Michael McGrath made history in 2004 by becoming the first disabled person to lead expeditions to both the North and South Poles. What makes this achievement all the more remarkable is that in 1984, aged just 18 years, Michael was diagnosed with the muscle wasting disease Muscular Dystrophy (MD).
The journey gave rise to a new life plan, inspiring Michael to embark on a career as an internationally recognised motivational business speaker. He has built an enviable list of clients, providing carefully tailored speeches for organisations including HMRC, PwC, Shell, Hilton Hotels and the NHS.
Leadership, courage and trust combined with resolute self-belief, confidence, teamwork and a singularly focused obsession towards achieving desired outcomes were critical success factors – Michael McGrath draws on these experiences, giving wider business and life lessons.
Michael’s talks are always individually crafted around different client objectives and themes – presentations are laced with anecdotes from his polar achievements, insights from his experiences of life and lessons learned are all used to reinforce key business messages. Over the years, Michael’s reputation for listening, interpreting and then shaping a presentation that resonates with his audiences is well known – he takes time to speak to and learn about an organisation as part of the client/speaker briefing process which underpins his own research; this is one of Michael’s key points of difference, a process that he enjoys and openly speaks about in helping other speakers along the way, something that his clients value greatly.
Whether inspirational, motivational or educational, Michael McGrath uses his story-telling abilities to deliver powerful learnings that uplift both human and corporate consciousness. He provokes, stimulates and truly inspires change.
Michael also uses his Arctic adventures as a launch pad for The Muscle Help Foundation, a small multi-award winning charity with national reach that delivers highly-personalised experiences, known as Muscle Dreams, for children and young people with MD. Michael is affectionately known as the Chief Muscle Warrior; he is a Founder and the CEO.
The charity has delivered (as of Feb 2018) more than 267 transformational Muscle Dreams, helping children realise cherished ambitions, including interviewing Al Pacino, training with the England football team and hanging out with Lewis Hamilton. MHF’s profile is growing and in 2015, the charity was named the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team’s official Charity Partner for a period of 18 months.
Michael’s work was recognised in the Queen’s Speech 2004, when Her Majesty praised his “contribution to national life”.
In 2005, Michael received the prestigious Business Traveller of the Year Award presented to him by Kate Adie in Dubai.
He was also a Paralympic Torchbearer in 2012 and most recently, he was named (for the second year) as one of the most influential disabled people in Britain, featuring in the Power 100 2017.
Prior to Michael’s expeditions to the North and South Poles, he was an influential figure in the hospitality sector. He remains diligently engaged with the industry having served as a Disability Ambassador for Hilton Hotels, while he also volunteers as a judge on the prestigious Cateys Awards.
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