Brad and David are passionate speakers with the interest and experience to show how people and businesses can make better decisions.
Their presentations focus on leadership, teamwork and winning against the odds – often when the odds are stacked impossibly high against success. Clients include Credit Suisse, SAP, the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, and the Royal Society of Chemistry
Brad delivered a terrific, fascinating and extremely motivational session at the B2B Marketing Leaders Forum this year – his passion and knowledge about the great age of exploration is extraordinary, and this made for an excellent addition to our agenda.
The 150 marketing directors in attendance hugely appreciated hearing from one of their peers, and there was a lengthy queue of people looking to get a copy of Brad’s book, ‘When your life depends on it’ signed at the end of the event. I’d thoroughly recommend him.
B2B Marketing - Editor in Chief
Marketing Executive at SAP
It gives me great pleasure to write this letter highly recommending Brad Borkan. Brad was the guest speaker at the Present Day Club in Princeton, New Jersey. He shared amazing stories from his book, When Your Life Depends on It, about the challenges faced by the Antarctic Explorers in the early 1900s. In addition to recounting the experiences, Brad revealed broader lessons regarding leadership, team work and determination, all of which can help us make better personal and business decisions in our own lives.
Brad had a very skillful, relaxed and authentic manner, and his presentation was very enjoyable and satisfying to our members. His eloquent expression, his enthusiasm and his professional yet casual demeanor fully engaged the entire audience of over 100.
Catherine Judd Hirsch
President, Present Day Club
Brad Borkan’s talk about life lessons we can learn from the early Antarctic explorers, given at Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival, was absolutely riveting. For the first time, I really appreciated what those men were up against, and how incredibly difficult their journeys were.
The combination of a fascinating talk and excellent slides showing maps and photographs of the men themselves was excellent.
I can’t praise the talk highly enough. If you ever get the chance to hear Brad speak, seize it. Not only will you hear a spellbinding account of some of the toughest journeys every undertaken, you’ll also come away feeling challenged to make courageous choices in your own life.
Thank you so much for your talk tonight. Really passionate and inspiring…. exactly what I needed to help my own decision making.
I was riveted throughout the talk, listening to the adventurous and courageous stories of those amazing Antarctic explorers.
What was really interesting was how it made you think about what you would do in those circumstances — what kind of a person am I, would I leave someone else to die, how would I have survived?
Equally there were some extremely insightful lessons for business and leadership, I particularly liked the way that rather than failing when the original goal wasn’t achieved, Brad tells the story of how Shackleton, “ pivots” the goal, to keep everyone motivated (the team and staff) in order to come back with a success story for the outside world (shareholders). Overall a really interesting talk, the lessons for business I will remember more than other leadership sessions, because of the extreme and exciting stories from those simply amazing, brave men.
Global CEO and Board level Chief Marketing Officer
Brad Borkan is a charismatic, natural and engaging speaker, and we were pleased to welcome him both as keynote speaker in our opening ceremony and for his illustrated talk on Lessons Learned from the Early Antarctic Explorers.
Brad has the knack of making his expert knowledge and insights accessible and interesting to the many kinds of people – our audience at the Literary Festival ranged from young executives interested in the business and management to retired folk keen on the historical angle. His pleasant, gentle manner makes him very approachable for Q&A and outside of the lecture hall, and he continued to contribute to the success of the Festival throughout the day by being ready and willing to chat informally to fellow speakers and audience alike.
His fresh enthusiasm for his subject was infectious, and he left us wanting more. Fortunately his excellent book, When Your Life Depends on It, being the perfect follow-up purchase or gift for those at the event.
Organizer of the Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival
… an enthralling and engaging session, packed with insights and thought-provoking points.
Business Conference Producer
Informative and entertaining… Brad Borkan’s enthusiasm for the subject shone through and the excellent photographs added drama. His tie-in with decision making, which is so much in the current interest thanks to Daniel Kahneman, added a unique touch to the subject. Compared to the explorers, our own decision making seems mundane.
Irene and Sam Goldfarb
Attendees, Princeton Talks
A highly engaging presentation set in the historic surroundings of the Scott Polar Research Institute theatre.
Brad Borkan delivered a talk filled with a series of captivating, high-risk, hostile environment story lines to the audience, setting the scene and asking the audience ‘what they would do’? What made the diversity of responses even more fascinating was that the scenarios had actually occurred during early Antarctic expeditions, with Brad explaining the outcome of each situation.
His final summary contained ‘Seven lessons from the Antarctic’, an invaluable framework of strategies employed in the heroic age of polar exploration. Brad described each one detailing how they were used 100 years ago, and how they have timeless relevance in improving decision making processes, in either the most challenging of circumstances, or everyday life. Lesson #5 (‘Never ever give up’) is the one that has resonated throughout my life, especially during my personal experiences in the high Arctic and in the military.
I would highly recommend both Brad’s presentation and the book that he co-wrote. They are both suitable for people from all walks of life who want to improve their decision-making processes, their own leadership, or to develop those within their team.
What a fascinating presentation and it really made me think about the decisions I make both professionally and personally. Brad’s knowledge on the expeditions is brilliant and left me totally captivated as he relayed the stories.
Attendee, Customer Experience World Conference
Quite simply, if it wasn’t for Shackleton’s leadership skills, I would not be here today. My grandfather, Alexander Kerr, was one of the youngest members of the Endurance Expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton.
All 28 men became stranded in Antarctica with no hope of rescue after their ship was trapped and crushed in the ice; their whereabouts and predicament unknown to the rest of the world. Once a landfall was eventually made on Elephant Island some 497 days after leaving South Georgia, Shackleton made the decision to attempt the 800 mile return boat journey in the 23 foot James Caird with just five others. Alexander Kerr was one of the 22 men left under Wild’s command on a desolate Elephant Island awaiting rescue.
I was lucky to know my grandfather and hear his stories first hand.
My wife Val and I both have a passionate interest in the Heroic Age of Exploration and the characters of that era, attending Antarctic conferences and lectures, reading original and new accounts of expeditions. We recently had the pleasure of attending Brad Borkan’s highly entertaining book talk at the Devon & Cornwall Polar Society.
Brad and his co-author David Hirzel bring the life or death decisions of those often ‘ordinary’ men of the Heroic Age right up-to-date, breathing a whole new life into their adventures. The stories are no longer just my grandfather’s history, but now a living part of decision strategies that everyone can use in their own lives.
Attendee & descendant of a member of Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition
Brad gives keynote and after-dinner presentations at business conferences. His talks focus on goal setting, leadership, teamwork, resilience, and improving one’s personal and business decision making, all set in the exciting context of Polar exploration. Brad brings a strong background of business acumen to his talks in that he has worked for the world’s leading technology companies like Oracle and SAP, and as part of his work has advised many large and mid-sized organizations on how to make better business decisions.
Brad has presented talks based on his book at major corporations like Credit Suisse, as well as organizations like the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has talked at conferences like the Strand Business Conference in London and the B2B Marketing Leaders Forum for 150 senior executives. He has also conducted a webinar to 500 top employees of a Fortune 100 company using the ideas in the book.
He has presented at Antarctic conferences in Norway, Ireland and the UK, has lectured at the prestigious Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge and on an Antarctic cruise ship. He was the headline presence at a Literary Festival in the Cotswolds, England and looks forward to talking at more literary festivals.