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Speakers: Chris Heeter


Chris Heeter

Wild (adj.): Having the courage to bring the gift of all of who you are to all of what you do.
~ Chris Heeter

www.thewildinstitute.com | Download a pdf

Travels from Minnesota.

Chris Heeter

Leadership – Teambuilding - Diversity - Wellbeing

Because the world needs a lot more Wild

With remarkable parallels to the work world, Chris shares hilarious stories from her sled dog team with their quirky personalities and from whitewater canoeing, where successfully navigating obstacles (mostly) is part of the journey. Humor, stories, and perspective pave the way for real and lasting learning.


The Wild Approach

Being “Wild at Work” means having the courage to bring the gift of all of who you are to all of what you do.  That means showing up whole, creative, free, engaged, connected, and bold (words that teams and audiences repeatedly come up with in their descriptions of when they feel Wild).  This could sound like not much of a priority in your workplace, where budgets, deadlines, and putting out fires is the norm, until you look at the opposites of these words: stifled, bored, inhibited, disengaged, isolated, or withdrawn.  

Wild at Work” enlivens organizations through perspective, hilarious stories, interaction, and easily memorable and applicable principals that help leaders, teams, and individuals be more creative, courageous, and collaborative.

Speaking and Seminar Topics

Leadership/Teamwork

Sample titles

You have your team, now what?
Managing personalities, finding the good in every “dog”   
The stupid side of the rock: when being right is less important than being a team

Boring meetings? Disengaged teams? Lifeless leadership? Shake it up. The Wild at work approach reminds us that working together doesn’t have to be so complicated.
At the end of the day, leadership and teamwork boil down to engaging a wide range of laughable, but dedicated personalities, calling out their strengths, and working effectively together.

Top take-aways

  • Highlight the strengths and skills of each individual in your group
  • Strengthen leaders through self-knowledge, compassionate presence, and courageous conversations
  • Build high-performing teams that dare to engage, speak up, and care
  • Integrate a Wild philosophy into your workplace, where individuals, teams, and the organization itself has the courage to bring the gift of all of who they are to all of what they do

Diversity

Sample titles

They all pull sleds, but they're not all the same: sled dogs, diversity, and fresh perspectives in working together
Navigating the rapids of diversity: staying upright, working together, and leaning downstream

Your organization may already have diversity and inclusion initiatives for groups around gender, ethnicity, age, and preferences. The best organizations are finding new ways to look past labels and appreciate the individuality and humanity of everyone on their team.

The Wild approach to diversity not only helps minimize assumptions, but also helps us recognize and call out the individual talent and originality that helps organizations thrive and grow.

Top Take-aways

  • Improve communication through understanding and appreciating differences
  • Learn to approach diversity with curiosity and humility, leading with your strengths and calling out the strengths of the individuals on your team
  • Gain greater awareness of your own impact on others and fresh inspiration about the importance of believing in one another
  • Unleash your Wild side (free, authentic, creative, present, bold) at work, encourage it in your team, and see how everyone benefits, including the business

Wellbeing

Sample titles

Pace yourself and don't snap at your team-mates: sled dog wisdom for joy and wellbeing in the workplace
Beyond the measurements and comparisons: finding the well in wellbeing

Wild well-being means being whole-hearted and present. Through stories, examples, and interaction, Wild programs challenge everyone to show up in all areas of life with courageous authenticity.

Wild well-being doesn’t always mean feeling comfortable, it means staying present and being willing to tolerate discomfort to gain insights into your true Wild self.

Top Take-aways

  • Discover a different way to think about wellbeing—less about “shoulds” and more about doing your best right where you are
  • Learn how to re-group and re-ground yourself in the moment
  • Envision how your Wild self (free, authentic, creative, whole, daring) can be present in all areas of your life
  • Find ways that wellbeing can be more attainable in daily life

 


About Chris

Award winning speaker and business owner, Chris Heeter, is out to create a Wild revolution in the workplace. A wilderness guide since 1984, she leads and works with countless groups, helping them find their way as teams and individuals.

Chris’ Wild life serves as the canvas for her speaking and teambuilding programs. In addition to guiding trips, she heats her home with wood, has a ridiculously large organic garden, and has renovated a home in the Twin Cities, converting it into a cabin in the city. She freely admits that much of what she’s learned about humanity comes from dogs and rivers—from her team of 16 sled dogs, who she helped breed, raise, and train, to her decades of guiding whitewater canoe trips. Combined, this creates the perfect back-drop for memorable, easy to apply, lasting, and life-changing tools for individuals, teams, leaders, and organizations.

Points of interest:

  • Profiled on The Discovery Channel’s “National Geographic Today”
  • National Speaker’s Association member and recipient of the 2011 Next Level Award
  • Flash-point Speaker at Meeting Professional’s International World Education Congress, 2014
  • Wilderness guide since 1984
  • Dog Musher (it began with just one husky 28 years ago, and grew rather exponentially)
  • Sits on the board of The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota
  • National Association of Women Business Owners Luminary award, 2008
  • George Williams College Distinguished Alumnae award recipient, 2010
  • Certified Wilderness First Responder


Partial Client List:

  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • Boston Scientific
  • Centracare Healthcare Systems
  • College and University Professional Association for Human Resources
  • Ecolab
  • Federal Reserve Bank
  • Great River Energy
  • Habilitative Services
  • International Institute of Business Analysis
  • Lifetime Fitness
  • Parks Canada
  • Principal Financial Group
  • Project Management Institute
  • Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ceresi LLP
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • Society for Information Management
  • The Ordway
  • TKDA Engineering and Architecture
  • University of Tennessee
  • Wells Fargo

Testimonials

“Close to 2000 people participated in MPI’s 2014 World Education Congress On behalf of the entire MPI team, I wanted to officially thank you for your involvement. From your great FlashPoint key note to the hugely successful follow-up Master Class, I firmly believe that the valuable content of your sessions and the absolute great delivery style contributed significantly to the success of this event. As you know this group of participants, being comprised of corporate, association and governmental planners and suppliers from across the industry, is an extremely demanding audience. The feedback has been extremely positive and you and Tuu Weh have contributed largely to that success. Thank you again for your inspiring message and for the great collaboration!"
~Team Leader Education, Meeting Professionals International

“Your presentation at our leadership summit was clever, insightful and touching. You translated similarities between sled dogs and people effortlessly. Thank you for continuing to bring Wild to Wells Fargo!”  
~ VP of Diversity & Inclusion, Wells Fargo

“Chris facilitated the first day of our retreat for 40 leaders. Her engaging storytelling and natural wisdom resonated with everyone. She challenged us to be authentic while leading change.”   
~ Senior director, Lifetime Fitness

“I highly recommend Chris Heeter/Wild Institute for those who are looking for a professional, authentic speaker that leads your group in learning a great deal about themselves, their leadership abilities, working with teams, and their own leadership presence. Chris spoke at our top level executive forum (eligibility restricted to those in “C” Suite positions) customizing her message to what was truly needed and in sync with the team’s level of experience, which made her program extremely powerful! I would recommend Chris for any need you may have that involves integrating your team or organization into a safe environment where people have the courage to share their gifts and be who they are!”
~ VP, Senior Executive Consultant, Lee Hecht Harrison

“Chris’ talk on sled dog wisdom was creative, engaging, and highly relevant to the goals of improved communication, teamwork, and productivity.  Through the course of her talk, she created a common language for applying insights from dogsledding to the hard, but rewarding work of building a team (in our case, a team of IT professionals).  A great way to start the year!” 
~ Chief Information Officer, G+K Services

“Chris is an energetic and entertaining speaker that can really influence and teach employees how to improve teamwork and leverage strengths to deliver results.”
~ Project Management Institute Conference Chair, Cargill

“Chris spoke at our leadership summit and her words of wisdom inspired our group to live on the Wild side, to really dare to live with intention and have courageous conversations. Chris is a dynamic speaker that every leader looking to inspire their teams should hear!”
~ Human Resources, Habilitative Services

“I confess to being among the skeptics at the beginning of Chris's presentation for ASTD-TCC, afraid we were in for a kum-bye-ya session, just as she joked. I was delighted to be wrong. The consistent, pragmatic links back to the world of human teams; the excellent use of physical "props"; and the soft-spoken humor won me over almost immediately. I tend to be a rather brutal critic of teaching and training (a trait not uncommon among training professionals, I'm afraid). I was charmed.  And so were my colleagues. Thank you.”
~ ASTD chapter president, CONNECT instructional design

“Downsizing and restructuring had brought our ability to be productive and efficient to an all time low. I asked Chris to present her “Wild at Work” seminar to the college leadership in hope of bringing life back into our team and reinvigorating our desire for the college’s success. She did this and so much more!”  
~ Director of Advancement, University of MN College of Veterinary Medicine


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