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Mike Bates

Former MOD Covert Operations Leader | HUMINT Specialist 

“Mike Bates stands out not only as the first person in the history of the MOD to ever qualify for the highest levels of frontline operations in the global war on terror, but also as a man whose life embodies resilience, leadership, and an unwavering commitment to make a significant impact. His achievements, on so many fronts, are simply extraordinary. Expect to be empowered, inspired & deeply humbled"

Tracey Duke

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Mike Bates is a man of resilience, adaptability, and profound leadership, his professional career and personal endeavours standing him at the forefront of excellence. 


A dynamic speaker with an unrivalled background working in the intelligence & security fields of the MOD, Mike has navigated some of the most challenging terrains, both literal and metaphorical, that anyone can encounter. A trailblazer in every sense of the word, he was the first person in the history of the MOD ever to pass all relevant courses to serve at the frontline of operations fighting the global war on terror.   


His remarkable journey extends to conquering the solitary expanse of the ocean in a gruelling solo row that raised over £137K and secured his place as the fastest British person in history to complete the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.

Beyond the battlegrounds and tumultuous seas, Mike has achieved distinction in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His dedication to this martial art has seen him excel personally, flourishing as a mentor and coach to lead one of the most rapidly expanding academies.

In addition to his martial arts prowess, Mike has made significant strides in promoting mental health and well-being through his project NXT45. This initiative represents his deep-seated belief in the power of vulnerability as a source of strength and the necessity of redefining masculinity for the modern era. NXT45 underscores Mike's commitment to creating spaces where individuals can pursue personal growth with the same zeal they apply to professional endeavours.

What to Expect

There is simply no-one, anywhere in the world, speaking today, with the level of experience & expertise that Mike Bates will bring to your event.


When he steps onto the stage, Mike brings with him an authenticity and dynamism that captivates every time. 


Do not expect a staged presentation, rather a truly connected, heartfelt commitment to empowering his audience. Mike's authentic, very real, off script talks & insights ensure an experience that is as engaging as it is enlightening.


Expect a blend of harrowing tales and guidance, from a man who has operated at the pinnacle of his career, at the centre of the arena, and lived to tell the tale. 

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A Lasting Impact 

Mike's presentations are renowned for leaving an indelible mark on his audiences, imbuing them with the tools and inspiration to face challenges with renewed vigour. His multifaceted experiences, from elite military operations and extreme sports to advocacy for mental health, provide a rich source of practical strategies for resilience, leadership, and personal development.


The inclusion of his work with NXT45 adds a crucial dimension to his talks, emphasising the importance of mental well-being and the courage to embrace one's true self.

Mike Bates will appeal to a wide array of audiences across various sectors. His unique amalgamation of life experiences ensures that his message resonates with corporate executives, athletic teams, and anyone in pursuit of personal and professional excellence.

Mike Bates
Quick Look


Represented by: Tracey Duke

Location: Leeds, England

Who: Mike Bates is a dynamic speaker with an unrivalled background working in the intelligence & security fields of the MOD.  His expertise in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and mental health advocacy underscores his commitment to resilience, authentic leadership, and well-being. Mike inspires profound personal and professional transformation across diverse audiences.

What to Expect: Expect a captivating journey that blends harrowing experiences with deep insights into resilience and leadership. His interactive, heartfelt storytelling and strategic guidance, rooted in his diverse life challenges and achievements, engage and empower audiences, leaving them with actionable strategies and a renewed perspective on adversity and growth.


The Lasting Impact: Mike’s talks leave a lasting impact by instilling resilience, fostering authentic leadership, and encouraging continuous growth. Audiences walk away empowered, inspired to embrace challenges, and motivated to redefine their personal and professional lives. His profound narratives ignite transformative change and a deeper understanding of self and purpose.

Available for: Keynote Talks. Motivational Talks. Panel Discussions. TV & Media. Podcasts

Popular With: Corporate Leadership Teams. High-Performance Sports Teams. Startups. Military and Police. 

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