Founder, The Wild Institute
Award winning speaker and business owner, Chris Heeter, is out to create a wild revolution in the workplace. As a wilderness guide for over 28 years, Chris has led and worked with countless teams, helping them literally and figuratively, find their way as a group and as individuals.
Featured on The Discovery Channel's National Geographic Today, Chris brings decades of wilderness leadership experience indoors, to offices and off-sites, working with teams and leaders, helping us all recognize that work doesn't have to be so complicated.
She believes that teamwork and leadership boil down to three simple elements: self-knowledge, compassionate presence, and courageous conversations. In other words, it boils down to being your full wild self-having the courage to bring the gift of all of who you are to all of what you do.
Chris's amazing life serves as the canvas for her many memorable, easy to implement, life-changing tools that apply to individuals, teams and leaders in organizations all across the country. Her entertaining stories and incredibly insightful lessons were learned as much from her sled dogs, (a team of 16 Alaskan Huskies that she bred, raised, and trained as a team), as they were from the rivers that serve as the backdrop for the many whitewater trips that she has guided over the last 3 decades. Bottom line? Chris exemplifies wild!
She converted a 1950's rambler into a cabin in the city near Minneapolis, tearing down walls, using reclaimed barn timber flooring, passive solar, and on-going tree planting. She heats her home with wood, gardens organically, and shares her life with many four and two-legged loved ones.
But best of all, Chris is determined to help you awaken your wild side because when we let our WILD show, everybody wins. Your organization, your team, and especially you!
You have your team, now what?
Managing personalities, finding the good in every “dog”
The stupid side of the rock: when being right is less important than being a team
Boring meetings? Disengaged teams? Lifeless leadership? Shake it up. The Wild at work approach reminds us that working together doesn’t have to be so complicated.
At the end of the day, leadership and teamwork boil down to engaging a wide range of laughable, but dedicated personalities, calling out their strengths, and working effectively together.
•Highlight the strengths and skills of each individual in your group
•Strengthen leaders through self-knowledge, compassionate presence, and courageous conversations
•Build high-performing teams that dare to engage, speak up, and care
•Integrate a Wild philosophy into your workplace, where individuals, teams, and the organization itself has the courage to bring the gift of all of who they are to all of what they do
They all pull sleds, but they’re not all the same: sled dogs, diversity, and fresh perspectives in working together
Navigating the rapids of diversity: staying upright, working together, and leaning downstream
Your organization may already have diversity and inclusion initiatives for groups around gender, ethnicity, age, and preferences. The best organizations are finding new ways to look past labels and appreciate the individuality and humanity of everyone on their team.
The Wild approach to diversity not only helps minimize assumptions, but also helps us recognize and call out the individual talent and originality that helps organizations thrive and grow.
•Improve communication through understanding and appreciating differences
•Learn to approach diversity with curiosity and humility, leading with your strengths and calling out the strengths of the individuals on your team
•Gain greater awareness of your own impact on others and fresh inspiration about the importance of believing in one another
•Unleash your Wild side (free, authentic, creative, present, bold) at work, encourage it in your team, and see how everyone benefits, including the business
Pace yourself and don’t snap at your team-mates: sled dog wisdom for joy and wellbeing in the workplace
Beyond the measurements and comparisons: finding the well in wellbeing
Wild well-being means being whole-hearted and present. Through stories, examples, and interaction, Wild programs challenge everyone to show up in all areas of life with courageous authenticity.
Wild well-being doesn’t always mean feeling comfortable, it means staying present and being willing to tolerate discomfort to gain insights into your true Wild self.
•Discover a different way to think about wellbeing—less about “shoulds” and more about doing your best right where you are
•Learn how to re-group and re-ground yourself in the moment
•Envision how your Wild self (free, authentic, creative, whole, daring) can be present in all areas of your life
•Find ways that wellbeing can be more attainable in daily life