Tom is a highly ranked professional leadership coach, ranked since 2016 from #6 to #13 globally by the research firm Global Gurus in London.  He limits coaching clients to just a few at a time offering 24/7/365 availability to them, and draws on the interaction among his advanced education, formal coach training, 35+ years of experience at leading organizations, and 20+ years of coaching.

Inspiring keynotes delivered by Kolditz will excite passion and interest, and deliver practical take-aways that leaders at all levels can find immediately useful. More involved assignments can include  quarterly seminars on specific subjects customized for each client.

Coaching and speaking clients have included Gates Ventures, Google, Ford, Mercedes, Boeing, All State, GE, Goldman Sachs and many others.

Suggested Keynote Programs

  • In Extremis Leadership, Leading As If Your Life Depended On It The contemporary operating environments for both government and business is characterized by volatility, complexity, and uncertainty—perfect conditions for crises to emerge. 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.
  • Dodging Bullets: How to Avoid 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? Gen. Kolditz will take the audience through specific processes and techniques to help leaders anticipate and prevent crises and have a more effective, more empowered workforce every day.
  • Lessons from Sky Diving and High Risk Activities Gen. Kolditz has lead thousands of civilian sky diving jumps and leads West Point’s elite Black Knights. Through heart-stopping real-life stories of leaders in these extreme situations, Dr. Kolditz insists that leaders at all levels can improve their effectiveness. In this program he share his knowledge about leading with influence, and communicating with purpose. He also has a variety of additional high-risk situations he shares that are ideal settings to seek and find great leaders, assess how they might be different, and gleans valuable insights for extraordinary leadership in everyday lives.
  • Bringing Innovation Leadership to a Legacy Organization Learn best practices, tools and processes for effective organization design, identify key steps for mobilizing your desired organizational structure. Learn how to lead change in organizations, especially those that are tradition-bound and extraordinarily resistant to change. Tom Kolditz draws on first hand experience and multiple cases of innovation and change in organizations using a unique indirect strategy that was successful when more common change management strategies had failed.
  • Leading Through Tragedy Tragedy eventually overcomes all organizations in the form of the death or serious injury of one or more members. Learn what to do to prevent tragedy from disrupting organizational effectiveness, harmony and leadership effectiveness. Lessons include concepts about succession planning, and proven leadership behavior during times of chaos.
  • Leaders Developing Leaders One of a leader’s most powerful legacies is to develop those who work with them and for them. Leadership development programs in business have too often been relegated solely to talent managers and HR directors. 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.

Beyond the Keynote

Gen. Kolditz will work closely with you and your team to customize specific programs that increase learning and development. Together, you’ll create and implement a plan tailored specifically for your organization, resulting in measurable transformation. Programs and engagements include (but aren’t limited to) inspiring keynote presentations delivered by General Kolditz to ignite passion and interest, followed by interactive group exercises which implement new practices and foster collaboration. More in-depth offerings involve ongoing executive coaching and quarterly seminars on specific subject matter customized for each client. Previous clients include: Ford, GE, Google, Mercedes Benz, Boeing, All State, Goldman Sachs and many others.

    • In Extremis Leadership The contemporary operating environments for both government and business is characterized by volatility, complexity, and uncertainty—perfect conditions for crises to emerge. This session teaches lessons in crisis leadership drawn from crisis leadership professionals—mountain climbing guides, military leaders, firefighters, and others who routinely lead in dangerous and crisis contexts. Participants will learn how leading in crisis contexts is unique compared to leading in more stable times.
    • “Hope is Not a Leader’s Method”  This original work focuses on giving leaders more than hope, but instead very specific techniques for achieving common leader goals–empowering people, avoiding flawed plans, avoiding flawed execution, building a learning organization, and more.
    • Defining Leadership Across Cultures This session focuses on the nature of leadership, its definition, and how leadership differs between cultures. Participants will engage in an exercise where they reflect on, and create, their personal leadership philosophy.
    • Developing Talent for High Performance In this practice-oriented session, participants will learn simple techniques to immediately put to use in leading their organizations. Each of these techniques has been used successfully in both business and government settings. The emphasis is on simplicity and on using techniques that empower others to perform better.
    • Learning from Assignments Participants will learn a leader development process that is self-directed. This process is used at the Yale School of Management, and is also in use at Google, West Point, and various government agencies in the US. Participants will leave with the ability to develop their own direct reports using this process.
    • What People are Saying

What People are Saying . . .

“General Thomas Kolditz was a 10 out of 10! The responses from our key executives and leaders were extremely positive. Having a third party expert on leadership with a unique perspective not often seen in the business community was refreshing, informative and inspiring! We were extremely satisfied with Thomas and BigSpeak.” – DDR Corp

“General Kolditz is a visionary in the field of leadership training and development.” – David S. Corderman, Office of Leadership Development, FBI Academy

“In Extremis Leadership is a myth-busting, heart-stopping, mind-blowing account of what it’s really like to lead in life-and-death situations.” – Jim Kouzes, coauthor of The Leadership Challenge and A Leader’s Legacy

“You were outstanding, really made us think and your presentation sparked much conversation in the remaining time we had together. Thank you again for inspiring us to think more systemically about leadership development and how we might improve.” – The Conference Board

“General Kolditz is an engaging speaker who is able to make real-world connections between extreme military operations and leading in a corporate environment. His presentation was truly inspirational and insightful. The universal principals of leadership that Gen. Kolditz has researched and presented can certainly be transferred to a global company such as Siemens.” – James E. Whaley, SVP, Communications and Marketing, Siemens Corporation

“At TIME’s recent global sales meeting, General Kolditz delivered an inspiring and invigorating call to action for our sales team. His presentation, ‘Leading As If Your Life Depended On It,’ offers the ideal rallying cry for our times – when crisis is ubiquitous and when the worse things get, he says, the calmer true leaders become. The General’s charge to focus outward and to set yourself apart in order to set your influence apart is the perfect message for an international sales organization facing challenge and change at every turn. Thanks, General, for helping our team to embrace leadership ‘In Extremis.'” – TIME Worldwide

Consulting/Speaking Inquiries