Stephen Koch

Stephen Koch

Stephen Koch: Leadership learned in the mountains

The world’s only leadership expert who has snowboarded on Mt Everest. Stephen Koch is a pioneering snowboard mountaineer, professional athlete and mountain guide. With over 50 first ascents and descents on the world’s highest and most challenging mountains, he made calculated decisions with a high level of uncertainty in the face of extreme danger. As a thought leader and keynote speaker, Koch analyzes the world of high-stakes decision-making and failure, sharing the gold that has resulted from tragedy as he connects with audiences worldwide.

Extreme Leadership and Decision-Making

Stephen will lead audiences through lessons learned the hard way – in the teeth of an avalanche, leading a team up Mount Everest, making decisions about turning back or heading onward that mean life or death. Audiences will learn how to make decisions when the pace is fast, the dangers extreme, and need to decide imminent.

How to Lead a Team Under Pressure

Today’s business climate demands more from organizations, teams, and leaders than ever before. The pace is faster, the stakes higher, and the changes in the marketplace come more rapidly than ever. Leading a team means being willing to make decisions faster and make bigger bets than ever. Stephen will show audiences how to build an effective team, lead it when it counts, and get out of the way when that’s essential.

The Zen of Leadership

Stephen will take audiences on a thrilling journey through the world of high-stakes decision-making and failure, sharing the gold that has resulted from tragedy as he tells stories about his life in the mountains and helps audiences apply his wisdom to their business dilemmas. 078105  
  • Stephen’s story is unique — he invented the category of mountain snowboarding
  • Stephen’s honesty and authenticity will have audience riveted with his tales of mis-adventure in the mountains
  • Stephen’s understanding of leadership is raw, hard-won, and real in a way that is unique in the world of public speaking


david_sanders David Saunders Vice President, Business Development Energy and Chemical, United States and Canada at Exel, Inc.Stephen spoke at our employee recognition event. Stephen’s message about planning, perserverance, and life balance was really useful in approaching large challenges. Stephen’s presentation of his approach to his snowboarding and climbing achievements was very exciting and set the stage for key takeaways for our team. It was also a pleasure interacting with him after the presentation. February 12, 2014, Ed was Stephen’s client
amy-howell Amy Howell Experienced Administrator and Event PlannerI had the pleasure of working with Stephen Koch as I hired him to be a Keynote Speaker at our National Sales Conference. Stephen was personable and friendly along the way; working directly with him was a great experience. He has an amazing story to share and his outlook on life after his amazing expeditions was unique and truly interesting!
james-duran James Duran Operations Manager – Alaska Venture at Shell Exploration and Production CompanyStephen was able to connect his personal experiences in managing the obvious risks associated with his passion with those of the Shell workforce in the Pinedale Anticline. Stephen was effective in getting the complex topic of risk management to a very basic yet powerful level, one of individual choices and self awareness.