Unless you’re a Marine, you will never have the full ‘commando mindset’. But it can still help you a lot. The Marines give you a set of values that can help you in training, on the frontline or with life in general. Values are what we need to drive us, to help us find a purpose and to achieve our goals. They underpin the commando mindset, which is a way of thinking for when you’re facing a difficulty, when everyone’s back is turned or when there’s a global pandemic turning your life upside down. What I wanted to do with my book was show everyone a Marine’s perspective and how you can apply it to things like setting up a business or being a better parent.
If you walk into a lot of businesses and ask them what their values are, you’ll get a lot of boring answers. Ask any Marine what their values are and they’ll say integrity, courage and determination. These are human words that can actually help propel you forward. They are words to live – and sometimes die – by. They are the words that get you to step off the back of a helicopter and go through the doorway into an enemy compound.
If I told you what the England football team’s values are, I’d be giving away Gareth Southgate’s secrets. My business partner Ant and I met up with Gareth, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, the kitman – everyone involved, basically – just before the last World Cup. They had the ambition of bringing everyone a bit closer together. We did some Marine training with them and they all got wet, cold, muddy, tired, exhausted. We showed them what our values were and that helped them understand what theirs were. We’ve worked with a few sports clubs, from Cheltenham Town to London Wasps, and it’s always about asking people as individuals to leave their egos at the gate, so that when they go into that club, they live its core values.
It’s the same for businesses. We’ve done similar courses with big banks and one of the social media giants. As an organisation, if you understand your people and you’ve got the right values for them, they’re going to stick around and work twice as hard for you. We’ve seen it so many times. I remember one girl was really struggling with engagement at work, but we spoke to her about what she liked outside work and she was into rock climbing and mountain biking. Her value was ‘adventure’, the organisation bought into that and she really bought into them.