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Michael McGrath  Motivational and Inspirational Speaker

Michael McGrath is a record-breaking disabled polar explorer (first disabled person to have successfully led expeditions to both the North and South Poles) , role model and inspirational speaker, named one of Britain's most influential disabled people in the 2016 Power 100, Michael McGrath is available for keynote, motivational and educational speaking opportunities as well as workshops/masterclasses. Founder and CEO of multi-award winning national charity The Muscle Help Foundation. Sir Richard Branson said "Michael is an inspiration"

Specialist topics include


At the heart of failure or success, in the face of adversity (difficult circumstances), is something called resilience, an attribute that Michael  McGrath possesses in bucket loads. How is it that some people can develop their own personal 'resilience' strategies and as a result, respond better to for example the pressures that work increasingly throws at us?


Ever the optimist, Michael McGrath 's natural leadership style and the principles he strives for have in part been shaped by his hero, Sir Ernest Shackleton but also by his Jesuit education that today has profoundly influenced his understanding of: Values-based leadership, Taking personal responsibility and Helping others.


Through compelling examples, Michael McGrath  shares how through circumstance, change was forced upon him and how today, he extols the virtues and benefits in establishing 'Change Champions' to help support and drive organisational change programmes.


A daily occurrence for Michael McGrath ; in his view, it builds personal resilience and character. Every difficulty we successfully confront in life serves to strengthen our will, our confidence and our ability to face head-on, process and conquer future challenges.


Find out what it's taken for Michael McGrath  to build a multi-award winning niche family charity with national reach. From Michael's observations of 'entrepreneurialism', why is it that some charity leaders are increasingly fatigued by the term and unsure how to embrace it. Learn why combining a passion for one's cause with an eye for where a charity could get the best return is vital. In Michael's view, charities must play to their strengths in leveraging their assets whilst also recognising their weaknesses. In today's world of immediacy driven in part by technology, nurturing that entrepreneurial spirit is something that Michael McGrath  strongly advocates.


Learn how Michael McGrath' s single-mindedness, personal drive and obsessive focus on outcomes were critical success factors. From the role his support team played, the extensive research, sponsorship and contingency planning carried out to the sourcing of specialist advisers to help with his mental and physical training, Michael shares the tools that helped him address the multitude of risks that such expeditions attract.


Whilst most productive teams share common goals, even a common vision, Michael McGrath 's perspectives on teamwork reinforce the view that whilst the ends may sometimes differ, the means by which one gets there are the same. A colourful account of teamwork with the occasional Noel Coward reference around 'mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun' give a unique insight into how the impossible was made possible.

Book Micheal McGrath Inspirational and Motivational speaker

Michael McGrath  Motivational and Inspirational Speaker


The journey gave rise to a new life plan, inspiring Michael McGrath 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 Virgin, PwC, Shell 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  McGrath also used his Arctic adventures as a launch pad for The Muscle Help Foundation, a unique national family charity 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.

This multi-award winning charity has delivered more than 200 transformational Muscle Dreams, helping children realise cherished ambitions, including training with the England football team and interviewing Al Pacino. MHF’s profile is growing and in 2015, the charity was named the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team’s official Charity Partner for 2015/16. 

Michael Mcgrath’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 four years later, he was named one of the most influential disabled people in Britain, featuring in the Power 100 2016.

Prior to Michael’s expeditions to the North and South Poles, he was an influential figure in hospitality. 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.

Michael has received recognition and awards for his work in business, his charity and his record-breaking polar adventures. Recent accolades include:

2016 – Featured in 2016 Power 100 listing recognising Britain’s most influential people with a disability

2015 – Winner of ‘Unsung Hero’ Herts and Essex Mercury and Observer Community Awards 2015

2016, 2015 & 2013 - Michael’s charity The Muscle Help Foundation - Winner of the prestigious ‘Inspiring Herts’ Award for Best Social Enterprise of the Year

2012 – Selected as one of the Paralympic Torchbearers proudly carrying the flame on one of its final legs to the Olympic Stadium

2004 – Recognised by the Queen for his “contribution to national life” at Buckingham Palace and included in the 2004 Christmas Day broadcast by Her Majesty reinforcing the importance of diversity as a strength

Book Micheal McGrath Inspirational and Motivational speaker

Michael McGrath is a phenomenon. He shares lessons in leadership, lessons in handling change and lessons in life, introducing audiences to the possibility of thinking and acting differently” 

Sir Kenneth Branagh

“My grandfather Ernest Shackleton listed the qualities he looked for in a polar explorer as optimism, patience, imagination, idealism and courage. I believe that Michael possesses all of these” 

Rt. Hon Alexandra Shackleton

“Michael McGrath is a truly inspirational speaker whose personal story and courage encourages all leaders to reflect on their own approach, think about the way they engage with those around them and focus on what’s possible in life” 

Graeme McEwan, Chief Communication Officer), Standard Life

“It is not often that speakers get standing ovations and yet Michael McGrath inspires that in people. Always well prepared, always on message and always professional. I look forward to further opportunities to work together” 

Karen Bloomfield, Leadership and OD Manager, Health Education East of England, NHS

"Michael McGrath was the guest speaker at all four of our All Staff Conferences. The lessons and experiences he shared on leadership, change and overcoming adversity were truly inspirational and thought provoking. Not only did he receive standing ovations at the events, but we continue to receive excellent feedback, 3 months on, as staff have put into practice and learned from the principles he outlined. I would certainly recommend him" (Roy O’Shaughnessy, Chief Executive, Shaw Trust

“Michael McGrath is an inspiration”

Sir Richard Branson

Michael McGrath is a fascinating speaker with great passion, clarity and a wonderful ability to engage an audience”

Nicole Bearne, Internal Communications Manager & Assistant to Paddy Lowe, Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Michael McGrath Motivating, thought provoking and moving”

Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer, NHS England