The Historic First Sail Through the Northwest Passage
Jeff MacInnis is a global explorer-turned-corporate-captain who helps organizations reach their peak. Beginning as a competitive skier with the Canadian National Ski Team, MacInnis's exploits have ranged from participating in the Overland Challenge (a 25,000 km world spanning-race) to leading the first team to sail the deadly Northwest Passage. In talks, he applies his unique athletics-driven insights to the world of business, showing us how teamwork and perseverance are benchmarks for excellence.
An adventurer, explorer, author, and business consultant, Jeff MacInnis first made history sailing the legendary Northwest Passage—a treacherous 4,000km journey through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. His was the first attempt made to sail the passage since Sir John Franklin’s 129-man team vanished along the route in 1845, and the only successful attempt ever. The expedition survived one of the harshest environments on the planet, through an ice-choked passage that has claimed more lives than Mount Everest. In his National Geographic story-turned-book Polar Passage, MacInnis recounted the brutal environments, extreme emotion, crippling fatigue, and dangerous weather that he and his fellow journeyman Mike Beedell endured—all while aboard an 18-foot, 450-pound catamaran that could have easily fell victim to harrowing sea conditions.
Today, MacInnis is a self-described “business explorer” who uses his experiences in athletics and adventure as a bedrock for his corporate counseling. How can you build a world-class team that can withstand difficult obstacles, environmental stress, sudden change, and moments of crisis? What can teams do to better communicate, unlock new opportunities, and increase their performance? MacInnis knows that business today is a race that can be survived using the same principles of endurance, teamwork, leadership, and ambition that’s helped him cross the finish line time and time again. An exceptional motivator, he's inspired and mobilized audiences—more than half of the Fortune 500 —in over 2,000 seminars across 22 countries.
Previously, MacInnis competed on the Canadian National Ski Team, racing in World Cup events and winning the Belgium National Downhill Championship. He went on to compete in the Overland Challenge, a grueling 25,000 km journey around the world, and The Eco Challenge, a 500 km trek through demanding terrain.
Today, business is the biggest, most competitive race of all. Start-ups have begun to disrupt and displace legacy brands at a rapid rate, and the average lifespan of a Fortune 500 company has dropped by more than half—with no signs of stopping. Every year, it seems like the amount of competitors in any given industry multiplies. So how can you stay ahead?
Jeff MacInnis knows a thing or two about racing, whether it be World Cup Downhill Skiing, the grueling Eco-Challenge race, or the 400-year race to be the first to sail the Northwest Passage. Through these experiences, MacInnis has developed six “Race Principles” that he applies to history, politics, and business. In this insightful, inspiring talk, he’ll show you how to leverage those lessons in day-to-day operations, ensuring your organization is leading, not lagging, in the race to be best.
Inspired by the Eco-Challenge, this is a one-hour long safe, fun, and exciting world-class business challenge led by Jeff MacInnis and his team. Just like Eco-Challenge, the group is divided into teams of four, shown how to navigate with a compass, and given a passport with all the details. Teams navigate the challenging hour-long route by walking, not running, and getting their passports signed at each checkpoint.
This expertly guided activity offers numerous business insights, including how to fuel your team’s momentum, when and how to correct your course, and the secret to making powerful directional decisions that will impact the entire mission. Shot with digital cameras and video, each organization will have access to their images and video to remind them of their race throughout the year.