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Mark Wales

Mark Wales

Mark Wales dedicates his life to educating others on leadership, strategy and peak performance while under stress. He says: “I review the importance of strategy, execution and agility in any competitive system, drawing lessons from warfighting in Afghanistan, giving the audience usable lessons on how to apply this from today."

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Testimonials for Mark Wales

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

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


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

Mark Wales Travels from VIC
Fee Range: :$5001 to $10000

Mark Wales's Biography

As a former SAS Troop Commander, Mark Wales carries an impeccable military career that took him to Afghanistan on multiple tours, leading elite teams in the toughest and most stressful environments imaginable. Beyond his years of service, Mark attended a top business school, joined a global consulting firm and established a startup company, applying the same skills and strategy in business as on the battlefield. Mark now dedicates his life to educating others on leadership, strategy and peak performance while under stress. He says: “I review the importance of strategy, execution and agility in any competitive system, drawing lessons from warfighting in Afghanistan, giving the audience useable lessons on how to apply this from today."  Mark is a fresh and impressive speaker right from the opening line, delivering his message in a clear and engaging way that leaves his audience empowered.


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.

Speaking Topics Include

Battlefield: Leadership in uncertainty - Focused on skills and mindsets needed to lead teams under extreme uncertainty. Using examples from Special Operations, startups, and McKinsey, Mark focuses on tactical tips you can use from Day 1 to improve your leadership and drive results

Who Dares Wins  - Any endeavour requires applying the basics of a clear mission, a high-performing team, and mastery of self. Mark draws on his experience at the top levels of Special Operations and business to show you that the basics done well, are the foundations of mission success

The Mind: Mental resilience - Focused on skills and mindsets needed to prevent mental illness, and to recover and grow from trauma and failure. Mark draws from neurobiology and uses personal examples to illustrate a proven approach to prevention, recovery and growth from failure and trauma

Close Combat: The art and science of competition - Mark reviews the importance of strategy, execution, and agility in any competitive system, drawing lessons from warfighting in Afghanistan. Useful tips on how to apply this from Day 1 are included in the talk

Execution eats strategy for breakfast - Mark shares anecdotes about a hard-earned lesson: execute quickly, with a sound plan. Learn about goal setting, asymmetric warfare, contingency planning and the impact of emotions in a team setting

Peak performance under stress - In this shorter session (45 mins) Mark focuses on using 4-count breathing to dampen stress responses, and improve quality of decision making. This is an interactive class that uses heart rate monitors to demonstrate the benefits of deep breathing in a stressful situation

Mission, Team, Self - Outlines the hierarchy of needs that any effective leader should follow. This is a useful carry over of military values into business settings, proven by 2,000 years of history. Mark discusses the importance of rest, nutrition, exercise and growth for maintaining your foundation as an individual leader.