Lead In Extremis With Tom Kolditz, Former Brigadier General

One of the phrases that struck me when I was interviewing Tom Kolditz was when he said that “the US military is very egalitarian, very much in a meritocracy. People are expected to never lean on their rank. The rank gives them a certain set of responsibilities. But it doesn't give them any advantage in the framework that we operate in our military.” Tom rose to the rank of Brigadier General, which should give you some sense of his calibre as a leader. I’ve had the chance to get to know him as he’s gone about scaling and reinventing the way coaching works to support students in university settings, and Iwas excited to talk to him about how to lead in the most difficult of times. Tom Kolditz is the founding Director of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University, named top university program by the Association of Leadership Educators. In 2017, he received the Warren Bennis Award for Excellence in Leadership, and has ranked among the top 25 global coaches for three years. The Doerr Institute is his fifth successful leader development start-up. His book In Extremis Leadership: Leading as if Your Life Depended on It has become one of the go-to texts for leading in the COVID-19 crisis. In our conversation we dig into the process for evaluating risk in a snapshot moment; the power of a premortem; how to enroll the most junior person in a room tocreate diversity of thought; and why feelings matter in a time of crisis. You can meet Tom at www.tomkolditz.com and see his institutional work at www.doerr.rice.edu and @doerrinstitute on Twitter. This show is brought to you by The Advice Trap, Michael Bungay Stanier’s latest book. You can access a wide range of tools to help #TameYourAdviceMonster at www.TheAdviceTrap.com. If you’d like to spend more time with Michael and people he admires, sign up for The Year of Living Brilliantly. 52 teachers over 52 weeks, each teaching one brilliant insight. Absolutely free.

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