Challenging and jolting experiences along with unexpected twists and turns makes navigating work exciting and exhausting. Change and disruption are constant companions on the river, as well as at work, making nimble employees and leaders more vital today than ever. Work is like a whitewater river trip!

Three Consistent Disrupters create rapids.


Pressure is created when the depth or width of the passageway changes and the same, or more, volume of water passes through. In a work environment, pressure exists from similar phenomena. Greg explores both external and internal stimuli.

External: Duties, Details, Deadlines

This spotlights some of the more obvious reasons people experience severe pressure. The weight of responsibilities often surpasses their capacity to manage well. The volume of minutia can flood even the most organized individual. And regularly, limited time frames strain the mental and emotional resources of stellar performers.

Internal: Stress, Worry, Fear

This begins a more interesting conversation about how these negatives impact individuals’ health and wellbeing. Stress is a physical release of toxins in the body. We define worry as “Spending an enormous amount of time exerting mental and emotional energy on people and situations you have no ability to affect.” Fear can permeate and disable a vibrant work environment more suddenly than any other disruptive attribute.


Obstacles wreak the greatest havoc on forward progress, thwart teamwork, and cripple sustained excellence. However, they are inevitable. Lacking business acumen to navigate workplace obstacles skillfully is a punishing disadvantage. Once again a two-fold consideration.

External: People, Resources, Structure

This reveals the universal challenges every organization faces. Some turn these into advantages, others into excuses. You either need more people or need to remove certain people. Limited resources minimize possibilities to the unimaginative or unlocks innovation to the willing. The structure to communicate or make decisions effectively can be fraught with debris.

Internal: Insecurity, Indecision, Integrity

This gets a little more personal. We propose that insecurity is the black plague of the human soul! Where insecurities exist, you will not reach your full potential. Exposing this dastardly evil’s strategy is a highlight. Indecision can obstruct in two ways: your own or those you work with. Integrity isn’t a moral, legal, or ethical issue, it’s about value alignment.

Ironically, obstacles give individuals and organizations advantages. “I love obstacles” will be declared!

  • Obstacles Create Adventures
  • Obstacles Create Inspiration
  • Obstacles Create Distinction


Terrain change happens when the bottom drops out of business as usual. Plunging over a waterfall puts you in a new reality. You won’t be going back up that waterfall and the new normal is different than before. How do individuals and organizations manage this disruption? Unlike the previous two, the ability to navigate this rapid successfully isn’t dependent upon you. It’s connected to the strength of relationships on a team. You don’t paddle down a waterfall, you lean in and hold on.

In this message, Greg brings a raft on stage and gives it away at the end. Not everyone has rafted, but all seem to quickly relate to the theme. The conversations in the audience are rich with real-time challenges and solutions.

An extended version allows exploration of how a river guide models leadership from an entirely fresh perspective.

They exert responsibility when they:

  • Steer
  • Choose best routes
  • Convey instructions
  • Celebrate

Every leader should consider this approach to guiding teams.

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