The Next Everest: Lessons from an Avalanch of Adversity
Based on his novel, The Next Everest: Surviving the Mountains Deadliest Day and Finding the Resilience to Climb Again
In 2015, Jim set out to achieve a goal he spent 33 years building up to—summiting Mt. Everest. Little did he know he would find himself trapped by avalanches at 20,000 feet on the deadliest day the mountain has ever seen.
Nepal’s largest earthquake in 81 years shook Everest with a magnitude of 7.8 creating aftershocks and avalanches. Sadly, 18 lives were lost in base camp, while Jim and his fellow climbers were trapped up on the mountain.
By enduring this disaster, Jim learned hard-won lessons about facing uncertainty and deepened his understanding of resilience. His intense experiences clarified the importance of embracing change to overcome challenges. Two years after the deadliest day on Everest, Jim returned and achieved his goal of reaching the summit.
Through gripping stories of his moments on the mountain to the lessons that enabled him to reach such challenging goals, Jim will inspire your team to be ready and resilient for the next Everest in their lives.
*NEW VIRTUAL Topic - Facing Everest-Sized Uncertainties
Jim’s first attempt to climb Mount Everest ended suddenly when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. This spawned massive avalanches and aftershocks that trapped Jim’s team high on the mountain. It became the deadliest day ever on Mount Everest. Jim returned in 2017 to try again. Along the way, his team had to endure eleven stormy days pinned in their tents, uncertain if they were going to be able to summit. Finally, conditions cleared and after persevering through the uncertainty, Jim and his team reached their goal.
From these intense experiences, Jim shares critical lessons for facing today’s uncertain times. He will share practical tips about:
• Building a resilient mindset for facing change, challenge & uncertainty
• Attitudes and actions to take before, during, and after big storms
• When to rely on passive perseverance vs. active perseverance
Jim has conducted virtual presentations for small companies, international corporations, and multi-location associations. His energetic presentations engage your virtual audience with compelling videos and unique props (climbing gear).
Everest Resilience: Overcoming Adversity and Reaching High Goals - Keynote
During his first Everest attempt in 2015, Jim and his team were trapped at Camp 1 by massive earthquakes and avalanches. After recovering from this huge setback, he trained even harder and returned in 2017 to summit Mt. Everest.
Work, life, and climbing always include change, challenge, and uncertainty. Struggling up Mount Everest reveals how resilience allows you to overcome adversities and still reach high goals. Jim has presented inspirational keynotes across the USA and internationally to prominent clients like Verizon, Capital One, UPS, OppenheimerFunds, Proctor & Gamble, Nokia, and more.
In this thrilling keynote, Jim shares hard-won resilience lessons on how you can:
- Adapt to change
- Face uncertainty
- Overcome challenges
- Recover from setbacks
Jim’s resilience was also tested by a tragic mountaineering accident that forced him to climb alone up an overhanging ice wall to escape from an 80-foot deep glacial crevasse. Jim’s survival epic was made into an episode of the hit TV series “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” (Discovery Channel. From his intense experiences, Jim distills how to:
- Cultivate a resilient mindset
- Leverage your personal resilience
- Increase your resilience through post-traumatic growth
Keynote is 60 - 90 minutes
Resilient Teamwork and Resilient Leadership - Workshop
On his remote expeditions, Jim has encountered many teamwork and leadership challenges. During remote rescues and evacuations, the pressure increases, uncertainty grows, and team dynamics become strained. High-performing organizations face these same teamwork and leadership conditions in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world.
By examining several real-world mountain rescue scenarios, Jim facilitates an invigorating, interactive workshop that has your team working together to resolve leadership and teamwork challenges. Some of the difficult rescues that Jim has helped with include:
- Solo mountaineer with severe altitude illness at 19,200 feet on Denali (Mt. McKinley)
- Hiker who fell 70 feet into a boulder field at 13,000 feet in Colorado
- Climbers trapped at 19,900 feet on Mt. Everest
In this hands-on workshop, Jim uses engaging storytelling and vivid visuals to bring these scenarios to life. Then, he has your attendees work to resolve the dilemmas by having them:
- Debate how to be a resilient team member
- Identify traits of resilient leaders
- Examine their own resilience strengths and weaknesses
This energizing workshop includes interactive sessions with small group work, large group facilitation, and individual self-reflections. Jim regularly facilitates this energizing program for top-quality organizations like Marriott, Credit Suisse, US Army, Kia Motors, and many more.
Attendees vigorously engage with the process because these are real teamwork challenges (not board games or simulations). This energetic scenario will be brought to life by Jim’s intense videos, photos, and first-hand experiences.
Interactive workshop is 1.5 - 3 hours