In this regard, he would ignore an advice which discourages anyone from trying. However, as he mentions, it is always important to deal with the things you can control for good mental health and well being. In the maritime industry, he has been lobbying for stricter regulations related to floating armouries and thus he expects significant developments within 2018, following the implementation of the new UNODC global floating armoury programme.
SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?
Jordan Wylie: I served in the British military for 10 years and on leaving in 2009, the shipping industry and wider global economy was being heavily impacted from the surge of Somali based piracy. I started in the shipping industry as a privately contacted armed guard ensuring seafarers, vessels and cargo were able to transit the high risk area of East Africa safely. I very much enjoyed working at sea and have a huge amount of respect for the crews of vessels, these people literally make the world go around every day!
S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?
J.W.: At present I am providing security, safety and risk mitigation consultancy to ship owners, managers and operators in the global shipping and offshore industry. I also founded a campaign called “Be Cyber Aware At Sea” after studying for my masters degree in maritime security and risk management. My thesis research highlighted alarming skill and knowledge gaps in maritime cyber security so I decided to raise awareness and try and make a difference, it’s a tough challenge given the cultural barriers and attitudes towards change but it is an exciting challenge and I’m certain we have made progress, that said there is still a lot of work to do!
S4S: When you think of the word successful who's the first person who comes to mind and why?
J.W.: Steve Jobs is one of the most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs of my lifetime. His journey from an adopted child and someone who never really excelled in school or academia to revolutionising the next generation of technology is just incredible. His philanthropic approach, his vision combined with his boundless energy and the legacy he has left makes him the epitome of success for me.
S4S: Who is/was the most influential person/mentor to you & why?
J.W.: My father is by far the most inspirational man I’ve ever known, after a career in HM Royal Marines, he has been a real role model for me and my sister. He is a hard working family man who always has time for others. If I can become half the man he is I know I will have lived a good and positive life making a difference to those around me.
S4S: What is the best and what was the worst piece of advice you've ever been given and why?
J.W.: The best piece of advice I have ever given was from a lady called Laura Deas. Laura is British Olympian and won a bronze medal in the skeleton event at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Laura said: “Control the Controllables” - we often worry about things in life and business that we can not influence or control which causes great stress, anxiety and is unhealthy for about mental health and well being. Focus on dealing with the things you can control and you will live a much more peaceful life.
The worst piece of advice I thing I was ever given was by a former soldier who told me I should avoid the maritime sector as coming from an Army (as opposed to Navy) background I would find it very difficult to survive. I would encourage anyone to follow their dreams and don’t be put off by people who have given up on their own, the world is full of people like this, be a game changer!
S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?
J.W.: I think our greatest resource in life is time, we can always make more money and we can always burn more energy but spending time with the right people and organisations is something I value greatly. Time is the greatest currency in life and I would encourage everyone to spend it wisely. Get to know people, spend time to understand them and help them where you can. I have found life is very reciprocal and what goes around certainly comes around too.
S4S: If you could give a piece of advice to your 18-year-old-self one thing, what would it be and why? What piece of advice should you ignore?
J.W.: I would probably say “don’t take things too personally, rejection and failure is a very important part of the journey to success. Be the difference that makes a difference and if you want something go and get it but remember nothing great in life ever came easy, you need to be prepared to work for it and make sacrifices”.
In terms of advice that should be ignored, I would say don’t believe anyone who says something isn’t possible, sometimes you may have to breaks the rules of convention but where there is a will there is always a way!
S4S: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your business life?
J.W.: I have tried to surround myself with people who are more intelligent than me, have skills I don’t and compliment by business interests. I have learnt that nothing great was ever achieved alone in this world. I think I have learnt to keep an open mind and encourage others to speak up with their own ideas regardless of their position or role within the company.
S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?
J.W.: I would like to see the regulations surrounding the use of floating armouries tightened up significantly. I have been personally lobbying for 6 years for higher standards of compliance. I believe the flag states at IMO should be addressing this issue right now, especially given the ever evolving threat of terrorism within sovereign states surrounding the high risk areas. Floating armouries cannot be self-regulated, nor can they be regulated by private sector companies with a commercial interest in their usage and operations. I hope we will see significantly developments in 2018 under the new UNODC global floating armoury programme which will be implemented this year.
S4S: What is your personal motto?
J.W.: Escape the ordinary and be the difference that makes a difference!
About Jordan Wylie
Jordan Wylie is a former soldier turned entrepreneur and adventurer. An accomplished author and speaker who uses his extensive network of contacts and wealth of experience to help educate, inspire and motivate others worldwide. He has provided maritime security consultancy services to many of the world’s largest ship owners and is a retained consultant by several flag states, providing guidance on piracy, terrorism, organized crime at sea and the maritime cyber security approach.