Adam Kreek


Adam Kreek

Gold Medal Olympic Rower | Journalist, CBC Sports

Adam Kreek is an expert in high performance. An Olympic gold-medal winning rower who was named Athlete Leader of the Year in 2010, Adam seeks to help organizations build stronger teams, create and manage success while overcoming failure, and develop the necessary capacity to effectively deal with change. His warm and energetic presentations combine impactful stories drawn from his 13 years as an elite athlete with opportunities for authentic audience participation. The result is memorable learning and a renewed passion for personal growth and team betterment.

During his 13 year rowing career, Adam won over 60 medals, 27 in international competitions, with 43 of these being gold medal or first place performances. After a disappointing loss at the Athens Olympic Games of 2004, Adam and his team powered their way to a gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Following his Olympic career, Adam was elected to the Canadian Olympic Committee to direct sports policy in Canada. He is also a journalist with CBC Sports, writing on topics of health and wellness for peak performance.

In 2013, Adam made the first ever attempt to row unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to America, the subject of the NBC Dateline Documentary, Capsized.

An engineer by training, Adam Chairs the Board of Directors of Greasecycle, a Biodiesel start-up company on Vancouver Island. Adam is also a Champion of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, an organization dedicated to bettering health through science-based strategies.

As a corporate trainer, Adam teaches strategies of high performance to clients globally. He offers practical, powerful, and transformative teaching on personal leadership and effective teamwork that results in changed perspectives, behaviours and ultimately, revitalized organizational culture.

Adam holds a degree in Geotechnical Engineering and Hydrology from Stanford University.

How to Empower Drive, Engagement and Growth: Why Our Fear of Failure Fails Us

We’ve got the balance wrong.

A healthy fear of failure is essential. It reminds us of our accountability and emboldens the threat of consequence.  But excessive emphasis on failure can paralyze productivity and stop us from achieving our best work.

Risk aversion, inner-resistance, self-sabotage, procrastination, anxiety and perfectionism are all signs that we hold an unhealthy fear of failure.

Successful teams and organizations require a healthy relationship with failure. Too much fear – or too little – signals future disaster. Managing your fear of failure effectively allows for individual authenticity and reclaimed confidence.  And we need both for sustained success and performance.

It’s time to reframe our fear of failure.

Learn Key Lessons to Empower Drive, Engagement and Growth:

  • How an inaccurate conception of failure cripples engagement, growth and ability
  • How to separate self-worth from past success and failure
  • Differentiate between blameworthy failure and praiseworthy failure
  • Reclaim lost confidence: the action-growth connection
  • Big dreams and small steps can increase your capacity for achievement

Inches: Creating and Sustaining Peak Performance

It’s not Sexy and it’s True: Slow and Steady Separates the Best from the Rest.

At the Beijing Olympic Games, my team’s goal was to gain one inch over our competition with every stroke. We won Olympic Gold by just over one second—or 220 inches. That’s one inch for every stroke.

The inches add up.

The same is true in business, entrepreneurship, career and life: quick fixes do not drive excellence.

Too often, we race for quick fix solutions, clinging to claims of easy success: “If only we could fail faster, schedule smarter or work harder”.  We maintain unsuccessful strategies at all costs to evade slowing down, re-strategizing and regaining our focus.

The truth is, it takes focus and consistency to establish effective habits. We achieve peak performance when we prioritize the inches: powerful habits, strategies and tools that drive results.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.  It’s time to take time. Step back and implement the inches that will create and sustain peak performance.

Learn Key Skills for Sustained Results, including:

  • Focus on what you can control
  • Embrace a growth mindset: inspire intrinsic persistence
  • Reject instant gratification: find happiness in effort, drive and process
  • Harness the power of authenticity
  • Capitalize on the value of active listening
  • Do the work

Strong Teams, Shared Leadership

Strengthen team culture, improve communication and energize staff. 

An incredible power is released when we work effectively together. When teams function optimally, they can be excellent tools to ensure resiliency, manage risk, and maximize achievement.  When the whirlwind takes over, busyness gains priority and stress levels run high. In a fast-paced environment, we often let communication and team dynamics suffer, and the costs are significant.

Strong team culture is essential to sustain success. How can we foster authentic and lasting team culture? Reunite your team under a higher goal. Embolden the professionals on your teams to lead from within. Adam combines inspiring stories with an interactive presentation to share the concept of Shared Leadership with teams across sectors.

Learn Key Lessons to Empower Shared Leadership:

  • Why we must have clear roles in our teams
  • Why it is important to “debate ideas not people’
  • How airing our grievances in the Sahara Desert created a stronger Ocean Rowing Team
  • How disagreements can be overcome by focusing on shared objectives
  • Communication tips for better teamwork and team leadership

Manage Change and Overcome Obstacles

A Healthy Dose of Inspiration, Entertainment, and Education.  

Stress, change and perceived obstacles can help us when we use them as intended: to motivate action. Failure in the mid-Atlantic? A crippling back injury months before the Olympic Games? Volatile markets while building a business? I’ve been there and will share my first-hand experience on overcoming adversity.

It’s time to hit the refresh button and boost your energy. I believe that we can use my story to empower your team to navigate current and future uncertainty with confidence. My narratives are compelling and supported by relevant research, which enables me to effectively teach key lessons of high performance that apply to shifting work environments. Participants will gain my best practices for managing change, and the tools that are necessary for consistent self-improvement. With the right tools, we can transition from current practices to future desired states. We can act as professionals and adopt an ethic of positive realism to all areas of life.

Learn Key Lessons to Overcome Obstacles and Manage Change:

  • Learn the correlation between energy and positivity in the face of change
  • Understand the change curve to stop resisting change
  • Learn to let go of the past
  • Remember that we must focus on what we can control

ADDITIONAL OFFERING: Conference Fitness Program with Adam

Join Adam for a fun and invigorating early morning fitness session at your next conference.  All abilities welcome and encouraged to attend!

At no additional cost, we offer all keynote clients the option of booking Adam to lead a pre-breakfast outdoor fitness session. This option is guaranteed to refresh, energize and kick off the conference day for all.

Most importantly, this session is all inclusive: all age, all body shapes, all fitness levels are welcome. If the only people who show up are the three exercise freaks training for their next seven marathons, Adam will sweep the halls knocking on room doors. He looks forward to meeting the mother of four who hasn’t put on her running shoes in three years, and the manager who knows his beer gut needs to shrink.  Get out of bed and get moving: 6:29 am, rain or shine.

Adam’s outdoor fitness session is inspired by his local November Project. Adam will provide participants with fun, motivation and exercise that will renew energy, increase confidence and be the best start to your conference day.