of the challenge.  This was just a sign that I was well prepared physically, mentally and emotionally.

Durability of Human Performance is about – people, leaders and organisations – preparing themselves so they too can sustain optimum performance under pressure.  I have designed the Durability Wheel and process that’s easy to understand and put into practice.

“What Derrick has to say is directly transferable and usable when you walk into the office on Monday morning. It’s very practical and very powerful.”     President, Australian Property Institute

The Durability of Human Performance model and process is as applicable and usable for everyday life situations, from school yard to CEO suite, as it is in the extremes of life and business – when the pressure is really on.  

I now speak at conferences and seminars worldwide and run life-changing personal development programs – break-out sessions to full and half-day wrokshops – that inspire people to believe they can change their lives for the better.  I work with individuals, leaders and organisations to share my formulas for Durability, 5 Drivers of Success, Peak Performance, 6 Steps to Unbreakable Self-Esteem and a lot more.

“After your session I went straight into my managers office and discussed my development in the organisation. First time I’ve ever done that.”           Program participant – Dept. of Human Services, SA Govt.




Durability of Human Performance

Keynote or Workshop

Elite athletes around the world will attest – 90% of success comes from inside your head. It was the same for me when I joined STAR Group, the same when I was fighting for survival during the shooting and the same for me in every aspect of my business and personal life. My formula for success is universal and it comes down to Durability of Human Performance . I have run programs for executives in ANZ Bank, Mining Industry, Real Estate agents right through to students. Durability will work for your people and their challenges.

Ideal for individuals, leaders and organisations wanting to themselves and others to higher levels of success and satisfaction.

7 Pillars of Tactical Leadership

Keynote or Workshop

Selection for military Special Forces and any subsequent training includes the ability to lead teams in the toughest and most demanding work environments in the world.  The 7 Pillars of Tactical Leadership principals are distilled from this peak performance arena.  They are universal principles and are as applicable in your office as they are anywhere. This half-day program will show you how to use those 7 Pillars to create a focussed and successful environment for you people to thrive in.

High Stakes Negotiations

Keynote or Workshop

Negotiations for executive level positions.  I combine my experiences of negotiation with those of Gary Edwards – former lawyer, University lecturer in negotiations and assessor of Police hostage negotiation training and methodology.

This collaboration combines a wealth of experience in seriously high-stakes negotiation. The models and program we have created is cutting edge for both effectiveness and simplicity.





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