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ir. Katja Staartjes

ir. Katja Staartjes

Mountaineer. To the top with passion.
Languages : English, Dutch, French

  • Categories

  • Sports, Adventures and Expeditions
    • Adventure & Expedition
  • Management
    • Performance Management
  • Motivation & Inspiration
    • Personal Developement
    • Teambuilding
  • Employability

  • Lecture
  • Columnist
  • Workshop / Masterclass
  • Subjects

  • Teamwork to the top
  • The importance of preparation
  • Realising your dreams
  • Knowing your boundaries

In 1999, Katja Staartjes reached the top of the Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain (8,848 meters) as the first Dutch woman ever. Are there any challenges left? Sure! In an absolute sense there is nothing higher than the Mount Everest, but you could try to find new challenges by making it harder to climb the mountain. Or you could climb and at the same time organise and lead the expedition. The core theme is development. Development gives you a chance to move on, as an individual or as

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In 1999, Katja Staartjes reached the top of the Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain (8,848 meters) as the first Dutch woman ever. Are there any challenges left? Sure! In an absolute sense there is nothing higher than the Mount Everest, but you could try to find new challenges by making it harder to climb the mountain. Or you could climb and at the same time organise and lead the expedition. The core theme is development. Development gives you a chance to move on, as an individual or as an organisation.

In 2004, the passionate mountaineer led a small Dutch expedition to the impressive Gasherbum mountain (8,068 meters) in Pakistan. Together with her husband Henk Wesselius she was able to put the Dutch flag on top of the mountain.

Katja Staartjes shows you impressive footage and passionately takes you with her to the top. An important part of her lectures consists of the clear connections she establishes between climbing and diverse issues within organisations.

What makes you reach the top or not? Is the top your only goal? What is success? What will be your next top? Climbing a mountain is in many ways een beautiful metaphor for many facets of life.

Realising your dreams, describing your challenges, making real choices, the importance of being well-prepared, knowing your boundaries, leadership, inspiration, team spirit and cooperation, main points and matters of secondary importance, pleasure and set-backs, fear and taking risks, Katja's lecture is about all these aspects. Her enormous experience as a manager and a top athlete gives her the opportunity to focus on various management themes. Katja Staartjes could give separate lectures on climbing the Mount Everest and the Gasherbum. Cooperation and leadership are prominent topics in her latest lecture, Teamwork to the top.

What is your main source of inspiration? Katja is inspired by the mountains. The magical force of a majestic landscape, extreme circumstances, the connection with team members and the physical effort of trekking and climbing change every mountain trip into a meaningful experience. That is particularly true for climbing the world's 14 mountains that are higher than 8,000 meters. A very intensive matter, as it takes teams at least two months to reach the top. A gradual adaptation of the body to a strongly decreased oxygen pressure is absolutely necessary. Tactics are to put up encampments and to climb back and forth between the base camp and the higher situated camps. Only when the team members are fully acclimatised, a real attempt to reach the top can be made. From this moment on it is all or nothing, for the team and every individual.

Engineer Katja Staartjes, 1963, studied Consumer food technology in Wageningen, the Netherlands. At the same time she was a member of the national athletics team. After graduation she held positions in the fields of quality care, logistics, facility and production management at various companies and non-profit organisations. In 1998, she decided to quit her job and dedicate herself to mountaineering. That year she climbed the Cho Oyu (8,201 meters) in Tibet. She wrote the book 'High stakes' ('Hoog spel', published by Podium/Sirene) after she successfully climbed the Mount Everest. In 2003, she reached the top of the Himalayas own 'Matterhorn', the very difficult to climb Ama Dablam (6,856 meter). She used this experience in preparation for the 2004 Gasherbum expedition.

Nowadays, Katja Staartjes is an independent entrepreneur. She is an interim-manager upon request and gives lectures. Inspiring people is her passion. Touching her audience, in the heart or the soul, is what she aims for and succeeds in.

The themes and lenghts (45 minutes to 2 hours) of Katja's lectures may vary to satisfy your wishes. Katja: “It is my aspiration to tell an inspiring story, that touches people and makes them think. Most clients expect more. For example: the lecture is part of a team day and should stimulate a further discussion on cooperation. In that case I try to involve the audience by asking provocative questions. I go for quality in my life, and in my lectures. A more than satisfied client, that's what I want to have achieved at the end of the day."

Statements:

  • No top without a risk
  • Many organisations don't take risks, because they are afraid (for what?)
  • Taking risks responsibly is an art
  • The bottom line is: cooperation comes all down to the question, do you complement each other and are you willing to put yourself on the line for others?
  • Party after you have reached the top, but don't forget to celebrate mile stones on your way up
  • Inspirition is the key to all top performances
  • Development is possible if you have an open mind and are able to learn from previous experiences
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