NACD Board Leadership Conference NACD Chapter System

12/1/16 Houston | Leading as if Your Life Depended on It with Tom Kolditz

December 1, 2016
Houston, TX



Leading as If Your Life Depended on It  - In Conversation with Brigadier General (ret.) Thomas Kolditz.  Dr. Bob Ivany, President of St. Thomas University, Lead a fireside chat with our distinguished speaker and author.  General Kolditz is Executive Director of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University and author of In Extremis Leadership.  Through his experience as a former on-the-ground military leader, Kolditz showed how extreme life-and-death leadership skills can offer profound lessons for leaders in any setting.   Local NACD members and guests listened in as he "transformed the formerly anecdotal study of combat leadership into solid behavioral and social science that improves leadership across the private, public and social sectors.”   


To see the presentation in its entirety, view HERE


  PowerPoint Presentation_120116

Location and Time


Houston Country Club
1 Potomac Dr
Houston, TX 77057

4:00pm – Checkin and Reception

4:30pm – Seating and Program Introductions

4:45pm – Speaker Opening Comments and Moderated Q&A

5:15pm – Audience Q&A

5:45pm – 7:00pm -  Holiday Cocktail Reception

Speaker Spotlight


Dr. Robert Ivany, Moderator

President - University of St. Thomas
Director - Free Enterprise Institute, Red River Athletic Conference Previous Chair - The International Council of the Universities of St. Thomas Aquinas, Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, Mental Health America Previous Director - Greater Houston Partnership, The Health Museum, Sam Houston Area Council-Boy Scouts of America, Mutual of America, Army Football Club

Dr. Robert Ivany became the eighth president of the University of St. Thomas in 2004. This comprehensive Catholic university in the heart of Houston has dedicated itself to the vision of becoming one of the great Catholic universities in America.

Prior to his retirement from the Army with the rank of Major General, Bob presided over one of the nation’s most respected institutions for the education of strategic leaders: the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA. There for three years, he instituted programs to develop the next generation of military and civilian leaders from the United States and 42 foreign countries to meet the challenges of cultural change, organizational transformation and a drastically altered national security environment.

Serving as the commandant (president) of the War College capped Bob’s 34-year career in the Army. During his various commands as an armored cavalry officer, he led soldiers in the United States, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the Federal Republic of Germany and Vietnam, where he was wounded in action and decorated for valor.

When not assigned to troop units, he assisted several nations in the transformation of their armed forces. In 1990, Bob was the first senior military officer invited to Hungary to contribute to the democratization of its defense establishment. He lived in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait with his family, advising military and civilian leaders on the modernization of their military forces following Desert Storm. In Kuwait, he headed the American effort with a team of 45 advisors managing a $1.2 billion program to improve the nation’s education, training and logistics.

Bob also served in a number of unique positions, including the Army Aide to the President of the United States from 1984 to 1986, and an assistant professor of history and football coach at the Military Academy at West Point.

After completing his Army service in October 2003, he joined the faculty of the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University as an adjunct professor in Executive Education working with senior executives in Great Britain, Canada and the United States in leader development, strategic planning and cultural change. He has spoken on the topic of leadership development to nonprofit, corporate and civic organizations. His article “Soldiers and Legislators: A Common Mission” received the General Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence in Military Writing.

Bob has served on several corporate and not-for-profit boards. He now sits on the Board of Directors for The International Council of the Universities of St. Thomas Aquinas, Red River Athletic Conference and he is the immediate past Chairman of the Board for the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas.

Bob has received the Ellis Island Medal of Freedom, the Humanitarian Medal from the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Association, the Americanism Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution, the George Washington Award for Distinguished Service from the Sons of the American Revolution, the Director’s Award from the United States Secret Service, the Admiral Thomas J. Hamilton Award for Leadership, and together with his spouse, the Aaron and Hur Award from the United States Army Chaplaincy. The Republic of Hungary awarded him the Officer’s Cross, Order of Merit in 2012. In recognition of his career of service to the nation and dedication to his native country Hungary, Bob was awarded the George Washington Award by the American Hungarian Foundation in 2014. He was named a distinguished graduate of St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland, Ohio and has earned numerous military awards.

In addition to earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy, he received a Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Thomas Kolditz

Brigadier General (Ret.), Executive Director of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University, Behavioral Psychologist and Extreme Leadership

Tom Kolditz is Professor in the Practice of Leadership and Management and Director of the Leadership Development Program at the Yale School of Management. His experience as a leader development expert spans four decades in the public, private, and social sectors.

A retired Brigadier General and titled Professor Emeritus by the US Military Academy, Tom led the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at West Point for 12 years. In that role, he was responsible for teaching, research, and outreach activities in Management, Leader Development Science, Psychology, and Sociology. A highly experienced global leader, General Kolditz has more than 26 years in leader roles on four continents. His career has focused on either leading organizations himself, or studying leadership and leadership policy across sectors. He served for two years as a leadership and human resources policy analyst in the Pentagon, and a year as a concept developer in the Center for Army Leadership, and was the founding director of the West Point Leadership Center. He was instrumental in the design and formation of the Thayer Leader Development Group, and is the managing member of Saxon Castle LLC, a leader development consultancy.

General Kolditz is an internationally recognized expert on crisis leadership and leadership in extreme contexts, and in the development of programs to inculcate leadership and leader development in everything from project teams to large organizations. He has published extensively across a diverse array of academic and leadership trade journals, and serves on the editorial and advisory boards of several academic journals. He is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association and is a member of the Academy of Management. He is a founding member of the Board of Advisors for the Department of Psychology at the University of Missouri, on the Council of Senior Advisors for the Future of Executive Development Forum, and is an Academic in Residence for the Global Leadership Strategy Network. His consultancies include Google and GE.

A skydiving instructor since 1980, Kolditz served as the senior instructor for the West Point Sport Parachute Team. He weaves his personal experiences and abilities as a soldier, skydiver, and scholar into the first-hand study, analysis, and practice of leadership in dangerous circumstances— in extremis leadership—and how such leadership can inform the practice of leading in more ordinary settings. His most recent book, titled In Extremis Leadership: Leading as if Your Life Depended on It, was based on more than 175 interviews taken on the ground in Iraq during combat operations. He has been named as a leadership Thought Leader by the Leader to Leader Institute and as a Top Leader Development Professional by Leadership Excellence.



Question about this Event?

Contact NACD Texas TriCities Chapter 5773 Woodway Dr, Box 258, Houston, TX, 77057 phone: 832-369-7110 email: