Mark Beaumont on achieving the unachievable

Mark Beaumont

Ben Walker, part of Livingston James’ executive search team, shares his views following the Livingston James Group’s inaugural Human Performance Forum with Mark Beaumont.

Livingston James Group launched its inaugural Human Performance Forum with a fascinating presentation by global adventurer and world record breaker Mark Beaumont.

Designed to appeal to the HR community and provide insight into developing better teams and management systems, Mark, who sits on the Livingston James Group advisory board, discussed the challenges he has faced in some perilous scenarios and how the team dynamic was often key to survival. Known first and foremost by most people for his world record 18,000kms cycle round the world, where he smashed the previous record by 82 days, he surprised many by focusing on his seaborne adventures.

In edifying detail he talked through his successful boat trip to the magnetic north pole through the semi-frozen Arctic seas and then his Atlantic crossing attempt which was curtailed 500 miles from the finish when their boat was capsized. He is a natural orator, building a brilliant picture of the adventure without making himself to be the hero of the tale and acknowledging where each person had their peaks and troughs – some more than others.

In both situations Mark was part of a team built of different skills, experiences and leadership abilities and these were constantly tried and tested as unexpected challenges arose – a situation not unfamiliar to many members of our audience.  His message was focused on the key elements of team work; identifying leaders, prioritising workload and ensuring that, wherever possible, you measure an individual’s response to likely scenarios.

Mark highlighted the important role of the leader and how that person can inspire their team with their vision and by setting challenging goals, rather than focussing solely on management issues.   He also focussed on the importance of listening hard and giving credence to the ideas and opinions of everyone in the team.

Speed and agility of thinking are at the heart of Mark’s approach, and are essential to remaining competitive.  Combined with planned ‘pause points’ to review and reflect on achievements and to give feedback to the team, success is not far away.

Overall what was clear from Mark’s experience is that he is a person that believes in leading rather than following; setting goals and targets that ignore the competition, running initiatives and driving changes that are different, not the same as everyone else.  This is certainly a message that we can all take inspiration from.

Livingston James Group is delighted to be partnered with Mark and to be able to use his inspirational experiences to bring direction, clarity and motivation to our own teams, and those of our clients and contacts.

Immediately following the event Mark departed for Africa to attempt to break the world record for cycling 10,000kms in 55 days.  If you are interested in following his next adventure, please visit or follow him on Twitter @MarkBeaumont.

To find out more about any future Human Performance Forum  events or to discuss the advisory and search services the Livingston James Group offers, please contact Ben Walker on 0131 220 2209.