Interview with Adam Kreek
Probably winning an Olympic gold medal was your favourite moments as a sportsman, but what is your favourite experience from your speaking career?
In particular, Gold Medal Moments arise in my speaking career when I watch participants experience epiphanies in the audience. Perhaps they’ve heard an idea time and time again and for some reason, on this day, the stars align and it hits them. Using business, Olympic and adventure stories as metaphors for life is a powerful craft because each story influences everyone uniquely. Hugs, warm handshakes and thank you notes remind me of why I continue to speak.
What is the most important thing about goal setting, be a realist or think big?
Both. Too often we like to use the excuse of being a “realist” to set goals that are too small. In fact, realists should know that research consistently demonstrates that you will achieve more when you think big, dream big and act big. You also need to be realistic with your results. Failure happens regularly when you think big.
Really, a fear of failure is what prevents us from thinking big, and setting goals that are too attainable. I have spent my life uncovering secrets that reduce our fear of failure, and energize personal and group resilience post-disaster. I love sharing these strategies with my audiences.
What is the most challenging part of being a corporate trainer?
Travel exhaustion. I have a young family, and returning home is just as exhausting as travelling. Some weeks I will spend more than 36 hours in the low-oxygen environment of airplanes changing time zones. Add hotels, taxis and rich food. I approach this challenge like an athlete. I keep my fitness level high, my sleep-debt low and my body fully hydrated and fueled with quality input. I teach strategies of health for high performance routinely to corporate audiences and I walk the talk – it’s a key ingredient for sustained personal success.
How do personal leadership and good teamwork go hand in hand? Doesn’t the teamwork suffer if everyone wants to lead?
Too many people correlate leadership with titles and positions of power. Leadership is an attitude of personal responsibility, not a free pass to let ego reign. Leadership works best when it is shared. People in power can be horrible leaders. Bad leaders use power to hoard resources and serve themselves.
They displace the notion that the core of leadership is service to others. The new recruit at the bottom of the org chart can lead should she choose, because leadership is about taking responsibility for your personal opinion through action. Action is communicable both up and down the org chart. Leadership is about using personal action to influence positive change for the common good.
One of your topics is men’s health. Do you think men are not conscious enough about health issues?
Do you know the #1 influencer of men’s health? Women. Men think very little about their health, especially when we are young. We are wired for thrill-seeking behaviour, and that can become destructive. Men are more likely to experiment with drugs & alcohol, become addicted and die from abuse. Men are more likely to kill themselves or die in thrill seeking activities. More men are addicted to pornography and risky sexual behaviours. This drive for short-term benefit also shows itself in more moderate behaviours. Men are less likely to have an annual visit to the doctor, and are more likely to turn to burgers, pizza and pasta for comfort.
Although I am not a woman, I advocate for Men’s health. Without focusing on health in middle age, men will decline into dependency and become a burden to others in the last decade of their lives. No one wants that. My hope is that my experience and stature as an athlete and businessman can help other men find their own path to health.