SAS Troop Commander
Mark Wales grew up in the red dirt of West Australian mining towns in the Pilbara. After deciding he wanted to join the SAS in high school, Mark embarked on a career in the Australian military that would eventually lead him to the battlefields of Afghanistan. As a Troop Commander in charge of 30 elite soldiers, Mark’s role was to lead combat missions against senior enemy commanders, deep behind enemy lines. Through this unique and harsh environment, Mark developed his skills in leadership, teamwork and high performance.
Like many in his situation, Mark battled depression and stress disorders after warfighting in Afghanistan. He tackled recovery with the same intensity he applied to Special Ops training. He rigorously researched the fundamentals of neurobiological science and the benefit of skill development. This approach underpinned a strong recovery, and drove personal growth far beyond his previous abilities.
Mark’s successful recovery and growth led him to embark on a high profile career in business. With four attempts of the GMAT, he was accepted into an Ivy League college in the U.S.A, and after graduation he joined McKinsey & Company, a respected consulting outfit also known as ‘The Firm’. He founded a fashion startup Kill_Kaptur, a tough-luxury ecommerce brand. He was a competitor in Australian Survivor 2017, the world’s #1 reality TV show.
An avid surfer, boxer, and cook, Mark stays active and keeps his experiences as varied as possible. He believes that past experience should never be a limitation to embarking and excelling in something new.
Mark loves to reveal the common threads that run through human competition in all arenas, and the importance of a growth-mindset to overcoming mental illness and drive success in future endeavours.
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Wanted to thank you for your presentation to the team on Friday. The feedback from the team was fantastic and certainly hit the right cord in terms of personal and professional challenges. Congratulations on what you have achieved with your business venture to date and if you don’t mind I may get in touch closer to my trip to NY at Christmas for some places to check out. Until then, all the best and ‘who dares wins’!
Director, Design and Build
Mark was very engaging and provided the perfect message that the team required as we head into another year of selling. Mark delivered a message that demonstrated mental strong, commitment, ownership and emotion. I would highly recommend Mark.
Mimecast Aust. Pty. Ltd.
Mark spoke to our group of approximately 100 executives at a high profile leadership offsite. He led topics related to mental health and effective techniques for stress management in the workplace. He was deeply credible and highly engaging, drawing on his experience from both the battlefield and the boardroom. We would be thrilled to have Mark join us again in the future and would certainly recommend him for other engagements.
Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company, Dallas
In his ‘Peer Perspectives on Leadership’ keystone speech at Wharton, Mark passed on thrilling lessons about life and leadership as a Troop Commander in the Australian Special Air Service Regiment. The unit specialized in sensitive strategic operations, hostage recovery, counter terrorism, and precision air strikes. Mark completed 10 tours of duty overseas, including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, East Timor, and the Solomon Islands. Experiences in each of these countries taught Mark about the importance of how personal values and your perspectives on life can shape your approach to leadership. An unforgettable talk.
MBA, Wharton School of Business
I engaged the speaking services of Mark Wales to talk to a team of 30 high level sales consultants about teamwork, resilience, persistence & high performance. Mark not only did this with eloquence t ease & professionalism, he also had the sales team actively engaged throughout his talk by way of questioning and group activities/discussions. I would highly recommend engaging Mark to talk to your staff if you want them to move from good to great.
Sales Team leader
Mark's engaging talk stood out from all the other corporate presentations our team has seen. There were slides filled with personal pictures that helped enhance the stories he was sharing from his time in Special Ops. His unique and interesting experience had takeaways that were directly relevant to our work in business. It was a great way to learn some great tips around working on teams, stress management and doing what you love. I would highly recommend him to any audience looking for a unique and interesting presentation!
Operations Leader, McKinsey Academy