Alan Hobson

Adventurer, Two-Time Cancer Survivor, Resilience and Teamwork Expert

Whether your organization wants to climb back from adversity or hit your peak performance, Alan Hobson delivers. A two-time cancer survivor, world adventurer and bestselling author, Alan is a renowned public speaker and specializes in creating custom-built presentations.

At the age of 29, worldwide adventurer Alan Hobson set out to realize his greatest childhood dream. It took him 10 grueling self-guided and self-organized expeditions to high altitude, including three expeditions to Mt. Everest, each of which required $250,000 to $500,000 in fundraising. When he finally stood on top of the world, the tears of elation froze to his face. He could actually see the curvature of the Earth as the horizon bent in his peripheral vision at 29,035 feet (8,852 m). “Half the dream is done,” the then 39-year-old radioed to base camp as his voice cracked with emotion. “If we’re persistent enough, we can do the dreams.”

Three years later after stepping down from the top of the world, Hobson found himself at the bottom when, in August 2000, at 42, he was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer of the blood and given less than a year to live. Using the hard-won lessons, he learned on Everest, he chose to ignore solid medical evidence that there was an 85 per cent chance he would die and thanks to raw courage, a strong spiritual faith, and the miracles of modern medicine, he not only survived but thrived. Hobson is now one of less than a few dozen people in the world ever to regain an elite level of fitness after an adult blood stem cell transplant for acute leukemia and has been leukemia-free for over decade. In 2010, however, he was again diagnosed with cancer, this time with squamous cell carcinoma. After minor surgery, he was back cross-country skiing within a week. He is now considered to be medically cured and has no lasting significant side effects from either of his cancers or cancer treatments.

On stage, Alan Hobson mesmerizes his speaking audiences with his riveting custom-built presentations. Using his exhaustive 5-step personal preparatory research process, he can make every presentation a one-of-a-kind experience that speaks directly to the specific needs of each group. This approach is unparalleled by any other presenter in the world and has earned him the distinctive title of “The Best Speaker in the World at Creating Custom-Built Presentations”and has appeared on many national television talk shows, including Oprah, and positively affected the lives of thousands of cancer survivors and caregivers worldwide.

Hobson’s achievements go far beyond his inner and outer adventures. He is the international bestselling author of half a dozen books, a former nine-time All-American gymnast, marathon runner, hang glider pilot, white water kayaker, parachutist, journalist, and winner of the prestigious William Randolph Hearst Award for Excellence in News Writing. Alan has scuba dived beneath the ice of frozen mountain lakes in the dead of the Canadian winter, visited sunken wrecks in Lake Geneva, and executed numerous night dives in the frigid and turbulent waters of the north Atlantic. He is a tough man for tough times – an expert at overcoming adversity, managing cataclysmic change, and enduring hostile and life-threatening operating conditions.

5 Reasons why Alan Hobson is the Most Prepared Speaker You Will Ever See

  • Step 1: Alan studies his client’s website(s) & takes detailed notes
  • Step 2: He conducts at least one 60-90-minute telephone interview with senior leaders to discover the unique challenges facing each organization & group.
  • Step 3: He synthesizes the results of Step 1 & 2 into one page & before arriving on-site reviews this with each client to ensure the 100% accuracy of his information
  • Step 4: Whenever possible he arrives two days before his presentation & attends sessions on-site to gather even more up-to-the-minute information about the group
  • Step 5: He commits the information he has gathered to memory & smoothly, accurately & flawlessly integrates it into each personalized presentation in perfect context – not just at the beginning but throughout the entire presentation from start to finish

Topic Presentations

After seven years of preparation, Alan Hobson’s first self-guided, self-organized and corporately sponsored $500,000 expedition to Mt. Everest missed the summit by 3,000 feet when his team’s high camp was blasted off the mountain by gale force winds. He returned home to judgments that he had failed. Instead of becoming disheartened and giving up, he used the hard-won lessons from his expedition to begin again more intelligently. Three years later he was back to Everest with half the budget of his first expedition, half the personnel and no bottled oxygen. This time his team missed the top by just two city blocks when their lead climber developed severe high-altitude sickness. His team members decided to try to rescue him rather than continue blindly for the summit. They saved his life, but it cost them the summit.

It ended Hobson’s second expedition. Again, he returned home to allegations that he and his team had failed. Undeterred, another three years of intense fundraising, training, and organizational work later, he returned a third time to Everest and finally made it safely to and from the summit. Ironically, an even harder climb lay ahead. Three years after reaching the top of the world, he found himself at the bottom when he was diagnosed with the very aggressive blood cancer, acute leukemia, and given less than a year to live. At diagnosis, 90% of the cells in his bone marrow were cancerous. Again however, Alan defied the skeptics.

Alan Hobson made a 100% recovery. Today he has been leukemia-free for over 12 years and is one of less than a few dozen people in the world ever to have regained an elite level of fitness after an adult blood stem cell transplant for the treatment of leukemia – a tiny fraction of the number of people who have climbed Mt. Everest. And, he is officially medically cured. Through the brilliance of resilience, Alan shows audiences how to triumph in turbulent times and turn setbacks into comebacks. If your group is struggling to overcome adversity, this presentation will give them the tools they need to win today — and tomorrow.

We can’t do it alone. We can’t climb big mountains alone and we can’t take on big organizational challenges alone either. Each of Alan Hobson's three self-guided, self-organized and corporately sponsored $500,000 expeditions to Mt. Everest consisted of 10 to 20 expedition members from different countries, cultures and customs. They had different languages and faiths. They ate different foods. They even looked at Everest differently. Yet united around one common goal and skillfully organized and led, they executed near flawlessly. How? By sticking together and surviving the avalanches, the injuries, the setbacks, the storms and the storms of uncertainty together.

Hobson's first expedition to Everest took seven years to finance, organize and execute. It ended 3,000 feet short of the summit when the team’s high camp was blasted off the mountain by gale-force winds. Undeterred, three years later Alan and his team were back on Everest with half the budget, half the team members and no bottled oxygen. This time, the team’s lead climber came down with life-threatening high-altitude sickness just two city blocks from the top. After crawling on his hands and knees back into the team’s high camp, the expedition launched a grueling 33-hour continuous rescue to save his life. Everyone came home safely but so ended their second expedition. Finally, another three years later, Alan’s team succeeded in putting almost half its climbers on top of the world — a feat equaled by very few teams in Everest’s long and storied climbing history.

Unbelievably, an even greater triumph of teamwork lay ahead. Three years after stepping down from the top of the world, Alan had to step up to the base of a medical mountain more challenging than Everest. His team consisted of hundreds of team members, many of whom Alan never even met. Yet in the end, the team saved his life and today, he embraces life more than ever before. “We’ve all heard the expression, ‘There’s no ‘I’ in the word ‘team,’” he says. “Well for me, there would be no ‘I’ were it not for a team.” If your team is struggling or if you just want to bring them closer together around a story that will uplift them, inspire them and show them what it takes to work and win as a team, this presentation is for you.

Even before he could read, Alan Hobson dreamed of climbing Mt. Everest because he’d seen pictures of it in books. Then, when he began to read he discovered the fascinating stories of high altitude mountaineers and he asked himself one question. "What did they have that enabled them to do these amazing things? They were doing things that were apparently impossible to do,” Alan observes. “They were surviving for days, weeks, even months with insufficient sleep, insufficient food, insufficient shelter and insufficient oxygen."

Temperatures regularly reached 40 degrees below zero and winds hit 50 and 60 miles per hour. The specter of death went everywhere they went. So what did they have that enabled them not only to survive, but to thrive in these kinds of hostile operating conditions?” In this presentation, Alan answers the question and, in the process, pinpoints the key to all effective leadership – self- leadership. We cannot lead others unless we first lead ourselves. That doesn’t start from an external goal. It starts from an internal drive. Fuel this drive in your leaders – and followers. This presentation ignites it.

After three self-guided, self-organized and corporately sponsored $500,000 expeditions to Mt. Everest, an experienced Alan Hobson finally stepped onto the roof of the world. It was a true triumph of tenacity almost two decades in the making. In this presentation, he shows audiences that even when times are hard, if we remain focused on executional excellence and maintain a relentless upward drive toward higher performance and continuous learning, we really can achieve the ultimate.

Hobson's powerful personal example resonates on both an individual and organizational level. When this is combined with his trademark customization of every presentation in perfect context and with 100% accuracy, the results are impressive. This keynote is a must-see for any individual or organization aspiring to greater heights of performance, unity and results.

It happens to everyone. You establish a goal but fall short of achieving it. You try again, but a competing priority suddenly requires you to shift your focus, or your resources. Then, you finally succeed, only to be blindsided by the unexpected. Alan Hobson faced all of these situations on his three self-guided, self-organized and corporately sponsored $500,000 expeditions to Mt. Everest and while climbing back from near-terminal cancer. In this spellbinding fully personalized presentation, he draws invaluable connections between the priceless lessons of his life experiences and the specific challenges you face personally and organizationally. Hobson inspires audiences to transform obstacles into opportunities and emerge more nimble, stronger and smarter than ever before. As it turns out, it all comes down to two words. That may sound simple but what we can do with the knowledge is powerful.

After his first self-guided, self-organized and corporately sponsored $500,000 Everest expedition did not make it to the top, Alan’s second attempt missed the summit by just two city blocks when the expedition’s lead climber came down with life-threatening high altitude sickness. His team worked for 33 continuous hours and saved the man’s life, but it meant postponing the achievement of their goal. Discouraged, but not defeated, Hobson walked away again with another set of precious lessons and started over on his third expedition with renewed determination. This time, he succeeded in safely climbing to and from the top of the world. Then came an avalanche of a different sort. In today’s tough economic times, instant adaptability and psychological resilience are essential to success. Alan Hobson shows audiences how to rise to the challenge of cataclysmic change and effectively re-prioritize without losing sight of their mission, vision, values or objectives. Beyond that, the possibilities are limitless – if we stay focused on what we can manage. This presentation unleashes possibilities and pinpoints the keys to peak performance amid change.

In today’s environment of uncertainty and constant change, Alan Hobson's messages of adaptability, tenacity and teamwork could not be more timely. He offers practical tools for managing the unexpected, as well as those challenges we can more easily predict. The hard-won wisdom he has garnered on the outer and inner Everests of his life have real world relevance, applicability and power. When he links it directly to your specific challenges using his trademark customization process, the results are palpable. He is a tough man for tough times but a master at making his messages immediately applicable today – the perfect guide for anyone facing an Everest of ambiguity, uncertainty and the unknown. So get ready for the climb of  your  life! This presentation is all about finding opportunity where we least expect it.

Three years after Everest, Alan faced his biggest mountain – an inner Everest. Diagnosed with the aggressive blood cancer, acute leukemia, and given less than a year to live, he refused to give up. At diagnosis, 90% of the cells in his bone marrow were cancerous. He endured over 500 hours of chemotherapy, including 120 hours of high dose chemotherapy designed to completely eliminate his immune system. Then, at the 11th hour, his life was saved by the modern day equivalent of a bone marrow transplant, an adult blood stem cell transplant. After the transplant, he was so weak that he could not stand for more than a minute – and he had stood on top of the world.

Today, he is one of less than a few dozen people ever to regain an elite level of fitness after an adult blood stem cell transplant for leukemia – a tiny fraction of the number of people who have climbed Mt. Everest. But Alan Hobson's inner adventure wasn’t over. In 2010, he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, a preliminary form of bowel cancer. It required surgery but amazingly he was back cross-country skiing within a week. Hobson is now considered to be officially medically cured. He is living proof that no mountain, no matter what kind, is insurmountable. This presentation provides a refreshing new perspective on adversity, opportunity and the power inside all of us. It’s a must-see for any healthcare group looking for inspiration, illumination and a mountain of a message that’s instantly applicable in today’s healthcare environment.

Whether your organization wants to climb back from adversity or to reach peak performance, Alan Hobson delivers. A two-time cancer survivor, world adventurer and bestselling author, Hobson is the best speaker in the world at creating custom-built presentations. First, he exhaustively studies each audience using online research and personal interviews with organizational leaders. Then he accurately and seamlessly weaves this information into gripping true stories from his own life experiences – in perfect context. The powerful result is one-of-a-kind inspirational presentations tailor-made for individual and organizational impact. His Fortune 100 and 500 clients consistently rave about his ability to make the essence of do-or-die high stakes adventure applicable to business and the business of life — your life.

Topics and Themes he is asked to address:

  • The Brilliance of Resilience

  • The Triumph of Teamwork

  • Leadership from Within

  • Executing with Excellence

  • What it Takes to Win

  • Bouncing Back from Setbacks

  • Triumphing in Turbulent Times

  • Rising to the Challenge of Change

  • Turning Setbacks into Comebacks

  • Transforming Uncertainty into Opportunity

  • The Capacity of Tenacity

  • The Power of Preparation

  • The Force of Focus

  • The Success in “Failure”

  • Climb Back from Cancer!

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Climb Back From Cancer: A Survivor and Caregiver's Inspirational Journey

Climb Back from Cancer - A Survivor and Caregiver's Inspirational Journey is both a gripping true adventure story and a touching love story. At the age of 42, international bestselling author, Mt. Everest climber and summiteer, Alan Hobson, believed scaling the world's tallest peak would be the biggest challenge he would face in his life. Over a decade, he had endured three grueling expeditions to Everest before finally standing on top on his third attempt. Then he had turned his ambition to becoming the best adventure speaker in the world. But three years after Everest, he came face to face with an even bigger mountain: he was diagnosed with acute leukemia, a cancer of the blood, and given less than a year to live. With the help of his fiancée, Cecilia, he not only survived, but thrived, and the couple emerged all the stronger from their shared trial. Climb Back from Cancer is their inspiring account of commitment, teamwork and triumph. The story offers not only a living example of how to climb back from cancer, but demonstrates how to transform adversity into opportunity. It includes "The 10 Tools of Triumph" for survivors and caregivers -- what the couple considers to be the key psychological skills required not only to survive life-threatening illness, but to thrive beyond it. Powerful, relevant and moving. A "must-read" for every patient, survivor and caregiver.

From Everest to Enlightenment - An Adventure of the Soul

If you’ve read Into Thin Air, youve got to read this! Its another side of Everest, a spiritually uplifting true story about how an ordinary man achieved his greatest dream and how you can achieve yours. This is the inspirational story of how world adventurer, Adventrepreneur , and professional speaker, Alan Hobson, took the failure of two previous expeditions to Mount Everest and turned them into a resounding personal triumph a year after the 1996 Everest disaster. No one dies, but a few truly live. Over 40 stunning color photographs, hundreds of inspirational quotations. Guaranteed to leave you breathless!

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