motivational | March 27, 2016

New Videos: Yvonne Camus’ Three Lessons from Eco-Challenge

Yvonne Camus understands what it takes to defy expectations. As the sole female member of the first rookie team to complete Mark Burnett’s Eco-Challenge, Camus hiked, biked, kayaked, and mountaineered through 500 grueling kilometres of Bornean jungle—even after Burnett ranked her team dead last. As a keynote speaker, she imparts lessons from her remarkable trek, re-framing the challenges of teamwork, commitment, and performance. In these videos, as in her talks, she inspires listeners to achieve the extraordinary.

In this first video, Camus recounts how the odds in Eco-Challenge were stacked against her. Untimely injuries, historical evidence (a U.S. Navy Seal team had entered each year but never finished), and a sheer lack of experience conspired to make a successful run a near impossibility. But after overcoming such hurdles, Camus now stresses the importance of visualizing your success, however impossible it might seem. When we envision our best, she says, we equip ourselves with the right mindset to achieve it. “Great things happen twice,” she reminds us, “First in your mind, second in reality.”

Camus is a firm believer in the power of encouragement. Midway through the race, with feet swollen, red, and blistered, her team was close to giving in. Even after adopting a positive mantra to chant (“It doesn’t hurt at all!”), Camus’s team had resolved to withdraw from the race if the next section involved walking or running. At the next checkpoint, however, an unlikely source of hope spurred them to the finish line. As Camus puts it, “All it took were words of encouragement from people who cared to make us stand up and go beyond where we gladly would have quit.”

Finally, Camus champions the value of teamwork. Knowing that things will go awry—and having a plan for when they do—is crucial to any team endeavour. Her two-pronged problem-solving approach asks: How do we improve this situation right now? And how can we delegate the work as efficiently as possible? Coming from the bizarre world of reality television, where drama and infighting drive ratings, Camus knows how to keep a team together against all odds.

Called a “sensational” and “brilliant” speaker by GM Canada, Camus reminds us that when we approach life’s challenges with determination, zest, and a willingness to work together, anything is possible.

To book motivational speaker Yvonne Camus for a keynote on performance, teamwork, and lessons from Eco-Challenge, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.