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Adam Tuffnell

Adam Tuffnell
Adam Tuffnell
Adam Tuffnell
Adam Tuffnell
Adam Tuffnell

Best known for:

Fascinating insight into leading from within, round the world yachtsman who has circumnavigated the globe 'the wrong-way' against prevailing winds, tides, disasters and succeeded.


Success, in our professional and personal lives, is dependent on teamwork, leadership, communication and fun. Drawing on a depth of experience, including a psychology degree, circumnavigation in a round the world yacht race and as skipper on ocean racing yachts, Adam shares his learnings from disaster and the impact on survival.


Adam Tuffnell is a round-the-world yachtsman who has circumnavigated the globe ‘the wrong-way’ against prevailing winds and tides.
Few people will face life threatening multiple disasters in their lifetime. Fewer still have the expertise to dissect those disasters in order to understand how their leadership contributed to survival. As a professional round the world yachtsman and with his background in psychology, Adam Tuffnell is able to deliver just this.
His four tenets of Teamwork, Leadership, Communication and Fun translate highly effectively from offshore to office and are designed to be applied in any business situation.
Throughout his 20-year sailing career, Adam Tuffnell has sailed in some of the most hostile environments on the planet, ranging from the freezing wilderness of the Southern Ocean through to the debilitating humidity of the tropics.
He is one of a select group of sailors who have circumnavigated the world against prevailing winds and currents, a feat which until recently was considered impossible. He has faced hurricanes, collisions, flooding and the emergency medical evacuation of a crewmate

“Leadership and survival are one and the same. Without leadership you will not survive.” Adam Tuffnell

Adam has also built a successful sailing school and trained future Round-the-World racing crews from zero experience to a state of ocean-going readiness.
His energy and passion for sailing was formed as a child in small dinghies and ‘globalised’ through racing the BT Global Challenge, in 2000. As a graduate in Psychology and Philosophy and an accomplished sailor, Adam has unique insight into the practical applications of effective leadership and team development within the challenging environments of open-water and the corporate office.

Adam’s Presentation: Whilst on the water, Adam creates a learning environment for business leaders, which illustrates that ‘experience is what you learn, just after you most needed it'. Time on the water naturally creates unique situations, which invariably require a unique solution. Adam communicates how this adaptive thinking process can be applied in practice.


An at times lighthearted review in addressing and assessing the success and failure of:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Fun


Illustrating the importance of the four tenets through his own significant experience and by reviewing well known disasters with an insider’s expert eye, Adam discusses what lessons we can all learn about team dynamics and how we can avert disasters in our personal and professional lives.

Key Learning:

  • This is not simply a presentation about affective delegation and leading from the front…
  • Whether it is an aggressive pitch against competition, internal crisis, hurricane force winds, the same lessons apply


Adam presents a keen understanding of facets of leadership as tested and proven in extreme conditions including:

  • Value of feelings and sharing them in tensioned environment
  • Leadership under extreme pressure
  • Importance of conscious management of core components of team leadership
  • Transparency in situational awareness - be honest with the troops
  • The importance of deciding, rather than trying, to succeed


This presentation bridges the gap between offshore and office to demonstrate how to:

Challenge the 'norm' of observations and conclusions. Solve problems from within the team environment. Ensures the accountability of decision making processes. Manage team dynamics.

Adam’s Achievements:

  • Adam is a round the world yachtsman who has circumnavigated the globe ‘the wrong-way’ against prevailing winds and tides.
  • He was one of only 12 skippers selected by Clipper to train amateur round-the-world crews from scratch to race readiness.
  • Principal of a successful sailing school
  • Personal development coach
  • Team building course leader
  • Skipper of numerous offshore and ocean racing teams most recently a crew of 12 in the Fastnet 2013.
  • Worked extensively for Tall Ships Youth Trust skippering young people from underprivileged backgrounds.
  • Presented at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and HMS Sultan as part of armed forces officer leadership training course.


Fee range:

Up to 5,000 GBP