MARINE CORPORAL ALAN CHAMBERS
MBE Polar explorer and extreme survival specialist
Training and personal development do not come much tougher than HM Royal Marine Commandos - and Corporal Alan Chambers MBE is tougher than most. A celebrated polar explorer and arctic survival specialist, he has continually sought out opportunities to push the limits of what is possible through his many successful expeditions of walking unsupported to the North Pole.
In 2012, he plans to follow in the footsteps of Captain Scott and lead a centenary journey to the South Pole. In the words of Captain Scott, Alan will be working ‘for the good of Mankind” by conducting research into whether obesity and diabetes can be triggered when the body is taking in carbohydrates while operating under extreme duress.
Alan is a sought-after motivational speaker and workshop leader on topics such as creating a vision, leading a team and building mental strength. In this capacity, Alan has worked with world-class companies such as HSBC, Zurich Insurance, Costain Construction and organizations such as South Wales Police, to help design and deliver programmes to identify and develop their leadership talent.
CAREER TRIGGER POINTS
Awarded MBE by HM The Queen in 2000 for ‘determination and leadership in adverse conditions’.Served 16 years with HM Royal Marine Commandos.Began ‘extreme walking’ to raise money for scientific research into recovery from spinal damage following severe paralysis of a fellow Marine.
Consultant in corporate personnel and leadership talent development.Qualified diver, parachutist, paramedic and ski survival instructor.Jungle, desert, arctic survival and warfare trained.
“The only limits are those of vision”In the year 2000, Alan Chambers MBE led the first British team to walk unsupported from Canada to the geographic North Pole (90 degrees North). Only one in 150,000 people have walked to the North Pole unsupported and the expedition saw Alan and his team walk in temperatures as low as -65C dragging a sled weighing several hundred pounds.
Alan and his team finally arrived at their destination, having suffered severe weight-loss and malnutrition, but Alan’s ability to lead from the back motivated his team to “keep walking” and ensure that they achieved their goal.This 70 day, 500 mile trek across the ice was an immense achievement and led to Alan being awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours list for showing determination and leadership under adverse conditions.
As if one trip to the North Pole were not enough, Alan has returned there almost every year since, taking groups of business leaders with him to challenge their preconceptions about their own abilities and question what it is possible to achieve with the right planning, team and mindset.
In recent years, Alan has brought his talents to bear on the world of professional sport: he gave a motivational speech to the England Rugby team before their 2003 World Cup triumph and to the England Cricket team before their 2005 Ashes victory. With accolades from the England Rugby Captain, Martin Johnson and England Cricket captain Michael Vaughan together with many other professional sportsmen, Alan’s stories of courage, stamina and success are proven to add the X factor to any motivational team talk.
Alan can also draw upon many examples which link the worlds of the Royal Marines, exploration and team leadership to the world of business - and he has been a guest speaker to a wide range of household names in the corporate world. Everyday leadership and management issues such as project planning, team selection and creating a vision are all brought to life through the vivid descriptions that Alan shares from his global adventures.
Alan’s personal motto is: “The only limits are those of vision” – which neatly encapsulates Alan’s own brand of ‘imagination’, ‘far-sightedness’ and ‘can-do’ attitude.
He also believes that there are qualities taught by the Royal Marines which can serve civilians in business life well: focus, tenacity, trust, humour and humility – and to those who have met him, these qualities are reflected in Alan’s own character.In October 2011, to mark the centenary of Captain Scott’s Antarctic trek, Alan plans to lead a huge British expedition to retrace his route.
Additional info if space allows:Alan was a member of the first winter expedition to traverse Iceland by ski 1995 – following six failed attempts by others. He has sledged across Greenland, Canada’s North West Territories, Norway and Iceland. In 2008, he lead and crossed Greenland as part of the ‘Feet of Green’ initiative to inspire 10,000 children with a spirit of adventure and care for the environment.
During 16 years service with HM Royal Marine Commandos, Alan operated in the deserts, jungles and frozen tundra of the planet, visiting more than 40 countries. Following his first year’s training in Poole, UK, he achieved the rank of Marine Corporal and MFC (Mortar Fire Controller) and expanded his skills to become a qualified diver, paramedic, parchutist and ski survival instructor.He is co-author with Dr Richard Hale of best-selling business development book 'Keep Walking: Leadership Learning in Action' and over the years has helped to raise over £4m for charities.
Alan is on the board of Trustees for the Dore Foundation which helps children with learning difficulties unlock their potential. In 2010, after climbing Kilimanjaro Alan journeyed to the North Pole with his 9 yearold son Oliver.
Adopting a winning mindset
Achieving extraordinary results from ordinary people
Team leadership and motivation
Project planning and resource management; ‘doing more with less’
Team leadership and motivation