Waldo Waldman

Leadership Expert and Former Air Force Fighter Pilot

Waldo Waldman
  • Leadership expert who can call on life experiences to show the value of commitment, adaptation, and building relationships
  • Interactive, high-energy speaker who bridges the gap between the highly competitive world of the fighter pilot and the challenges of business
  • Real world sales experience, MBA, New York Times & Wall Street Journal best-selling author, member of the Speaker Hall of Fame.

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Lt Col (ret.) Rob “Waldo” Waldman is a decorated veteran who shares how commitment, collaboration and courage can help you overcome fear, break performance barriers, and give you the courage to take action in rapidly changing competitive environments. Known as “The Wingman”, Waldo is the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Never Fly Solo.  He teaches organizations how to build trusting, revenue producing relationships with their employees, partners, and customers while sharing his experiences as a combat decorated F-16 fighter pilot and businessman. 

Waldo Waldman overcame massive claustrophobia and a fear of heights to become a fighter pilot and believes that the key to building a peak performance culture of trust lies with your wingmen – the people in your life who help you to overcome obstacles, adapt to change, and achieve success.

“In business and in life, you should never fly solo.” – Waldo Waldman

Commitment, Collaboration and Courage are the three tenets of Waldo’s peak performance programs. His compelling stories about overcoming adversity, earning trust, and breaking performance barriers are heartfelt and will inspire you and your team to reach new heights both personally and professionally.

Waldo Waldman 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 Speaker Hall of Fame, a prestigious award that honors speakers who have reached the top echelon of platform excellence, and has been bestowed on less than 180 speakers worldwide. He’s been featured on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Inc. Magazine, and The Harvard Business Review, and his clients include Hewlett Packard, Verizon, American Express, The Denver Broncos, MassMutual, Siemens, Merck, Johnson & Johnson and dozens of national associations.

In addition to his speaking engagements, Waldo’s is also founder of The Wingman Foundation whose mission is to build funds and awareness for soldiers, veterans, and their families in need. 

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Speaker Video

Waldo Waldman: The Importance of the Team

Waldo Waldman: Your Wingman

Never Fly Solo Speaking Demo

Motivational Keynotes

Peak Performance Seminars

  • Leadership
  • Teambuilding
  • Sales


The Power of Partnership to Reach New Heights in Business

Flying solo? You might think so. But take a good look around. You have support staff. You have managers. You have suppliers, vendors, and distributors. And you have colleagues, family members and significant others. By placing your trust in those around you, you can overcome obstacles, adapt to change, and break performance barriers during adverse times. By placing your trust in your wingmen and by being a wingman to others, there is no mission you can't complete!

Lt. Col. Rob "Waldo" Waldman, The Wingman, overcame a lifelong battle with claustrophobia and a fear of heights to become a combat decorated Air Force fighter pilot and highly successful businessman, entrepreneur, and The New York Times best-selling author. His motto is Winners Never Fly Solo! Through his captivating personal stories and high energy videos, learn how you, like a fighter pilot, can succeed in highly competitive and demanding environments.

Discover how to prepare diligently for every mission; employ loyal wingmen to promote integrity and trust; and lead your team with courage, compassion and conviction. Be inspired to take to the skies knowing that you have wingmen to help you face challenges and change with confidence while maximizing your potential in all aspects of your life.

WINGMAN LEADERSHIP: Building a Corporate Culture of Courage & Mutual Support Assist in creating a collaborative culture of trust, commitment, and mutual support that will promote growth, adapting to change, and innovation. A focus will be on core values, accountability, open communication, and teamwork.


  • Instill a “One Team-One Mission” climate of team ownership so that every leader feels fully accountable for the success of the mission.  Transformational leaders never fly solo.
  • Share tools that can motivate the members of your leadership team and their staff to collaborate more effectively, adapt to change, and face adversity and conflict with courage.
  • Assess leadership strengths and weaknesses and learn tactics for personal and professional growth that will give additional leverage for building high-performance teams.

The key to building a high-powered organization that encourages innovative thinking, loyalty to the mission, effective communication, and a relentless commitment to excellence lies with its leadership. In this high-energy program, Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman highlights the difference between managing others and leading them to be responsible, empowered and confident wingmen. What results is a more productive and efficient organization with superior morale that can rapidly overcome challenges and competition both internally and externally.

Waldo will discuss proven leadership principals based on his experience as an AF Academy graduate, decorated fighter pilot, and seasoned businessman. A relentless passion for the mission, dedicated teamwork, and a commitment to excellence are a few key elements of this engaging and highly interactive seminar. Attendees will learn leadership tools based on four key modules:

  1. Attitude of Excellence: In order to facilitate change and transformation, a leader must first believe in the mission and be fully committed to personal and professional growth.
  2. Shared Vision - Every wingman must know exactly what they are fighting for and where they are headed. Not only must they be committed to the mission, but they must also understand exactly how their unique role is essential to the organization’s success.
  3. Values Based Culture - Integrity, accountability, service, and teamwork serve as the foundation for all relationships between employees, partners, and clients.
  4. Effective Communication – Leaders must listen empathetically and communicate with respect. Most importantly, they should command excellence from each other and not demand it.  Leaders promote open dialogue and create an environment where mission critical feedback and constructive conflict is appreciated and expected.

I. WINGMAN ATTITUDE: “Belief Drives Passion. Passion Fuels Commitment

  1. Push it up! Always be committed to take action and give 100%.
  2. To expand, a leader must be willing to step outside of their comfort zone.
  3. What gives meaning to your mission?
  4. You Have the Aircraft! Accountability means you’re in charge of results.
  5. You’re Always on Parade – You set the tone and lead the way.
  6. A high-performance culture: each teammate is fully dependable and trustworthy, even when challenges and obstacles arise.

II. VISION: “Beware of Distractions Disguised as Opportunities”

  1. Keep focused on long-term target/objective and what you’re fighting for.
  2. Share your vision - How do you see the world and your responsibilities?
  3. Set expectations & be consistent - let others know your expectations.
  4. How do your wingmen see you? Are you the same in and out of work?
  5. Learn your wingmen’s vision – find out where they want to go and see the world through their eyes before asking them to commit to your vision.

III. VALUES: “To get to the head, go through the heart.”

  1. Core Values: The foundation for building a personal & professional culture
  2. Watch for “Over-G’s.” Small cracks in integrity lead to big cracks. How do you create a culture of courage where people will admit their mistakes?
  3. Honor your word, keep commitments, and admit when you’re wrong.
  4. Leaders Lift:  Be an encourager. Value employees as people first, and as employees second. Lead from the heart first, then the head.
  5. Service Before Self – Do you truly serve your employees?
  6. Check Six – Leaders have blind spots yet need a 360-degree perspective of their operating environment.  Who’s got your back?

IV. COMMUNICATION: “It’s not what you say or do, it’s what they perceive.” 

  1. Break Left! – Monitor your wingmen and call out obstacles. Will they listen to you when it really counts? Are you willing to be told what you need to hear and not what you want to hear?
  2. Listen – Your wingmen must be willing to come to you for help. They will go the extra mile when they know you care.
  3. Walk the Flight Line – Appreciate the unsung heroes of your group.  Get out and connect with your troops. Ask questions and be approachable
  4. Brief and De-Brief every mission - Follow-up and Follow-through. Pass on lessons learned to organization.
  5. Recognize and reward your Top Guns – They are your future leaders.

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