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Outstanding yachtsman, inspirational adventurer, author.


Pete Goss is an outstanding yachtsman, inspirational Adventurer, company director and author of best-selling book Close to the Wind. He competed in seven transatlantic and two round-the-world races and has sailed more than 300,000 nautical miles.

Pete has taken on numerous endeavours that share the same four principles; innovation, technology, challenge and adventure. An acclaimed International Speaker, he draws on his experiences to offer leadership and management talks, team-building exercises and training sessions, inspiring individuals and groups to achieve beyond what they thought possible.

Whether Pete is taking on the next sailing challenge or heading expeditions to the North Pole he combines a competitive tenacity with a keen 'will to win'.

From design to completion Pete managed every aspect of the 15 projects he took on. His stories create an interesting, motivating tapestry through which he weaves business lessons learned. A natural communicator with a dynamic but informal style, Pete never ceases to amuse, entertain and inform.

Current work

A regular lecturer at business schools, he is an Associate Fellow of Said Business School Oxford University.

Previous experience

Sailing: Recently Pete built the 37’ Cornish Lugger 'Spirit of Mystery' (as seen on BBC Coast) which he sailed with family members, including his fourteen year-old son to Melbourne. This recreated the voyage of the smallest migrant vessel to make it to Australia 150 years ago. Rowing out of harbour and navigating by the stars, they faced many challenges including a ferocious Southern Ocean storm that rolled them upside-down and broke a crewman's leg. However they still reached Australia together. In addition to this Pete circumnavigated Tasmania by sea kayak; with limited communication he was exposed once again to the Southern Ocean and the notorious Bass Strait.

REscue: Pete first captured global headlines whilst competing in the Vendee Globe single-handed non-stop round the world yacht race. Risking his own life in the midst of a fierce Southern Ocean hurricane Pete turned his yacht around to rescue French sailor Raphael Dinelli. Once Pete had dropped Raph off in Tasmania he completed the race, coming fifth. In recognition of his courage Pete was awarded the Legion d'Honneur and an MBE and voted World Sailor of the Year.

Training: He trained and led the original set of amateur crews for the British Steel Challenge (generally regarded to be the toughest yacht race in the world). Pete talks positively and with passion about leading teams through exciting but often complex, difficult and dangerous situations.

World Record: Always keen to defy convention he attempted a world record with a revolutionary catamaran, Team Philips (which was sadly brought to a halt by a freak storm in the Atlantic). This was a five-year project where Pete headed up a workforce of more than 100 employees, brokered multi-million pound sponsorship deals and assisted with the creation of several new companies. Handling these complex and often conflicting pressures, gave Pete a unique insight into the challenges that face every organisation.

Talking Points

Dare to Dream

More astronauts have circled the globe than single-handed sailors.

The Southern Ocean is known as the most desolate place in the world.

Imagine you are competing in a single-handed round the world yacht race and you are in the midst of a fierce Southern Ocean hurricane.
You are thinking of your family when suddenly you hear a mayday call.
Do you risk your own life, turn your yacht around and prepare to sail into the unknown to rescue a stranger?

Pete Goss’s humorous, emotional and compelling storytelling takes you with him to that moment of truth.

You are left realizing that Pete’s success rests on the shoulders of a very broad team that challenged the norm through innovation and technology, adapting to the disruption of change. From creating new yachting concepts, studying sleep patterns, analysing dietary requirements and developing personal resilience.

Pete has a “can-do” spirit that’s infectious. His exploits are both inspirational and awe-inspiring. When he recounts his adventures and you feel you are at sea by his side!

With remarkable skill Pete, a successful businessman in his own right, takes real life adventures and relates them to todays business situations. He reinforces lessons in Leadership, The Importance of Teamwork, Risk and How to Make Things Happen.

This talk will touch you, stay with you and influence your thinking.

Leadership Reflections

‘Leadership Challenges the norm whereas management makes it more efficient.’

‘The best teams are all leaders, it’s an ethos, an attitude’.

Imagine starting with a sketch, a sketch that stretches the norm and then turning that sketch into reality. Where would you start, what would your guiding principles be?

How would you ignore those timid experts that choose to judge future potential by polishing the past rather than challenging it?

Leaders must have mental resilience, be credible, they are judged and must judge themselves by their actions.

Spirit of Mystery

Weaving a story through history, family, risk and adventure. This is a unique, amusing yet thought provoking speech recreating Pete’s journey on-board the ‘Spirit of Mystery’.

Adventures on Land and Sea

This is a mix of funny but thought provoking anecdotes from every thing Pete has done so far - from racing in the Vendee, pushing the boundaries of boat design with Team Philips, having an integral role in The British Steel Challenge, leading 4 expeditions to the North Pole to being a the Royal Marine, raising a family and working on a Salvage Tug!

Conference Themes

Mental Resilience - Having the mental capacity to keep going when things don’t go to plan.

The importance of Team - picking the right team is imperative but how you keep all members of the team motivated, feeling involved, valued through listening, communication, sharing and good delegation is what brings the magic to successful teams.

Planning for Success - for all Pete's adventures he has to have a plan in place years in advance - sharing his knowledge of how he does this and sticks with the plan is hugely valuable to corporate leaders.

Follow your dreams. Pete is a living example of how to do this - any of his stories will leave the right message.

Working collaboratively, Dealing with change, Working across borders and cultures, Innovation, Technology, Challenge, Adventure, Leadership, Responsibility, Vision, Values, Trust, Learning from your mistakes, Risk, Peak performance.
I have just spent the morning listening to you speak at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Leadership Community Forum. I just wanted to say thank you for presenting to us today, I don’t think I have heard such an inspiring presentation. Few people in life make you stop and think but your story made me re-appraise the way I approach my role. I left the forum feeling inspired and energised. Corporate Planning and Projects Manager, Trust Headquarters, Pinderfields Hospital.

“Pete was superb, a genuinely brilliant inspiration. For the most the best talk on Leadership they’d heard in their entire career - to put this into perspective Pete was briefing to 280+ officers from across the armed forces, 80 of whom are international, all of whom live and breathe ‘Leadership’ daily. By my calculation that’s an audience with over 4000 years of Leadership experience (!), all of whom were immensely motivated, inspired and humbled. What a great bloke”.

Advanced Command and Staff Course at the Joint Services Command and Staff College

“Pete was recommended to us as a motivational and leadership speaker. We wanted to put him in front of our customers, a senior group of no nonsense operational management. Having not seen Pete speak before, I was apprehensive. His session was a keynote, the audience was tough, but one minute into his speech, the attention was 100%. You could hear a pin drop, everyone related to his adventure and story of determination in business. We were all truly motivated by it. In our feedback survey everyone voted 5/5 for Pete, we would definitely hire him again!”

Director of Corporate Marketing, TECSYS Inc. USA. TECSYS Inc: - SmartVision Summit.
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