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Marc Wallert: Strong through Crises - Developing Resilience

Marc Wallert was a hostage. In 2000, terrorists from the Islamist group Abu Sayyaf kidnapped him and his parents during a vacation in Malaysia and took them to the Philippine island of Jolo. He was held captive in the middle of the jungle for almost five months. His parents and he were finally released after long days of horror. It was never safe.

Marc Wallert - kidnapping survivor from the jungle

At that time, Marc Wallert was 27 years old. Even though the jungle "didn't break him" at that time, the normal everyday life initially drove him into a burn-out.

Lecture topics by Marc Wallert

Strong through crises - developing resilience
- Acceptance: How to accept challenges instead of complaining
- Optimism: How to keep hope in the most difficult situations
- Stress competence: How to regulate stress and even make use of it
- Growth opportunity: How to emerge stronger from crises
- Opportunity focus: How to sharpen your eye for opportunity in a crisis

It's not a question of if but when it will come - the crisis. Whether professional or private, health or financial - setbacks are part of life. We cannot prevent them, but we can learn to deal with them better. Inner psychological resistance, or resilience, helps us to do this. It helps people to go through crises strongly and even to emerge from them stronger.

In his presentation, Marc Wallert shares three protective factors that helped him survive his kidnapping unscathed. He talks about his burnout experience, from which he was able to learn: It takes more in life than the stand-up principle of "fall down, get up, keep going."

The art of not losing your head
- Survival mindset: The attitude you need to master stressful and uncertain times
- Optimism trap: Why positive thinking can be deadly and what helps here.
- Stress competence: How you can regulate stress and even use it.
- Business Survival: What survival strategy you can use to secure your company's future.

In a world of accelerated change, crises and stress have become the norm. People and organizations need it more than ever: the art of not losing your head. Neither fear nor excessive optimism are good advisors in uncertain times. But what does it take for people to tackle difficult challenges with courage?

In his presentation, Marc Wallert impressively describes the mindset he used to survive his kidnapping and 140 days in the Philippine jungle unscathed. He transfers his survival strategy to everyday life and business and shows how people and organizations can go through crises and stresses with strength.

As an agile team strong through the VUCA world
- VUCA: What you learn about dealing with disruption and digitalization in the jungle.
- Agility: How teams can flexibly deal with stresses and uncertainty.
- Teambuilding: Why you should use conflict rather than avoid it.
- Jungle strategies:  What you can learn from kidnapping survivors to overcome challenges in the business jungle.

The terms "agile" and "VUCA" have entered the business world. Both concepts originally come from the U.S. military, or more precisely, from guerrilla warfare in the jungle. That is exactly where Marc Wallert experienced the principles of agility and VUCA first hand during his abduction. In his presentation, Marc Wallert impressively describes how a group of hostages became an agile team that successfully mastered the unpredictable circumstances of their kidnapping. This lecture is not only suitable as - the somewhat different - introduction to agile methods. Even when the terms "agile" and "VUCA" are almost overused, the refreshing perspective of this talk helps to powerfully lighten up the topic. To this end, Marc Wallert combines 15 years of leadership experience with 140 days of ENT leadership experience to create a lecture that is both exciting and relevant.

Three Jungle Strategies for Digital Transformation
- Agility: How teams flexibly deal with uncertainty and still remain goal-oriented.
- Teambuilding: How a group becomes a team and why conflicts are necessary for this.
- Survival Mindset: The survival strategy that distinguishes top companies and prevents insolvencies.

Marc Wallert went in search of clues, focusing on the turning points in his life. Sometimes it takes drastic experiences to find one's true calling. He found it - not despite but thanks to his crises.

If you meet Marc Wallert today, it's almost hard to believe that this content and balanced man once went through sheer hell. Today, the former management consultant and manager is not only a proud family man, but also tours the country as a successful keynote speaker and author.

The stark experience in the jungle has made Marc Wallert a master of resilience. He says, "I got through the traumatic experience of my kidnapping primarily by believing in a good ending." At the same time, he warns against overly positive thinking along the lines of "nothing will happen." He considers ignoring real dangers to be very dangerous and advised in an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur: "At this point, it is important not to confuse good optimism with bad optimism. What you must not do in crises is to assume that it will just be over tomorrow, but really prepare for a long time."

Book Marc Wallert as a speaker and experiential resilience expert.

Marc Wallert has learned to delight in the little things. The things that are being drilled into us right now by all the mindfulness experts, he tried out firsthand. Not because he had a choice. When he talks about gratitude, the currently much-used expression takes on a different valence: "Giving thanks every evening for what just happened to be positive that day is a wonderful way to train resilience, your inner resistance."

In his talks and his SPIEGEL bestseller "Stark durch Krisen - Von der Kunst, nicht den Kopf zu verlieren" (Strong through Crises - The Art of Not Losing Your Head), Marc Wallert explains useful strategies for everyday private and professional life that anyone can use to learn to become stronger through crises.

In his keynotes, Marc Wallert talks about the topic of resilience, which is vital for his survival, about the art of not losing one's head even in times of crisis, how to go strong through the VUCA world as an agile team, or shares his "three jungle strategies for digital transformation".

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