1346 – Crisis, Culture, and Performance with Mark Ashby

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with Crisis Culture and Performance Specialist and the Director and Founder of Waterhole Leadership Program, Mark Ashby.

A Crisis Culture and Performance Specialist is in the corporate sphere that works with an individual concerning their business to change their mindset whether it is regarding personal, staffing, or cultural business issues. Crisis Culture and Performance Specialists are needed today because it is better for businesses to be working preemptively rather than reactively. Mark has worked with media networks in Australia, The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia,  and the United States Military. Mark explains that he will get into the nuts and bolts of a business when he is advising them. This can help him determine if it is a communication issue, an issue with the executives, or a culture problem. Mark explains that he takes the emotions out of decisions and advises his clients to do so to make the most rational decision.

If a toxic environment is allowed to fester within a business, it will run out of control very quickly. Mark explains that bigger businesses with toxic leadership can almost absorb the blows from high turnover rates because they are such big companies. At times the higher executives are not connected to the lower end of the business, which is why this toxicity may not be addressed. Mark explains with one on one mentoring he will go in and listen first to get the full story of what is going on to then be able to fix the issues the individual is having.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • What a Crisis Culture and Performance Specialist does
  • Why Crisis Culture and Performance Specialists are needed today
  • Mark’s Clientele
  • How Mark approaches business issues
  • Toxic Leadership
  • How Mark makes change happen

About Mark Ashby:

Mark Ashby is a highly-regarded specialist who assists multinational companies and their leaders in crisis awareness, cultural change & high-performance leadership. He has displayed an extraordinary ability to perform optimally under stressful scenarios through extensive experiences as a member of the Elite Paratroopers and other Specialist roles in the Australian Army, with Operational tours of East Timor.

Mark was deployed to Iraq as a team leader in the highly-dangerous private security sector for eleven years before returning to Australia to work as a senior risk consultant in the corporate world for six years.

Mark relied on rigorous training and discipline to carry out forty-one operational rotations, consisting of one thousand six hundred missions successfully completed during his time as a Close Protection Team Leader. Mark’s duties often took him to high-threat, hostile situations where he faced immense pressure to perform tasks in both covert and overt capacities with great emotional control, discipline, and accuracy.

Having been attached to the U.S. military, and the U.S. State Department and embedded with the Green Berets, Mark’s adaptability to extreme situations of crisis and armed conflict allowed him to oversee operations of the highest global, financial and geopolitical importance such as the first two independent elections in Iraq.

Mark also spent four years ensuring the safety and security of Australian Diplomats and Politicians as a close protection team leader at the Australian Embassy in Baghdad.

Since returning to the corporate sector & setting up my own consulting firm in Australia, I’ve been using my experience to assist senior members of multinational companies in leadership, crisis awareness, and cultural change so they can become more resilient and adaptable. I recently completed my Master’s Degree with Distinction from Macquarie University in Sydney.

Tweetable Moments:

 06:30 – “When people love working for you, it increases productivity and it increases morale. People love going to work on Monday mornings as opposed to going there on Monday mornings and they can't wait for Friday.”

09:49 – “Sometimes, you can have a great organization at the top, but below it is just running rampant.”

12:00 – “Human beings are habitual creatures by nature. We don't like change, so that's a big one.”

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out the Mark Ashby consulting website at

Check out Mark Ashby on LinkedIn at

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