Brigadier Gen. Tom Kolditz shows how extreme life-and-death situations can offer profound lessons for leaders in any setting. Gen. Kolditz’s research reveals that the leadership skills and principles evident in dangerous settings also apply to leading in business and everyday life, making this program applicable to both personal and professional success.
A retired Brigadier General, Tom led the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at West Point for 12 years. In that role, he was responsible for West Point’s teaching, research, and outreach activities in Management, Leader Development Science, Psychology, and Sociology, and was titled Professor Emeritus after retirement. A highly experienced global leader, General Kolditz has more than 35 years in leadership roles on four continents. His career has focused on either leading organizations himself, or studying leadership and leadership policy across sectors. He served for two years as a leadership and human resources policy analyst in the Pentagon, and a year as a concept developer in the Center for Army Leadership, and was the founding director of the West Point Leadership Center. He was instrumental in the design and formation of the Thayer Leader Development Group, and is the managing member of Saxon Castle LLC, a leader development consultancy. General Kolditz is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, the Army’s highest award for service. He has been named as a leadership Thought Leader by the Leader to Leader Institute and as a Top Leader Development Professional by Leadership Excellence. In 2017, he was honored with the prestigious Warren Bennis Award for Excellence in Leadership—an honor also bestowed on Doris Kearns Goodwin, Howard Schultz, Tom Peters, and Benazir Bhutto. In 2018, he was globally ranked #6 in Coaching by Global Gurus, an independent research and professional ranking organization. In 2019, he was among 8 global finalists in Coaching and Mentoring by Thinkers50, a UK management ranking organization.
Dr. Kolditz has published more than 60 articles across a diverse array of academic and leadership trade journals, and serves on the editorial and advisory boards of several academic journals. In 2006, he co-edited and was the lead author in a special issue of the Leader to Leader journal, winning the APEX Publishing Award for best magazine or journal in the United States. He is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association and is a member of the Academy of Management. He is a founding member of the Board of Advisors for the Department of Psychology at the University of Missouri, serves on the Council of Senior Advisors for the Future of Executive Development Forum and the boards of Linkage, Inc. and BoardBench Companies.
Professor Kolditz has presented leadership content to more than 300 governmental, corporate, and social sector audiences worldwide. As a professor, he has led academic seminars or given lectures to students from Babson, Wellesley, and Olin Colleges, Duke University, Columbia University, Yale University, Yale CEO College, Rice University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Missouri, the Military Psychology Center of the Israel Defense Forces, Renmin University, Peking University, the Beijing International MBA program, Harvard Law School, Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership, the World Economic Forum, seven national and international service academies and more than ten major metropolitan law enforcement, firefighting, and public service academies and assemblies, including the CIA, FBI, and DEA. Kolditz has appeared on Bloomberg TV, 60 Minutes Sports, ABC World News, ABC 20-20, Al Jazeera, MSNBC, CBS, NPR, Calgary Today, Morning Ireland, and interviews with reporters from the New York Times, the Associated Press, Time, Discovery, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Washington Post, La Razon, and more than a dozen national and international news agencies.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Vanderbilt University, three Master’s degrees, and PhD in Psychology from the University of Missouri.
- LEADING BY SERVING: THE PRINCIPLES OF SERVANT LEADERSHIP
While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the top of the pyramid, “servant leadership” is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first, and helps develop the team to perform as high as possible. In this keynote, Brigadier Gen. Tom Kolditz outlines the most prominent servant leader approaches, and how all leaders can adopt servant-leader behaviors to impact the growth and well-being of other leaders, team members, and the organizations to which they belong.
- LEADERS DEVELOPING LEADERS
One of a leader’s most powerful legacies is developing the leaders who follow them. Leadership development programs in business are often focused on talent managers and HR directors. Brigadier Gen. Tom Kolditz illustrates how, in an evidence-based way, each leader can personally and directly develop their people, increasing the performance and retention of employees and building a solid foundation for the future. Tapping leadership development principles used at West Point, the Yale School of Management, and other high-performing organizations, Tom’s presentation creates a clear path and practical framework for leaders to have greater impact and influence over their people while simultaneously helping them achieve their potential.
- HOPE IS NOT A METHOD: 40 YEARS OF LEADERSHIP TAKEAWAYS
Too often, leaders hope for success without using specific techniques for leading effectively. After leading dozens of organizations on 4 continents, and teaching leaders and leadership for 25 years, Tom distills eight proven techniques he uses regularly to get the job done as a leader. This presentation is extremely pragmatic and will allow for immediate application in peoples’ professional and personal lives.
- IN EXTREMIS LEADERSHIP: LEADING AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT
Operating environments for both government and business are characterized by volatility, complexity, and uncertainty—perfect conditions for crises to emerge. Brigadier Gen. Tom Kolditz, author of In Extremis Leadership: Leading as if Your Life Depended on It, shows how extreme life-and-death situations can offer profound lessons for leaders in any setting. Tom’s research reveals that the leadership skills and principles evident in dangerous settings also apply to leading in business and everyday life, making this program applicable to both personal and professional success.
- MEASURE WHAT MATTERS: INNOVATE WITH OKRS (OBJECTIVES AND KEY RESULTS)
If you can’t measure it, how do you know it’s working? With four successful start-ups, and as the founding executive director of the Ann & John Doerr Institute for New Leaders, Tom shares specific techniques for sparking innovation, tracking outcomes, and achieving real results. Management by OKRs has been extraordinarily successful in stand-alone start-ups, but it also energizes innovation and initiative in established organizations. Tom can lay out the “how.”
- DODGING BULLETS: HOW TO PREPARE YOUR ORGANIZATION FOR THE NEXT CRISIS
Few people want to be put into a position of being crisis managers. So how can leaders prepare organizations to avoid crises before they occur? In this engaging talk, Brigadier Gen. Tom Kolditz will take the audience through specific processes and techniques to help leadership anticipate and prevent crises and have a more effective, more empowered workforce every day.