First Man In: Leading from the Front Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Number one Sunday Times best seller.
No one is born a leader. But through sheer determination and by confronting life’s challenges, Ant Middleton has come to know the meaning of true leadership. In First Man In, he shares the core lessons he’s learned over the course of his fascinating, exhilarating life.
Special forces training is no walk in the park. The rules are strict, and they make sure you learn the hard way, pushing you beyond the limits of what is physically possible. There is no mercy. Even when you are bleeding and broken, to admit defeat is failure.
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.
After 13 years' service in the military, with four years as a Special Boat Service (SBS) sniper, Ant Middleton is the epitome of what it takes to excel. He served in the SBS, the naval wing of the special forces, the Royal Marines and 9 Parachute Squadron Royal, achieving what is known as the ‘holy trinity’ of the UK’s elite forces. As a point man in the SBS, Ant was always the first man through the door, the first man into the dark and the first man in harm’s way.
In this fascinating, exhilarating and revealing book, Ant speaks about the highs and gut-wrenching lows of his life - from the thrill of passing Special Forces Selection to dealing with the early death of his father and ending up in prison on leaving the military - and draws valuable lessons that we can all use in our daily lives.
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|Listening Length||6 hours and 59 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||12 July 2018|
|Publisher||HarperCollins Publishers Limited|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 439 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
1 in Afghan & Iraq War Biographies (Audible Books & Originals)
1 in Afghan War History
1 in Afghan War Biographies
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Top reviews from Australia
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A lot of good advice in this book, and yes, I too was disappointed in not hearing about the sniper part of it, but positivity and leading through one's mind are the salient points.
A few pieces of advice I will take on board gratefully.
Lots of insider information about teamwork, preserving in the face of adversity and also self reliance, confidence building and respect for self and respect for others
Top reviews from other countries
Getting back to Ant himself, I cannot believe that the DS in the RE, 9 Para, the Royal Marines and the Special Forces did not recognize that Ant is a dangerous and unstable character compounded by an ego the size of a planet. By his own admission he has a hair trigger and seems to resort to extreme violence if provoked, in my experience SF operators are almost the exact opposite of this, i.e. it is almost impossible to get them to react when provoked - they only use extreme violence when there is absolutely no other way and/or if is part of a considered plan. If I had responsibility for Ant in the armed forces I would have been constantly on the lookout and worried how he would react to stressful situations, to the extent that I would probably have offloaded him. Overall Ant comes across as probably a good foot soldier that needs constant supervision and direction to keep him on track - certainly not a leader.
As for the book itself - I didn't realize it was a self-help leadership manual but since it was written by a man that needs a lot of help I'm not sure of its value. It is poorly written (by a ghost writer?) very boring in sections and contains a lot of navel-gazing. There are also huge gaps in the book and Ant implies that there things he cannot talk about, implying they are covered by the official secrets act - I suspect that he has skipped these areas for other reasons he does not wish to tell us about - this includes his relationship problems? By the end of the book it convinced me that if I saw Ant coming down the street towards me I would cross over to the other side.
This one seemed like it would be good - Ant looks interesting on the TV and as if he had a story to tell.
First off - this is a large book due to it;'s very large typeset. Had it been a normal sized font you could expect the book to be half the size. That age old publishers trick. Fine - content that matters.
Game of two halves really. The first part - his background, how he got to the Para's and how he ended up in the Marines. Interesting and would have loved to hear more about just these. About halfway through though it really loses its way and just becomes a long long story about the TV show on a boat, that I never watched or cared about.
Due to new rules one presumes there is literally nothing in here about the SBS times, how he ended up there, the experience or why and how he left. Zero. Nothing. Literally jumps from Marines (but barely anything about that) to bad boy civvy to boat story.
There is also nothing about why or how he ended up on TV, what the story was there or how the SAS programmes came about.
So - great first half (about 2 hours read) and then not much else. There also seems to have been a publisher decision to make this an "Ant's life lessons in..." type ending to each chapter. I just found this tedious and narcissistic. Would have preferred the stories.
Interesting but might be a better paperback read for some.