An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

Leading As If Your Life Depended On It

Presenter: Col Thomas Kolditz

Date: 14 July 2010


In extremis leadership occurs when followers perceive their lives to be threatened. The leadership lessons and principles which emerge from dangerous situations are especially a propos to leading in business and everyday life. COL Kolditz will discuss how leadership literally defines the promise of hope and demonstrate that extremely capable leaders are needed in all walks of life. He will examine high-risk situations which are ideal contexts in which to discover great leaders, assess the styles those leaders exhibit, and extract valuable insights about extraordinary leadership in our everyday lives. Through heart-stopping real-life stories of leaders in extreme situations, Kolditz insists that leaders at all levels can improve their effectiveness.

Kolditz conducted many compelling in-depth interviews with in extremis leaders such as chiefs of SWAT teams; mountain-climbing guides; leaders of large-formation skydiving events; the U.S. Military Academy’s national champion parachute team; team leaders in football, wrestling, swimming, and rugby; as well as the first armored cavalry commander to roll his tanks into the fiery streets of Baghdad in 2003. Kolditz challenges us to learn from their experiences and honor their commitment and sacrifices by serving the people around us and leading as if our life depended on it.

His authentic perspective on leadership will help cut through faddish, flavor-of-the-month leadership approaches and make anyone better at leading and being led.

Speaker Information

Colonel Thomas Kolditz is professor and Chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Kolditz has served in an array of military tactical command and technical staff assignments worldwide, and as a leadership and HR policy analyst in the Pentagon.