Exclusive Interview: Ollie Ollerton – SAS: Who Dares Wins Star on Saving Children In Thailand
At Champions Speakers, Director Jack Hayes had the pleasure of sitting down with former SAS soldier turned television star, Ollie Ollerton. In his tell-all interview, Ollie discussed his life-changing Chimpanzee attack, the mental impact of saving children in Thailand from human trafficking, and whether corporate teams should embrace a militarized approach. Read on to find out more.
Who is Ollie Ollerton?
From serving on the front line as a Special Forces soldier to presenting the hit Channel 4 show SAS: Who Dares Wins, Ollie Ollerton has carved a respectable media career since leaving the military. He is now using his experience and knowledge to benefit corporate clients and audiences of his speeches, as a transformative motivational speaker.
Ollie’s corporate coaching service, Break-Point, combines high-performance teamwork with military training and psychology to unite a workforce. Talented author of best sellers Battle Ready, Break-Point and his debut novel, Scar Tissue, Ollie takes audiences on a journey through his thrilling life, a testament to his storytelling ability. Those who have had the privilege of witnessing Ollie Ollerton speak live will agree - he inspires determination, perseverance and a steely drive to succeed.
Q: What does it take to be in the Special Forces?
"It takes someone with a great deal of mental robustness. It takes someone that is a visionary of where they want to be not where they are. It takes someone that has a good understanding of their beliefs, and it takes someone that massively believes in themself."
Q: Can you use Special Forces skills in business?
"You can't teach an organisation a corporate structure [that is] totally militarised. It just wouldn't work. But there are a few things that we can take from the Special Forces world that we can integrate into the business world that will smooth their synchronicity, smooth their teamwork, synergy and also put simple processes in place that make sure they follow a process to success."
Q: What set you on your path?
"When I was a child, I was attacked by a chimpanzee and nearly lost my life. And for me, it was the moment I took a step into the short-term discomfort for the long-term gain, and that long term gain that day was surviving. But in order to do so, I had to anger that chimp for any chance of surviving that day. But, everything in life, if you want to grow in any facet of your life, it’s about taking the short-term discomfort for the long-term gain."
"The trouble is with the way we're wired, we're wired to take the short-term comfort, which leads to long term pain."
Q: Where did you find your purpose?
"I found purpose not in the Special Forces. I found purpose when I was very fortunate to be part of a team that went into Southeast Asia - I was part of an organisation called the Grey Man. It was all self-funded, by myself. We basically rescued the kids from a life of slavery and prostitution. For me, I had no idea of what that would give me in return and the power of helping other people is so fulfilling - people don't understand."
"In this day and age, everyone's fighting for the most Instagram followers, everyone's fighting to be the best at work, even within a tight team, everyone's to some degree fighting with each other. So, it's not until you understand the power of helping other people, you realise how much that gives you in return."
Q: Why didn’t the Special Forces give you purpose?
"Throughout my whole career, in the special forces, I was searching for something that wasn't there. It was every boy's dream to be in the Special Forces. We got all the toys in the world; it was the best train set in the world. But really, it didn't fit my purpose, you know, we're put onto this planet to be creative beings and that's taken away from us at a very early age. And then before we know it, we're being boxed into something that fits into society, and I don't believe that creates purpose for everyone."
"For me, certainly the Special Forces did not tick every box, and I was always searching. I didn't find it within there. It wasn't until I went to Thailand to rescue those kids that I stumbled over something that was so powerful, and it changed my life forever. And that is the reason I've now got a company called Break Point, which when you look at our mission statement is to create a globally identifiable brand recognised for the positive growth and development of others. So, everything we do is about helping other people."
Q: What is your motto?
"Limitations can be broken. You know, we are without limits. And the world is at our feet, but we have to make sure that our shoes laces are tied up."