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Motivational Speaker: Dr. Thimo L. Sommerfeld

Thimo Sommerfeld is a Managing Director of Abolon Group, a healthcare-focused M&A advisory and strategy consulting firm with offices in London and Munich, and has been a supervisory board member of a numerous international healthcare companies. He has worked with clients from all over the world for many years. From February to May 2004, Thimo flew once around the world to successfully climb Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua and Mount Everest, in the year when more people died on Everest than ever since Jon Krakauer wrote his best-seller “Into Thin Air”.

 

 

 

Thimo is an Everest climber with a broad business background: as a consultant (with McKinsey & Company), financial investor (he invested more than USD 108mn for US private equity investor Warburg Pincus), founder, CEO and supervisory board member. His presentations provide deep insights in topics such as goal-setting, leadership, high-performing teams, motivation, and the nature of success. He is able to analytically dissect business and mountaineering and then re-synthesize it without missing out on thrill and entertainment. You may hear a needle drop when he talks about the Everest summit push or the audience burst out with energy when he helps overcoming organizational inertia.

 

Clients of his Everest presentation and potential references include Deutsche Bank (finance), Mahle Group (automotive), Voith Paper (utilities), RWE Dea (energy). Thimo may give Everest speeches in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian.

 

 

Leadership, Teamwork and Everest

 

The Occasion:  On May 23, 2004, Thimo Sommerfeld, a Managing Director at Abolon Group, reached the summit of Mount Everest (8850m) from the exposed Tibetan side.  He was the 25th German national to stand on the highest mountain in the world.  Before summit success, a well-organized mountaineering expedition had besieged Everest for two months.  More than 20 sherpas supported the expedition and 180 yaks carried food and equipment up to Advanced Base Camp at 6400m. The year 2004 will be known for its deadly events:  Seven climbers died in snow storms before the successful expeditions passed their bodies high on Everest in late May.

 

The Presentation: The summit of Mount Everest is an extreme goal that has been on many climbers’ minds decades before they actually set out for the summit.  The numerous best-sellers about Everest bear testimony to the fascination this mountain exerts on climbers and non-climbers alike.  Climbing Everest involves a number of high risks and requires good planning and organization, mutual cooperation, discipline and superior capabilities of the participants.

 

Thimo’s presentation over 45-90 min, as requested, compares mountaineering and business life without missing out on thrill and amusing entertainment.  In its standard version, the presentation contains four parts:

 

1. On the way to Everest Base Camp, the expedition passed through Nepal and Tibet. The expedition members are introduced and the complex process of acclimatization begins.

 

2. In the two lower camps, relationships between the expedition members develop. Discussing the challenges and the hostile environment at high altitude is important for understanding the psychological and physical pressure climbers experience. During the expedition, events required clear leadership and perilous decisions, team members developed an intense relationship and took on responsibilities for the group: Most observations and experiences regarding leadership and teamwork are discussed in this second part.

 

3. The summit push over seven days includes a short discussion of the tragic events in May 2004 and is illustrated with unique pictures of the higher parts of Mount Everest.

 

4. Q&A session, as requested: Leadership and teamwork may be key topics, in particular in the second part of the presentation. In addition, Thimo could address further topics, e.g.: high altitude health, organizational structures and dynamics, roles and responsibilities, conflicts-of-interest management, work-life balance, success and failure, or challenges in previous/planned client programs.

 

 

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