Brigadier General Thomas A. Kolditz (Ret.) Leadership Thought Leader, Author, and Founding Executive Director of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University

Thomas Kolditz Speaking Fee: 18213

Speaking Fee:
18213

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Thomas Kolditz At A Glance:

A retired Brigadier General with three Master’s degrees and a Phd in psychology, Thomas Kolditz has spent more than 30 years at the helm of organizations, directed the Leader Development Program at Yale School of Management, and challenged the Pentagon to take on leadership development, founding the West Point Leadership Center. He went on to become the founding Executive Director of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University, the most comprehensive, evidence-based, university-wide leadership program in the world. A recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, the Army’s highest award for service, General Kolditz is a renowned expert on leading through crisis, turbulence and extreme conditions. He is the author of In Extremis Leadership: Leading As If Your Life Depended On It, an authoritative book based on more than 175 interviews taken on the ground in Iraq during combat operations. Considered a visionary in the field of leadership training and development, General Kolditz shares invaluable perspectives and a thrill ride of stories from a career on four continents, always leaving audiences with pragmatic, actionable takeaways that they can immediately apply.

A soldier, scholar, skydiver, author, executive coach and much-honored leadership thought leader, General Tom Kolditz’s celebrated career in the military, higher education and business consulting has been driven by a singular mission:  Helping people from all walks of life become better leaders, ready for crisis, adversity and extreme conditions. A recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, the Army’s highest award for service, General Kolditz was also named a Top Leadership Thought Leader by the Leader to Leader Institute and received the prestigious Warren Bennis Award for Excellence in Leadership, an honor shared with George Schultz, Benazir Bhutto and Doris Kearns Goodwin. He is also ranked #6/30 in coaching by Global Gurus and was ranked in the top eight globally by Thinkers50, the premier global ranking among management thinkers.

Tom Kolditz is one of the most experienced and educated leadership experts of our time. An intellectually gifted scholar, he holds a BA from Vanderbilt University, three master’s degrees, a PhD in psychology from the University of Missouri, and an honorary Doctorate from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He taught at West Point, Yale University, and Rice University for 22 years. He is a widely published author of two books and more than 75 journal articles, and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

Yet unlike most academics, he is also a profoundly experienced leader. He has been the principal responsible for 12 organizations, both military and civilian, over 35 years leading people across four continents. A retired Brigadier General, he commanded thousands of troops, served in combat, and was awarded the Army’s highest medal for service. He is the successful founder of five leader development start-ups, including the Ann & John Doerr Institute for New Leaders. In 2017, he was honored with the prestigious Warren Bennis Award for Excellence in Leadership—an honor also bestowed on other brilliant scholars like Doris Kearns Goodwin and Tom Peters, and other outstanding leaders like Howard Schultz and Benazir Bhutto.

It’s quite a series of accomplishments for a guy who grew up in a town of 1800 people in Southern Illinois. Tom now focuses on developing others. He has spoken to more than 350 audiences worldwide and is a highly sought-after professional leadership coach, ranked multiple times among the top 15 coaches internationally by both Global Gurus London and Thinkers50, most recently, #12 in Start-up Coaching in 2023.

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