Vik Maraj

Leadership, Communications, Team Building and Transformation Expert

What does it take to leave an audience altered through a keynote or workshop presentation? It takes the kind of talk that delivers such a fundamentally penetrating message that you are left compelled to act on what you hear. This is exactly what you get when Vik Maraj speaks.

Vik Maraj is more than inspirational. His message is transformative. Vik Maraj combines humour, engaging gestures and a clear presentation with audience involvement techniques to deliver a riveting and compelling presentation. He is one of Canada’s leading experts on teamwork, leadership, workplace culture and communication. Maraj is a memorable speaker that always sparks innovation. He therefore leaves the audience with thought-provoking practical and strategic solutions after his presentation. Vik Maraj conveys superior content throughout his uncompromisingly authentic delivery.

Vik Maraj’s ground breaking content and is a pathway to human and organizational potential that has likely remained unfulfilled within your ranks. Maraj opens up this pathway with his ability to convey messages that inspire audience members with permanent awakening; to what lies beyond the ordinariness of most organizations and individual’s toleration levels. His material and delivery transcend motivation and inspires audiences by the reinvention of practices, communication skills and leadership.

Vik’s dynamic presentation content comes from his day-to-day work with groups of people. Every day, he engages his training in neuroscience and molecular biology. He also combines high-stakes conflict resolution, dynamic group processes, systems thinking, and ontology to permanently expand individual performance. His down to earth approach captivates the audience and allows them to rethink their roles and their responsibilities at work. As a result, Vik’s messages create workplace synergy among all team members. He focuses individuals on strategic organizational goals, propelling them and their organization into the future.

Vik Maraj is also the co-founder and former CEO of a two hundred plus person international education company. In many ways, cutting his teeth as an entrepreneur and leader was his “rite of passage” into the real world of organizational performance. All this has led to a penetrating understanding of the truths and understandings between the correlation of people and performance – and it is not more advice, formulas, or motivation.

Vik has created transformative shifts in governments, boards, corporations, not-for-profits, rural communities, municipalities, NGO’s (including the United Nations), and people from all walks of life. Similarly, Maraj has been involved in restoring a billion dollar international environmental collaboration. Maraj has also empowered the leadership of Canada’s First Nations and rewriting the future of rural communities. Above all, Vik Maraj’s is one of Canada’s business and organization experts. He transforms what is possible when people come together to fulfil their purpose.

Topic Presentations

Our systems produce smart individuals. The paradox of smart individuals is that they are often challenged to be a smart group. We have organizations, institutions, governments that are filled with people who are high performers. At the same time, the world has massively reorganized itself. New performance outcomes and standards are required to be effective. These new performance outcomes demand that individuals come together to create and produce ideas, projects and innovations that no one of them can generate alone – much less implement alone.

In the absence of being able to unlearn the “me or you” mindset, we sometimes look to motivational gimmicks, personality assessment tools, team formulas about “storming and norming”. We may even learn to compensate for our lack of ability to work and be with different people with different views. All of these tools and models take effort to learn, understand and master and produce only incremental gains at best – when we can remember them.

"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships." Michael Jordan

Vik Maraj, in his History Making Teams, makes you think hard and rethink about what truly constitutes exceptional teamwork. What if you could just remove what was in the way versus working around it? What if it were possible to dissolve the artificial barriers into collective action and rapidly establish people’s natural drive to accomplish together? Teams of animals certainly don’t need to know each other’s personality, profile, or “score” – why would we? When's the last time you saw a team of ants exchanging their "colours" or gripe about leading?

What History Making Teams will do for your group:

  • Annihilate what you consider “best practice” for team building

  • Open up a whole new dimension to the understanding of team that will rapidly, deeply, and sustainably give you access to authentic and natural collaboration

In this keynote or workshop, audience members will have to confront whether their team is just here to make or save money – or to make history?

At some point in your career you will encounter difficult people that you are not equipped to deal with. They will stretch your emotional and intellectual limits. And they may even break you. Break you in the sense that you will stop being YOU around them. And you will spend more and more time not being YOU; until – not being you BECOMES YOU! And this will mostly go unnoticed by you. You may even become resigned and then pretend it doesn’t matter. Depending on your learned coping strategies, you will become immobilized by them, please them, avoid them, or fight them. Whichever the strategy, you will spend an incredible amount of time in your own head thinking about these people and experiencing a range of emotions ranging from rage to resignation.

"Coaching difficult people is the most critical skill for leaders to master" -Chris Argyris Organizational Behaviour Guru

Vik Maraj explains that no one is innately designed to deal with difficult people. They are not ordinary. Whenever you encounter them everything you know to be true about yourself vanishes and you are left fighting against your own physiology. Worse, your own values are often challenged as you often end up acting artificially.

Vik opens up an entirely new pathway for being effective with these people! BE Unstoppable gives you a revealing insight into why you so fundamentally alter yourself to deal with these difficult people. Vik also provides you with access to the uncommon and straight forward language and tools that are game-changing with difficult people. He leaves you with the skills and the access to mastering unique conversations with these people that will leave you personally and professionally invincible.

In his spell-binding presentation, BE Unstoppable, Vik will leave you with an opening for power well beyond what talking tips, formulas, active listening and personality profiling can provide. It will leave audience members with a profound understanding of where they limit themselves in their critical conversations with difficult people. Vik presents audience members with a creative pathway to effectively deal with these difficult people - leaving you naturally impregnable to them.

Vik’s dynamic keynote or workshop covers how to:

  • Distinguish and put to rest the triggers that activate you

  • Be powerful and unflinching in the face of anyone’s conversation

  • Say things that will derail their predictable negative speaking pattern

  • Generate a completely unexpected positive outcome from historically broken relationships, and

  • Rapidly turn former enemies in to allies.

BE Unstoppable will unveil a whole new realm of organizational and personal performance and possibilities for each audience member. What would that kind of on-demand skill do to advance the performance, the careers, and the lives of your leaders, team members, and work force?

It sounds strange but there are very few corporate change efforts that have ever failed. That is because change accomplishes exactly what it is designed for – making a better yesterday. Vik Maraj’s presentation From Change to Transformation was born out of thousands of hours of performance coaching and consulting with organizations committed to their own reinvention. Ninety-nine percent (99%) of all change management efforts produce a modified version of what already exists in the organization. And organizations hope that these incremental performance gains will carry the day against the unprecedented pace at which local and global environments are shifting.

The deck chairs are shuffled, strategic plans are drawn up, GAP and SWOT analyses are done, yellow stickies litter the walls, and new visions are word-smithed until everyone’s head hurts; all this in the hopes of some marginal increase in profitability, service, or performance. And if we tell the truth about it – not many results or KPI’s will really change in the coming year. And this continues to happen in board rooms or retreats around the world in spite of its proven ineffectiveness.

Why? The answer: Few leaders are successful in dealing with their culture. As Peter Drucker eloquently put it, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” And change is incapable of effectively addressing culture – at best change management deals with the products of the culture: process, roles, org charts, physical space, and behaviour. It does not confront the fundamental DNA of the organization, hence the old adage:

"The more things change the more they stay the same." - Voltaire

So how do you beat this predictable trap?

Answer: Transformation, NOT more Change Management.

So then, what's the difference? Transformation is not “better” change. Transformation produces a “wake up” an “aha”. It reveals what you have not been able to see that has limited your view of success and of life. The result of transformation is an altered state.

From Change to Transformation will describe a unique pathway for accessing breakthrough thinking in which:

  • New possibilities emerge

  • New actions become obvious

  • New conversations start

  • New behaviours become natural

  • A whole new future becomes real.

Vik creates with us what is possible in his From Change to Transformation keynote or workshop:

  • Creation, Aliveness, and Purpose – REAL Purpose – starts to course through the veins of your organization

  • Employees naturally begin to act in ways that fulfil a new future that inspires every one of them

  • Business results move from incremental to breakthrough levels.

Your organization will trade in its old problems for an entirely new problem – the problem of being a leader in territory that only elite organizations have charted before.

If you are serious about making a difference, first for you, then for others – then this is the talk for you. This talk will give you access to transforming your results and your satisfaction as a leader. If you spend anytime at all inside almost any Aboriginal community in Canada you will experience a sense of authenticity, a reverence for life, and above all a sense of being known. I have spent a couple decades working Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples and have gained far more than I have given. This unique talk is intended to honour Aboriginal leadership while exploring what more could be possible. What could be possible if leaders expressed the distinct power of their tradition knowledge and at the same time let go of any lingering impacts from their history?

What could be possible for any leader to express their vision and their passion free of any regrets, resentments, and failures from their past? Letting go of the constrains and the debilitating stories from the past leaves leaders with a clarity of vision and leaves them empowered to reach for it without limitations on what is possible. This talk gives the access for anyone to make this kind of leadership possible – especially leaders of our Canadian Aboriginal Communities.

Without the active and pervasive presence of the feminine voice in leadership the world will continue to evolve at half speed. I have coached developed the leadership of women from over 20 countries around the world. And wherever there is the presence of a feminine voice that company, institution, or society is healthier and more effective.

This talk not only celebrates the enormous power and contribution that feminine leadership is in the world but also highlights the critical features that distinguish feminine leadership. Whether you are a man or a woman, you will leave with a breakthrough in your perspective when it comes to you leadership and all leadership.

Over one million people a week leave a rural community to relocate in a bigger city every week. Why? Most rural communities are dying. That is the straight up truth. Why? In this provocative and illuminating talk you will discover the hidden sources of this ongoing trend – and they are not what you think. You will hear the powerful and practical solutions that have already transformed the futures of some of Alberta’s rural communities. Like you and I, these were ordinary people who discovered an extraordinary access to altering their predictable destiny. Prepare to be provoked and even confronted and ultimately inspired by what is possible for your community.

The unique world of the Not For Profit Sector (NFPS) requires equally unique leadership. To be sustainable while staying true to one’s values and mandate consume the majority of a leader’s waking thoughts. There is likely as much if not more competition in the NFPS as in the corporate world. In many cases the stakes are even higher – the quality and dignity of human life and their security and safety to name a few. This unique talk will highlight several opportunities for leaders to elevate their leadership. Some of these opportunities will be inspiringly obvious and others will require a sobering look in the mirror.

Some of these opportunities include: communicating to stakeholders for a lasting impact and a lasting relationship; uncovering the fundamental inauthenticity that most leaders hide behind that robs them of their influence; exploring the polite but dog eat dog relationship between NFPs; and developing a cohesive team to unleash the unparalleled heart and resilience of the people that chose to work in this sector.

If you are serious about making a difference, first for you, then for others – then this is the talk for you. This talk will give you access to transforming your results and your satisfaction as a leader.

Sometimes having someone external from your industry to tell you what is in store for the future does not identify what can be done today to make the changes needed to prepare for what is ahead. Vik will deliver practical solutions for individuals and leaders to become accountable and strategically work with each other to develop strategic foresight thinking for themselves. He calls this presentation, Rewriting the Future taps into those have the best experience, understanding and skills for developing policies and strategies to enhance programming and strategies. Instead of telling you how to think, he would inspire the audience on how they should start telling. This is an adaptation from his presentation, From Change to Transformation with a focus on how leaders can develop strategies on becoming their own strategic foresight thinkers and leaders. Vik always researches each organization and industry to do an in depth discovery of what is holding them back and what they can do to improve or change for what is coming ahead.

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