Neal Petersen

Neal Petersen

World-class Extreme Adventurer, Award-winning Author, International Motivational Speaker
Fee Range
Exact fee falls within this range
Traveling From
South Carolina

Program Descriptions

No Barriers Leadership Program
Based on the polar explorer, Ernest Shackleton, who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic and became a role model for leadership as one who, in extreme circumstances, kept his team together in a survival story described as "incredible”! Neal challenges attendees to ask themselves ~ “Why would someone follow you to the end of the world?”
This stimulating and thought-provoking leadership program can follow Neal Petersen’s “No Barriers ~ Only Solutions” keynote. The allotted time is customized to fit a client’s program, between 1- 3 hours and can be done as a one-two day program as well.

Leadership Program Content

• Today more than ever we are navigating change and we need to be able to adapt. Join together to learn, to share and to better understand how to navigate into the future.
• The goal of the program is to identify what the group or individual is hoping to achieve.
• Development of their vision using Ernest Shackleton as an example of great leadership.
• What are the steps to take in order to get there?
• Discuss uncertainty, how to deal with rapid and ever changing winds, the importance of knowing when to tack, threats to the industry, alternatives to status quo and develop a philosophy that will help in achieving the vision.
• What mechanisms are required today to find solutions to your barriers? What is failure, set-backs and how do you respond to achieve success?
• How better to cope with the rate of rapid change and the anxiety that this brings.
• Retaining the work force, rewarding people, reduction of cost in human capitol.
• What is a sustainable culture for your business’s to thrive?

Leadership and Diversity
Today’s work force is ever changing and a new vision is needed in bringing workers of various backgrounds together for a common cause. But it is not just dealing with a diverse work force, this will demand cultural sensitivity as our world becomes more inter-related.
Leadership and Developing Relationships for Creating a Legacy

  • Define, interpret opportunities for transformation, not only for today – but, for the next generation.
  • How to turn success into significance and the importance of creating your legacy. What is your impact on others and how will you be remembered.
  • The importance of solid communication to create sustainable relationships.
  • Relationships, work/personal – how to develop a solid foundation on which to build upon.
  • How to balance work, family and time to have fun!

The Power of Positive Attitude & How It Affects Performance - Neal has always defined himself by what he can imagine – rather than how others would define him and how he sustained his dream in the face of numerous barriers is compelling. Neal’s ability to apply his own attitudes, values and experiences to reflect on the values and mission of the guests will make this a powerful and meaningful experience for all.

The Importance of Realizing Goals: Perseverance & Determination - Overcoming fear, isolation and facing danger and the unknown has been central to how Neal approaches his goals and his life. Guests will explore how to balance risk and danger with good judgment; how Neal coped with the unknown when making life-threatening voyages and will empower guests to better tackle their tough challenges ahead.

Choose Wisely: With Choice There Is Consequence - Neal’s impact transcends age, gender, and race to promote the creation of leaders, life-long learners, and individuals who are mindful of the consequences their choices will have on personal, familial, community, and generational levels. Neal communicates the fundamental processes needed to create the foundation of a vision and provides validity for direct correlations between perseverance, determination, motivation, and dedication to successful outcomes. The choice is up to each one individually.

Change Is Constant: It’s How You Play the Cards – The group will understand that you have to address the possibility of failure if one wants to achieve great things. This may be explored, regarding challenges – sales quotas for instance – that may seem formidable at first – until imagination, innovation and passion are applied.

The Role of Social Responsibility in the Corporate World - Establishing trust and personal responsibility is part of the foundation of leadership and achievement. In addition to Neal’s innovative use of technology and the plain guts and determination that drove his success, discussion about the values and ethics that frame his goals and achievements – and how these values power one’s achievements and ambition will be explore. Neal is an extraordinary thought-leader and global visionary, who empowers others to think globally and generationally with the highest ethics when making decisions –as to how those decisions impact you, your family, your community and ultimately the next generation. A most needed message for today’s future leaders!

Why Book Neal Petersen?

  • He expertly uses his life-story to demonstrate how to leverage economic challenges by chooses a winning course, balance risk against reward and navigate to gain competitive advantages.

  • As an extreme adventurer, Neal uses a treasure chest onstage and in it tools used to turn barriers into opportunities and challenges audiences to turn their barriers into treasures, better adapt to wind shifts and stormy seas by knowing when to alter course.

  • Videos

    Biography Read more

    World- class extreme adventurer, award-winning author, motivational business speaker
    Neal Petersen has completed two amazing journeys in his life: a single-handed yacht race around the world, 27,000 miles, 9 months at sea, alone, and in the smallest yacht he designed and built himself, becoming the first black man to do so And an even more arduous and eventful trip of overcoming racial prejudice during the Apartheid era in South Africa, poverty, and a childhood physical disability, just to make it to the start line! While sharing his riveting life story – including early careers as a highly-trained saturation diver, to running the only deep water diamond mining operation off the coast of Africa, Neal’s philosophy, personal messages and unique delivery, opens the mind, with new hope and a determination to break down the barriers, real or perceived, that exist and to take adversity head on and demonstrate that with determination and hard work you can achieve your goals.

    There are No Barriers ~ Only Solutions!
    Neal Petersen carries a treasure chest on stage, and in it examples of how he reached his dream by always turning barriers into opportunities, then into solutions, of knowing how to innovate, balance risk with reward, the need to adapt to constant wind shifts and change and how it relates to success. He empowers and challenges audiences to harness their experiences and treasures in navigating these economic challenging times to their advantage - it's an opportunity to excel by choosing a winning course and to never give up! That is how Neal achieved his dream and empowers others to reach theirs Neal is an extraordinary thought-leader and global visionary, who empowers others to think globally and generationally with the highest ethics when making decisions –as to how those decisions impact you, your family, your community and ultimately the next generation. A most needed message for today’s future leaders!

    In these challenging times of uncertainly, fear and insecurity, many feel like solo sailors, adrift, grasping for survival. Neal lays out the importance of a clearly communicated vision, followed by detailed planning, preparation, and then execution. Neal has challenged global audiences to prevail against their own formidable barriers and setbacks while igniting passion and hope as they navigate forward.

    Award-winning author of Journey of a Hope Merchant, and subject of a PBS Documentary, Neal has always defined himself by what he can imagine – rather than how others would define him and how he sustained his dream in the face of numerous barriers is compelling. He empowers audiences to better navigate forward with perseverance, dedication and passion and an attitude that There are No Barriers ~ Only Solutions!

    Neal projects some images during his keynote that bring his story to life and 2 videos, a 1 minute intro and a 4 minute powerful video of Neal rounding Cape Horn solo – his dream! He has thunder built-in and fog is an option for large events, a great, fun visual to really bring his story to life. This is a story of hope, resilience, and accomplishment, brilliantly delivered, truly inspiring for any audience, and one that will long be remembered as one of the best.

    Clients include: multiple global keynotes for Microsoft, Intel, IBM, AIG - plus Qlik, Kronos, Mass Mutual, Lenovo, HP, AT&T, Cisco, John Hancock, Brandes Investment Partners, MDRT, Prudential Insurance, Prudential Real Estate, Axis Holdings, Guardian Life, Jackson National, LOC, NAIFA, NGA, NASCIO and 100’s of associations and more

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    Call Us 1-800-345-5607


    “Neal - I just wanted to thank you for the great message you shared with our top producers and senior management team at the Leaders Summit. Your entire presentation was right on point with the goals of the meeting and was extremely well received and you were given a rare standing ovation. Several advisors commented on how much they personally got from your unique story, how effective you were at incorporating relevant elements to this group, and how enjoyable it was to spend time with you throughout the meeting.”
    --AIG Financial Advisors, Inc.

    “Our biggest challenge at these events is to hold the audience in their seats as we typically lose somewhere around 40-50% of the crowd between speakers. This was the first time in the eight years Neal, I have been coordinating these sessions where the audience was spellbound from beginning to end and stayed in their seats for the entire presentation. Amazing!”
    --EFO, CFO Deputy Director Navy Fire & Emergency Services Programs Commander, Navy Installations Command

    “Mr. Neal Petersen gave the opening speech for the Brandes Investment Partners conference of institutional investors (450) from around the world. Neal is an inspirational and dynamic speaker who I would recommend as a featured speaker. He also makes considerable efforts to relate his speech to our particular company or group audience. Our group was delighted with his presentation.”
    --CEO - Brandes Investment Partners

    “Neal you have received our highest ratings ever for a keynote speaker and this covers hundreds of events over more than a decade. Before you, we had never had a single standing ovation, yet I can't remember a time that you did not get one! You also go out of your way to spend time with attendees afterwards. "Neal has a powerful story in itself and he relates it to our industry - he ties it all into their challenges as he customized content for each event. "He’s inspiring, thought-provoking, the audience loves it when we start with a great story and a powerful message, then present the other topics which are typically dry and difficult and in need of solutions."
    --Government Technology

    “Neal Petersen delivered one of the most inspirational talks I ever heard at a corporate event. He had the whole audience enthralled as he talked about his life and how he set himself what seemed to be an impossible challenge. Impossible that is, unless like Neal, you believe there are “No Barriers”
    -- VP - Qlik 2015

    "Neal Petersen’s powerful presentation was the perfect keynote for our Global Inclusion Summit! His dramatic storytelling ignited and captivated our audience. With high energy and fully engaging presentation style, Neal captured the audience’s attention and left us with a fresh perspective on turning disadvantages into advantages. Neal’s inspirational “No Barriers” presentation brought our Summit theme to life!"
    --Chief Diversity Officer – MasterCard 2015

    "I had an opportunity to attend a customer summit sponsored by a Cardinal Health. The keynote speaker, Neal Petersen, was awesome and his message was very apropos given the challenges we face in an ever-changing healthcare industry. His story was both incredible and inspirational. He told it skillfully and with great passion. It’s a story of insatiable will and perseverance to overcome adversity and succeed. So motivated by it, I spoke to him after and he may be the most interesting/impressive individual I have met."
    --CornerStone Medical Services