Chris Warner

My guest today, Chris Warner, is a high-altitude climber, entrepreneur, author and sought-after corporate speaker. He also owns the successful indoor climbing gym franchise Earth Treks Climbing Centers. Obviously, Chris is a guy who goes big in business and life but he’s also very approachable and has a lot to teach us as business owners. That’s why I love today’s episode of The Intrepid Entrepreneur. And one more reason? Chris has a great sense of humor!

Chris has been guiding domestically and leading international climbing expeditions since 1987. He’s summited over 120 times on peaks of 19,000 feet, and his rescue of other climbers on Mt. Everest was featured in National Geographic Adventure. He knows a thing or two about facing fear and still jumping in with both feet. But Chris had a moment of clarity when a friend posed the question to him: “as someone who takes such risks in your personal life, why won’t you take a risk with your career?”

That was a turning point for him and since then, he’s been taking the knowledge and insight gained through years of climbing, and applying it to business. It’s working for him as an entrepreneur (he’s the founder of Earth Treks Climbing Centers) and it’s working for the hundred-million dollar companies who hire him to speak. Let it work for you today.

Chris is also the author of High Altitude Leadership, which is the platform of what he teaches. I saw Chris speak at the Bicycle Leadership Conference in Monterey, Calif., and he’s incredible! The parallels he makes between climbing teams and teams in business covers trust as a team, focus, culture, and commitment required in both business and climbing. In fact, Chris’ insight and knowledge about who benefits the team and who holds it back is so profound that dramatic personnel changes are often made very soon after he speaks at a company.

In this show, Chris and I dig into why the team has to come before the individual, how stories open people’s minds, why entrepreneurs are in the business of opportunity, not strategy, and why when you make people have fun, they do their best work. All that and so much more, so get ready to take notes implement what you learn, on this episode of Intrepid Entrepreneur!


Bravery in Business Quote

“Just make people have fun, and they’ll do their best work.” – Chris Warner

(click to tweet)

The Cliff Notes

  • The themes and concepts that run through stories about an adventurous life outdoors are universal, and broadly applicable to life and business
  • If it’s more important that you personally reach the peak (read: success) than that your team does, you’re probably headed for disaster
  • Even if you have all of the information, if no one is listening to you, it’s useless. You have to find a way to get it across. This is where the story comes in
  • Stories open people’s minds. Once the minds are open, you can fill them with helpful information, but not before
  • Don’t try too hard to engineer your future. Life will take you places you can’t imagine, and if you tried to engineer it, you would just end up wrong
  • Entrepreneurs are in the opportunity business, not the strategy business
  • Culture comes from the bottom of an organization as well as the top
  • Make people have fun, and they’ll do their best work


“Do not engineer your future, because life is so exciting you don’t know when the next better thing is coming.” – Chris Warner

(click to tweet)

Habit for Success

Be open-minded enough to analyze every opportunity that comes your way. Entrepreneur are in the business of opportunity, not strategy. If you’re too focused on the way you think it should happen, you might miss the incredible opportunities that come your way.


Chris Warner’s Speaking Website:

Book: “High Altitude Leadership” by Chris Warner

Join the Conversation