The Future of the American Idea. In May of 2014 I had the distinct honor of speaking at the Jack Kemp Forum on the Future of the American Idea at Lincoln Cottage in Washington DC sharing a stage with William Kristol, Peggy Noonan, and Gary Kasparov.
LA Dodgers presentation on leadership. What elevates a team from a functional group to an elite unit?
The Honor Foundation NEXT speaker series. The Honor Foundation is a non-profit that prepares Special Operations Forces warriors for transition to the private sector and I was asked to provide a 15 minute presentation to an audience of prospective employers as well as some current and former military. My objective was to make the point that Special Operators offer much more to the private sector than ‘mere’ special operations expertise.
US Strategic Command Forum Apr 2013. This is a regular forum that the General running STRATCOM sponsors to bring in innovative thinkers to stimulate thinking and discussion at his staff. They found me after the forum’s coordinator saw an interview with me appeared that appeared in Forbes Magazine entitled “A Navy SEAL talks about Chaos, Leadership, and Innovation” which you can read here. At STRATCOM, I spoke first to a group of senior officers (Colonels and Captains) and separately to mid-grade officers and civilian staff. The title of my presentation was “Resilience in the Face of Uncertainty.”
Unbeatable Mind Academy Retreat Dec 2013 Mark Divine runs NavySEALS.com and SEALFIT.com which includes the Unbeatable Mind Academy which has an annual 2.5 day retreat. This gathering is designed to bring his network of those focused on mental toughness together to sharpen their skills and learn new concepts. Mark’s recently published NYT best-selling book The Way of the SEAL has brought many converts to his outstanding combination of Yoga, Martial Arts, and Navy SEAL training to help create the total ‘warrior’ – warrior in the sense of total human being who is strong, tough, AND compassionate and wise. I was asked to speak to his retreat on developing a ‘personal ethos.’
Navy SEAL Graduation Ceremony After completing over a full year of some of the most challenging military training in the world in order to become Navy SEALs there is a formal graduation ceremony. Families and civilian and military dignitaries are invited to witness and celebrate this key event not only in the lives of these new SEALs, but also for the SEAL community as a whole. A graduation speaker is invited to provide comments to the graduating class of newly-minted SEALs as well as to their families celebrating this long-anticipated event. I have the distinction of being one of the few who have spoken at more than one graduation event – I have spoken at two – in June 2011 and again in September 2013. The below short clip from the September 2013 graduation of class 297 provides a perspective of the ceremony.