Matt McFadyen | Adventurer: A JOURNEY to LEADERSHIP

Matt McFadyen


Matt McFadyen
Featured Keynote Programs


As the world emerges from the global pandemic, we reflect on one of the biggest “storms” faced by society in recent history. In that reflection, the term “bounce back" is consistently used. But this message is FLAWED. Bouncing back from any challenge or setback only takes us to where we originally fell.

Bounce Forward is a dynamic process when individuals or teams exhibit positive behavioral adaptations when they encounter significant adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or any source of stress. Challenge, adversity and “storms” are part of life. How we learn from them, how we positively change from them and how we grow as individuals is to Bounce Forward.

From dragging heavy sleds to the North Pole to sailing small yachts through some of the world’s deadliest oceans, adventurer Matt McFadyen has pushed himself and others to the ends of the earth, testing the limits of human potential.

Matt has been a leader of teams in many of the toughest conditions on the planet. This includes three record- breaking expeditions to the North Pole and two-long haul sailing trips to Antarctica. In 2013 Matt rowed, sailed, and dragged a small boat 2000 miles across the infamous Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic. None of this would have been possible without Matt's Bounce Forward mentality.

While sailing a small boat home from Antarctica, Matt and his team were faced with a hurricane strength storm. This storm would almost end the lives of the crew but would alter the course of Matt’s life forever. He chose to Bounce Forward from the experience and gained a new outlook on life.

Matt McFadyen's presentation not only inspires and motivates an audience but more importantly challenges them to think and act differently in the face of their own challenge sand ultimately BOUNCE FORWARD.

ANTARCTICA - Journey to the end of the earth

As a 22 year old, Matt and 4 others set sail aboard a 43 ft yacht bound for Antarctica on a 54 day expedition across one of the deadliest and dangerous oceans on the planet.

On the return voyage Matt and his team faced the full strength of the ocean battling a hurricane strength storm that almost took the lives of the 5 souls on board.

Matt’s presentation focuses on building a high performing team, overcoming extreme adversity and executing under pressure

Matt’s and the teams heroic fight for survival sparked a change in Matt’s life and the event became the foundation of his leadership journey.

NORTH POLE - Sitting still means going backwards

Matt’s brush with death in the icy waters of the Great Southern Ocean ignited a passion to lead others to the ends of the earth. Matt became the youngest Australian to reach the North Pole, returning as an expedition co-leader on 2 more occasions.

Surviving -45°C to battling ice drifts that move the team backwards while dragging heavy sleds, Matt knows the perseverance needed to lead a team through challenge, change and ambiguity.

Matt’s presentation looks at how to build resilience both personally and professionally how to inspire others to achieve their full potential


In 5 short years Matt went from being a 22 year old novice adventurer to co leading his 3rd expedition to the North Pole & partnering with PricewaterhouseCoopers on an 18
month firm wide engagement program.

This top talent focussed presentation looks at how to leading self, lead teams and lead the organization. This is a must have for any organization that wants to accelerate the leadership journeys of their next generation of leaders.

BEYOND THE CIRCLE - The Beauty of Failure

In the summer of 2013, Matt attempted to row, sail and drag a 17.5-foot open boat across 3000 miles of ice choked waterway known as the North West Passage. After 41 days of the coldest summer in decades having covered 1500 miles Matt and his team mate Cameron were unable to continue due to the severe conditions.

After 2 years of planning preparation and hard work both Matt and Cam struggled to deal with this looked upon failure…But with Failure comes opportunity and incredible learning.

Failure is inevitable in all aspects of life but how we process, analyze and learn from failure is a skill.

Matt looks at failure through a positive lens and challenges the audience to embrace failure, learn from failure and most importantly thrive from failure


Resilience, or our our ability to harness and use stress to our advantage, is key to long-term sustainable performance.

Matt McFadyen has learned important lessons on resilience from the adventure world that translate into how to be a more resilient leader in business. By implementing a few new practices and a shift of mindset, resilience is a skill that can be learned and grown, exponentially.

Matt’s Resilience keynote shares a model with leaders to build their capacity and capability for resilience including; The ABC of Positivity, Purpose, Exercise, Relationships, Stress Inoculation and Learning

Components of this session include:
• Understanding performance research on resilience
• Building capability in key resilience areas for a competitive advantage
• Hearing from master storyteller Matt McFadyen and his powerful and inspirational stories of resilience to bring the model to life
• Sharing and applying how you can help yourself and others build resilience

At the end of this session, you will be able to apply the six part resilience model to increase your own resilience and performance.


On an individual and a global scale our world is changing. It is becoming more diverse, dispersed and dynamic. This constant and increasingly rapid change can leave your people stressed, unmotivated, and unable to prioritize or innovate.

This is the opportunity for leaders to make a difference. The best leaders understand the human response to uncertainty, anticipate negative responses to change, know how to reduce fear and prepare a team for working through ambiguity. And most importantly, they ready themselves and their teams to embrace the next change, not just survive or manage the current one. It is these leaders who will drive your organization’s success in today’s volatile business landscape.

Components of this session include:
• A better understanding how your brain responds to change and uncertainty
• Practical skills grounded in applied neuroscience on how to lead yourself and your team through change
• Ideas and insights into where and how this is already happening in the organization -connecting and best practice sharing
• Simple and effective ways to communicate for maximum impact during change

At the end of this session, you will be equipped with a better way to lead yourself and your team through change.

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