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Adam Kreek

Gold Medal Olympic Rower | Journalist, CBC Sports

Bio

Speaker Adam Kreek is an expert in high performance. An Olympic gold-medal winning rower who was named Athlete Leader of the Year in 2010, Adam seeks to help organizations build stronger teams, create and manage success while overcoming failure, and develop the necessary capacity to effectively deal with change. His warm and energetic presentations combine impactful stories drawn from his 13 years as an elite athlete with opportunities for authentic audience participation. The result is memorable learning and a renewed passion for personal growth and team betterment.

During his 13 year rowing career, Adam won over 60 medals, 27 in international competitions, with 43 of these being gold medal or first place performances. After a disappointing loss at the Athens Olympic Games of 2004, Adam and his team powered their way to a gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Following his Olympic career, Adam was elected to the Canadian Olympic Committee to direct sports policy in Canada. He is also a journalist with CBC Sports, writing on topics of health and wellness for peak performance.

In 2013, Adam made the first ever attempt to row unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to America, the subject of the NBC Dateline Documentary, Capsized.

An engineer by training, Adam Chairs the Board of Directors of Greasecycle, a Biodiesel start-up company on Vancouver Island. Adam is also a Champion of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, an organization dedicated to bettering health through science-based strategies.

As a corporate trainer, Adam teaches strategies of high performance to clients globally. He offers practical, powerful, and transformative teaching on personal leadership and effective teamwork that results in changed perspectives, behaviours and ultimately, revitalized organizational culture.

Adam holds a degree in Geotechnical Engineering and Hydrology from Stanford University.

Topics

Keynote and Workshop Theme Areas
The Kreek Speak team works closely with organizations to tailor solutions in key areas:

  • Change Management
  • Team Building & Development
  • Leadership
  • Sales & Service
  • Motivational/Inspirational
  • Health & Wellness

The following are sample keynote presentations.

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:

  • 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

Inches: Creating and Sustaining Peak Performance
It’s not Sexy and it’s True: Slow and Steady Separates the Best from the Rest.

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

Manage Change and Overcome Obstacles
A Healthy Dose of Inspiration, Entertainment, and Education.

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? I’ve been there and will share my first-hand experience on overcoming adversity.

It’s time to hit the refresh button and boost your energy. I believe that we can use my story to empower your team to navigate current and future uncertainty with confidence. My narratives are compelling and supported by relevant research, which enables me to effectively teach key lessons of high performance that apply to shifting work environments. Participants will gain my 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:

  • 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

Strong Teams, Shared Leadership
Strengthen team culture, improve communication and energize staff. 

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 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:

  • Why we must have clear roles in our teams
  • Why it is important to “debate ideas not people’
  • How airing our grievances in the Sahara Desert created a stronger Ocean Rowing Team
  • How disagreements can be overcome by focusing on shared objectives
  • Communication tips for better teamwork and team leadership

Fortify Your Safety Culture for Success

When disaster strikes, its too late to plan. Jobs, bottom lines, and lives can be at stake. In the Bermuda Triangle 800 miles from land, Adam was trapped inside a flooding cabin when his ocean-rowboat flipped. Exceptional Safety preparation allowed his crew to survive this ultimate disaster without injury, and in many ways, better off.

Top professionals plan for safety. Safety encourages professionals to communicate more effectively and align their priorities under this higher goal. Professionals who care for the health of their teammates engage the power of reciprocity, creating a domino effect where more organizational goals are achieved.

Safety Matters. Embolden your safety management culture. Start Today.

"Prioritize safety! Reap the benefits of a united team and enhanced business. Live by three rules: 1) Don’t die 2) Don’t kill your mates 3) Don’t sink the boat. I want you to look after yourself, look after one another, and look after your equipment." - Adam Kreek

ADDITIONAL OFFERING: 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 Kreek is represented by K&M Productions. For more information on Adam Kreek's speaking schedule, fees & booking Adam Kreek, contact us.

What Clients are Saying

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.

–General Mills Canada

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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.

–General Mills Canada

Adam was a huge success at our event!  His presentation was relevant to our overall conference theme and set the tone for the remainder of the day… I can truly say that he connected with all of our guests and made quite the impression.

–Shell Canada Products

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

One of the finest young men I have met in terms of his athletic ability but more than that, the person is what has impressed me. Adam was the glue that held his team together and was a wonderful inspiration to not only his own team, but the entire Canadian Olympic team.

Adam is one of the finest Leaders I know…If you want to have some love, some laughs, I guarantee you will grow in the company of Adam Kreek. I know I did.

–Hockey Night in Canada Host, Ron MacLean

Thank you for your recent participation at our Volkswagen National Meeting in Niagara Falls. Your role as our keynote speaker, wrapping up our three day annual event, was instrumental in ensuring that all of our employees left the conference in an energetic and upbeat frame of mind. We greatly appreciate your time and effort in advance of the meeting, learning the challenges that our business faces and customizing your message accordingly. This was especially commendable, given the short advance notice that we were able to provide.

As you might expect, I've been witness to many keynote / motivational speakers over the years. I truly want to say that your straight forward, genuine and energetic approach, with so many impactful real-life examples, puts you on the top of my list.

–Volkswagen Group Canada

Not having seen Adam present I was nervous of what he would deliver. Now having seen his presentation I know to trust the online videos and recommendations. He was outstanding! 
Adam really captured the audience’s attention – 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 Adam’s presentation as a highlight with many attendees saying it was the best key note presentation they had heard!

Adam tailored his presentation to our audience and used light hearted humor throughout. Most impressively he asked 550 senior business people to join him in singing the national anthem ... and they did it willingly and passionately! Changing gears from business keynotes to hearing stories of team and personal success resonates with successful leaders. Adam’s presentation created a great buzz and following the presentation it enabled attendees to connect and get to know each other better.

Adam was great to work with and we hope to work with him again in the future.

–Sales Excellence Manager, Microsoft UK

Adam's presentation to our group was a home run! It was clear that Adam researched our business and organization, facilitating an event that was relevant and meaningful to our management team. A truly inspiring and well delivered speech about managing change for success was enjoyed by all. Adam’s professionalism and dynamic approach added a unique perspective to our conference, and was truly appreciated by our group. Skillful, sharp and a pleasure to work with, I thank Adam for his role in contributing to a very successful conference.

–General Manager, Southgate Centre, Ivanhoe Cambridge

From the moment we hired Adam on to deliver the keynote address at our employee conference, we knew we had someone special. Our conference theme of Power with Purpose was strengthened with Adam's complimentary and relevant presentation. Utilizing company specific examples, Adam had our 200 attendees captivated and engaged from the moment his multi-media presentation began. Illustrating relevant examples of how our day-to-day personal and professional lives can parallel the challenge and rewards of training and competing within a team, Adam's alluring and inspiring tales of his own experiences not only held the audience to the edge of their seats, but provided inspiration and motivation to use the tools to reflect, learn, grow, and let it go in all areas of our lives. By tailoring and customizing his presentation, Adam ensured our corporate messaging remained on target. Truly a man of his word, Adam spent time with our team both before and following his keynote, intent on learning as much about our company as he could. Adam's charismatic personality shines through as someone who is warm with passion and excited by life. This translated into several staff members speaking about him for days following the event; true evidence of a gold medal performance! Best wishes for continued success.

–President & CEO, Concentra Financial

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