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Jim Davidson    

Resilience Expert, Expedition Leader & Author

Jim Davidson is a resilience expert, an expedition leader, and a New York Times best-selling author. From his 39 years of adventure and survival, Davidson distills compelling stories and uplifting lessons about how to overcome change, challenge, and uncertainty through resilience. Davidson shares motivating keynotes and workshops on personal resilience, resilient teamwork, and resilient leadership. Davidson has scaled high peaks from Argentina to Nepal, from Bolivia to Tibet. The US National Park Service has commended Davidson twice for volunteering for successful high-altitude rescues in Colorado and Alaska.

While first attempting to ascend Mt. Everest in 2015, Davidson and his partners survived massive earthquakes and avalanches. He shared his incredible experiences and insights with CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, Smithsonian Channel, PBS, and more. Davidson told his story of surviving the earthquake in the National Geographic TV Show “Witness to Disaster.” In 2017, Davidson returned to Mount Everest and summited successfully.

His most recent book, "The Next Everest: Surviving the Mountain’s Deadliest Day and Finding the Resilience to Climb Again," recounts the harrowing tale of his first experience with Everest, the two years he spent mentally rebuilding, and the triumph of finally reaching his goal. "The Next Everest" is being published in six international editions.

For 20 years, Davidson worked as a hydrogeologist (B.S. & M.S. degrees) and ran his own environmental consulting firm. Earlier he worked as an industrial painter on high-voltage electrical towers carrying 230,000 volts.

Davidson co-authored the New York Times best-selling survival memoir, "The Ledge: An Inspirational Story of Friendship and Survival." That book won the National Outdoor Book Award for Outdoor Literature and was picked as one of the Best Books of the Year by Amazon. His epic survival story was featured in an international TV episode of "I Shouldn't Be Alive" on the Discovery Channel.

Speech Topics

Resilient Teamwork and Resilient Leadership - Workshop

On his remote expeditions, Jim has encountered many teamwork and leadership challenges. During remote rescues and evacuations, the pressure increases, uncertainty grows, and team dynamics become strained. High-performing organizations face these same teamwork and leadership conditions in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world.

By examining several real-world mountain rescue scenarios, Jim facilitates an invigorating, interactive workshop that has your team working together to resolve leadership and teamwork challenges. Some of the difficult rescues that Jim has helped with include:

  • Solo mountaineer with severe altitude illness at 19,200 feet on Denali (Mt. McKinley)
  • Hiker who fell 70 feet into a boulder field at 13,000 feet in Colorado
  • Climbers trapped at 19,900 feet on Mt. Everest

In this hands-on workshop, Jim uses engaging storytelling and vivid visuals to bring these scenarios to life. Then, he has your attendees work to resolve the dilemmas by having them:

Everest Resilience: Overcoming Adversity and Reaching High Goals

During his first Everest attempt in 2015, Jim and his team were trapped at Camp 1 by massive earthquakes and avalanches. After recovering from this huge setback, he trained even harder and returned in 2017 to summit Mt. Everest.

Work, life, and climbing always include change, challenge, and uncertainty. Struggling up Mount Everest reveals how resilience allows you to overcome adversities and still reach high goals. Jim has presented inspirational keynotes across the USA and internationally to prominent clients like Verizon, Capital One, UPS, OppenheimerFunds, Proctor & Gamble, Nokia, and more.

In this thrilling keynote, Jim shares hard-won resilience lessons on how you can learn how to adapt to change, face uncertainty, overcome challenges and recover from setbacks.

Facing Everest-Sized Uncertainties

Davidson’s first attempt to climb Mount Everest ended suddenly when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. This spawned massive avalanches and aftershocks that trapped Davidson’s team high on the mountain. It became the deadliest day ever on Mount Everest. Davidson returned in 2017 to try again. Along the way, his team had to endure eleven stormy days pinned in their tents, uncertain if they were going to be able to summit. Finally, conditions cleared and after persevering through the uncertainty, Davidson and his team reached their goal.

From these intense experiences, Davidson shares critical lessons for facing today’s uncertain times. He will share practical tips about:

• Building a resilient mindset for facing change, challenge & uncertainty • Attitudes and actions to take before, during, and after big storms • When to rely on passive perseverance vs. active perseverance

The Next Everest: Lessons from an Avalanche of Adversity

In 2015, Davidson set out to achieve a goal he spent 33 years building up to—summiting Mt. Everest. Little did he know he would find himself trapped by avalanches at 20,000 feet on the deadliest day the mountain has ever seen.

Nepal’s largest earthquake in 81 years shook Everest with a magnitude of 7.8 creating aftershocks and avalanches. Sadly, 18 lives were lost in base camp, while Davidson and his fellow climbers were trapped up on the mountain. By enduring this disaster, Davidson learned hard-won lessons about facing uncertainty and deepened his understanding of resilience. His intense experiences clarified the importance of embracing change to overcome challenges. Two years after the deadliest day on Everest, Davidson returned and achieved his goal of reaching the summit.

Through gripping stories of his moments on the mountain to the lessons that enabled him to reach such challenging goals, Davidson will inspire your team to be ready and resilient for the next Everest in their lives.

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