Gold Medal Olympic Rower
Shared Leadership. Teamwork. Mental Toughness. Managing Change. Safety. An Olympic Gold Medalist turned adventurer and engineer, Adam Kreek is a social entrepreneur who walks the talk. He is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Greasecycle, a start-up Biodiesel company on Vancouver Island, and he runs Kreek Speak Enterprises Inc. where he teaches organizations the strategies of high performance. A world-class and interactive storyteller, Kreek’s timeless performance philosophies serve to embolden organizational culture, re-boot team performance, and expand resiliency. Relevant, powerful, and transformative, his keynotes motivate, inspire, educate, and entertain.
During his 13 year rowing career, Kreek won over 60 medals, with 43 of these being gold medal or first place performances. After a disappointing loss at the Athens Olympic Games of 2004, Kreek and his team powered their way to a gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Kreek and his teammates were inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in June of 2014.
Kreek made the first ever attempt to row unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to North America in January 2013. After four years in planning and 73 days at sea in a 29 foot rowboat, Kreek and his three teammates capsized just 10 days short of their destination. Fortunately, exceptional safety and emergency preparation ensured that the crew survived and much of their equipment and data was salvaged.
Kreek is former Board Member of the Canadian Olympic Committee where he worked in a leadership role to ensure the benefits of sport spread to the broader Canadian society, and of Clean Air Champions, where he worked for many years to educate Canadians about the importance of the link between personal and environmental health. He is a Big Brother with Big Brothers and Big Sisters and recently served as Honorary Co-chair of the Elk Lake Boathouse Renewal Project, where he helped to raise $1.3 million to renovate the community facility that houses Canada’s Olympic Rowing Team. In addition to his work with organizations, Kreek has worked with tens of thousands of youth in schools, instilling within our next generation the idea that the “secret to happy living is giving.” He was named one of Canada's Greatest Explorers by Canadian Geographic.
How to Empower Drive, Engagement and Growth: 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:
â— How an inaccurate conception of failure cripples engagement, growth and ability
â— How to separate self-worth from past success and failure
â— Differentiate between blameworthy failure and praiseworthy failure
â— Reclaim lost confidence: the action-growth connection
â— Big dreams and small steps can increase your capacity for achievement
Inches: Creating and Sustaining Peak Performance
At the Beijing Olympic Games, Adam Kreek's team’s goal was to gain one inch over our competition with every stroke. They 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:
â— Focus on what you can control
â— Embrace a growth mindset: inspire intrinsic persistence
â— Reject instant gratification: find happiness in effort, drive and process
â— Harness the power of authenticity
â— Capitalize on the value of active listening
â— Do the work
Strong Teams, Shared Leadership
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. 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 Kreek combines inspiring stories with an interactive presentation to share the concept of Shared Leadership with teams across sectors.
Learn Key Lessons to Empower Shared Leadership:
â— Why we must have clear roles in our teams
â— Why it is important to “debate ideas not people”
â— How airing grievances in the Sahara Desert created a stronger Ocean Rowing Team
â— How disagreements can be overcome by focusing on shared objectives
â— Communication tips for better teamwork and team leadership
Manage Change and Overcome Obstacles
Stress, change and perceived obstacles can help us when we use them as intended: to motivate action. Failure in the mid-Atlantic? A crippling back injury months before the Olympic Games? Volatile markets while building a businesses? Adam Kreek has been there and will share his first-hand experience on overcoming adversity.
It’s time to hit the refresh button and boost your energy. Kreek uses his story to empower your team to navigate current and future uncertainty with confidence. His compelling narratives are supported by relevant research, which enables him to effectively teach key lessons of high performance that apply to shifting work environments. Participants will gain best practices for managing change, and the tools that are necessary for consistent self-improvement. With the right tools, we can transition from current practices to future desired states. We can act as professionals and adopt an ethic of positive realism to all areas of life.
Learn Key Lessons to Overcome Obstacles and Manage Change:
â— Learn the correlation between energy and positivity in the face of change
â— Understand the change curve to stop resisting change
â— Learn to let go of the past
â— Remember that we must focus on what we can control
General Mills Canada
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 wasnâ€™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.
UVIC Commerce Students Society
Adam was amazing! Every student was fully engaged during his entire presentation and he did a great job personalizing his speech towards our group. Everybody I have talked to thought his story and experiences were great reflections and very motivational. It was also a huge plus that he brought his gold medal and passed it around for everybody to view. I am honoured to have had that experience and to be able to meet him.Â Thank you for the recommendation, it was a great evening.Â
Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers
Adam Kreek closed our conference with energy and optimism, sending delegates home with hope in their hearts and a challenge to motivate them. He was charming, funny, and poignant. He gave us all we asked for, and more.
One of the finest Leaders I knowâ€¦ I guarantee you will grow in the company of Adam Kreek, I know I did.
National Healthcare Supply Chain Professional Network
The conference planning committee for our national network of supply chain professionals recently selected Adam to speak at our annual conference. We were looking for someone to motivate and engage the audience on day 2 when attention begins to wane. Adam satisfied the role wildly above and beyond our expectations â€“ tailoring his presentation to make it relevant and stimulating for our audience, bringing the element of interaction forward, and delivering with self-effacing humour, authenticity and charisma â€“ our attendees responded to the experience through provision of top-rated evaluations.
Adam really captured the audienceâ€™s attention â€“ they were riveted for the full hour he spoke. His stories and candid advice where highly appreciated by the 550 UK business people who listened intently. Feedback following the event called out Adamâ€™s presentation as a highlight with many attendees saying it was the best key note presentation they had heard!
University of Waterloo
Adam has the ability to connect with a diverse group in a really meaningful and relevant way â€“ this makes him an exceptional speaker and role model. I would highly recommend Adam for any conference or event, and I sincerely hope to be able to work with him on future student leadership initiatives!
Panasonic Canada Inc.
Adamâ€™s powerful and engaging stories of teamwork and dedication truly resonated with our audience. Adam listened to our messaging objectives and expertly tailored his presentation to meet those requirements. His presentation was delivered with genuine enthusiasm and energy and I would not hesitate to recommend Adam to others.
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