The Speaker


Nothing is more contagious than example

François de La Rochefoucauld
Expedition Gabriel-Filippi Contact The Speaker News



Imprisoned in an icy cave, at an altitude of over 18,000 feet, tent and sleeping bag left behind at the last camp site. Two days of rations. The ascent had been stopped short for four days by an unexpected storm. Then a beacon of hope breaks through the mental combat. Reaching the summit takes on a new meaning. Coming back weakened and yet stronger. Any summit can be reached, but only by the most determined.

Mountaineering is a living philosophy that changes and develops at the whim of each climb. Every trial has its own lessons to teach. The summit becomes the justification to push yourself harder. Persevering, managing risk, anticipating change, staying focused, setting the right priorities…the challenges climbers confront on a mountain are the same ones that businesses face every day: situations where giving up is not an option.

Every company has to manage its growth, prepare for the next step, reach forward and grasp it. New challenges become the driver of success. Leaving your comfort zone is the only way to gain the most precious rewards. After 50 years of aquaphobia, facing the unimaginable: signing up for an Ironman triathlon without even knowing how to swim…and going through with it. Every success, great or small, carries valuable lessons.

The success of larger projects depends on the synergy of the participants. It’s imperative to capitalize on the strengths of each individual to guide a heart transplant patient to the top of Mont Blanc. From cardiologist to photographer, a team of six opposites took part in a world first. The real feat was learning to truly depend on each other and become complementary. The summit was the point of convergence of each participant’s contrasting expertise.

Relying on innovation to adapt to a situation in constant flux. In business, you obey the law of the jungle. On a mountain expedition, you live it. To become the first Quebecer to climb both faces of Everest, you have to think outside of the box, killing two birds with one mountain, so to speak, with the help of creativity, initiative and the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation. When every gram demands an extra effort, finding the strength to carry the autographed flag of the Habs’ 100th anniversary to support children in need.

Growing also means managing failure. Every ordeal is another opportunity to grapple with adversity, to learn to play with it rather than against it. When you lose a friend on the mountain, you either get back up and continue or lie down and die with him. Finding the strength not to give up and to make the right choices. Extreme situations magnify the impact of every action. When survival is on the line, every decision comes into sharp focus.

All these stories were lived out by a single man. Using mountaineering and his own challenges as a source of inspiration, Gabriel Filippi shares his keys to success. Accompanied by breath-taking visuals, his lectures transform his listeners and spur them to change. He motivates and unifies the troops, showing them how to view the next obstacle as a springboard to promising new horizons.