Joe Simpson has stared at death in the face and survived. In 1985 he and climbing partner Simon Yates attempted the previously unclimbed West Face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. On the way back down at 6,000m Simpson broke his leg and became separated from Yates in major storm. They were separated by Yates who was forced to cut the rope that kept them attached to one another during the storm for survival purposes. Simon Yates was also fortunate to survive.
Simpson underwent numerous surgical operations as a result of the broken leg sustained on Siula Grande and was told by doctors that he would never climb again and would have trouble walking for the rest of his life. Two years later he was back climbing the world’s toughest mountains, but would never forget Siula Grande. His published account of the near fatal climb ‘Touching the Void’ became a best seller around the world and has sold over 2 million copies and been made into a movie by the same name drawing further fame to Simpson. The debate about Simon Yates cutting the safety rope lingers on.
On a highly personal note he tells how faith, endurance and discipline can get take you to places you can never imagine. The overriding feeling is one of total amazement and that no matter how tough things may get, there is a way to not only come through it, but to achieve even greater goals. Joe is able to do a certain amount of fine tuning and his presentation deals with many issues that are important to most organisations. Touching the Void deals with planning, strategy, teamwork, goal setting, leadership, responsibility, motivation and our ability to reach beyond what we thought was possible.
"The 200 or so CEO's who attended, universally praised your enthusiasm and passion...the comparisons of your story with the pitfalls of business were clear to everyone. One of many comments from delegates were... 'this is one of the most gripping presentations I have seen (and I've seen plenty), Joe can really make us question how hard did we try and were we really committed"