MA Leadership student Shawn Stratton has parlayed his adventure leadership experience into a career as a professional speaker and consultant. His story was featured in this week’s InRoads and on our website.
“We can do so much on our own in the face of adversity, but we can do so much more with our team,” speaker Shawn Stratton tells the Tedx audience in St. John’s, Newfoundland. “When you’re faced with adversity, ask for help from your team.”
The crowd cheers. Stratton, a student in the MA Leadership program, has just concluded his 14-minute talk about leading a group of U.S. college students on a month-long trek through the Himalayan Mountains and overcoming an unexpected setback.
One student, Dave, had a bad fall down a 60-foot drainage when he was collecting water and broke his leg. It was 20 minutes before the group heard his screams and worked together to get Dave to safety. It was another 20 hours before a helicopter could rescue the young man, whose tibia was sticking out. As the helicopter left, Stratton was overcome with emotion. He buried his head in the snow and cried; it was the first time he broke down on an expedition in his 15-year career.
“It was a complete release of emotion,” Stratton says. “I was so happy that Dave was getting out of the mountains, but I think I was more overcome by how this team kicked into gear and relied on each other to get Dave out of the mountains safely. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. When you’re faced with adversity, you need to rely on your team.”
View the Times Colonist InRoads page that was published Sept. 5.