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Against giants.


David Lim is best known in Singapore for leading the 1st Singapore Mt Everest Expedition in 1998 which succeeded in placing two members on the summit. The climb captured the imagination of the entire country and helped reset the parameters of what could be achieved by the small, flat, tropical island nation.

A week after his return from Everest, he was totally paralysed by the rare nerve disorder Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Artificially ventilated for 42 days, he spent six months in hospital before returning home.

Though he was permanently disabled in both legs, he made a dramatic comeback to climbing the world’s great mountains, and returned once more to Everest in 2001. David’s climbing resume includes leadership in over 70 alpine ascents including two expeditions to Mt Everest and many SE Asian first ascents. In 2005, he made the 3rd solo ever of the world’s highest volcano, and three virgin peaks ascents in Central Asia. In 2007, he and his partner made a rare crossing, on foot, and unsupported, across the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt desert. After climbing his 7th virgin peak (Qinghai, China, Sep 2012), The Sunday Times described him as “unstoppable”.

Current work

David’s company helps organisations build teams and grow leaders through consulting, speaking, and programmes. In the corporate world, he spent nearly a decade in the media industry with positions in marketing, journalism management and multimedia. His other positions include being and adjunct lecturer at INSEAD Business School (since 2000)

David’s presentation style is breezy, humourous, and yet with an edge to make audiences consider embracing specific changes in their beliefs. David is the first Singaporean to receive the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, the highest accreditation for professional speakers, and only held by 11% of professional speakers in the 6000-member Global Speakers Federation. In Dec 2013, he was the first group of CSPs to receive the CSPGlobal designation.

Previous experience

Presentations: David and his team have delivered programmes and presentations in over 30 countries and 71 cities worldwide.. His clients include Google, Linkedin, Walmart, Accenture, Rockwell Automation, IBM, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, IKEA, Intel, Ministry of Finance, Danone, Prudential, AXA, TATA Steel, Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank, and Novartis.

Author: He was educated in Singapore, and Britain, and graduated with a law degree from Cambridge University. David is author of the best-seller “Mountain to Climb” and “Against Giants” and is also an accredited coach, and workshop leader. His latest book is “How Leaders Lead: 71 Lessons in Leading Yourself and Others”, now in its 3rd print.

Your keynote speech... has left every one of us at once inspired and humbled. Many were speechless and lost in introspection; others were searching for words to express a sudden surge of self-belief; and at least one participant kept repeating that it was an event that has already changed his life. When we did a re-cap the next morning, participants fell over each other to call out their favourite point from your presentation. We filled three slides with the points that were recalled. Thank you for an outstanding performance. Cholamandalam Investment & Finance Company Ltd

To tell the truth, I was sceptical at first - that this teambuilding programme could make a difference. But since the programme, people have been more pro-active, and I have been getting more reports and information from staff in a timely and helpful fashion.

J. D. Power Asia Pacific, Inc.

I enjoyed your session and benefited from it; particularly the interactive style you adopted and the exercise you engaged participants on the selection of your Mt Everest team for final push. The use of actual life examples was powerful to illustrate each of your strategic points. For me, your session of 90 minutes or more just flew by.

AXA Insurance

Your presentation was right on Target. These top Premier qualifiers are in the top one tenth of 1% but account for well over 10% of our new business. You have raised their sights and made them realize that they have so much more to achieve if they take advantage of the here and now. Your real life examples touched our hearts and minds As you said, achieving meaningful stretch targets is the real key because anyone can simply set a goal.

American International Insurance

Thanks a lot for the Resilience Quotient™ profiling. It was an interesting session and the feedback that we have received from participants has been very positive. They feel that your session was extremely useful for them and they were able to relate it to their work. Thanks once again and hope to interact with you in other assignments in future.

Murugappa-Cholamandalam Group
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