Q&A

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - News & Advice -

Andrew Wittman, right, founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive, The Men­tal Tough­ness Train­ing Cen­ter

WHAT DO YOU DO?

We work with law en­force­ment, mil­i­tary and cor­po­ra­tions teach­ing re­silience. Peo­ple think re­silience is about com­ing back from some­thing dif­fi­cult but you can be proac­tive to take con­trol of your thoughts and at­ti­tudes while un­der pres­sure.

HOW ARE YOU QUAL­I­FIED TO TALK ABOUT PRES­SURE?

I was the fat kid in high school that was bul­lied. Two guys helped me – they in­tro­duced me to the war­rior cul­ture and how to not live in fear and anx­i­ety. I went to the US and joined the Marine Corps, then be­came a spe­cial agent and pro­tected Hil­lary Clin­ton. The stakes are even higher when you have this high-rank­ing of­fi­cial you have to pro­tect. I then moved to the state department and was train­ing SEALs, Marines and spe­cial forces, run­ning mis­sions in the Mid­dle East and Kosovo.

HOW DOES COM­BAT AND OF­FICE STRESS COM­PARE?

We need the same mind­set train­ing about how to han­dle stress be­cause the stress in the work­place is out of con­trol. We took the same prin­ci­pals and ap­plied them to the civil­ian world. We in­cor­po­rate neu­ro­science and per­for­mance psy­chol­ogy and mix it in with the good stuff from the war­rior cul­ture. When we lay this stuff out, there are a bunch of “aha” mo­ments. Deep down you al­ready know it but now you have a process to ap­ply it.

HOW CAN PRES­SURE WORK IN YOUR FAVOUR?

Once you can tap into it, you can use it in any sit­u­a­tion. I choose to look at (stress) as my rocket fuel. It makes me fo­cused and is never detri­men­tal. It’s all about per­cep­tion and how you choose to look at it.

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