trust (noun) 1. Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.

It is a well known fact that a n outdoor climbing and rappelling experience can effect one person so deeply that it profoundly alters his or her view of self and reality to the positive, changing a person's life for months and sometimes years after the experience.

For more on the Adversity Quotient and what it may offer you and your group - click on the book(s) below - enjoy! Industry-leading companies worldwide have implemented Adversity Quotient AQ solutions for a variety of reasons. These are just a few;

Cadbury Adams used AQ to equip its leaders to optimize change and performance, as well as to coach its people to be more accountable and resilient.

Marriott International used AQ as a foundation for key applications in conferences, recruitment, diversity training, and leadership development. The company also used AQ for executive team coaching.

Marriott Vacation Club International used AQ and Total Life Performance™ programs to improve associate satisfaction and create a workforce that thrives in demanding circumstances

The Young Presidents’ Organization used AQ to grow more resilient leaders who infuse entrepreneurship, agility, accountability, and innovation in their people.

Hewlett-Packard used AQ for a variety of applications related to driving innovation, fostering employee engagement, and helping its global technical leaders, sales leaders, and people become more resilient.

Sun Microsystems used AQ to drive measurable improvements in both resilience and sales during exceptionally difficult times.

Irving Oil, recently named North America’s “Refinery of the Year,” transformed its culture using AQ and Advanced AQ programs, making resilience a core value. The company also used AQ to enhance its customer service applications and to coach its top executives, with the goals of accelerating performance, deepening accountability, and enriching life.

Nortel Networks Limited used AQ to rebound from financial and competitive adversities and become strengthened by them.

Procter and Gamble used AQ as a foundational element in their leadership training program for high-talent global sales leaders.

Kemin Industries, Inc., has benefited from a variety of AQ solutions. It used AQ in its online applications for customers and implements the online screening AQ Profile to hire top performers worldwide. Kemin has also implemented AQ and Advanced AQ programs to equip its leaders and workforce in an effort to drive change and execution.

Irwin Union Bank uses AQ principles as the foundation for the professional development of its current and high-potential leaders.

The U.S. Postal Service hired PEAK Learning, Inc., to present a keynote that would introduce the principles of AQ and set the tone for its annual sales conference.

General Mills hired PEAK Learning, Inc., to present a conference keynote on building a resilience workforce for human resources leaders.

Mackenzie Financial hired PEAK Learning, Inc., to present seven marquis keynotes for 7000 financial advisors. The topics were applying AQ and the Invincible Investor to “the new conversation about money.”

Algonquin College of Ottawa Canada has made AQ one of the cornerstones of its new Canadian Executive Development Series (CEDS).

The Process

"Team Building through rock climbing and adventure-based workshops of this sort have conditions. They require great energy, exertion, teamwork and planning. They also involve me in a process of discovery. It is impossible to climb up a steep rock face or rappell down into an abyss, without becoming immersed in the symbolism of the adventure. I am one person, climbing from the bottom, trying to make it to the top. I am going one step further than I have gone before. I am declaring myself, at least for one moment, free from the sometimes confining shackles of the world. I am passing upwards, into the clouds, into the sky, into fresh clean air, into a new appreciation of my strength and the strengths of my companions. When it is over I have not changed the world. But I bring back one small part that allows me to feel more alive, that allows me to give a little more to the ones I am involved with, that allows me to dream new dreams. These adventures are critical, they are the adventures of my passage from the old me to the new. I don't believe that they can be had by sitting and waiting for someone else to do them. The conditions of these passages require me to take every step. Without them I am less. With them I am more. It's that simple."

Articles and news stories featuring or mentioning the Arizona Climbing and Adventure School have appeared in The Arizona Republic newspaper, New York Times, East Valley Tribune, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Frontdoors magazine, National Geographic Adventure magazine, AAA Highroads magazine, Discovery Channel, FOX network television (Channel 10 - Phoenix) and CBS KPHO television (Channel 5 - Phoenix).

ACTC's professional program's goal is to create positive, lasting change in the workplace through innovative, customized programs that enhance the effectiveness of individuals, groups and organizations.

We at
Arizona Corporate Team Challenges® have the privilege of witnessing how extreme challenges in a unique outdoor environment improves corporate team dynamics and trust. Through a combined series of goals and tangible skill sets that we have found to be effective in both rock climbing and the business world, Executive Leadership Expeditions offer a clear opportunity for growth and development on a massive scale. We all want to be leader's these days, or so we think, because our popular culture tells us that is our preference.

The word leader implies possession of a degree of power, a measure of autonomy and creativity or freedom. These programs seek to examine the pitfalls and possibilities of these theories in a very real and challenging setting. Participants will determine the differences between being a highly capable executive, a competent manager, and a truly effective leader.

Just in the course of our four-day session, we have seen timid, cautious and even phobic adults overcome their fear and reach for the top. There is nothing we know of that boosts self-confidence more than getting one hand-hold higher than you thought you could. It's direct. It's concrete. It's the epitome of achievement, and we see it again and again.

Rock climbing is problem-solving in the vertical world. We see varying degrees of linear thinking skills, pre-planning skills, spatial orientation, impulsivity vs. thoughtfulness, decision-making skills, focus and concentration, frustration, tolerance, self-confidence vs. insecurity, perseverance, introversion vs. extraversion, emotional ability, risk-taking vs. caution, assertiveness, responsiveness to auditory vs. visual instruction, and the list goes on.

But climbers must also commit to their own safety and the safety of others. This interdependence between the climber and the belayer is just one of many metaphorical life-lessons found in climbing. While supporting one another on belay, you learn to support and trust one another in every endeavor. Rock climbing demands concentration and discipline, commitment, internal motivation, personal integrity and responsibility.

Also, the Southwest contains many hidden jewels awaiting your adventurous spirit. I hope you will take us up on our invitation to experience rock climbing. But be careful: You might just get addicted to life in the vertical world. Don't say we didn't warn you!

Our select staff are certified outdoor guides and have received extensive training from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Outward Bound Wilderness (OBW). the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI), Climb Smart! and Leave No Trace (LNT) or are members and partners of the American Alpine Club, Arizona Mountain Group Association, American Safe Climbing Association and Access Fund. They follow strict procedural guidelines and safety protocols set by these institutes and by the Arizona Climbing and Adventure School (ACAS).

Arizona Corporate Team Challenges® (ACTC) objective and primary task is to help corporations, organizations and small businesses use rock climbing, rappelling and adventure-based team building as a catalyst for personal and professional change and growth. To meet this mission, we are committed to developing effective, meaningful and inspiring training workshops.

Our workshops are a blend of theory and practice. We utilize a variety of time tested teaching principles from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), the Outward Bound Wilderness School (OBW), Project Adventure (PA) and Paul Stoltz's Adversity Quotient. It is through this blend that group dynamics and cohesiveness begins to take form and meaning - there is a reason for activity; there are connections between the adventure and our professional and personal lives. Helping you make these connections is our greatest design challenge.

Each workshop offers you the opportunity to "live the model" - a chance to risk, to trust, to try and to learn. Our workshops are designed to allow you to learn by doing. You will be asked to be an active participant, to experience adventure-based programming firsthand. It is our belief that when work and learning are stimulating, creativity, productivity and achievement peak. When what we are doing challenges and engages us, then the learning is making an impact. You will find that our workshops can leave a lasting impression on your team.

The fundamental importance of trust development is well recognized. Faith and trust in self and in other persons is such an essential ingredient in any relationship that it cuts across and interacts with all other components of the self-concept system.

We tailor programs to build on the existing strengths of your company while focusing on individual, team and organizational needs and objectives.

LEADERSHIP - Whether climbing up a beautiful desert rock spire or rappelling down a vertical rock face, individuals gain an awareness of faith in their own ability to lead and follow. They have opportunities to test their ability in critical group decision-making and thereby become more confident leaders.

TEAMWORK - Success in each ACTC activity depends as much on teamwork as individual effort. Under the pressure of reaching a difficult goal, each individual undergoes rapid growth. This growth occurs in group efforts that become catalysts for new relationships between people. Participants become connected by shared experiences as they forge the foundations for new and effective teams.

CHANGE - In outdoor desert settings, participants are taken out of their "comfort zone" and immersed in a changing environment. By handling new circumstances, teams learn to turn problems into opportunities for success. Each challenge mastered is a satisfying achievement that prepares them for even more opportunities.

What's your AQ?
C.O.R.E. Development
• Control – the extent to which you feel able to influence a situation
positively, and the extent to which you can control your own response to a
situation or event;
• Ownership – the extent to which you take personal responsibility for
improving a given situation, regardless of its cause;
• Reach – how extensively you allow a particular kind of adversity to affect
other areas of your work and life;
• Endurance – your perception of how long an adverse situation will last.

What are the Seven Summits to Success?
Summit 1: Take It On. Learn how to overcome frustration, helplessness, and anger — and benefit from adversity.

Summit 2: Summon Your Strengths. Challenge the conventional wisdom that natural strengths drive success. Exceed expectations of what you and others can, or should, attempt to do.

Summit 3: Engage Your CORE. Learn how to handle adversity better and faster. Engage your CORE (the four dimensions that determine how you respond to adversity ) and learn how to turn adversities into advantages.

Summit 4: Pioneer Possibilities. Devise signature systems for turning the impossible into the possible. Learn to create strategies that others fail to see.

Summit 5:
Pack Light, Pack Right. Learn how packing poorly cripples you… but how choosing the right things, people, obligations, and pursuits strengthen you. “Spring clean” so you can rise up, rather than crumble, under the weight of adversity.

Summit 6: Suffer Well. Character is forged in the flames of adversity. Done right, suffering can fuel greatness.

Summit 7: Deliver Greatness, Everyday. This summit, the culmination, weaves together the most important ideas of the book, providing a coherent, portable package of practices that you can apply anywhere, anytime.


Adversity Quotient
(AQ) Programming

One of the stronger points of the ACTC curriculum is a series of physical trust-building activities. Whether it's belaying a fellow co-worker who is about to rappell off a 200 foot rock face or solving the intricate route on a vertical rock face, there is a natural rationale for all to participate. Engaging in these activities proves to the group participants that they can be trustworthy in risk situations, and that they can rely on others to be there.

The physical nature of the program activities builds in the necessity of achieving a basic level of physical trust before moving on to more complex and social interaction trust issues. Later activities recycle the trust themes as participants risk feeling foolish, failing or in other ways becoming vulnerable to judgment. Appropriate trust and risk-taking judgments are intertwined necessarily.

The value of these extreme trust exercises is to increase the quality of group development in building a sense of community and team support. The group proceeds to move more quickly to develop emotional trust, and to be able to take emotional risks more easily in the developing climate of trust. High group cohesion leads to sharing, openness, acceptance and support of others.

Rock climbing and rappelling, the heart and soul of substantial team building. This workshop instills group bonding, cohesion and trust to its highest level. Spend two to four days with the ACTC's experienced and certified staff learning a new skill, having fun, and building confidence to climb and rappell! We offer two day workshops at the beginner level and four day workshops at the advanced level. You will also learn, use of technical climbing equipment, belaying, knot tying, rope handling and rappelling. You will learn specific climbing techniques, along with the jargon related in the sport. These fast paced workshops place a major emphasis on safety.

Depending on your groups physical limititations we can customize the Workshop so everyone can participate. Choose one of the Levels below that desribes your groups level of fitness or lack of. NOTE: The smaller the group size (12 or less), the more effective and lasting the training will be!

Level I - Group is totally out of shape but they can walk several hundred yards on flat ground.

Level II - Group is in average shape and can walk several hundred yards and climb stairs with ease.

Level III - Group is a mix of both Levels above.

Level IV
- Group is in very good physical condition and are able to hike several miles on moderate to rough terrain.

......Prerequisites: None
Cost: Two-Day Beginner Workshop $675 per person:
......Includes lunch, beverage, snacks, reading and testing materials.
......Cost: Four-Day Advanced Workshop $1175 per person:
......Includes lunch, beverages, snacks, reading and testing materials.
......Group size: 4 to 12 participants
......Primary Activities: Rock climbing, rappelling, belaying, team building skills,
......Tyrolean Traverse (Four-Day Workshop Only), outdoor safety,
......Leave No Trave (LNT) ethics, Adversity Quotient Skills.
......Additional Activities: Group dynamics, leadership skills, trust
......and group bonding

What is Adversity Quotient (AQ)?

INTELLIGENCE Quotient (IQ), measurement of raw intelligence, and Emotional Quotient (EQ), measurement of emotional intelligence, to judge the success of individuals are passe now. Today the new predictor of success is Adversity Quotient (AQ). The present day economy with its increasing uncertainty and complexity of jobs, requires employees who can thrive in the face of adversity.

While adversity can take any form and magnitude, from major tragedies to minor annoyances, adversity quotient is a measure of how an individual perceives and deals with challenges. Individuals with high AQ levels take greater responsibility to fix problems and do not blame others for their setbacks. They feel that the problems they face are limited in scope and can be dealt with quickly and effectively. Those who can't handle adversity can become easily overwhelmed and emotional, then pull back and stop trying.

Paul Stoltz, the architect of AQ theory and president and CEO of Peak Learning, a consultancy based in California, with clients such as Hewlett-Packard, Lucent Technologies and BellSouth, has worked with about 100 companies and studied and measured the AQ levels of more than 100, 000 people. According to Stoltz, the number of adversities an individual faces during a day on an average has increased from 7 to 23 in the past ten years. Research by Scripps Institute at the University of California, San Diego, revealed that, one of the tendencies we all share is that we are far more compelled by adversity than by good news and hence it becomes more important to understand an individual's AQ levels.

Individuals with low-AQ levels can be trained to improve their ability to respond to adversity. An AQ test with about 40 questions based on how an individual would react to different situations has scores ranging from 200 to 40, followed by intensive training sessions. Stoltzs' AQ test for his clients also includes web-based instructions following the training session for the next 90 days to reinforce the learning.

According to the AQ theory of Stoltz, employees in any organization are of three kinds - climbers, campers and quitters.

Climbers are employees who seek challenges and have high AQ levels. Entrepreneurs and sales people who work on commission basis are among the `climbers'. The organisations that are adventure-centric also fall into this category. Microsoft has been quoted as one such `climbing organisation'. ``Climbers have an utter refusal to be insignificant. What they do and who they are, has to matter to them,'' is Stoltz's opinion.

Campers constitute about 80% of the typical workforce in any organisation. These people resist giving up their comforts, no matter what the price.

Quitters are those who are risk-averse and flee from challenges. They are usually inclined towards education and take up teaching and mentoring.
Campers and quitters are tension creators and often frustrate climbers. They are the cause for organisations losing climbers - their key talent.

Organizations are increasingly adopting the AQ concept to capitalise on its benefits. Understanding an individual's AQ can not only help organisations to hire and retain highly motivated and talented employees, but also help in developing employees to their full potential, and create a leadership culture. This can in turn help in encouraging employees to put forth their best efforts and maximise their performance capabilities leading to overall better organisational performance.

AQ training has been successful in improving the average AQ level of the companies by 23%. One can expect anything between 5% and 15% improvement just by raising people's awareness of their own AQ. At Florida Water Services in US, about 250 managers and key employees - half of their workforce, who underwent the AQ training got stunning results in converting the campers into climbers.

John Cirello, president of Florida Water Services, says, ``When we started, we had a lot of campers, probably 70%, and 20% were quitters. We transformed that. The majority of our people are climbers now. By just giving the individuals another way to look at a problem so that they don't internalise it and lament over it, we turned the company around from losing money to making money. Now we are growing faster than we ever had before.''

Stoltz, who believes that changing behaviour is not as difficult as normal belief is, says, ``If we welcome adversity rather than shrink from it, we raise our AQ - and set in motion a virtuous cycle. High AQ translates into resilience, hardiness, and good health.''

While awareness of an individual's AQ levels can help organisations to hire and retain the best, individuals can benefit by understanding their drawbacks and turning them into opportunities.

Arizona Corporate Team Challenges offers professional consulting services to develop custom training and program designs. The range of customized services is broad. One organization may be looking for a one-day trust building workshop for their staff, another a complete nine-day all levels workshop. The Customized Corporate Training Workshop is designed to teach you to effectively integrate adventure-based AQ approaches into your work. The option is placed on portable, cost-effective activities that can easily be adapted to indoor settings. We would be glad to work with you to develop a training design that is right for your organization! Our team of professionals works with your organization utilizing the following steps:

ORGANIZATIONAL ASSESSMENT - We meet with you to become acquainted with and better understand your organization's unique situation and to gain agreement on ideal outcomes.

CUSTOM DESIGN - We tailor the workshop to meet your needs. You may use a format that has been successful with other firms or select your own course length and setting. Activities and discusions are planned for your group and aligned with its stated goals.

THE CORPORATE TEAM CHALLENGES WORKSHOP - Your group steps into an adventure in learning. Facilitated by our outstanding instructors, the challenges and discussions illuminate problems, enhance solutions and create bonds of friendship and trust.

FOLLOW THROUGH - We follow up after the workshop to assess your progress, review successes and suggest ways to continue the integration and application process.

Call us at 480-363-2390 for further information.

The activities described on this web site carry a significant risk of personal injury or death. Rock climbing is inherently dangerous. The owners and staff of the Arizona Climbing and Adventure School do not recommend that anyone participate in these activities unless they seek qualified professional instruction and/or guidance, are knowledgeable about the risks involved, and are willing to personally assume all responsibility associated with those risks.