John Amatt

Change Management, Everest Climbers, Inspirational, Leadership, Sports / Athletics

Travels from Alberta, Canada

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John Amatt Profile

  • North America’s most experienced Mt. Everest speaker and has been called "The World's Best Adventure Speaker."

  • Founder & President of educational and motivational company One Step Beyond WorldWide.

  • Motivating speaker to audiences around the world, encouraging change, teamwork, and pushing beyond limits.
  • Founder and president of One Step Beyond Worldwide, John Amatt runs a company that encourages people to break through the limitations they have imposed on themselves, to be personally accountable for their actions and to value others in a team. He certainly practices what he preaches, being a renowned mountaineer who continually pushes the boundaries of the possible. He has given keynote speeches and seminars in 44 countries around the world and many regard him as the world’s best adventure speaker.

    British by birth, John has lived in the Canadian Rocky Mountains for the last three decades. He has made his mark in his adopted home by establishing the Banff Mountain Film Festival, the most prominent adventure documentary film festival anywhere. Among mountaineers, John is famous for having made the first ever ascent of the 5000 foot “Vertical Mile” Troll Wall in Norway, the highest and steepest climb in Europe. In China he climbed a 25,000 foot mountain on skis and then, for good measure, skied back down. Recently he organized and led the first successful Canadian expedition to the summit of Mount Everest, followed by millions on live television across Canada and the United States.

    Transposing the experience learnt in the toughest of environments (his Everest team had to endure four tragic deaths in separate unforeseeable accidents before their success), John uses his climbing exploits (as related in his autobiography, Straight to the Top and Beyond) to build a 9 step approach for success in business. A man used to questioning norms, adapting to rapidly changing conditions and persevering where others might quit, John’s presentations are essential for anyone planning to scale their own heights.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      John Amatt is Founder & President of One Step Beyond WorldWide, an innovative educational and motivational company, whose mission is to encourage people to push beyond their self-imposed limitations, to be more personally accountable for the results of their own actions, and to embrace effective teamwork by valuing the contribution of others. In this capacity, he has delivered more than 1,800 presentations and seminars in 44 countries and has been called “The World’s Best Adventure Speaker”.

      A native of Great Britain, for the past 30 years he has been a resident of the Canadian Rocky Mountains and is the Founder of the Banff Mountain Film Festival, widely recognized as the world’s premiere showcase of adventure documentary films.

      John is renowned in the international mountaineering community for making the first ever climb of Europe′s highest and steepest mountain face – the 5000 foot “Vertical Mile” Troll Wall in Norway. He was leader of an early climbing expedition to Western China, which used camels to approach a 25,000-foot mountain before skiing to the summit, this being perhaps the highest peak in the world to have been ascended and descended entirely on skis. And more recently, he was the principal organizer and a leader of Canada′s first successful expedition to reach the top of the world – the 29,035 foot summit of Mount Everest – a climb that was televised live throughout Canada and on ABC Nightline in the United States.

      John’s adventures are related in his autobiography, Straight to the Top and Beyond, in which he uses the metaphor of his own adventures to develop a nine-step approach for scaling the heights in today’s unpredictable global business environments.

      John Amatt knows about tough times and the value of struggle in bringing out the best in teams of people! After all, he was a leader of an Everest team, which suffered four tragic deaths in two unpredictable accidents before putting six climbers on top of the world. His experience on Everest taught him about the danger of falling into the trap of complacency and the importance of always questioning the status quo in seeking new ways of succeeding in a rapidly changing world. He is the perfect speaker to assist your team in navigating through the turmoil of today′s global economic crisis.

    John Amatt Speaking Videos

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    John Amatt's Speech Descriptions

    More than 1,800 audiences across the globe have enjoyed John Amatt’s inspiring and highly motivational presentations, as he takes the lessons he learned about teamwork, perseverance and overcoming challenges in some of the world’s most dangerous environments and brings them to the boardroom. John teaches how to build trust within a team, how to avoid complacency, how to set goals and many other essential skills.

    Supplementing his talk with stunning photographs of his Everest expedition, John shows how the human qualities needed for a successful mountaineer are surprisingly similar to those needed for a successful entrepreneur. He deploys his personal mantra of adaptability, the ability to identify coming change and to react to it quickly. His aim is for his audience to develop the “Adventure Attitude,” enabling them to become proactive and take charge of their own success.

    John can also offer a 3 to 5 hour seminar/workshop leading participants towards the summit of their own ambitions just as he has led others to the summit of Everest.

    No Mountain Too High
    Challenging Change with the Adventure Attitude

    John Amatt is somewhat unusual among Adventure Speakers in that he did not reach the top of Everest on his celebrated expedition. Instead, he was a leader of a dedicated team that suffered four tragic deaths in two unpredictable accidents before placing six climbers on the peak.

    John’s mission in going to Everest was to place one of his team on top of the world’s highest mountain. In his own words … “It didn’t matter who reached the summit, because we believed that when one person stood on the highest point, the whole team had achieved the goal. I was totally fulfilled the day we reached the top and I would never go back to Everest, because my expectation as leader had been fully met”.

    John Amatt is a superb storyteller, who has delivered highly motivational presentations to some 1,750 audiences in 44 countries worldwide. After a career of 25 years, he is one of the world’s most successful adventure speakers. An educator by training, he uses the lessons learned from his own life and death adventures in the world’s most remote places to articulate down-to-earth strategies for meeting the challenges of challenging times.

    John is the Founder of the world-renowned Banff Mountain Film Festival, Founder and President of One Step Beyond WorldWide, and has been called “The World’s Best Adventure Speaker”.

    In his new keynote, “No Mountain Too High”, John uses his exceptional storytelling ability and the power of metaphor to address the following themes:

    • Setting Realistic Goals and Expectations
    • Taking Calculated Risk and Being Adventurous
    • Embracing Fear and Anxiety
    • Avoiding the “Trap of Complacency”
    • Understanding the Values of Commitment
    • Learning from Setbacks and Applying the Lessons
    • Questioning the Status Quo by always asking “WHY?”
    • Building Trust within an Effective Team
    • Leading by Personal Example
    • Taking Pride in Your Individual Contribution
    • Anticipating the Future and Being Prepared

    Climbing Your Own Everest:
    What it Takes to Get to the Top

    John Amatt′s most popular presentation, the highly motivational and inspirational ′Climbing Your Own Everest′ explores the metaphor of striving to reach for the top of the world. Illustrated by magnificent colour photography from his successful Everest expedition, and supplemented by music, sound effects, and taped radio conversations, this presentation investigates the human qualities that we must all bring to bear in climbing to the top in the difficult and unpredictable economic environment of the 1990′s, and the uncertain world of the 21st century.

    Concepts which are explored by this presentation include: Teamwork, Preparation, Commitment, Adapting to changing environments, Setting realistic goals, The role of positive attitude By drawing the analogy between the challenge of ′Climbing Your Own Everest′ in a personal and professional sense, this presentation lends special focus to the challenges facing us all in the future.

    Straight to the Top and Beyond:
    Nine Keys for Meeting the Challenges of Changing Times

    Change is inevitable - and increasing! Rapid and radical change is the primary challenge facing corporations and professionals today. We cannot stop this change, nor can we ignore it. But we can increase our ability to adapt, to manage change effectively, and to benefit from the numerous opportunities that change creates.

    In these rapidly-changing times, the metaphor of adventure is the perfect vehicle for articulating the strategy that will help us address this challenge. By definition, adventure involves dealing with the uncertain, the unpredictable and the unknown, just as change involves moving towards a future in which there are no guarantees. To succeed in the uncertain world of the 1990′s and the 21st Century, we must learn to embrace change, and to become visionary and adventurous in dealing with the economic, social and political environments in which we must all operate.

    The key to future success will be to develop the "Adventure Attitude "a pro-active approach based upon the following acronym:

    A - Adaptability
    D - Desire & Determination
    V - Vision & Values
    E - Experience
    N - Natural Curiosity
    T - Teamwork & Trust
    U - Unlimited Optimism
    R - Risk-ability
    E - Exceptional Performance

    Based on his new book of the same title, Straight to the Top and Beyond will captivate your audience. Using examples from John Amatt′s lifetime of adventure and entrepreneurship, together with vignettes from our heritage of global exploration and discovery, this presentation will motivate your staff to embrace new opportunities in a changing world, to open up their minds to new realities, and to develop the "Adventure Attitude" strategies that will be the key to success in the future.

    Meeting the Challenge of Change
    (3 to 5 hour workshop)

    John Amatt also offers seminars/workshops of 3 to 5 hours duration, which focus on the theme of "Meeting the Challenge of Change" in corporate and professional life. Designed as an in-house program, "Meeting the Challenge of Change" has also been integrated into annual meetings in a variety of major hotels and conference resorts internationally. The content can be summarized as follows:

    A. The Mountain of Change

    • A global perspective is mandatory
    • The art of progress
    • The paradox of comfort and security
    • Change is inevitable

    B. The Age of Discovery

    • From the known into the unknown
    • Oceans of uncertainty
    • A place to sleep in safety
    • The choice - adapt or perish
    • Complacency and tunnel vision
    • The bubble of invincibility
    • Leaving the beaten path

    C. Seven Keys to Meeting the Challenge

    • Curiosity- to seek new opportunities
    • Courage- to move forward and progress
    • Commitment- to get started and keep going
    • Creativity- to adapt to changing times
    • Cooperation - to work together effectively
    • Communication- to respect new viewpoints
    • Concentration - to stay focused on goals

    D. What it Takes to Get to the Top

    • The struggle of life itself, upward and forever upwards
    • Overcoming the fear of what might be
    • Respecting basic values and core beliefs
    • Developing peripheral vision
    • Teamwork based on trust
    • Learning the lessons from experience
    • F.8 ... and be there
    • Adaptation, continuous improvement & positive dissatisfaction
    • Penetrating the barriers of self-imposed limitations

    E. Living with the Adventure Attitude

    • Attitude is the key to success ...
    • Nine principles for achievement in changing times

    F. Global Leadership for the 21st Century

    • Characteristics needed in order to achieve fulfillment and success in the next millennium.

    G. Journey Towards the Next Millennium

    John Amatt on Speaking

    We all have our “Everest” to climb and, significantly, I believe that what it takes to get to the top of the real mountain, is exactly what it takes to reach your summit of endeavor in daily life.

    SPEAKING.COM: You were one of the first professional speakers to share your life-and-death experiences of climbing Mount Everest as a means of encouraging your audiences to climb their own “mountains” in life. Over your 30-year career, you have addressed more than 2,000 corporate and professional audiences in 49 countries worldwide. Why do your presentations have such widespread appeal?

    AMATT: Mount Everest is an icon, symbolic of the highest point that you can strive to achieve in life. We all have our “Everest” to climb and, significantly, I believe that what it takes to get to the top of the real mountain, is exactly what it takes to reach your summit of endeavor in daily life.

    My personal story as a leader of Canada’s first successful climb to the top of the world is a perfect metaphor for articulating key strategies for success in today’s rapidly changing and uncertain world. Our success on Everest was not easy, as we were forced to live through two unpredictable accidents early in the climb in which four teammates died before we were able to put six of our team on the summit. My story might sound exceptional, but in reality it is a story about life that just happened to occur on the world’s highest mountain.

    SPEAKING.COM: You speak a lot about “Change” – why do you feel embracing change is so important?

    AMATT: It is important to realize that change is the one constant we should expect in leading a successful life. By nature human beings seek out comfort and security in an attempt to isolate themselves from risk. This is a paradox though, because even if we build the secure world we desire, we have to leave it all behind if we are going to continue progressing through life. It is impossible to stay where we are today, because the world is changing around us. If we cling to the ‘status quo’ of today’s world, we will drift backwards as more progressive teams pass us by.

    My Everest companion, Pat Morrow, articulates this very well. He is a highly regarded professional photographer famous for having taken some of the best photographs from the top of the world. When asked how he takes these great pictures, his answer is simple: “f.8 … and be there,”, meaning that he has to expose his camera correctly to the light (“f.8” being an exposure setting on his camera) and “be there” in the right place to click the shutter.

    For me though, this is a metaphor for success in changing times. In a challenging world, we must also “f.8” our minds, exposing them correctly to the environments in which we live; furthermore, we must “be there” in today’s world, adapting to the ongoing changes and not living in the past. “f.8 … and be there” for me is all about the search for continuous improvement, rejecting complacency and maintaining what I call “positive dissatisfaction”: continually being dissatisfied with my performance but in a positive way, always looking for improvement. Applied consistently, it is the key to success in times of uncertainty.

    Following my presentations, I’ve had people come up to me and say they wished they could do what I’ve been able to do with my life: overcoming my innate shyness as a youth and developing a career where I speak to thousands of strangers every year. My answer is you can, if you’re willing to make the same sacrifices: find the courage to overcome your fears, commit to your goals and adapt to the changing world in which we live.

    One of the saddest things for me is to see people with potential who don’t achieve it, because they are afraid to leave behind their comfort zone. In my early years as a teacher, people often asked me what subject I taught. My answer was “I don’t teach subjects. I teach kids!” My goal was always to find out what the children were good at and to encourage them to follow that path throughout their lives.

    Everest was just one arena of challenge! We all operate in different arenas, but the keys to success are the same in every situation.

    SPEAKING.COM: You are often described as a motivational speaker. Do you agree with this description?

    AMATT: I do agree that my story-telling ability incorporates a motivational component. After all, my Everest story is of a group of ordinary people who achieved an extraordinary goal in the face of great adversity and tragedy, but I am in truth an educator in that my goal is to give my audiences the keys to achieving self-fulfillment and success in their own lives. Everest was just one arena of challenge! We all operate in different arenas, but the keys to success are the same in every situation.

    SPEAKING.COM: In your “No Mountain Too High” keynote presentations, you stress that “teamwork” was a key to your success”. Why is that so important?

    AMATT: Yes! Nobody can achieve complete success in life without the support of a team of dedicated people. As individuals, we all have unique strengths and limitations: things we are good at as well as areas where we are not so strong.
    The essence of good teamwork centers on using the strength of others to offset our individual limitations.

    Our achievement on Everest was directly attributable to the Sherpa climbers of Nepal, who live their lives at altitudes of up to 14,000 feet. I live at 4,000 feet in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I can function at 100% effectiveness at 4,000 feet so the Sherpas have a 10,000 foot adaptive advantage over me. Their strength at altitude, therefore, offset my limitation in performing in the rarefied atmosphere. Exclusive Interview with John Amatt
    Avoiding the Complacency Trap
    In this interview, Amatt discusses:
      • The biggest danger we all face.
      • How overcoming fear and anxiety transformed his life.
      • How to escape the trap of complacency.
    Read the Full Interview

    "I discovered that in every challenging situation, I must overcome my fears and commit to the effort, no matter what level of uncertainty it might involve."
    - John Amatt

    What People are Saying about Seeing John Speak

    Rating Entries

    “John Amatt is a modern adventurer who can not only spin a great yarn, but who possesses the rare knack of turning his journeys into universal revelations that guide his readers and listeners on how to survive and prosper in the global village.”
    Peter C. Newman, Best-selling Author & Award Winning Business Journalist

    “Our attendees walked away with renewed belief that they can push beyond their limitations and be more personally accountable for their own actions.”  
    USF&G Century Club

      “Our guests were uniform in their high praise for your performance … Through the skillful use of powerful visual images and an eloquent description of your central theme, you instilled in all of us a sense of what is possible and what it takes to achieve great things. You were terrific!”  
    Balboa Life & Casualty

      “The tone that you set was inspirational and pertinent. Many of our attendees commented that they could directly apply your message to their everyday operations.” 
    American Management Systems, Inc.

       “John was an outstanding speaker – prompt, sharp, personable and highly accommodating. Combined with his stunning photos, John’s message riveted everyone’s attention to the stage. I can’t remember any previous audience following a speaker as intently as on this occasion.”  

       “One veteran senior executive described your presentation was the best he had ever heard. Other senior executives have suggested that everyone in our organization should have had the opportunity to participate in your dynamic presentations.”
    American Express Financial Advisors Inc.

      “The dimension you brought was emphasizing that risk is an intrinsic part of life and should be transformed into business in order to progress. The way in which you brought out the effect of teamwork and employing cultural differences to best advantage was most impressive, particularly the way you emphasized that change is an essential part of life.”  
    Libbey Owens Ford

      “Your message is clear and compelling.  Your presentation is strong, yet compassionate.  Most of all, your integrity shines…”
    Famous 5 Foundation

      “You were FANTASTIC, POSITIVE, and MOTIVATIONAL. You were everything we expected you to be. The audience loved you and admired you and received you with great pride as evidenced by the thunderous standing ovation.”
    Million Dollar Round Table

      “I particularly appreciated your insight into the important contribution a team member makes towards the accomplishment of a goal. Your enthusiasm and joy for being part of the process vs. needing to be the one (or two) who were to climb the final steps, was sincere and contagious . . . a lesson for us all. Sometimes in our personal pursuit of excellence and attainment of individual goals, we lose sight of the ′bigger picture′ – that of the common goal. Thanks for reminding us. John, the demands of your travel must be great, and the compromises many, but you must know that your message touches lives. It reaches into places that some choose to ignore or are too hurried to consider. I am convinced that you, too, are touched each time you share it-you and Everest are of one spirit. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of it and of ourselves.”
    Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas City

      “Without qualification I can say that your presentation to the attendees at the American Optometric Association′s Meeting was the most dynamic even given to an AOA group. Your artful integration of the principles of leadership into your narration of your dramatic mountain climb was superb.”
    American Optometric Association

      “You have left us with a clear vision of what will be required of our managers, present and future: Commitment, resourcefulness, endurance, flexibility to meet the challenge of change, and above all, the courage to keep a clear perspective of the goals in spite of any adversities.”
    Air Canada

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    Books by John Amatt:

    Straight to the Top and Beyond
    Nine Keys for Meeting the Challenge of Changing Times

    Discover the Potential that Lies within you
    and learn to make the most of opportunities.

    Adventure isn′t hanging on a rope on the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day-to-day obstacles in life – facing new challenges, seizing new opportunities, testing our resources against the unknown and, in the process, discovering our own unique potential.”

    In Straight to the Top and Beyond, John Amatt, a mountain climber and CEO, uses the metaphor of adventure – climbing Mount Everest – to articulate a strategy addressing the challenge in a fast changing world.

    To succeed in the 21st century, we must learn to be risk-takers; to become comfortable with uncertainty and to become visionary and adventurous in dealing with the new social, political and economic environments in which we will be forced to live.

    Straight to the Top and Beyond is a fascinating and inspiring account of the author′s climb to the peak of Mount Everest; it is also an inspiring call to businessmen and women to become adventurers; to seek out difficulty and to stretch their potential.

    Born in Manchester, England, John Amatt lives in Alberta, Canada and is President and CEO of One Step Beyond World Wide. Founded in 1983, One Step Beyond grew of his desire to apply the lessons he learned climbing Mount Everest to corporate and professional life. Since that time, his company has grown into an international educational and motivational organization, training individuals and organizations to create new attitudes and strategies to survive in the next century.

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