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Summary Profile

encouraging leadership in a context of change and diversity

Born into a working-class family in a township outside Uitenhage, South Africa, Deshun came to prominence in 1996 when selected to participate in her nation’s first Everest Expedition. She has subsequently been on 13 high altitude expeditions on 5 continents.
But it isn’t only physical crevasses which Deshun has successfully crossed; as businesswoman and sportswoman, her life-experience has forced her to bridge many of the sensitive economic, cultural and gender divides our societies face.

With a background in remedial teaching (in the mid 1990’s), Deshun has been a gifted speaker, facilitator and trainer for 15 years. She is sought after for providing inspiration without the rah-rah.
Since 1996 she has been a professional speaker. In that time she has addressed diverse groups in 11 countries. Many of South Africa’s largest companies have used her as keynote speaker at their conferences.
As a trainer and facilitator, she has worked in the past for the Pacific Institute and the I CAN Foundation gaining knowledge in the areas of internal motivation and goal setting.
Deshun is based in Jo’burg, is married and runs her own business.

In 2003 Deshun embarked on the Seven Summits – an attempt to climb the highest peak on each continent: Everest (Asia 8850m); Mt McKinley (N America 6194m); Aconcagua (S America 6960m); Mt Kilimanjaro (Africa 5895m); Mount Elbrus (Europe 5642m); Mt Vinson (Antartica 4982m); Carstenz (Australasia 4884m). To date she has been on the first five mountains listed and summitted two. In 2003 she came within 500 vertical metres of the summit of Everest.

She is one of twenty-two South African ambassadors for the Laureus Sports Foundation. Others include Lucas Radebe; Desiree Ellis; Jacques Kallis; Shaun Pollock, Bryan Habana; John Robbie and Natalie Du Toit.

Deshun’s clients have included many of South Africa’s large corporate groupings. They have also included women’s groups; NGO’s; state departments; tertiary institutions, schools and charities. Deshun’s background, her training and her experiences allow her to offer insight at once sensible and thought-provoking, into challenges confronting our companies, communities and our country.


Tackling the Summit
An exploration in personal and corporate goal-setting based on the 2003 Everest Expedition . (50 minutes)

Mountains and Manicures
A light-hearted inspirational look at being oneself in a male-dominated sport. For women audiences only. (1 hour)

Imprints in the snow: patterns of leading; patterns of following – 14 high altitude expeditions later, Deshun reflects on leadership styles encountered en route. (50 minutes)

10 deadly sins of climbing Everest:
Deshun was a member of two high profile SA expeditions to Mt. Everest. This keynote reflects on the common mistakes teams make when aiming for high risk/high reward goals in the mountains and in business.(45 minutes)

Who’s your Sherpa?
In most companies, there are teams/departments who do the donkeywork. Their work, whilst often unglamorous, is especially important to the overall efficiency of the corporation. With wry humour, Deshun meets this group where they are, by tapping into the pressures faced, the tests of team-work; the demands of management; time pressures; the need for efficiency – all this whilst staying goal focussed and motivated. She does so by drawing parallels with the extraordinary work of the Sherpa in mountaineering. (40 minutes)

Deshun Deysel


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