At just 26, Alex Staniforth is no stranger to overcoming challenges, having survived the two biggest disasters in Mount Everest history as a teenager. His biggest challenges have been much closer to home however, suffering with epilepsy, stammering, bullying and mental ill health since childhood.
Alex is a now a record-breaking adventurer, published author, charity founder and motivational keynote speaker in the UK and internationally – despite a lifelong stammer. He shares a relatable vulnerability in the world of extreme adventure and ultra endurance, to help individuals connect with their own challenges and enable positive conversations about mental health.
In 2017 Alex Staniforth became the fastest person ever to climb all 100 UK county tops by bike, foot and kayak, covering over 5,000 miles in 72 days. He has raised over £120,000 for charities, carried the London 2012 Olympic Torch and won Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the Year in 2017. He published his first book Icefall in 2016, endorsed by Bear Grylls, and his second title Another Peak in 2019.
In 2020 he co-founded Mind Over Mountains, a national charity to restore mental well-being through nature and ran the National Three Peaks Challenge, climbing and running 452 miles between the UK’s three highest peaks in just 9 days.
High performance isn’t sustainable without positive well-being. Alex Staniforth has already helped organisations including Rolls-Royce Submarines, Bank of America, Shoosmiths, FedEx, Smurfit Kappa, Reckitt Benckiser, Heineken and the NHS to build the tools and mindset to embrace challenges, maintain positive mental health, and stay motivated during times of adversity and change.
Is fear of failure keeping your team stuck at Base Camp? We’re constantly striving for the next big target, but this linear approach to success only leaves us vulnerable to the inevitable shocks along the way. A near-death experience on Mount Everest brings home why staying in our respective Base Camp stops us achieving our full potential – and might even kill us. From the avalanche debris beneath his feet, Alex will share how sometimes not achieving our goals can teach us more than achieving them, and why failure is just another opportunity to win. Alex will share a journey of commitment, ownership and innovation to raise over £35,000 in sponsorship as a teenager, and re-defining our idea of success to help us achieve more.
– Adopt a growth mindset to discover opportunities in adversity
– Re-define success to overcome fear of failure and encourage innovation
– Why commitment is key to high achievement
– Defining our purpose to maintain motivation and focus
How do we stay motivated and productive when the summit is out of view? Challenges are inevitable, both in the mountains and the meeting room. Adventure teaches us to deal with the unexpected, make tough decisions, adapt the plan and draw from our strengths. Being prepared can help us not only survive the storm but take advantage of the opportunities and keep moving forwards when the path is unclear. In this keynote, Alex will share the tools in his ‘Resilience Rucksack’ to help us embrace an adventure mindset, support each other and forge a path through the unknown: one small step at a time. Why settle for Base Camp?
– Adopt an adventure mindset to reframe setbacks and discover opportunities
– How to build and sustain motivation during times of change
– Committing to the goal, but staying flexible in our approach
– Supporting each other to achieve a common goal
– Celebrating the milestones to keep moving forwards
As we emerge from the pandemic, living in survival mode and uncertainty for so long has depleted our mental health, eroded the boundaries between work and home, and created an ‘always on’ culture that undermines positive well-being habits. From his record-breaking ultra-marathons and personal lived experience, Alex shares proactive strategies to help us prevent, recognise and recover from burnout, one small step at a time. We will explore the stress bucket, boundaries, coping mechanisms and why resilience is about recharging, not enduring. There is no vaccine for burnout – and high performance is only sustainable if we look after ourselves and our team first.
– Why helping others starts with ourselves
– The causes of internal and external burnout recognise the warning signs of burnout and how to take action building a proactive approach to physical and mental well-being learn from the competition, whilst focusing on our strengths
Adventure and sport are often seen as a pinnacle of strength and invulnerability. In this keynote, Alex will share his honest personal lived experiences of depression, anxiety and eating disorders to break down the common stigmas and myths, particularly in men. Alex will share the importance of building coping mechanisms and how spending time in nature, or the ‘Natural Health Service’, has been key to managing his well-being, and how we can all harness the benefits. We will explore the power of vulnerability, authentic conversations and the positive multiplier effect to build an open mental health culture: ultimately building a happier and more productive team. As leaders, we have to start by putting our hand up first.
– Manage the stress bucket to maintain positive well-being
– Why asking for help creates a positive multiplier effect
– How to listen well and support others who may be struggling the power of vulnerability to build an open mental health culture
– Building psychological safety to reduce presenteeism and sickness
This can be delivered specifically for managers and leaders for the benefit of their team, or the individuals within it.
Success is rarely the straight line we’re led to believe and means something different to all of us. Fear of failure is widespread, even when attributed to some of our biggest innovations. To re-define failure as fuel to win, we must accept that failure can sometimes be inevitable but can teach us more than achieving our goals first time.
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"You brought together a large and varied audience of different roles, ranks and departments, and your presentation gave them the platform to step out of work, devote some time to themselves and their own mental health, offering your perspective and some techniques they can go away and use, and to realise that they are not alone. To link your expedition to COVID was brilliant and allowed us to think about things differently. Sometimes the approach to mental health within organisations as big and cumbersome as ours can feel a bit of a tick box, superficial exercise, but your sessions felt very different, very real, very humble and very authentic. In my view, you will have made a difference much bigger than you may think or ever know."
Chris Mead, Chief Superintendent, Cambridgeshire Police
"Obstacles are opportunities in disguise, and Alex knows this all too well. High achievement requires high sacrifice, but he is a man determined to make his Everest dream a reality!"
Bear Grylls OBE, Adventurer and TV Personality
"We invited Alex to speak at our company away day with the main theme being mindfulness, wellbeing and focus. He took the time to tailor his talk to our needs and the result was fantastic. Alex has a special charm which captivates and draws the audience in. His session was truly inspirational and engaging and gives the audience a sense of motivation and self belief, empowering people to tackle their own obstacles that are present in the world we live in. Everyone left the event feeling inspired, thank you Alex for sharing your thought provoking and mesmerising story!"
"Alex’s keynote address positively inspired our Leaders of the Future conference audience - whatever their age. His impassioned talk transformed our day from being just a good one to being exceptional. He was also a very tough act to follow!"
"I asked Alex to come and share his “journey” with my team of senior managers and executives to give a good example of how people overcome numerous obstacles and still come out as winners. His preparation for the presentation was meticulous, and customised to my need, message and audience. His presentation was delivered perfectly – the timing was good, the message was brilliant and the whole team were captivated. The message of overcoming obstacles to come out on top was simply thrilling. The teams feedback was of the highest praise."
Health & Hygiene Reckitt Benckiser
"You could have heard a pin drop. Every person in the room was focused on your brave and inspiring words. More so than any previous speaker I've heard in the 12 years since our campus opened. To top it off, you gave a valuable lesson - ‘failure’ is inevitable for all of us but it should be embraced as an opportunity. Life is not about how we fall but how we pick ourselves up again."
International School of Geneva
"Your presentation was riveting, engaging and inspirational. We have received such overwhelming feedback on how your story resonated with the team and how it was what they needed at such an appropriate time. This is what we wanted and you certainly delivered!"
Seema Hallon, Head of Office Dubai, Deriv.com
"Alex delivered a virtual motivational speech via Skype to circa 150 leaders in our business. The event was very well received with many leaders commenting on the relevance of Alex’s journey to our challenges and since the event several leaders have linked back to Alex’s content – describing their “resilience rucksack” and the question “are you pulling on the rope?” has entered our lexicon. I was particularly impressed with the preparation and tailoring Alex was able to do to make the message even more pertinent to our business – it was a truly inspirational session summed up by one comment – “I can’t believe you just paid us to listen to that!”."
Robert Neale, GM, Core Manufacture, Rolls-Royce Submarines
“Your session was fantastic and the content still buzzing around the room today. Lasting memory and something I will take back to practice ‘just think what we can achieve if we pull in the same direction’ – inspired!”
Kay Mulcahy, National Chair, HEFMA Leadership Forum 2022
“Alex’s ability to quickly grasp the messages specific to the team and our business and then weave this into his delivery was impressive. His authentic and humble articulation enabled there to be something in the messaging for everyone.”
Jonathan Ford, Off Trade Director, Heineken UK
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