How Neil's Swim Reminds Us What Leadership Is All About

Neil's incredible journey is an inspiring story of resilience, determination, and perseverance.

Track the swim here.

Over these past 16 years, we’ve always tried to remain true to the ideas and principles that BRND WGN was founded on.

My partners and I always wanted to tell great stories and to work with brands and people we believe in.

But try as we do, it’s only human to sometimes lose sight of things.

Managing clients, projects, and employees - trying to navigate a company through economic highs and lows, exploring new markets, and emerging tech breakthroughs… it's a daily hustle.

Sometimes it can feel like you’re out at sea, swimming against a relentless current.

But every now and then, there’s a break in the waves - a moment of clarity.

For me, that moment was when we decided to partner with Neil Agius.

Yes, Neil's incredible journey is an inspiring story of resilience, determination, and perseverance, but working with him these past months has also reminded us why we founded BRND WGN in the first place.

Personally, it reminded me of the meaning of true leadership.

It’s shown me what it means to do something because you truly believe in it, and given me the courage to keep pushing through those waves.

These past months, Neil has kept thanking me for my help, but it’s clear to me now that it’s I who should be thanking him.

—The Swim —

For those of you who don’t know Neil, he’s an extraordinary athlete and passionate advocate of ocean preservation.

The '100 Mile Swim’ will see Neil attempt the open-sea crossing from Mallorca, Spain, around the west coast of Ibiza touching land after swimming approximately 160km.

It will be the longest non-stop, unassisted, current neutral, open water sea swim in history. 

A world record.

The gruelling challenge is expected to take three whole days and will require an estimated 175,000 strokes.

He faces swarms of jellyfish, relentless currents, exhaustion, hallucinations, and worse.

He’s climbing a mountain that’s never been climbed before - planting a flag where none have ever been hoisted.

Looking at this from the outside, it can easily be mistaken for pride or ego: to try and be the only person in the world to have done something - it can seem like hubris.

But that’s not Neil.

Neil is using the global publicity and media attention that his swim is generating to raise awareness about what is happening to the lifeblood of our planet: our seas and oceans.

He’s lobbying world governments to sign up for and properly implement the United Nations Treaty of the High Seas - new rules announced in New York just a few days ago that establish huge marine protected areas, to conserve and sustainably manage vital habitats and species.

He’s working with world leaders like UN Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, to drive change.

And he’s inspiring countless people to change the way they live to protect our planet.

Along the way, he’s inspired me too.

— The Lessons—

As I gear up to be with Neil along this journey, I wanted to jot down what I’ve learnt from this humbling experience.

Resilience: Neil's swim taught me that resilience isn’t just about bouncing back from setbacks; it's about forging ahead despite overwhelming odds.

Neil remains singleminded in his pursuit.

Watching him overcome these obstacles one stroke at a time reminded me that as a CEO, it's vital to stay resilient - that when facing challenges, I need to adapt to change, and encourage our team to do the same.

Determination: Neil's unyielding determination is awe-inspiring.

He pushes himself beyond his limits, constantly striving for excellence. 

This resonated so deeply with me, reminding me that achieving your goals requires a fierceness of spirit.

It reinforced the importance of setting ambitious goals for BRND WGN and gave me the courage to go after them.

Perseverance: Enduring long hours of solitude, and battling fatigue and pain, Neil still manages to remain true to his resolve.

At BRND WGN we face obstacles regularly, but Neil's example reminded me of the power of believing in why we do what we do.

His leadership reminded me that as a CEO, my role extends beyond the boardroom.

It’s about making a positive impact and motivating others to join the cause.

—The Power of Personal Branding—

Neil’s journey has also been a major personal branding project for BRND WGN.

Through his swim, he cultivated a strong personal brand that resonated with people worldwide.

His ability to connect with a diverse audience and inspire action stems from him.

His authenticity and genuine passion are his brands.

At BRND WGN we understand the transformative power of personal branding.

It’s not merely about self-promotion.

Together with our sister company PRSS WRKS, we helped Neil find his voice.

We worked with Neil to craft a story that is inspiring people all over the globe.

Neil’s remarkable story is a profound reminder of why we do what we do.

And for that, I’m thankful.