Scott Mann

U.S. Army Green Beret (Ret.), Human Connection Coach, Operation Pineapple Express Mission Leader
  • A riveting storyteller, shares his expertise for building pivotal relationships in high-stakes, competitive environments
  • Alongside fellow Green Beret veterans, led Operation Pineapple Express, the daring mission to save 1,000 Afghan allies during America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan
  • Connects game-changing strategies from combat to demonstrate how business leaders surround their organizations with purpose and build high-trust cultures
  • Leaves audiences energized and with the tools to turn their vulnerabilities into opportunities, chase their dreams, overcome their struggles, and play a bigger game

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Described as the “Warrior Storyteller,” retired Lieutenant Colonel Scott Mann is a human connection expert and coach who works alongside organizations to unite their teams around a shared vision and arm them with the tools and resources to make an impact and achieve mission success. A former U.S. Army Green Beret who specialized in unconventional, high-impact special operations in do-or-die conflict zones all over the globe, Mann applies his hard-won lessons from the battlefield to business as he shares the relationship-building techniques that drove so many of his successful combat operations. Through Rooftop Leadership, the professional training and coaching program that he founded, Mann advises servant leaders across industries — from Fortune 100 corporations (including Capital One, Walmart, Raymond James, and Fannie Mae) to local small businesses — on how to mobilize their teams, forge deeper connections with their people, and gain a more complete understanding of the opportunities that exist to create high-trust, high-performance cultures.

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Mann draws from his heart-pounding, fast-moving Army career to bring Green Beret principles of leadership and rapport-building to organizations. Having mastered the art of problem solving in places where trust was absent, conflict was rampant, and he had to rely on his head and heart to create connections in war-torn communities, he provides an outline for how today’s leaders can make better human connections in high-stakes, low-trust environments. In his keynotes, workshops, and retreats, he relates his experiences to the challenges organizations face today and taps into his dynamic storytelling ability to captivate audiences with valuable lessons from leading and succeeding in critical combat missions. He brings an innovative approach to problem solving — one that has empowered people from all walks of life to get surrounded on purpose to achieve something much greater than themselves.

In a distinguished 23-year military career, Mann operated at the highest levels of the Special Operations Community and has been widely recognized for his successful leadership of teams in complex situations. He grabbed global headlines when, alongside fellow Green Beret veterans and other volunteers, he led “Operation Pineapple Express” — a grassroots leadership campaign using Rooftop Human Connection Skills to honor a promise and save more than 1,000 Afghans from a life-threatening situation amid the chaos of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Mann is the author of Leading Through Chaos and the New York Times bestseller Operation Pineapple Express, which details the story of the dangerous rescue mission of several hundred of our allies in Afghanistan. He is also the founder of Task Force Pineapple, a nonprofit organization that provides safe passage of our Afghan allies away from unstable environments and supports them in relocating and resettling to the U.S. In a similar vein, he is the founder of The Heroes Journey, a nonprofit which provides warriors, first responders, and their families an outlet to share their stories as a way to heal and transition home from service.

Mann has advocated on behalf of our troops and Afghan allies in front of Congress and on national media outlets, including CNN, Fox, and ABC. In addition to his speaking, Mann channels his captivating storytelling as a playwright and actor in Last Out, his recent play-brought-to-film illustrating the unforeseen costs of war on our veterans — available on Amazon Prime.

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Speaker Video

Leadership Principles from the Battlefield to the Boardroom

Using Rooftop Leadership in Operation Pineapple Express

Rooftop Leadership | TEDxSantaBarbara

The Generosity of Scars| TEDxSantaBarbara

Surrounded on Purpose | TEDxCincinnati

Leading Through the Churn: Authentically Connecting People to Purpose. How do you lead people who are reluctant to follow? The answer, as retired U.S. Army Green Beret Lieutenant Colonel Scott Mann shares, is human connection. Only once we have a greater understanding of our need to connect with others can we start to build better, deeper, stronger relationships with those around us.

In this compelling talk, Lt. Col. Mann draws from his experiences leading and connecting people in some of the most challenging, war-torn environments in the world to outline powerful methods for fostering better trust and connection using time-tested Green Beret interpersonal skills that can be adapted by any organization. After all, what works in life and battle works even better in life and business.

Operation Pineapple Express. How do you lead when everything is falling apart and chaos reigns supreme? In the heat of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, a group of volunteer veterans stepped into the breach to lead a grassroots movement to help rescue Afghan nationals trapped in extremely dangerous conditions as the country collapsed all around them. Operation Pineapple Express, the nonprofit organization founded by Lt. Col. Scott Mann and dedicated to rescuing and resettling our Afghan allies, played a pivotal role in their safe passage away from life-threatening situations.

In this dynamic keynote, Lt. Col. Scott Mann brings the audience along for the heart-wrenching, moment-by-moment events as he tells the story of secretly moving Afghans through holes in the airport perimeter known as the Pineapple Express. He brings the talk full circle as he challenges people to identify their own Pineapple Express and answer the call to lead in difficult times.


Navigating Chaos and Change (Keynote/Workshop). How has chaos changed the reality of your day-to-day arena? How do we find our way out of chaos and back to a place that makes sense? How do you keep yourself healthy and relevant to those you lead in the darkest moments? What are the best practices that allow you to effectively lead your team through chaos? Your people and leaders are exhausted from persistent change and pivots out of one crisis and into another. This half-day workshop or one hour Keynote will teach your people how chaos and complexity have changed their leadership reality and give them the tools to lead themselves and others through exhausting change while still maintaining morale and purpose.

Strategic Influence in Challenging Times (Keynote/Workshop). Why does it seem so much harder to meet our goals? How do you cut through the noise and identify the true threats to your goals and influence that are simmering below the surface of everyday life? How do you establish relatability and relevance that will move people to an action they otherwise wouldn’t take? How do you influence in real-time when things get hard? The methodology in this half-day workshop will make your people more relatable to the pain and relevant to the goals of the folks they seek to influence and teach them to be the individuals who are followed in challenging times. Available as a Keynote or Workshop.

Trust Dynamics (Keynote/Workshop). What’s happening to the loss of trust in business and what do we do about it? What do leaders need to know about trust that will give them an authentic, competitive advantage? How can leaders bridge trust gaps and silos for unified effort? This half-day workshop or one hour keynote will train your people to assess, build, and restore trust – putting trust back into the core of your business. 

Narrative Competence (Keynote/Workshop). Why is it so hard to move teammates and clients to action? How do you build the skillset to cut through the noise and influence in real time? How do you leverage your own stories to inspire, sell, and influence? How do you employ narrative competence when failure isn’t an option? Your people are distracted and disengaged. The average attention span for an adult is 8 seconds. This half-day workshop or 1 hour Keynote will teach your people how to use storytelling to cut through the distraction and influence others. 

Lead Yourself First. Supply chain shortfalls. Unprecedented change management. Low personnel numbers. Now more than ever, teams are being asked to consistently perform at the highest level with fewer and more limited resources. This ultimately leads to burnout and high levels of turnover. In this talk, Lt. Col. Scott Mann demonstrates to leaders how they can inspire consistent high performance in a sustainable way. Drawing from his experiences as a leader in the Special Ops Community, he shares the ways embracing a culture of rhythm, rituals, regimen, and rigor can help teams overcome the inertia of burnout, while remaining resilient over the long haul to achieve strategic objectives.

The Generosity of Scars. How can you connect with clients and associates when we are facing an epic struggle? By telling your story; It’s how the brain makes sense of the world, and how your audience makes sense of your mission. As Lt. Col. Scott Mann shares, through purposeful storytelling, you can create an impact, accelerate trust, and make your vision more relatable to the people you aim to connect with.

In this talk, Lt. Col. Mann leads a discussion where he walks audiences through the process of discovering purpose, building a movement, and learning to tell their story in the service of others. In doing so, he arms organizations with the skills needed to influence and engage people, while developing a competitive edge.

Reconnecting After the Storm. How do we reconnect after the persistent fear, unprecedented change, and epic isolation of a multi-year pandemic? Reemerging and reconnecting after a storm like the one we’ve been through is not to be left to instinct alone. “The Great Resignation” has shown us that leaders who can’t reconnect with their people wherever they are on their emotional journey will likely lose them. This affects performance and bottom line.

Lt. Col. Scott Mann shares his lessons learned from reconnecting as a multi-tour veteran returning home from war and how they can be adapted to the evolving workplace. Creating parallels to people returning to the office, he offers hard-hitting human connection skills that will enhance leaders’ ability to boost psychological safety and human connection in their organizations, while uniting their people around a shared purpose.

Getting Below the Waterline in Times of Low Trust. How do you overcome the trust gaps between you and the people you serve that seem so pervasive in these complex times? As retired U.S. Army Green Beret Lt. Col. Scott Mann shares, you have to get below the waterline – that’s where the real essence of humanity and connection, regardless of language or culture, resides. Green Berets recognize this, and it’s how they build rapport in low-trust, war-torn environments where there is a thin line between life and death.

Having trained Green Berets in this social science skillset for more than two decades, Lt. Col. Mann gives audiences a crash course on how to get below the waterline with their teammates and clients. He shares actionable steps for building the type of trust that moves people to follow you and invest in a shared vision, as well as insights for developing a detailed plan of action that is more relevant to achieving your objectives.

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