Sharon Wood has never considered herself a hero but, in 1986, she became the first woman in North America to climb Mount Everest – the world’s highest peak. It was an astonishing personal and team accomplishment under conditions of extreme physical and mental duress. It was an example of ordinary people achieving extraordinary results.
Wood’s climb of Everest was only one facet of more than 20 years’ experience as a professional and elite mountaineer, with numerous ascents of summits over 20,000 feet to her credit. Since climbing Mount Everest, Wood has addressed hundreds of groups worldwide as a keynote speaker. Her presentation is a compelling true story of beating the odds. She speaks about meeting that challenge, and about the associated struggles and gains that closely parallel those of most striving individuals and organizations. Through her personal disclosure of confronting and overcoming challenges and fears, she succeeds in using the imposing example of climbing the highest mountain in the world to provide her audiences with a tangible means of grasping the essence of her story – living and working closer to our potential.
Wood’s dedication to the pursuit of our potential was also expressed in her service as founder and chairperson of a fully accredited, non-denominational private school in her hometown of Canmore, Alberta, Canada. The school’s objective is to foster confidence and lifelong learning skills, while inspiring development of the unique strengths possessed by every child. Today, Mountain Gate Community School has expanded and continues to offer an alternative education option to the community.
Through powerful anecdotes and vivid analogies, Wood conveys the critical element of team success. For anyone wanting to be more effective in life, her story is an inspiration.