Lt Col Waldo Waldman

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Known as “The Wingman,” Lt Col (ret.) Waldo Waldman is the author of National Bestseller Never Fly Solo. He helps organizations build collaborative cultures of trust, courage, and commitment in order to adapt to change, break performance barriers, and overcome adversity. 


In addition to his time in the military, Waldo has real-world corporate sales experience and is an expert on change management and resilience – having overcome a fear of heights and claustrophobia to achieve his dream of becoming a fighter pilot. 


His compelling stories and tactics on overcoming adversity, performing under pressure, and servant-based leadership are extremely relevant to organizations that are going through disruptive change and seeking to build a “One Team, One Mission” culture of excellence and trust.


Waldo is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and also holds an MBA with a focus on Organizational Behavior. He is an inductee into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame, and is the founder of The Wingman Foundation whose mission is to build funds and awareness for veterans and their families in need. He has been featured on CNN, Fox News, Inc. Magazine, and The Harvard Business Review, and his clients include Verizon, American Express, GE, The Denver Broncos, ExxonMobil, New York Life, Siemens, Merck, and dozens of national associations.


Speaking Topics - 


Never Fly Solo: Waldo’s signature keynote on teamwork, courage, and preparation to break performance barriers and win in business and life.


Flying solo? You might think so. But take a good look around. You have support staff, managers, and suppliers. And you have colleagues, consultants, and significant others.


By building trust in your partners, you can overcome obstacles, adapt to change, and achieve success. When you have wingmen, there is no mission you can’t complete!


Through captivating stories, business lessons, and real-world videos, Waldo will take your team on an unforgettable journey of high performance and excellence in extremely competitive and demanding environments.


Be inspired to take to the skies knowing that you have Wingmen to help you face challenges and change with courage while maximizing potential in all aspects of life.


Key Takeaways:

  • Promote Open Communication, Integrity, and Trust
  • Develop a Collaborative Culture of Teamwork and Mutual Support
  • Leverage Preparation to Build Confidence
  • Transform Relationships into Revenue Convert Fear into Action
  • Lead with Courage, Conviction, and Compassion


Wingman Leadership: High energy and interactive program on building a collaborative culture of trust, accountability, mutual support, & excellence.


The key to building a high-performing organization that encourages innovative thinking, adaptability to change, effective communication, and a commitment to excellence lies with its leadership.


In this high-energy program, Waldo highlights the difference between managing others and leading them to be responsible, empowered, and confident wingmen. Waldo will discuss proven leadership principles based on his experience as an AF Academy graduate, decorated fighter pilot, and seasoned businessman.


The program will:

  • Instill a “One Team-One Mission” culture of team ownership so that every leader feels fully accountable for the success of the mission.
  • Share tools to motivate leaders and staff to collaborate more effectively, adapt to change, and face adversity and conflict with courage.
  • Provide tools for personal and professional growth that will give additional leverage for building high-performance teams.


Wingman Safety: A keynote or half-day seminar that focuses on building a courageous culture of operational excellence, safety, and trust.


In the world of the fighter pilot, complacency kills. A failure to adhere to standards, maintain discipline, and follow procedures not only can cause aircraft mishaps, but it can also cost lives.


The same holds on the factory floor or a dangerous worksite. Employees who lack attention to detail, focus, and discipline are prone to make mistakes that can impact safety, productivity, operational excellence…and lives.


Waldo will share proven leadership principles based on his experience as an Air Force safety officer and as a combat flight lead where his wingmen’s lives were on the line.


Following his program, the audience will learn peak performance leadership and safety-enhancing tools based on three key concepts:

  • Commitment to Excellence – Everyone must know exactly what and who they are fighting for. They should emulate excellence on and off the job, and understand that their role is essential to safety, morale, and culture.
  • Values-Based Culture – Integrity, accountability, mutual respect, and teamwork must serve as the foundation for all relationships.
  • Effective Communication – Leaders listen intently and communicate their safety vision with passion. They promote open two-way communication.

Lt Col Waldo Waldman's Experiences

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Dear Waldo: Thank you very much for making the time to come talk to our sales team in Houston, TX. The team very much enjoyed your engagement and walked away with a renewed sense of passion and inspiration. In the Healthcare industry we are at a turning point. We are being challenged to think, act and lead in new ways, pushing our boundaries to create a GEHC that is faster, simpler and more customer-focused. Your message was directly in-line with that way of thinking; that we cannot be bogged down by what is in the media our what is happening outside of our control. That we need to be focused on our impact to our teams as well as the organization as a whole. We appreciated how you took the time to incorporate our GE beliefs into your presentation. At GEHC we know that in order to accelerate our journey towards excellence we must embrace a new way of working that enables us to keep pace with change, harness complexity, transform our culture and deliver results. Our sales people walked away feeling emboldened by your challenge to do just that, when you told us to "dodge the missiles of change and drive forward to innovate as an amazing company". The way that you connected with each member of our audience and related your own stories to us made your presentation even more personal and engaging. We all felt a revitalization in our commitment to our team and knowing that moving forward, we will NEVER FLY SOLO.

Tim Krzyzanowski, General Manager, GE Healthcare

Dear Rob, I wanted to commend you on the exceptional job you did speaking at our Americas sales conference last month. It's no small task to keep a 500 person audience from 23 countries engaged for an hour and a half but you did it! The advance preparation you did to understand the audience and our organizational challenges really impressed the attendees. Your message of commitment, preparation and personal excellence was delivered with humor and conviction. I received countless compliments from the attendees about how inspired they were by your session and the focus on being a "Wingman" really resonated with the audience. They were equally impressed with the depth and understanding you had about their roles and how you presentation aligned with our conference theme and 2015 sales objectives. Our sales organization and leaders have seen a number of motivational speakers at our conferences over the years but I've never seen anyone get a standing ovation on their close. The "Wingman" really delivered. I can't thank you enough for closing our conference with a bang.

John C. Slater, VP of Sales, United Airlines