Photography: Ben Duffy / Atlantic Campaigns
Max also points to another fundamental concept – that resilience is a way of thinking.
“The experience of a worst case scenario became my superpower. It changed my way of thinking about the race, the future, and how to better prepare for uncertain environments. I think that’s the first thing about resilience – you need to adapt your way of thinking about environments you operate in and challenges you might face. Opportunities and threats are commonplace, but in order to be truly prepared for both you need to stretch your imagination. Take my experience – no team had ever had a fire onboard their boat before we did. It is the same in business and in life – things that have never happened before, happen all the time. This is something I share a lot with teams I work with to trigger that shift in their mentality. More specifically, I believe resilience is determined by an individuals’ ability to 1) think clearly in the present, which is the ability to react, and 2) think critically about the future, which is your ability to plan. To achieve clarity in the present, focus on the controllables when your landscape is rapidly changing. Meanwhile, you can start building a criticality of the future by challenging your assumptions about how it might unfold.”
After crystallising his experiences into clear thought processes, the next challenge for Max was to create a vehicle that could deliver his lessons and theories to others. This led him to found his resilience consultancy Rogue Wave Scenarios, which specialises in scenario planning, providing a unique preparedness offer for businesses and teams operating in extreme environments.
“My experience is defined by extraordinary decisions and so naturally Rogue Wave Scenarios focuses on building resilience through optimising decision-making. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the best scenario practitioners in the world to create the business. In short, we build a range of bespoke scenarios that provide clients with a safe environment – both physically and psychologically – to explore and test how they might plan or react. The scenarios they encounter are specifically designed to pull them to places they have never been before to experience challenges they have never faced – and encounter some uncomfortable truths about their own limitations. But, this broadening of their context eventually empowers them. These scenario experiences help them learn as they challenge their assumptions, identify blind-spots, confront conflicts and resolve dilemmas. It’s all part of building what we call a Storm Mentality®, which enables them to navigate uncertain environments, make better decisions under pressure and ultimately improve their resilience. Simply asking yourself ‘what if?’ is a good starting point when beginning this journey.”
Through challenge and adversity, achievement and triumph, Max’s comeback story has become the foundation to inspire and motivate others. So, what does the next chapter in this incredible story hold?
“The allure of the ultimate physical and mental tests will always be there. Looking forward, I know there will be things that I want to achieve on a similar scale to the Atlantic, but for now all my focus and commitment is being channelled into leading Rogue Wave Scenarios on our mission to improve resilience for as many people as possible, which in this global climate has never been more relevant or more important.”