CEOs / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Harry Moffitt, Founder & CEO of Stotan Group

Harry Moffitt is a former SAS commander, practising psychologist and founder & CEO of human performance consultancy Stotan Group.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I served for 20 years with the SAS as a team commander and specialist before retiring in 2019 from the Australian Defence Force after nearly 30 years service.

During my career I designed, planned and carried out hundreds of combat missions and led dozens of sensitive military programs. I completed my time in the SAS as its Director of High-Performance during which I established the world first Wanderers Education Program which provides education pathways for ‘serving’ soldiers to prepare them for life after service.

I am now a practising psychologist and is the founder and CEO of the human performance consultancy Stotan Group. I was recently appointed the Oceania Director for the U.S. Mission Critical Teams Institute and holds several advisory board positions.

I recently became an author after releasing his memoir Eleven Bats. The book follows 11 deployments over 11 years where I collected 11 bats representing the nearly 1000 days I completed on active service deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Timor Leste, including once being WIA. This unique collection was recently exhibited at the Australian War Museum and the Shrine of Remembrance.

I have been married for 25 years to Danielle and have two adult children. I am also the singer songwriter for the original ‘Spec-Ops’ rock-band, The Externals.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I work with elite sports and corporate teams, so my day is pretty flexible and different from day to day, which is nice. I love working with humans as opposed to sitting on a computer, and I do performance psychology and helping them to improve their performance – culture, leadership, and resilience and such.

Today I was up at 0530 and at work by 0630; went for a run with the senior partner in an agriculture business; met with an Hedge Fund Executive team to advise in their monthly meeting (2hrs); caught up with a nutritionist (from and AFL club) who is doing some work for us with a corporate team; did a radio interview on 3AW; answered some emails and then got home at 1600 to finish off some calls and book work.

It was a relatively average day.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Yes it does, I spend approximately half my time at home as I can do a lot of my work there. I have a hot desk in some of the businesses I work in, but home is nice, and nice fit. Good for work life balance.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Pillar 1: eat, exercise, and sleep well. If these are out, you are out. it is that simple.

Pillar 2: set a good routine, your body and psyche LOVE routine so be deliberate and disciplined.

Pillar 3: make time for friends and family, book them into your calendar, even if you don’t feel like it, get along and see them/talk to them, treat it a little like the gym, you might not look forward to it, but you know it is good for you and you always feel good afterwards.

Pillar 4: always be on the lookout to improve your understanding and knowledge – read broadly, admit you are wrong often, and be careful not to listen/read/watch too much social media and TV.

Finally, Pillar 5: have a third thing in your life – the first is your family, the second is your job, the third is your passion (family and job aside, yes it is ok to be a little selfish in this context), my third thing is my rock band I play in.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Not really, I have just had to adjust exercise and work, but largely I am pretty deliberate and disciplined about my life. I have probably made more room for play and ‘me’ time, if anything.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Books: Antifragile (Nassim Taleb), Great Expectations (Dickens), Thinking, Fast and Slow (Kahneman), The Undoing Project (Lewis), and of course, Eleven Bats (Harry Moffitt).

Podcasts: a must listen for anyone looking to improve performance and wellbeing – The Physiology of Long Duration Effort w/ Dr. Andrew Huberman.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

My footy, I try not to engage with technology as much as I can, and am aiming to wean myself off in the coming years. Unfortunately, for all of us, the bad news is that tech is generally bad for us overall particularly the way we use it currently), notwithstanding its benefits. Our business is built on the premise that people will want to get back to people and nature.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

Alain de Botton or Dr Fiona Wood.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Measure your life in time well spent.

Be determined to be deliberate and disciplined.

You will fail, but simply reset, get up, and go again.

Make it your mission to improve or inspire everyone you meet.

Seek a legacy of leaving everything and everyone better than you found them, even if only for an hour.

If you keep your head while everyone around you loses theirs you will be the tallest person in the room.

And remember;

  • Humans are more important than hardware
  • Hard is good
  • In 21 the message is simple – reset, get up, and go again.

Finally, my mantra is “Onwards Always Together Stotan”.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.