For those reading London Business School’s Business Strategy Review magazine, see the Winter Issue for an article regarding what drives me to test my limits in business and in some of the most hostile environments around the planet!
Online magazine at http://bsr.london.edu/home/index.html
Very happy that Facebook is acquiring my latest start-up Pryte as reported by Wall Street Journal, Business Week and others.
This is the fifth start-up I’ve been operationally involved with in technology / telecoms – the five companies have raised a combined US$500m in venture capital and private equity funding, created hundreds of jobs, done business across +50 developed and emerging markets and created significant value to the shareholders – highlighting that the same approach to challenges works – whether your on Mount Everest or building a technology start-up! Now time for me to start planning the next projects!
For details on Pryte and Facebook, please visit www.pryte.com/announcement.html
Today marks the 2nd anniversary of summiting Mount Everest for me. The feelings related to taking those last few steps to the top of the world after years of training, planning and preparation, are still fresh in my mind.
The last two years have given me a lot of perspective to the ambitious project and what I’ve learned from it as an individual. I’ve also gotten a chance to put those learnings to test through sharing my experience with thousands of people at schools, universities and companies around the world through motivational presentations as well as through advising companies on various topics. I’ve also taken on new start-up project, Pryte, my 5th start-up in the technology / telecoms space, where we’ve set our targets pretty high and which I’m very excited about.
I’ll have more to report on Pryte later on, but I can already confirm that the same approach from taking on ambitious high-altitude expeditions also apply to increasing your success in business!
I was honoured to deliver a keynote at F-Secure’s annual SPECIES event alongside Bruce Dickinson, the front-man of Iron Maiden.
I shared my journey to the top of the world with +200 customer and partner representatives of F-Secure from across the world in Berlin, Germany, which provided great symbolism for the theme of digital freedom.
F-Secure is a publicly-listed security software company headquartered in Finland, has been at the forefront of innovation to create a safe and secure internet for over 25 years.
This was my third engagement with F-Secure over the past 18 months and I look forward continuing the co-operation in the future!
Last year gave me dozens of opportunities to relive my journey to the top of the world through motivational presentations at schools, universities / business schools and companies primarily across Europe and the Middle East, including at great companies such as Accenture, HP, McKinsey & Company, Danone and Dubizzle.
I spoke to audiences of various sizes, ages and cultural backgrounds about how many of the challenges we face on high altitude expeditions are very similar to the challenges that we encounter in our daily private and professional lives and therefore, how many of the ways in we address those challenges on the mountains are also relevant at sea-level.
As a businessman and mountaineer, I use the journey to address various topics relevant to businesses from encouraging ambition and setting goals for sales teams, to improving teamwork within and across departments as well as addressing topics such as dealing with constantly changing operating environments.
My most memorable experience from the past year was one young lady who came up to me post-presentation explaining that she suffered from ADD and has struggled to focus for periods longer than a few minutes for most of her life, however, my story had kept her engaged for almost two hours.
It gave me an amazing feeling…almost like the one I felt standing on top of the world
Speaking to Danone’s (famous for baby food) global management training program members visiting Dubai reminded me of some soul searching I had to do on Mount Everest while my wife Delanii was pregnant with our first born Felix
Shared my own leadership experiences from business and mountains to give the participants a different angle on the challenges of leadership.
Spoke at McKinsey & Co’s first iMEO (Inspire Middle East Office) event in Dubai about what inspires me to test my limits in harsh environments like Mount Everest.
Met some very interesting people, had interesting conversations with a comedian and an inventor and inspired a few people not just to their own “mountains”, but real ones too!
This year, 2013, is the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. This anniversary provides companies with a great opportunity to inspire, motivate and challenge their staff to reach their peak in 2013!
Since completing my First Finnish Seven Summits project, I’ve done corporate speaking in Europe as and the Middle East, combining mountaineering with my business background.
I’ve spoken to thousands of people, ranging from start-up’s to large multinationals and from small management teams to audiences of hundreds.
My presentations utilize my expedition experiences to address various business topics – I
build each presentation based on the audience and the goals of the client while using stories, photographs and videos from my expeditions to e.g. Mount Everest to entertain, inspire and address issues identified with the client.
I’ve spoken about setting goals, aiming high, taking responsibility, teamwork, dealing with uncertainty, leadership, etc. – many topics that you would address in any case e.g. during internal staff training / development sessions.
Using a presentation of the journey to the top of the world provides for both an exciting and entertaining presentation, so I encourage you click here for a short video done of my expedition to Mount Everest.
I’m happy to tell you more if your interested, so feel free to get in touch!
Last summer on Denali, North America’s highest mountain, I tested a product called “Cold Avenger”, a mask designed to protect the face in cold and windy environments.
The mask performed very well, letting you breathe through a rubber piece, which ensures that the entire mask doesn’t get wet and freeze.
Anyways, the product is great, but I got chuffed today when I came across the website for Cold Avenger (click here). I’m featured alongside Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who’s described as the greatest living adventurer!
Funnily, the slogan “I am ColdAvenger” also brought back memories of last summers blockbuster movie Avenger, featuring various cartoon superheros, so I decided that The Cold Avenger must be one too!
Today’s the first anniversary of my Seven Summits – climbing the highest mountains of every continent as the first person from my native Finland.
The “Seven Summits” –term was coined by Richard Bass, an American climber, who became the first to climb the mountains in 1985.
- Africa: Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m) in Tanzania
- Antarctica: Vinson Massif (4897m)
- Asia: Mount Everest (8850m) in Nepal
- Australia: Mount Kosciuszko (2228m) in Australia
- Europe: Mount Elbrus (5642m) in Russia
- North America: Denali (6194m) in USA
- South Africa: Cerro Aconcagua (6962m) in Argentina
A year later, legendary Italian mountaineer, Reinhold Messner, also climbed the Seven Summits, but instead of climbing Mount Kosciuszco in mainland Australia, he felt that the highest mountain for Australian continent should be Carstensz Pyramid (4884m), which stands in the middle of the jungle on the island of Papua in Indonesia.
There mountaineering community remains split regarding which one is the correct mountain for Australia, so both views are accepted and referred to as the Bass and Messner Seven Summits Lists.
To date, roughly 350 people globally have climbed the Seven Summits. I’m one of around 100 people that have climbed both Bass and Messner Seven Summits Lists, so there’s no room for dispute
My Seven Summits project was an amazing experience. It started ten years ago in Africa, although at that time I viewed climbing Kilimanjaro simply as a mountain climb, not the start of a big project. Over the years, my climbs took me around the world to interesting places and finally on June 22nd, 2012 I completed the project by summiting Denali in
It was an amazing feeling to complete a project that required years of focus and dedication, but also led to a feeling of what’s next and a desire for another big project. I’ll tell you more about what that ill be later!