Michael O’Donnell

Michael O’Donnell, Everest 2001, Speaker, Trainer and Personal Coach

For over 30 years, Michael O’Donnell has been one of the world’s most respected mountain guides and world-class explorers. Mr. O’Donnell is a Fellow of the prestigious New York Explorers Club and is an expert corporate trainer and personal life coach. O’Donnell’s life is a story of challenge, commitment, and survival. When not guiding experienced or physically challenged climbers to the summits of the world’s highest peaks, O’Donnell assists top executives from around the world to develop new insights for leadership and organizational development. In May 2001, O’Donnell and his teammates reached the summit of Mt. Everest. On this expedition, Michael was instrumental in guiding climber Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to reach the top of the world. As an acclaimed team builder and corporate coach, Michael brings the same passion and expertise in guiding organizations to peak performance. When guiding or motivating a work force through a tumultuous business atmosphere, O’Donnell does so with the magic of an alchemist.

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Woven into his life experiences is a lifetime of business management expertise in a variety of industries. A successful 10-year management career with Schlumberger Offshore helped Mr. O’Donnell develop key insights into business cultural affairs. He has also worked extensively in the power line industry as a highly sought after rigging and safety consultant. He is also the recipient of numerous safety and management awards. Michael has helped many companies achieve new heights in safety and time management.

In addition to his broad experience, Mr. O’Donnell has also been actively involved in the movie industry as a climber, rigging consultant, and set designer. He has also been a personal coach and trainer for such notable actors as Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Belushi, and George Clooney.

Michael has helped produce high-powered results in industries across the board. He uses a very powerful, but simple process called “Best Year Yet” to help achieve results in organizations throughout the world. For more than twenty years, “Best Year Yet” has helped individuals, teams, and organizations produce tangible results year after year. This simple, yet effective process in an annual planning and implementation system designed for leadership teams that want to create  focus, alignment, accountability, and breakthrough.

Recently chosen as the MPI Speaker of the year by the San Diego chapter of MPI, Michael has been featured in numerous newspaper articles and radio and television broadcasts. O’Donnell delivers a high impact multi-media presentation designed to give his audience a “take it to work and use it tomorrow” principles and techniques. A master of motivation, he hands each audience member the same tools that allow him to achieve and survive in the world’s most demanding environments, whether they be indoors or outdoors.

“I really enjoyed the Michael O’Donnell’s presentation.  I found it very inspirational.  Focusing on the human element as the key ingredient for success in a challenging endeavor is a unique way of presenting human performance concepts.  So often we focus on the human element as the weak link and address it from the negative perspective.  Courage, conviction, perseverance, flexibility, teamwork and trust, are just some of the positive human performance concepts Michael drove home during his presentation.  These characteristics will be key to our success during the upcoming outage.  Michael’s presentation drove home one underlying theme to me; ‘working together we can overcome obstacles that seem impossible'”.

John W. Smith

Sr. Nuclear Operations Training Instructor

CR3 Training Department

“Mr. O’Donnell is the most inspiring, enthusiastic, and authentic speakers I have had the pleasure of experiencing. He really walks his talk.”

Kevin Sreenan

President of Marketing


“Wow! Life holds so many lessons and Michael really brought home the importance of all those lessons in our everyday lives. He also brought life and energy to our conference giving us hope, courage and inspiration to forge ahead in these difficult times.”

Susan Cruz

Vice President

Merrill Lynch

“Michael O’Donnell is a superb speaker and storyteller. He speaks from the heart and as a result, connects intimately with his audience. He expertly weaves his personal challenges and triumphs, which are moving, into the framework of the listener’s experiences, thus providing unforgettable allegories.”

Hank Grimmick

Board Member

Malcolm Baldridge Award

“Michael O’Donnell is one of the most inspirational speakers I have ever met. He has a special gift for making people’s dream come true – he really knows how to get to the results. His achievements give new meaning to the word’s “track record”. If you have a chance to work with Michael, don’t think twice!”

Jinny Ditzler

Author “Your Best Year Yet”

Some of his past Clients:

  • Toyota
  • General Motors
  • Merrill Lynch
  • La Petite Academy
  • Quantum
  • Cox Communications
  • Wachovia Bank
  • Four Seasons Resorts
  • Aramark Services
  • Clear Channel
  • Aventis Pharmaceuticals
  • San Diego Meeting Planners InternationalTo achieve the summit of your next business conference, club meeting, training seminar or social function, contact us


To reach the summit of your next business conference, club meeting, training seminar, or social function, contact us:


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