Mark Denton is a leadership expert and speaker with vast experience navigating turbulent waters. In his professional sailing career he’s competed in countless races and sailed over 80,000 miles across the worlds’ toughest oceans. His most notable achievement was leading an amateur team to success in the BT Global Challenge 2000-01, dubbed ‘the worlds’ toughest round the world yacht race’.
But Mark also draws on 20+ years of working with some of the worlds’ greatest organisations, helping to reshape their cultures and improve their leadership and team resilience to deliver better, faster and more sustainably, especially in times of disruption and change.
It’s the unique combination of this experience that’s encapsulated in ‘Navigate the Storm’, and led to Mark winning a coveted IVCA Gold Award for this ground breaking real-life case study. Consequently, he has spoken at thousands of events in over 31 countries, achieving consistent 5 star reviews from all who have been educated and enthralled.
Mark has been a major contributor to the Henley Management School MBA Text ‘Inspiring Leadership; staying afloat in turbulent times’ that looked at the relationship between emotional intelligence and achieving sustained performance in the race, now in its 7th reprint.
Mark talks on the combination of three main topic areas when sharing ‘Navigate the Storm’, which were the Teams’ chosen values: Safe, Happy and Fast.
Safe, Happy Fast. Easy to say individually, hard to achieve collectively, primarily as they can seem at odds with one another. But striving to achieve all three all of the time, was the secret to the team’s success and became their Mantra.
SAFETY – Physical, Emotional & Psychological Safety
Feeling safe is an innate human pre-requisite which has literally allowed us to evolve as a species. And our whole bodies are designed to seek this on three fronts; physically, emotionally and psychologically. And only when we feel safe within these can we thrive. If any one is threatened, then our focus is on protecting ourselves rather than taking the calculated risks necessary to advance ourselves and our cause. So creating a culture where people feel safe to perform is crucial, especially if the environment we are in is a challenging one.
HAPPY – Inclusion, Motivation and Self Actualisation
Next up is the importance of doing all we can to help people be happy. Because happy people and teams are more productive, have more staying power, are more compassionate, and easier to work with and within. There are some key things we need in order to be happy at work. Feeling included and valued for instance. Being motivated by our work, its purpose and its rewards. Having the opportunity to be stretched, give our all, realise our dreams and be the best that we can be. So creating a culture where these factors are ever present is also crucial.
FAST – Focus, Efficiency and Agility
And lastly the undeniable factor of the need to be Fast. Fast in terms of a clear focus on the destination to ensure the straightest course. Fast in terms of efficiency of the operation, in order to optimise the result. Fast in terms of agility, to rapidly innovate and change, when challenges demand the need. Why is it the last word? Because slow boats never win, not on the ocean and never in business, a fact that has been further magnified by the highly competitive, constantly changing, volatile world of today where speed and agility is everything.
Mark is also a sought after and accredited Executive and Team coach, and a Master Practitioner and Circle Member of Executive Arts.
“Everyone should see this”
— Sam Holland, Head of Learning, Leicester City FC
“An Incredible story full of key insights”
— Richard Olver, Chairman, British Aerospace
“A game-changing speaker everyone will remember forever”
— Pierre-Olivier Landry, Head of HR, Ceva Logistics