May Book Pick: First Man In by Ant Middleton

Who’s seen Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins? I hadn’t until I heard Ollie Ollerton speak during The Marketing Academy Bootcamp at Ad Week Europe in March however after that session, I went home and watched the second series in about 2 days and now I’m hooked! It’s so interesting to watch people truly push themselves to their limits and learn some valuable lessons along the way – I really admire everyone who goes on the show and the instructors for sharing their experience and wisdom.

This month’s book club pick is the brilliant First Man In by Ant Middleton who spent thirteen years in the military, with four years as a Special Boat Service sniper, and is Chief Instructor on the TV series.

First Man In by Ant Middleton

First Man In is Ant Middleton’s first individual book, following the release of SAS:Who Dares Wins: Leadership secrets from the Special Forces, in 2016. In this book, Ant shares stories from his childhood to his days in the military and the key lessons he’s learned along the way that has made him who he is today.

Ant speaks about the highs and lows of his life from passing the Special Forces Selection to ending up in prison upon leaving the military and how he’s turned it around, including the strength and patience needed to deal with all of the situations in between.

“To survive the gruelling selection process to become a member of the elite you need toughness, aggression, meticulous attention to detail and unrelenting self-discipline, all traits that make for the best leaders.”  

I’ve really enjoyed reading this book not only to hear more about the fascinating and rewarding life Ant has led, but also for the lessons he shares and reassurance around believing in yourself and not letting self-doubt stand in the way of achieving your goals.

Ant Middleton shares 10 key lessons he’s learned over the course of his life
  1. Don’t let anyone define who you are
  2. Make your enemy your energy
  3. Leaders stand apart from crowds
  4. Make friends with your demons
  5. You don’t need to be the leader to lead
  6. Failure isn’t making the mistake, it’s allowing the mistake to win
  7. The war is always in your head
  8. The power of intelligent waiting
  9. How to avoid a mutiny
  10. The ultimate leadership lesson

The whole book is grounded in personal examples and immediately gives you ideas and thoughts around what you can change in your life to become the best version of your self, build up your strength and resilience and to become the leader that you’re destined to be. I know I’ve already started to apply changes to my mindset after reading this book and it’s working!

If you enjoy reading this then his second book, The Fear Bubble, is being released later this year which I can’t wait for and he also has his Mind Over Muscle UK Tour – I think there are still some tickets available!

I know this month’s book club choice is a bit different from my usual, but trust me this one is worth reading! Let me know your thoughts and whether it resonates with you as much as it did with me!

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