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Robyn Benincasa

World Champion Eco-Challenge Adventure Racer, CNN Hero, New York Times Bestselling Author

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Robyn Benincasa: World Champion Eco-Challenge Adventure Racer, CNN Hero, New York Times Bestselling Author

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Robyn Benincasa can help your team Win as One in times of great challenge through her keynotes and teambuilding adventures.  Learn all of the teambuilding and leadership skills that Robyn and her teammates have discovered on their quest to win the ‘toughest races on earth’.

World Champion Eco-Challenge Adventure Racer, CNN Hero, New York Times Bestselling Author, Founder of the 501c3 Project Athena Foundation (Survivors to Athletes!), 3x Guinness World Record Distance Paddler, Proud Owner of 2 Metal 'Bionic Hips' and Full Time San Diego Firefighter Robyn Benincasa definitely knows a thing or two about creating Human Synergy---or as Robyn puts it, "that magic that allows groups of ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things together."

For the last 20 years, she and her teammates have been competing at the front of the pack in the most unique and compelling classrooms on earth--The jungles of Borneo, the Himalayan peaks of Tibet, the rivers of Fiji, the rainforests of Ecuador and the desert of Namibia, studying the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty in Extreme Teamwork and mastering the skills required to inspire a group of semi-exhausted people through a seemingly endless series of checkpoints, in pursuit of a seemingly impossible goal, working against crazy deadlines, in constantly changing conditions and all in pursuit of a huge hairy audacious goal (sounds a lot like your life as a business leader, right?!).

It is through these harrowing, life affirming and often hilarious experiences in the world's most grueling challenges that she has emerged with her refreshing and truly unique perspective on what it takes to build the kind of world class teams that succeed against all odds, that triumph in the face of adversity and that win as one in times of great challenge and change.

NBC, ABC, CNN, ESPN, USA Network, The Today Show, Live With Regis, Dateline NBC, The Discovery Channel, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Runners World and Outside Magazine have all featured Robyn and her teams' amazing accomplishments. And Robyn accepts full blame for inspiring people to do insane things like climb Mount Kilimanjaro, run their first triathlon, start their own adventure racing teams, hike across the Grand Canyon with a group of Survivors, or start their own businesses.

This is, after all, who she is and what she does: Robyn Benincasa inspires people to grab life with one hand, grab their teammates with the other, and to create that special magic that makes all of us better TOGETHER than we ever would have been alone!
Building World Class Teams: The 8 Essential Elements of Human Synergy (60 - 90 minutes)

What do the world's most successful teams have in common? --- The ability to upgrade their "teamwork" to Human Synergy!

If your goal is to increase performance by inspiring your team to adapt, overcome, and win as ONE, this keynote is the perfect message to set the tone for your event.

Robyn Benincasa takes your team on a fast-paced multimedia adventure which visually and viscerally imparts the attitude and mindset that allows groups of ordinary people to accomplish truly extraordinary feats together... especially when the stakes are high, the goals are audacious, and constant change is the only thing your team can count on (aside from one another!).

During her "8 Essential Elements of Human Synergy" keynote, this World Champion Adventure Racer, CNN Hero and San Diego Firefighter has attendees buzzing with inspired ideas about how to raise their team to the next level (against all odds), both personally and professionally. And your team will take home simple and easily applied skills that allow them to create Human Synergy with all of the teammates in their lives.

There is an old proverb that says, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." But the epic, entertaining and meaningful stories and videos shared in Robyn's Building World Class Teams keynote leaves your team with a deep understanding: with true Human Synergy they will go farther AND faster in pursuit of their goals!
The 8 Essential Elements of Human Synergy:
  • Total commitment
  • Empathy and Awareness
  • Adversity Management
  • Mutual Respect
  • 'We' Thinking
  • Ownership of the Project
  • Relinquishment of Ego
  • Kinetic Leadership

Leading Through Change (60 minutes)

Change is the only thing that stays the same. It is our response to that change that dictates our success.
How do the world's most consistently high performing leaders ALWAYS find a way to get their teammates to the finish line and achieve their goals against all odds? Are they lucky, blessed or immune to setbacks? Nope. Great leaders experience times of great turbulence, challenge and change in every aspect of their lives--but it is their attitude and mindset that carries them and their teammates to greater heights in the FACE of that change. Leading through Change means Being Ruled by the Hope of Success versus the Fear of Failure, Embracing Setbacks as a Chance to Learn and Excel, and Never Letting the Pursuit of Perfection Hinder Progress. In her Leading Through Change keynote, Robyn shares incredible stories and videos from the worlds of Adventure Racing and Firefighting that illustrate how great leaders succeed against all odds and triumph in the face of adversity. Robyn's stories and meaningful messages will not only entertain and amaze...your attendees will walk away with some easily applied leadership skills that will help them shatter the norm, see challenges versus roadblocks, and inspire their teammates to once again see a future full of possibilities...

WORLD CLASS PERFORMANCE - Why Winners Win (60 - 75 minutes)
What are the four most common attributes of people who make a lifelong habit of winning? Inspired by a Fast Company Magazine article entitled 'Extreme Teamwork', which featured Robyn's team of World Champion adventure athletes as well as "Winners" from all walks of life,  Robyn's ‘Why Winners Win’ keynote outlines the common traits, attitudes and mindset of the world's most consistently high performing leaders in their eternal pursuit of world class results.

The 'Best of the Best' experience times of great challenge and change just like everyone else. But with characteristic Courage, Luck (Opportunity + Preparation), Adversity Management Skills, and a keen ability to create Synergy with their colleagues, Winners possess the ability to continually motivate and inspire themselves and those around them to the top of the podium in any endeavor.

The icing on the cake of the Why Winners Win keynote? Attendees will experience the thrill of peak performance and exceptional leadership through Robyn’s incredible stories and breathtaking video footage of extreme teams in action, and they will leave energized and empowered to create consistent world class results in every aspect of their lives!

WORLD CLASS SAFETY - Stay SAFER: How Great Leaders Inspire 'Commitment' Versus 'Compliance'
In her "Why Bad Accidents Happen to Good People" Safety Keynote, Robyn Benincasa takes your team on a compelling and unforgettable multimedia adventure, including video footage and analysis of preventable disasters and thrilling safety success stories from the worlds of adventure sports and firefighting. This World Champion Adventure Racer, San Diego Firefighter, and New York Times Best Selling Author offers unique, simple, yet extremely effective tools for inspiring the people that we work with and work for to be SAFER every day!   Why Do Bad Accidents Happen to Good People? According to research, it's as simple as ABCD:

A= Attitude: Not Me, Not This Time, Not My Place, Not My Job
B= Background and Preparation
C= Circumstances (Preventable or Non-Preventable? Hint: 80% are preventable!)
D= Decisions How Do We Inspire People to be SAFER?
S=Synergy --Seeing one another as TEAMMATES vs simply colleagues. We are better... together!
A=Adapt-- Situational awareness. Focus on what it takes to "win" when it comes to safety/survival versus "not lose".
F= Follow your R's! Rules, Roles, Regulations and Routine Procedures restore order to extraordinary circumstances.
E= Educate and Engage: Move your teammates from Compliance (because they'll be caught) to Commitment (because they CARE).
R=Respect the risk/benefit ratio of your actions; respect yourself, your teammates and your family to DWR (Do What's Right).

Attendees will go home feeling truly inspired and empowered to keep themselves and their teammates safe because they 'want' to, not because they 'have' to. And they will leave with the desire to be a hero to their new teammates--not just the kind of hero that rushes into danger to save them, but the kind of hero that KEEPS them from endangering themselves and others. With a SAFER mindset, we ensure that the most important goal of all is achieved at the end of the day... Everyone Goes Home.


"Robyn Benincasa's words make us reflect on what great leadership qualities are and remind us of the importance of leading with our head and heart."
Craig McLaughlin, Vice President, Kraft Canada Inc.

"As you expected, Robyn positively rocked it for FEP in Miami. The kudos: best conference speaker EVER."
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

"We had so much fun with you. I literally received so many compliments on your message and comments about how your talk touched people - some wanted to go home and share with their husbands/wives/families. Several others said you were the best speaker they had ever heard (my opinion too by the way) and that more in Nestle should hear you! You SO over-delivered both in your speech and in your willingness to spend time with our team. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect message to be delivered at just the right time."
Lisbeth Armentano, Director of Communications & Promotions, Nestlé Nutrition Division

"AWESOME!!!!! No other way to describe you or the presentation that you gave at our Summit meeting last week. I spent the week listening to a number of people talking about the session, your achievements and how they tied in so well to some of the issues that we are trying to implement on the one hand and overcome on the other. The 8 Human Synergies tied perfectly into the messaging that we had done earlier in the day and we tied a number of your key messages into the next two team building events we did in the afternoon. You were inspiring for me personally and certainly for my team. No doubt you and adventure racing have approximately 140 new fans.  I look forward to watching you race again in your upcoming event. My very best regards and thanks. Just Awesome!"
Anthonie Goudemond, Siemens Medical Solutions, Vice President, Human Resources

"Robyn, you presented recently at an ExxonMobil GREF conference in the Woodlands Conference centre. I was the somewhat star-struck Brit that came up to you afterwards to ask about Project Athena. I was very impressed by your story, your enthusiasm and the way you had channelled your experiences into such an effective team building message. When I got home I bought your book and finished reading it last night. It had two immediate impacts on me; it made the talk that you gave come flooding back into my consciousness (which was great); but it also give me inspiration on how to run a workshop I have with my team coming up soon. They are going through a tough time (not like your tough times, but in the context of our work they have too much to do, with too little time, and they are not sure how to start). Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks. Thanks for the pleasure of listening to you, thanks for finding out that I am a "We" thinker (I didn't know that), and thanks for how I know the workshop is going to go."

How to Make Someone

How Winning Works

Robyn Benincasa has made an art form of extreme performance by competing and winning at the highest levels of sport and business. In her fifteen-year career as a professional adventure racer, she has biked through jungles in Borneo, climbed Himalayan giants in Nepal, trekked across lava fields in Fiji, rafted rapids in Chile—and racked up multiple world championship titles along the way. In her spare time, she is a firefighter and a sought-after keynote speaker on the subject of teamwork and leadership.

In How Winning Works, Benincasa shows you how to climb to new levels of professional and personal success. She shares the eight essential elements of teamwork, learned through her extreme adventure racing, that create synergy with all the teammates in your life, from colleagues and customers to family members and friends: