Olympic Gold Medalist Rower, Social Entrepreneur and Expert in High Performance
Adam Kreek, a top executive business coach, knows how to elevate results of leadership development and strategic planning. Thousands have been trained and taught by him in organizations including General Electric, Microsoft, Amazon, Shell, and Mercedes-Benz.
He has a strong range of talent working in both the financial and engineering fields and as a two-time Olympian. Adam earned more than 60 international medals including an Olympic Gold medal. He has multiple hall of fame inductions.
Adam is also known for adventure as he was the first to ever try to row unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to America, making him the subject of an NBC Dateline documentary. He and three team members were days short of their Miami destination when the boat capsized.
An author of the book The Responsibility Ethic, Adam focuses on self-leadership to drive up personal and professional results. He also has degrees in geotechnical engineering and hydrology from Stanford University, along with ECPC ACTP certification and ICF Coaching credentials.
A unique feature of Adam’s presentations is that he offers a free, optional fitness or wellness session to all keynote, workshop, or strategic planning retreat clients. This is to show core values and create authentic connections.
The Responsibility Ethic
As a society, we’ve been oversold the quick fixes. Be the boss now. Lose weight in one week. Get rich tomorrow. We want to believe there’s a secret cheat code, a hack, or a hidden short-cut. When the quick and easy routes fail, we often blame others: it’s the CEO’s fault, our partner’s fault, the client’s fault, the sales team’s fault, the operation team’s fault or even our parent’s fault. The list goes on.
In his engaging, thought-provoking and behaviour changing keynote, Adam shares his principle of The Responsibility Ethic, and teaches the practice of Self-Leadership. That is, we each can achieve any desired outcome (personal, professional and team) when we recognize our role in the current state of affairs. We must align our vision, plan and behaviour with our goals.
This keynote challenges and heals those who have been told to follow their dreams…but not given the fine print: will require hard work and consistent action.
Attendees are challenged to find the courage to tell themselves the truth, point the finger inward, and hold personal accountability for their vision, values, goals and actions.
Dreams transform into results with vision, planning and action. We alone create our direction and circumstance through our daily focus, choices and actions.
Skills, tools and strategies for effective self-leadership
Successfully craft goals, plans and execution methods to maximize results
Increase feelings of control and empowerment, optimize decision making and reduce stress
Teamwork and Leadership in Times of Change
An incredible power is released when we work effectively together. When teams function optimally, they can be excellent tools to ensure resiliency, manage risk, and maximize achievement in times of change. When the whirlwind takes over, busyness gains priority and stress levels run high. In a fast-paced environment, we often let communication and team dynamics suffer, and the costs are significant.
Strong team culture is essential to sustain success. How can we foster authentic and lasting team culture? Reunite your team under a higher goal. Embolden the professionals on your teams to lead from within. Adam combines inspiring stories with an interactive presentation to share the concept of Shared Leadership with teams across sectors.
It’s time to hit the refresh button. Empower your team to navigate current and future uncertainty with confidence. Participants will gain my best practices for managing change, and the tools that are necessary for consistent self-improvement.
Learn Key Lessons to Build Teamwork and Leadership in Times of Change:
Learn the correlation between energy and positivity in the face of change
Understand the change curve to stop resisting change
Learn to let go of the past
Remember that we must focus on what we can control
You’ll also learn:
Why we must have clear roles in our teams
Why it is important to “debate ideas, not people”
How airing our grievances can create a stronger team
How disagreements can be overcome by focusing on shared objectives
Communication tips for better teamwork and team leadership
The Power of Values
What are values? What makes the practice of values identification so powerful? Can values create the foundation of an engaged workforce – and team culture that eats strategy for breakfast? How is the alignment of values and action essential to individual and organizational success?
We operate in an increasingly competitive, globally diverse economy. When our organization’s values are unclear and unlived, performance and productivity are sacrificed. It takes more than a fear of being fired or financial incentives to motivate employees. Without common, identified and actively embraced values, an organization will struggle to thrive.
In his interactive keynote, Adam brings the power of values to life, evoking professional passion and more fulfilling success. Adam teaches audiences to unearth their personal and professional values, and how to align them directly with action to be more engaged, productive, focused and ultimately effective.
Identify and express your personal and organization’s values effectively
Optimize decision making and limit distractions
Create sustainable team engagement and powerful organizational culture
Overcoming Obstacles to Success
At the Beijing Olympic Games, my team’s goal was to gain one inch over our competition with every stroke. We won Olympic Gold by just over one second—or 220 inches. That’s one inch for every stroke.
The inches add up.
The same is true in business, entrepreneurship, career and life: quick fixes do not drive excellence.
Too often, we race for quick fix solutions, clinging to claims of easy success: “If only we could fail faster, schedule smarter or work harder”. We maintain unsuccessful strategies at all costs to evade slowing down, re-strategizing and regaining our focus.
The truth is, it takes focus and consistency to establish effective habits. We achieve peak performance when we prioritize the inches: powerful habits, strategies and tools that drive results.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result. It’s time to take time. Step back and implement the inches that will create and sustain peak performance.
Learn Key Skills for Sustained Results, including:
Focus on what you can control
Embrace a growth mindset: inspire intrinsic persistence
Reject instant gratification: find happiness in effort, drive and process
Harness the power of authenticity
Capitalize on the value of active listening
Do the work
Gold Medal Safety: Courage, Communication & Stress Response
12 years, 2 million practice strokes, 7,200 practices sessions, 13,000 hours on the water.
Olympic training statistics are remarkable. I know. I lived it. However, when discussing Olympic results, one measure of success and failure is often overlooked:
How many workers died in preventable safety incidents to create a successful Olympic experience? For me, it was 24.
Ten workers died preparing the Beijing Olympic facilities where I competed and won in 2008.
Fourteen workers died to produce the Athens Olympics where I competed just four years earlier.
These workplace fatality numbers break my heart, and many more life-changing injuries hide behind each fatality number.
But there is hope. The London Olympics pursued safety with an overt Olympic mindset and delivered the best safety performance on record for a summer games. Not one worker died due to workplace neglect. Now, that’s an Olympic record to strive for!
What is Gold Medal Safety? A Zero-Harm worksite.
Zero-harm can seem as daunting as winning an Olympic Gold Medal, so we need to have the courage to dream this big. Aim for perfection, accept excellence. That is how you win the Olympics. That is how you build a strong safety culture. That is how you win in a competitive marketplace.
The insights, questions and stories shared in Adam’s keynote will help safety leaders and their organizations build and sustain Gold Medal Safety at every level of an organization.
Adam’s industry customized, thought provoking and behaviour changing Gold Medal Safety keynote teaches participants:
Practical and effective communication and conflict resolution models for safe work environments.
Successful responses to hazardous stress triggers.
To harness courage and speak with authority under pressure.
To take personal responsibility for team Safety.
Why Our Fear of Failure Fails Us
We’ve got the balance wrong.
A healthy fear of failure is essential. It reminds us of our accountability and emboldens the threat of consequence. But excessive emphasis on failure can paralyze productivity and stop us from achieving our best work.
Risk aversion, inner-resistance, self-sabotage, procrastination, anxiety and perfectionism are all signs that we hold an unhealthy fear of failure.
Successful teams and organizations require a healthy relationship with failure. Too much fear – or too little – signals future disaster. Managing your fear of failure effectively allows for individual authenticity and reclaimed confidence. And we need both for sustained success and performance.
It’s time to reframe our fear of failure.
Learn Key Lessons to Empower Drive, Engagement and Growth:
How an inaccurate conception of failure cripples engagement, growth and ability
How to separate self-worth from past success and failure
Differentiate between blameworthy failure and praiseworthy failure
Reclaim lost confidence: the action-growth connection
Big dreams and small steps can increase your capacity for achievement
Leading and Executing Your Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is about identifying what’s most important in our lives, explicitly communicating our priorities to our colleagues and our loved ones, and setting definitive boundaries necessary to achieve and sustain our desired way of life.
There is no one size fits all ‘work-life balance’; it is as unique to each of us as our shoe size. Leading and executing our personal work-life balance requires visioning, planning and the courage to stand up for our values and needs. Once achieved, work-life balance provides the freedom to live more calm and fulfilled lives.
Adam’s customized and action-oriented keynote teaches participants to:
Identify their top work priorities, and focus on these essential tasks daily to reduce distraction and ensure that work is complete within determined work hours. Tools and strategies provided.
Design and prioritize your personalized balance between work, life and health.
Explore how assertiveness helps us to set boundaries to ensure desired work-life balance is achieved and sustained.
Communicate effectively to convey your new work-life balance to family, friends and colleagues.
Mental Fitness For Living Well
Keynote and Workshop Offerings
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Our daily habits, routines and mental states are no exception.
Statistics don’t lie. We’re more stressed, overworked, overweight and less healthy than ever before. Yet we get up and repeat our behavioural patterns, regardless of whether they are serving us.
As a business owner, entrepreneur, and father of three, Adam has adapted the skills and strategies that propelled him to Olympic Gold to meet the demands of his current pursuits – business, family and community life. As a lead Champion for the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation and advocate for mental health and wellness programs, Adam teaches simple, practical and science-based strategies to strengthen mental fitness for day-to-day wellbeing.
Join Adam for a transformational keynote or workshop to explore ways you can take back control of your own health and wellness. Set and fulfil your personal goals and develop a mental fitness for life.
Participants will leave with practical and actionable habits and strategies to better their personal mental fitness for life.
It’s time to hop off autopilot and reboot. To pause and dedicate time to take a breath, reclaim yourself and reset for the next chapter of your life.
Sample Keynote & Workshop Topic Areas:
All keynotes and workshops are tailored to meet the client’s conference goals and theme. Below are sample topic areas; we work with clients to pick 5-10 topics to include in a keynote or workshop. Both programs are designed with a strong behaviour change focus, and participants should arrive ready to write, reflect and take action.
Master Your first hour
Harness the Power of five-minute Journaling
Create and practice small habits for momentum
Experiment with a personal resilience meditation
Become your own coach; engage the power of self-talk
Prioritize “the 3 things” for a successful day, everyday
Stop treating life like an emergency
Focus on what you can control and ignore the rest
Embrace the mindset: Reflect, learn, grow, let it go.
Adopt the motto: debate ideas, not people.
Take action or calm down; worry is an excuse for inaction.
Plan a “positive habit vacation”
Engage mindfulness though practiced cues
Master the art of routine reflection
Learn the skill of behavioural visioning
Nutrition for mental performance: quality in, quality out
Build and refine personal mantras that support you
Physical movement for mental health: the most underutilized medicine
Technology to support your health goals
*Free optional offering with a keynote or workshop booking:
FREE: Conference Fitness Program with Adam
Join Adam for a fun and invigorating early morning fitness session at your next conference. All abilities welcome and encouraged to attend!
At no additional cost, we offer all keynote clients the option of booking Adam to lead a pre-breakfast outdoor fitness session. This option is guaranteed to refresh, energize and kick off the conference day for all.
Most importantly, this session is all inclusive: all age, all body shapes, all fitness levels are welcome. If the only people who show up are the three exercise freaks training for their next seven marathons, Adam will sweep the halls knocking on room doors. He looks forward to meeting the mother of four who hasn’t put on her running shoes in three years, and the manager who knows his beer gut needs to shrink. Get out of bed and get moving: 6:29 am, rain or shine.
Adam’s outdoor fitness session is inspired by his local November Project. Adam will provide participants with fun, motivation and exercise that will renew energy, increase confidence and be the best start to your conference day.
“Adam’s greatest strength is his authenticity. His enthusiasm is not rehearsed or forced – it is true to his personality and it is impossible not to be affected by his strong presence. Our attendees ranged in age from early 20′s to late 60′s, and they are all “hardened lawyers” – a tough crowd! Adam connected with each and every one of them, using a combination of humour, humility and inspiration. Weeks after the event, people are still talking about the retreat and Adam’s role in showing us how it takes different players to form an effective team. His message that it is only through failure that we can find ultimate success. That we need to move past our comfort zone, was particularly resonant. In fact, several attendees were so impressed by Adam’s presentation that they prepared a follow up seminar called: “What I learned from Adam” – this is unprecedented, and a tribute to the impact he had upon us, both individually and as an organization.” “Would we recommend Adam? Without reservation! His story is credible, relatable and his impact is tangible. Truly a Gold Medal performance!”
– Partner, Chair of Retreat Committee, Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP
“Thank you Adam. You were wonderful! The entire team raved about your keynote. It had all the elements we were looking for – energy, entertainment and the messaging about teamwork, leadership was spot on. The team loved hearing from you and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews. I thank you for being the perfect “energizer” for our team. It was a great start to our conference.”
Direct Energy Services
“I have seen dozens of Olympians speak at off-sites in the last 19 years, and Adam was by far the best. He was relevant to our business, and had a fascinating story. He wasn’t spewing business dogma. He spoke to the people in the room, leaving a lasting and positive impact that traveled through our office. I have heard nothing but rave reviews from all our employees.”
– VP Marketing, General Mills
“We were very pleased with Adam Kreek’s keynote at FCL’s Path to Performance event for 280 of our management employees. Adam took time, in advance, to get to know our organization, meet our leaders, and build relationships with our employees. He also incorporated our organization and its vision into his presentation. This went along way to making the presentation unique and personal—we felt as though it was meant for us.
Adam’s message about asking ourselves, “Will it make the boat go faster?” is a concept that really resonated with people and has been repeated by our CEO. Another concept that people took from Adam’s presentation and have been using is, “we need to focus on the things that we can control and not on the things that we can’t”.
We would recommend Adam Kreek to others because his keynote set a wonderful tone for rolling out our new competency model. Adam inspired our management employees by sharing his own journey on his personal Path to Performance.”
– Vice-President Human Resources, Federated Co-operatives Limited
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Royal Bank of Canada
HSBC Bank Canada
Project Management Institute (PMI)
Healthcare Supply Chain Network (HSCN)
Credit Union Managers Association (CUMA)
Association of Public Sector Information Professionals (DPI)
Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE)
Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia
British Columbia Human Resources Management Association
Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres