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Speaker

Jim McNeill

Jim McNeill is an accomplished Polar Explorer, Climate Change and Incident Leadership expert.

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About Jim McNeill

Jim McNeill has clocked up tens of thousands of miles during a total of 35 years of expeditioning.  Incredibly, most of this time was spent on nothing but skis with him dragging his world behind him. Furthermore, he is an accomplished presenter and keynote speaker.

Biography

Jim McNeill has spent his career selecting, training and leading teams in key business situations where the reputation and share value of corporations is won and lost on strategic and tactical media relations. From critical lifesaving situations, where effective leadership and hands on teamwork are key to preserving the lives of car crash victims, through to longer term life-threatening situations in extreme climatic situations with multiple risks over long periods of time, Jim thrives on challenge and change. He has a passion for leadership and getting the very best performance out of individuals and teams, at any level.

Jim McNeill conceived the idea of combining his professional rescue expertise with his polar expeditioning into a long term vision known as the Ice Warrior Project. This was in January 2001 . He knew few, if any, who had that breadth and depth of experience in extreme environments.

Working successfully in the environmental science sector, he trained army personnel to use mountains safely. He also had 12 years of blue-chip marketing communications experience at consultancy level. In 2006 he resigned his 15 years of fire and rescue operations for the Royal Household, to engage in “professional exploring”.

Jim’s guiding, survival and logistics expertise is employed by BBC film crews in extreme locations and includes landmark series such as ‘Frozen Planet’, ‘Human Planet’, ‘Natural World’ and ‘Last Explorers’. His reports for ITV News on the reality of climate change have been seen by audiences from around the globe. Next year Jim plans to be the first person to walk to the Arctic Pole – the furthest point from land on the Arctic Ocean.

Speech Topics

Leadership
The world of leadership training is full of people that create jargon and lists of “must-dos” – and then the inevitable book or three in a similar vein. No matter what the audience, Jim “rolls up his sleeves” and talks about what he calls simple and dynamic leadership based on reality, simple characteristics and a goodly degree of common sense. If you want a no-nonsense, working talk anecdotally portrayed by dipping into Jim’s three “pools” of personal experience, then this is the talk for you.

Motivation
It is when people are at the extreme end of their “tether”, absolutely physically and mentally shattered and you have to ask them for more, (without question or even murmur) that you really get to know something about motivation. Are there any tricks, techniques, tools? Jim discusses and draws parallels.

Performance
Jim describes himself as having a passion for getting the very best performance out of everyone; individually or collectively as a team. Having recently trained 51 people from all walks of life and every echelon of society to become competent sea ice travellers and 26 of those people having reached the Geomagnetic North Pole, he certainly has something useful to offer on the subject.

Incident Leadership and Planning for Disasters
Jim can present a keynote speech or workshop based on incident leadership, situation and critical crisis management, communications, risk assessment and dynamic risk assessments etc. Anecdotal evidence is drawn from Jim’s operational fire service work, Royal Household fire precautions work and Arctic expeditionary work.

Climate Change Issues
The subject of global climate change has moved on. It’s clear, it’s here! The Arctic has long been recognised as a barometer of what is going on and International Polar Year has focussed people’s attentions on watching the barometer. Jim’s Ice Warrior Project plays a crucial role in gathering the scientific raw data and in delivering the reality of climate change to its audiences around the globe. Having started his working life in 1980 measuring the environmental impact of agricultural practices, which included ground-breaking work on the depletion of the ozone layer, Jim has had an extraordinarily close relationship with the Arctic Region over the past twenty three years and is exceptionally well qualified to talk first hand about the changes he has seen.

Booking Information

Testimonials

"What Jim McNeill and his team are doing is pioneering of the most advanced kind...what he is planning pushes man beyond the boundaries and will take him to the most inaccessible places on Earth. "

Lord Robert Winston

"By reducing the time for real syndicate formation by at least four days (according to the instructors), Jim McNeill and Ice Warrior made a profoundly positive impact on the Strategic Command Course at Bramshill. So much so that even seven weeks after the event the participants are still talking about it. We will be booking Jim and his team in the future."

Dr Mark Kilgallon, Consultant to The National Police Training College

"Nothing less than inspirational... an authoritative blend of raw experience with practical coaching... energised an already highly motivated group of senior executives."

PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP

"We were delighted when Jim agreed to speak to our Executive Team and we were completely gripped when he shared experiences from his truly-remarkable career, from funny and emotive to absolutely terrifying.  Jim has a wonderful insight into people and how to motivate them which coupled with his strong determination to succeed makes him an excellent leader.  He was an inspiration to all of the team and certainly put into perspective how minor our challenges are when compared to the challenges of surviving a polar exploration."

Emma Clancy, CEO, Certsure

"I cannot recommend involvement with Ice Warrior highly enough. This is an extremely professional, committed and driven organisation which has much to teach people about how to achieve their personal and business goals"

Jonathan Geldart Global Director Marketing Communications, Grant Thornton International Limited

"Can you pass on our thanks to Jim for giving us such an entertaining and fascinating account of his remarkable adventures.  He is an excellent speaker and engaged with our audience throughout the whole of his talk.  He was very friendly and amenable to work with and I really appreciated his patience in meeting our sponsors, committee and members.  It was a pleasure to have him with us and I hope he enjoyed his time with us too.  Over 750 of our members were in the audience and I think they all thoroughly enjoyed the evening."

Arts and Literature Society

"Excellent – very engaging, very relaxed style, with a good level of humour.  Jim talked about overcoming adversity by working a as a team, but also respecting each other as individuals and working with their strengths to help them and the team achieve why this was important.  The audience were very captivated and energised – lots of questions at the end and I’m sure the questions would have kept coming if we had the time.  Jim was very happy to stay and chat to people at the end, a very approachable person who is obviously very passionate about what he does which very much came across in his presentation.  I think a few people were even tempted to find out how to be part of one of his expeditions."

Pfizer

"An excellent presentation and content to his talks. Unfortunately this voyage has only allowed for 2 talks to be held due to so many additional lectures with the Trunk show & port talks etc, but I believe Jim would also hold an excellent Q&A which I would be keen to include next time. I received only really positive feedback in regards to Jim’s talks."

Cunard – RMS Queen Victoria

"Considering the extreme danger inherent in the environments in which Jim McNeill is required to work he calmly turns his experiences into an enthralling, engaging and often very amusing talk which had everyone on the front of their seats throughout – most of whom were surely thinking “I’m glad it was Jim out there, not me”.  Jim is evidently very skilled and very brave and he reached both the young and adults in the audience."

Event Organiser, The Binfield Winfield and Warfield Arts Week

"Anyone with a genuine interest in or love of the Arctic Polar Regions who has not had the pleasure of sitting through Jim's superb talk 'Exploring the Polar Regions' has missed out on something special. The photography is stunning, particularly the landscapes and wildlife, his narrative is enthralling, informative and at times amusing but this is no sanitised version of the realities of life in such an environment. This is how it is. By the end, it seems as if you have experienced the harsh difficulties with him, lived through the trials and tribulations and you will be left looking around for your jacket as it feels as if the extreme cold of the freezing landscape photos has been reaching out to envelop you.  Cannot wait for the book to come out!"

Anon

"Jim McNeill offers his audience an entertaining and fascinating insight into his truly remarkable adventures. His courage, unyielding determination and dedication to achieving the seemingly impossible left all those in the room feeling humbled and inspired. Any business serious about success should hear his message."

MD, TV

"Considering the extreme danger inherent in the environments in which Jim McNeill is required to work he calmly turns his experiences into an enthralling, engaging and often very amusing talk which had everyone on the front of their seats throughout – most of whom were surely thinking I’m glad it was Jim out there, not me. Jim is evidently very skilled and very brave and he reached both the young and adults in the audience."

The Binfield Winfield and Warfield Arts Week

"Jim McNeill offers his audience an entertaining and fascinating insight into his truly remarkable adventures. His courage, unyielding determination and dedication to achieving the seemingly impossible left all those in the room feeling humbled and inspired. Any business serious about success should hear his message."

MDTV

"The children thought that you were brilliant - the best yet - and there has been some tough competition! I always think that even if you only change one persons life for the better and set them on the right path, then it is worthwhile."

Weston College

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