Introduction to guest:
On today’s show we have the relentless Dean Stott, a former British Special Forces Soldier, Private Security Expert, 2x World Record Holder, Adventurer, Philanthropist, Author and International Speaker.
Dean became one of the very first army members to join the SBS (Special Boat Service).
He then established a distinguished career in the private security sector where he was renowned for his willing to take on any job, no matter how dangerous.
In May 2018 he cycled the longest motorable road in the world – The Pan American Highway (14,000 miles from Argentina to Alaska), gaining two world records.
If you want tips from an elite performer, if you like stories about intelligence and human fortitude or if you’re interested in the military, private protection or cycling, you will enjoy this podcast.
Key quotes and takeaways from the show:
“Let us fail you, don’t fail yourself.”
Don’t over-analyse. Don’t self-analyse. Let it go. Start a new day. Don’t overthink things. Don’t get too emotional or overexcited. Don’t stew on the worst case scenario. – it will overwhelm you. – “Anticipation is worse than participation.”
Don’t go into a long challenge (e.g. 6 months) at 100% peak fitness, carry a bit of weight and as the course develops you will start to shed that weight and get physically and mentally stronger. You will peak at the right time.
“80% is mental.”
“You can’t be experienced without experiences.” – Practice makes perfect. Learn from your experiences.
Have an unrelenting pursuit of excellence! Do the best you can possibly do. Don’t compare yourself to others, especially on social media! If you give it 100% you can’t feel bad or have regrets. That’s all you can do. There is nothing more we can ask of you.
“I always need a purpose… Something to aim and train for.”
On learning – A combination of classroom, practice and learning from others is optimal.
HAHO jump – “High Altitude, High Opening”
Pre-plan all possible scenarios and repeat training, rehearsal and practice. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. If you rehearse enough, you become confident in your plan and performance, which makes your performance better and reduces anxiety. “Everyone gets scared, it’s just how you deal with that.” If you’ve planned well enough, anxiety reduces. Plan meticulously.
Dean has made some of the most successful evacuations in the most hospitable areas of Somalia, Yemen and Libya, and didn’t even use a weapon. The key is “support and influence.” Getting embedded in countries and understanding their hearts and minds… Understanding what’s happening on the ground rather than what’s happening on TV. Build knowledge on demographics, politics, tribal influences and cultures. Get good quality “fixers” = good quality information. Show respect. Go under the radar, go low key. Intelligence over weapons.
A “fixer” = A local with contacts in a particular area.
“Don’t speak to the guys with guns, go up the chain of command and speak with the tribal elders.”
If you’re in a firefight or conflict, it’s most probably because you’ve done something wrong. If you had enough forethought and planned for all possible scenarios, you would avoid conflict. That’s the importance of intelligence.
Be the grey man. Blend in. Have a surveillance team around you that feedback information from on the ground.
SOP – “Standard Operating Procedure”
For analysis performance – What worked? What didn’t work? If you were to do it again what would you do differently?
Look at plans from different angles. Dean turned the usual riding plan on its head, riding from South to North rather than North to South. Think, what would happen if I did the opposite?
Reacting to the plan in real-time is also key! Not everything goes to plan.
You can only intake 7,000 calories per day in solid food, any extra has to come from fluid.
Question of the day:
How did you prepare for a 14,000-mile bike ride?
Links to podcast sites:
The full podcast:
One of the most impressive things about Dean (and there are many) is his ability to meticulously plan for all scenarios, break down his mission into micro-goals and get things done as effectively and efficiently as possible.
This ability to plan missions and get things done carries over into another podcast we recorded with another ex-military operative, Mark Divine who graduated as Honor Man (#1 graduate) of his Navy SEALs BUDS class and has built several multi-million-dollar businesses since.
He is an expert in elite performance, mental toughness and leadership development, and is also a New York Times best-selling author and has just completed a “22 million burpees challenge” for his Courage Foundation to raise money for the support of veterans who suffer with PTSD.
You may enjoy this podcast also…
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- 02:33 – Dean’s move to California and the UK lockdown situation.
- 03:25 – Dean’s early life and entering the military.
- 08:24 – The start of Dean’s military career and transferring into the Special Boat Service (SBS).
- 11:36 – The breadth of skills you learn in the Special Forces and what it takes to be accepted.
- 16:53 – Difficulties during the jungle phase of Special Forces selection.
- 19:40 – How to maintain 100% focus on long operations.
- 22:20 – What happens at the end of Special Forces selection.
- 23:25 – Dean’s time in the Special Boat Service at the height of The War on Terror.
- 26:40 – How you get taught in the Special Forces and the courses available.
- 27:55 – Dean’s strategies for retaining information and learning.
- 29:09 – Dean’s freak accident that ended his military career.
- 32:03 – Dean’s identity crisis and the pressure of “normal” life.
- 33:17 – What to do when your parachute doesn’t open.
- 35:39 – Techniques and tactics Dean uses for keeping calm during intense situations.
- 37:00 – Would Dean ever do a HAHO jump in Oman again and how many jumps has he done?
- 37:55 – How many military operations Dean has been on.
- 38:11 – How Dean changed his identity after leaving the military and stories from The Arab Spring.
- 45:46 – The importance of intelligence in the world of security.
- 47:38 – How long Dean spent in Africa and the difference in comparison to the military.
- 49:40 – Why Dean decided to attempt a world record.
- 52:57 – How Dean prepared for a 14,000-mile bike ride.
- 57:01 – The frequency of Dean’s training before the ride.
- 58:48 – Problems Dean ran into during the ride.
- 01:04:02 – How to get through difficult challenges.
- 01:04:52 – The nutrition and hydration requirements for a 14,000-mile cycle.
- 01:08:30 – What’s the hardest thing Dean has ever done?
- 01:09:50 – If Dean had his time again would he do anything differently?
- 01:10:15 – What’s Dean’s biggest weakness?
- 01:11:02 – Dean’s experience at The Royal Wedding.
- 01:13:13 – Dean’s depression after two successive highs.
- 01:14:27 – Dean’s current training and upcoming challenge.
- 01:15:54 – Dean’s strive to find balance in life and the importance of having objectives.
- 01:16:51 – What’s included in Dean’s book, Relentless.
- 01:18:03 – Where you can find Dean and his book.
- 01:18:26 – Dean’s final words.
- 01:19:21 – Life lessons and principles that Dean lives by.
- 01:20:16 – Where to find further resources.
- 01:20:39 – Mike Sarraille taking people from the battlefield to the boardroom.
- 01:22:55 – How to join future discussions.
People and resources mentioned:
In alphabetical order: