Ep. 32: Waldo Waldman on Why Admitting Your Mistakes Strengthens Your Team

In this episode, David sits down with Waldo Waldman, Former Fighter Pilot, Hall of Fame Speaker, Executive Coach, and Author, to discuss why admitting your mistakes strengthens your team.

Buy David’s NEW Book: https://www.trustedleaderbook.com/

Sponsored by Sourcewell

Waldo’s Bio:
Lt Col Waldo Waldman, MBA is a Hall of Fame leadership keynote speaker, executive coach, and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Never Fly Solo. Known as “The Wingman”, he’s an Air Force Academy graduate, combat decorated fighter pilot and expert in resilience, courage, and helping leaders accelerate performance in changing environments. His clients include Marriott, American Express, The Denver Broncos, and Verizon and he’s been featured on CNN, Fox News, and The Harvard Business Review. Visit www.YourWingman.com or connect with him on social media @WaldoWaldman.

Waldo’s Links:
Website: https://yourwingman.com/
“Never Fly Solo” book: https://amzn.to/3yQcgbQ
FREE download of “Never Fly Solo” audiobook: https://yourwingman.com/nfs/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/waldowaldman/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/waldowaldman
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/waldowaldman/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/WingmanF16

Key Quotes:
1. “People want the raw, the real.”
2. “I like to refer to myself as a courage monger.”
3. “A wingman is a trusted partner.”
4. “It starts with you. The inner wingman.”
5. “Admitting your mistakes and showing your humanity and vulnerability is key.”
6. “Leadership starts with the person staring back at you.”
7. “People smell out and feel dissonance.”
8. “Make your friends your mentors and your mentors your friends.”
9. “Part of excellence is service.”
10. “Love is service in action.”
11. “You have to distract yourself from yourself.”
12. “You can’t see the big picture on your own.”
13. “Pain leads to peace.”
14. “We have a responsibility for our team.”

Links Mentioned In The Episode:
“Never Fly Solo” by Waldo Waldman: https://amzn.to/3yQcgbQ
FREE download of “Never Fly Solo” audiobook: https://yourwingman.com/nfs/
“How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie: https://amzn.to/3fVivTh
“The Science of Mind” by Ernest Holmes: https://amzn.to/2R4sLjL

Buy David’s NEW book Trusted Leader: https://www.trustedleaderbook.com/

David’s Links:
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Show Transcript

David Horsager: Welcome to the trusted leader show it’s David Horsager, we have a special guest today he is a dear friend, he is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal best selling author

David Horsager: He went to the US Air Force Academy. He’s a decorated combat veteran. He’s just an amazing leader.

David Horsager: He, you know, and we’re going to talk about this a little bit, but he’s one of the guys, I would say in our business because he’s speaking, all of them. He’s a Hall of Fame speaker.

David Horsager: He’s a guy that we would say is the same onstage and offstage, and I’m just grateful that he’s friend. Welcome to the show. Lieutenant Colonel Waldo Waldman you’ve got your MBA, you got it all. But you’re a leader of leaders and I just want to say thanks for being on

Waldo Waldman: You got it, David. Great to be here and Happy New Year.

David Horsager: Happy New Year. So there’s a lot of things I could say about you, your family, your life. Nowadays, but give us three things, Waldo, who are you

Waldo Waldman: So,

Waldo Waldman: My background as a fighter pilot is one thing, but I was I was having a little sales call this afternoon and I think, more than ever, people want the raw, the real who you are, the blood, not the muscle and so

Waldo Waldman: Especially during coded when things have changed a lot. You really sit and become more insightful and more more

Waldo Waldman: introspective about who you are. What drives you what you believe in. What’s your what I call you know the true north. Right. What gets you out of bed.

Waldo Waldman: Not necessarily. What keeps you up at night and I like to refer to myself as a courage monger

Waldo Waldman: Not a fear monger because Lord knows we see enough about that I give people courage. I want to give people the courage to take their actions to step out of their comfort zones to ask for help.

Waldo Waldman: To be okay with where they’re at, but not okay with with their complacency. I am a performance expert. I teach people, and in particular.

Waldo Waldman: The most of one wing man, there is a my life myself how to take action, every day and grow.

Waldo Waldman: So, so that’s kind of what it is, as far as, you know, professionally and what I do, but I’m also

Waldo Waldman: A proud father of a little, little wing man named as who turns 10 years old on Sunday. And then my wife Dana, who’s an amazing wingnut so I love family I love. I also love God, but that’s a whole nother story.

David Horsager: You can share any of it here, it’s a safe place. And we know you know trusted leaders, generally they are they, there’s a whole lot beyond their work those that are only focused on work usually aren’t as great at work.

David Horsager: One other thing that I think is really congruent with what you said, you know, we talked about trust, and I know you a lot of what you believe about it but but we talked about how, if you’re doing leadership alone, you’re doing it wrong.

David Horsager: Right. And you talk about being a wing man and what it takes, and what it means. Tell me about that.

Waldo Waldman: So I think a wing man or wing, ma’am.

Waldo Waldman: The ladies do we fly with are the type of people were others feel comfortable coming to for help.

Waldo Waldman: When you think about trust, in a way, man is a trusted partner. That’s what I I coined

Waldo Waldman: 20 years ago when I started working a wingman is a trusted partner business in life and how do you define that trust and you’re an expert in it, David.

Waldo Waldman: Is our do others feel comfortable coming to you for help. Are you an expert are you compassionate empathetic, or you courageous. Are you emulating the same things that you ask other people to do. And as a leader if other people can come to you for help.

Waldo Waldman: And they’re confident that you can help them and not rip their lungs out or kick him in the knees or criticize them, then you’re able to solve problems.

Waldo Waldman: And most companies that we work with are having problems with their people not being able to come to their leaders with their problems and possibly some solutions.

Waldo Waldman: To solve those problems. And that’s the key. How do you solve the problems. How do you get your people to perform and grow and sell future problems. And also, obviously.

Waldo Waldman: Help your clients because if you have a whole company of people

Waldo Waldman: where everyone’s comfortable going to each other for help in solving each other’s problems and you build that culture from the inside out, guess what.

Waldo Waldman: Now your prospects are going to feel confident and coming to you for help because every wing man or wing ma’am on your team is giving a service focus is competent and that’s how great companies flourish from the inside out and build great partners and revenue with their clients.

David Horsager: I want to get to the book in a moment because it really follows this. But before I do, you know that you, you think about this.

David Horsager: I mean, should say the book title New York Times bestseller never fly solo but we see a lot of leaders they have imposter syndrome. I’ve sat next to presidents of companies and presidents of countries and they’re scared to death. They’re going to be found out

David Horsager: They don’t want to share, who they are, what they’re

David Horsager: Really they they’re, they’re just in this, how do you, how do you you’re a leader. How do you show healthy vulnerability. How do you, how do you make an approachable environment where people were your

David Horsager: How do you get willing to ask for help. What do you do with that to some of these people that you know we’re sitting next to that or whether it’s ego or whatever in the way

Waldo Waldman: Right, right. It’s a great point, David.

Waldo Waldman: Number one, and I’m going to share some specifics that I learned as a fighter upon the course that I teach my clients.

Waldo Waldman: Is, is it starts with you what I call the inner wing, then the person staring back at you and you put your flight suit on every morning. Do you trust yourself.

Waldo Waldman: Are you full of baloney. Are you putting in the time to refine your flight plan to learn to pivot to demonstrate empathy and compassion and caring to say I need help, or I don’t know in front of your peers.

Waldo Waldman: To admit your mistakes 15 years ago I worked for a title company in California at the big meeting USA Today.

Waldo Waldman: Came out with an article front page of the paper or be in the business section. They made a horrific sin.

Waldo Waldman: It made the news. It was not good. And guess what people reading it at the at the buffet that morning, and that CEO came up there and said, Listen, we messed up.

Waldo Waldman: I’m sorry we you know we got to make this right but there’s no excuse. She was transparent, you know, look at what what Tylenol did when they had that whole issue Johnson and Johnson. Right. You know, when they admitted them mistake so admitting your mistakes and showing your humanity.

Waldo Waldman: And vulnerability is key. And it’s not to say if you’re always admitting mistakes and always showing vulnerability and messing up. Hey,

Waldo Waldman: Probably not credible probably not working on yourself, you probably need to go back into the hangar and the simulator and start working on your craft and technologies and tools and tech tactics. You got to be competent

Waldo Waldman: However, most leaders get to the position where they are, they are because they’re competent, but now those soft skills are key. I’m gonna share a quick example David

Waldo Waldman: Fighter pilots demonstrate acumen and teamwork and culture and growth through procedures called briefing.

Waldo Waldman: And debriefing right so I’m going to share a little bit about a debriefing what we do at the beginning of a debriefing is number one, we take off our rank.

Waldo Waldman: And our name tags because we don’t want to have our ego I er rank or our personalities are name tags, get in the way of growth, you’re a number. If it’s a four ship. It’s 1234 know Joe Mike Lisa and Sabrina know you are a number, right, and we

Waldo Waldman: Are an on an equal playing field. But the first thing that happens in a debrief, Dave. And this is important for your listeners.

Waldo Waldman: Is we go through the objectives. See if we hit them or not. And then the leader shares his or her mistakes. What did I do wrong. Here’s what I did. You know, I called

Waldo Waldman: Tanks dry or too early. I overachieved my jet. Look at the tapes. Here it shows me calling a kill, left hand turn band at 22,000 feet. The purple wasn’t on I messed up.

Waldo Waldman: Well, I didn’t call out the the emergency airfields. What is that going to do, Dave. For the rest of those teammates those Young Guns may be brand new to the squad and when it comes time for them to share what are they going to do, Dave, you know the answer.

David Horsager: They’re going to share

Waldo Waldman: They’re going to share their mistakes and possibly

Waldo Waldman: And maybe with a bit of reticence, the other mistakes that the leader may have missed. Well, sir, ma’am. You also

Waldo Waldman: Got within five or defeat within that that turn and you broke the bubble. It was it was a standards violation and also

Waldo Waldman: The A, B and C. Well, okay. Now hopefully the wingman, that the young folks on the on the team, or the other folks aren’t calling out too many of those mistakes because once again.

Waldo Waldman: It will interfere with the credibility of that leader, but you want to create that culture and that gloves are off the smoke coming out of nostrils and we go deep. But guess what, when it’s done.

Waldo Waldman: We’re professional, we move on. Salute smartly and grab grab a cup of coffee or a beer and move on with our day.

David Horsager: Creating psychological safety. I mean, people are talking about all over the place. You know, we just I gave a briefing on

David Horsager: Just actually, it’s still on my table. I wasn’t going to show us, but that the trust outlook for the year. This is our annual research, we put out one of the

David Horsager: More significant studies around trust and leadership every year. But there’s there’s a big this this really this research is pointing to this fact that you’re bringing up of of of this tension between vulnerability and accountability.

David Horsager: So it basically I mean in a simple form. We know that some people, the old transparency. Transparency transparency and transparency is trusted

David Horsager: But so is confidentiality and there’s a tension there and you’re kind of talking about to have that how much it’s it’s it’s takes wisdom. It takes effort because

David Horsager: We have to be confidential about some things we as leaders. We have to be transparent about some things, some people are so transparent. I don’t trust impress second on Facebook, for example.

David Horsager: But you know how we have, but we also have to create spaces in our leadership and our teams, you know, whether women, where we can be fully transparent almost the more transparent, you are in that close team, the more trust. Right.

Waldo Waldman: Yeah, and transparency means if you create a standards violation or are an infraction on the culture of integrity accountability service courage, whatever it is.

Waldo Waldman: You have to be so transparent that you’re not going to treat one person differently than the other. If you create

Waldo Waldman: A safety violation or break the standards of a squadron, you will be heard from you will be debriefed we need to do it with tact.

Waldo Waldman: And with empathy and compassion, but also sternly and also with the fact that if you continue to break these violations. We are so transparent in this organization. I am so transparent as a leader that guess what you can lose your wings.

Waldo Waldman: We have fighter pilots who continuously break the rules. I’ve seen great guys get become sloppy complacent.

Waldo Waldman: Committing moral violations in and out of the squad and guess what those wings are gone and you cannot tolerate that. So don’t think transparency and vulnerability is

Waldo Waldman: Is only, you know, just to show you know you know your built nurture relationships. Sometimes you as a leader have to get rid of that relationship or that

Waldo Waldman: That resource that human resource that may be dragging down the culture of an organization, as you know, as well as me, Dave, that you have somebody who’s committing those trust violations and they’re not

Waldo Waldman: Given that feedback and action not taken to them. It’s going to spread like a virus within that organization and we need to maintain those standards and stick to them consistently, not just with certain peers and coworkers as supervisors, but with everyone.

David Horsager: So I remember the first time.

David Horsager: I learned that a little bit. You know, I’m working with this organization and there’s there’s nine directors and a vice president of over them and eight of those directors are fantastic.

David Horsager: The ninth one is a slot.

David Horsager: Terrible on accountable, you know, sloppy lazy everything else.

David Horsager: But who did everybody hate who did these other hate directors hate. They didn’t hate the slot. They hated the the vice president that didn’t deal with. It did, didn’t hold accountability that didn’t

David Horsager: You know, deal with the situation right so it’s it’s interesting as a leader that that balance and absolutely true. So I’m going to jump over and let’s go to my wing man here today. You got a question for us.

David Horsager: Yeah, I was wondering, since you were talking about the importance of, you know, accountability also vulnerability, but be able to create that safe space. What if there’s a leader who maybe it’s their

David Horsager: Board or some group that they’re over and they realize it’s not like a safe space that people aren’t communicating well there you know not being transparent or vulnerable. How does a leader.

David Horsager: create that environment so that other people can feel safe to be able to share to be able to actually help the team be better. Well,

Waldo Waldman: You also want to reward and highlight the person who is sharing their and fractions, who is demonstrating integrity, which doesn’t only mean saying

Waldo Waldman: You know, being honest, it means being honest about being dishonest. We’re all going to make mistakes. We’re going to say things that aren’t

Waldo Waldman: That that may be under the gun and under pressure aren’t true. We may fudge, we may do something that we regret and being able to create an environment where folks admit their mistakes and are not necessarily rewarded but highlighted for being congruent. Let me share a quick story.

Waldo Waldman: I over G to jet. I made a struck structurally damaged a plane when I was flying, not because it was a it was intentional. I was hot dogging

Waldo Waldman: Over G the jet and the traffic pattern broke the 6.67 G love it and knew I committed a safety violation because I was trying to test limit. This was early in my career.

Waldo Waldman: It wasn’t a safety hazard where I was avoiding a bird or an aircraft and I oversee the jet. Now it’s a big deal when you overdo the jet because you have to impound it inspected. It’s has to do with safety.

Waldo Waldman: And so when my commander found out that I did it because I was messing around in the traffic pattern, he chewed me out rip me apart use foul language, man. I was horrified. I had had a perfect record up to that point. And so he made me brief the rest of the squadron.

Waldo Waldman: This was an early 90s. I had an acetate overhead projector with magic markers and all that stuff. Remember, you know, for the, the old farts and on the call. Notice

Waldo Waldman: And I was so embarrassed and my buddy came up to me at lunch and said, Waldo, man. You feel for you, dude. I’m man. How you doing, I said my reputation in a squadron is toast.

Waldo Waldman: My commander hates me. I’m never going to go anywhere here. And he said, you’re probably right, man. He just just brutalized you and he said something that I’ll never forget. He said, Waldo. You know what I would do.

Waldo Waldman: If I over G the jet. By the way, by point three g’s it was hardly anything I had to

Waldo Waldman: Maintain my integrity and turn myself in because I could have punched off the GMAT or nobody would have known it was like a stopwatch, but I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do.

Waldo Waldman: He said, If that were me and I over G to buy point three g’s and punching off the G meter zero that out. And I’m not saying anything because I don’t want to have to go through what you just went through.

Waldo Waldman: And it pissed me off because I knew deep down that instead of creating a culture of accountability and courage and support.

Waldo Waldman: Through my commanders actions. He was in instead creating cowards and people who wouldn’t share their and fraction. So what he could have done. Maybe I’ll ask you and Dave, what do you think he could have done.

Waldo Waldman: To shift the energy in the room with hundred and 80 of my peers. What could he have done to make it different.

David Horsager: I don’t know, maybe if he had shared if he had ever done that or something and kind of build that kind of credibility with them saying like, it’s not like it’s a unique thing like I’ve done this, too.

Waldo Waldman: Yeah, yeah. She has something that he messed up right Dave. Any other thoughts as well. I’m going to come

David Horsager: Well, you know, this is it’s really interesting. I if you can’t miss it. When I think about this with my own kids like if you push them too much. It’s like we’re embarrassed that then you’re almost pushing them to make up to tell a lie. Instead of tell the truth. Right.

David Horsager: The right that thing. I mean this could go all the way to. Did you do your homework. Yep, I’m done. Did you brush your teeth. Yep, I’m done. Because you know they’re going to get

David Horsager: Kind of slaughtered because they didn’t brush their teeth. If that happens, obviously created unsafe environment for you even that little, little idea so

David Horsager: Tell us.

Waldo Waldman: What do you think, oh, so what he could have done and what I seen done with other commands that has to go with that that title company that was mentioned a USA Today story number one did I deserve to be reprimanded and punished guys yes or no.

Waldo Waldman: Yes, I did. You’re absolutely right. David I committed a safety violation and I cost the Air Force $25,000 because that’s what it would cost to fix that jet and do an inspection, plus, plus some if there was indeed cracks in the airframe.

Waldo Waldman: So I needed to be punished. But what if Colonel Star Wars said, hey, Waldo or a team with 10 or Captain Waldman back then. I was gotten messed up. He committed a safety violation over gene and asset and aircraft.

Waldo Waldman: That our taxpayers have paid for. He is grounded until that plan is fixed, that if any one of you do the same thing. You’re going to be grounded to

Waldo Waldman: However, I also want you to know that Catherine Walden turned himself in when he only over G THAT JET by point three g’s

Waldo Waldman: Which probably 99.999% of the thing would wouldn’t have meant anything

Waldo Waldman: He maintained his integrity is accepting the responsibilities for his actions. That’s the type of leader I want my Squadron. That’s the type of fighter pilot. I want to fly with

Waldo Waldman: And that’s the type of action. I want to see every one of you do. And congratulations Captain woman. I appreciate your honesty now finish your briefing. Right.

Waldo Waldman: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Now, now you’re shifting the culture. Now, I trust Cotto stalwarts judgment and his name is Charles W stallworth the third. He was a butthead I didn’t respect them. He’s in my book and I didn’t appreciate how he made me feel for a year.

Waldo Waldman: And I will not forget and forgive many ways a leader who violates that trust and and diminishes and humiliate somebody else.

Waldo Waldman: And by the way, if it happens more than a few times, you’re out of the squad and you’re out of the F1, the wings. Go away.

Waldo Waldman: But we have to be careful as leaders cutting off the needs of our teammates our co workers, our new hires when they, when they admit their mistakes we need to

Waldo Waldman: We need to nurture them. We need to punish them in some way give feedback movement to another position. Get them remedial training and if worst case scenario will fire them but

Waldo Waldman: We need to coach them up and inspire them because, as General George Patton one said as a leader, you’re always on parade.

Waldo Waldman: And Dan watching you in and out of the office at the Starbucks at the public supermarket in your briefings and you need congruence and consistency and transparency to maintain the high standards that you have as a leader and that your company has as an organization.

David Horsager: And General Patton, if I remember my history. Well, you know what, I would say, I’m going to be the first across the river, not the last, I’m not

David Horsager: Going behind I’m going in front right

Waldo Waldman: I’ll take the bull, he got it.

David Horsager: You got it. So, so let’s jump over to to personal, you know, a lot of leaders they have

David Horsager: You know, when we talk about being trusted leaders, they seem to have some great habits or routines, personally, tell us about some of your, what makes you you’re leading a great company in many cases you’re coaching consulting and advising great leaders around the world and

David Horsager: You know that’s fun to collaborate on and and in our friendship, but how you leading you

Waldo Waldman: So the leadership starts with the person Sam backer I mentioned that before I call it the inner wing man or the inner wing man you know do you trust yourself. You feel competent courageous. Do you feel worthy of the winds that you want.

Waldo Waldman: And many of us have this cognitive dissonance. There’s a disconnect between what we want.

Waldo Waldman: And what we’re even teaching and what we’re representing in our lives and our actions outside of the cockpit away from the teammates out of your uniform

Waldo Waldman: And so I have to have confidence in myself on this call. And when I coach executives and do my program to say I am preaching, because I’m doing the hard work.

Waldo Waldman: I, for example, you know, today I always work on myself. I read something spiritual in the morning. It sets my vector. It’s the context of the day.

Waldo Waldman: You know I ease my mind. I did a meditation. Meditation but 23 minutes today. It’s an odd meditation, the creation sound.

Waldo Waldman: learning new things. I’m getting uncomfortable with this meditation stuff, but I’m learning and I’m becoming more present. So I did the meditation and then I did.

Waldo Waldman: I ran for like 25 minutes and stretched listen to a podcast fed my mind with good positive ideas and nourishment.

Waldo Waldman: And came up with some ideas. I’m like, Wow, now I’m energized right and so

Waldo Waldman: And then I had some oatmeal with some blueberries. You saw me chop it a tab. Before we there are things I wanted to give myself I’m watching my diet. I’m pretty lean. I’m pretty muscular fit but I

Waldo Waldman: I’ve got body by brownie from the holidays. Right. So I’ve gained a couple pounds. I want to lean up, guess what.

Waldo Waldman: When I’m putting in the work when I’m getting my mindset, right, when I’m doing the disciplines that emulate excellence and build trust in myself.

Waldo Waldman: It’s going to be translated and transferred through this medium called a camera talking to you 1000 miles away. And it’s also going to be translated to the people that are watching me on stage, getting coaching from me, etc. And people smell out and feel

Waldo Waldman: Dissonance they sense somebody that’s not worthy of trust. I don’t care how charismatic or good looking, or sharp. You think you are.

Waldo Waldman: People sense it and now more than ever, they feel it on a phone call on not a zoom call and on a stage. So you’ve got to be

Waldo Waldman: An older have that sense of confidence and you can’t put your fingers on it, but so I go through those habits and practices and also

Waldo Waldman: I’m pretty good at asking for help. I know, man. I could be a wing nut at times. I’ve got issues and challenges. I’m always working on myself, but I have a bunch of friends and peers.

Waldo Waldman: Who I can go to for help, who will kick my butt, you know, be my wing man and tell me what I need to hear

Waldo Waldman: And not what I want to hear. So I think that’s important, and I have a saying I want people to write this down. It’s one of my favorite quotes I made up is make your friends, your mentors and your mentors, your friends.

Waldo Waldman: You’ve got some mentors, right, you’ve got some people who are amazing in your life up them Minnesota and and and you know when you when you make them your friends and

Waldo Waldman: Make your friends, your mentors. Now you’re talking about building that team of wingman those men and women who are competent and capable and empathetic and compassionate enough and willing to tick you off to get David to grow.

David Horsager: And so I’ll tell you this, this, this can’t be, can’t be overstated, you know, mentors.

David Horsager: Mentorship has changed me for sure, but I’ll go back to the mentors that became friends so 28 years ago about in college. I started meeting with a group of guys Thursday nights 10 O’clock till midnight, we would meet, how are you

David Horsager: You know with real call outs to how are you being great, how are you treating that woman on a date. How are you leading this way how we were kind of known, you know, leaders on campus. Some would say, but that group still meets

David Horsager: Every year. Now we don’t meet every week we meet every year for four or five days, little cabin up in the woods.

David Horsager: And we each share about three hours each through a series of questions, how you live in as a dad how you live in as a leader, we, we all lead teams or companies. How are you, and that what I’ve seen is great leaders are willing to not just take feedback but seek it.

David Horsager: And that’s I think what your, your group when you talk about your wingman and wing moms.

David Horsager: You know, willing to seek. It’s different than just take feedback because you can deal with the moment they gave me some feedback. I gotta deal with that. I manage it. Now they’re seeking feedback.

David Horsager: Right. So yeah, be better. So

David Horsager: I think I and I think that the other thing that I want to call out here what you said we say it all the time here.

David Horsager: Every science says it and I’ve said it before input leads up equals output right business input equals output first law of thermodynamics, the energy put into the energy, get out, psychology, what you think about

David Horsager: You start to desire, what you start to act on. I mean, every science says the same thing. I can eat something bad, and it comes in bed becomes bad out what whether it’s a bride body or not. Right, so

David Horsager: But I’ve always appreciated that with you, your discipline, both as a husband and a father with your body. I mean, I, I can’t you know this is hard to say about people that actually we do trust those

David Horsager: That that kind of you know that are disciplined in other areas. I mean, because you’re disciplined with your body and with your parenting people trust you on the stage, even though it’s you’re talking about something totally differently.

Waldo Waldman: Right, right.

David Horsager: So never fly solo what inspired what inspired that book.

Waldo Waldman: So,

Waldo Waldman: It’s about those partnerships. Right. It’s about

Waldo Waldman: Nurturing those relationships in your life that can get you to the next level that humble you, that make life more joyful and less fearful, you know, when I flew in combat and, you know, flying eight our mission of Iraq at night.

Waldo Waldman: And being shot at is one thing, but then I suffered with claustrophobia. I had a panic attack scuba diving through years of my 11 year flying career develop through PTSD.

Waldo Waldman: This this this anxiety that I had for eight of my 11 year flying career and I had people helped me I double down on what I was fighting for who needed me

Waldo Waldman: One of my tools and I could talk about this for a long time, but I’ll just share when I have those panic attacks in the jet. The biggest tool to allow me to overcome my fear.

Waldo Waldman: And stay present was looking out my wing or to the students sitting next to me because I was a teaching as well as an instructor pilot

Waldo Waldman: And focusing on him or her saying this person needs me to teach them. They need me to take them into Iraq on a seven hour night combat mission.

Waldo Waldman: I could be freaking out having this claustrophobic mental panic attack but I distracted myself from myself and focused on that teammate.

Waldo Waldman: Who needed me and also who I knew had my back, who I knew was checking my blind spot my six. You know, when a jet. You can’t see your most vulnerable position behind you. If you’re leaking fuel on fire, etc.

Waldo Waldman: But when that wingman a wing man is there and you feel confident that you can depend on them and they can depend on you.

Waldo Waldman: You have a higher calling and that’s why part of excellence is service and love is service and action when you truly love something and serve them and distract yourself from your fears and realize there are men and women who needs you. And this is key right now in the in the

David Horsager: In the, in the

Waldo Waldman: coven environment and our environment of instability and uncertainty and turbulence.

Waldo Waldman: You have to distract yourself from yourself. And what a better way no better way to do that than to think about those people who need you and any parent and he loved someone who truly love somebody else. I’m talking about true, authentic love

Waldo Waldman: Will realize that you’ll jump off 100 foot diving board to save your kids and jump in front of a train and take one for for your loved one, but it’s no longer about you.

Waldo Waldman: Focus. This was

Waldo Waldman: Was key. And that’s what never fly solo is about and realize that in my life. I would not be here if it wasn’t for those teammates. It wasn’t for my friends who encouraged me coach me kicked me at times and pushed me

Waldo Waldman: And so that’s that’s what my context of life is about and all my speeches my coaching. It’s about trusting yourself, which is the first part of the book then trust in your team. You’ve got to build those partners.

Waldo Waldman: Because you can’t see the big picture on your own. There’s others who have a different insight experience in context of success. You got to put it in your flight plan to grow.

David Horsager: Maybe we get to something specific. I love this, you know, we just came through a crisis, people could say there’s racial tension, there’s

David Horsager: Global tension. There’s political tension and of course has been pandemic tension. But how do you

David Horsager: You take it, you know, these, these flights over racked and we’re talking about trust. We think trust affects every part of a leader, more than anything else. How do you build in the midst of combat in the midst of tension and challenge. How do you build trust as a leader, then

Waldo Waldman: So you you build it by experiencing that fear and anxiety and pressure.

Waldo Waldman: As much as you can.

Waldo Waldman: So that by that when it happens the next time you more present. He is what I mean. Yeah, when I was in combat, for the first time I was scared to death crapping my pants, so to speak, walking on the tarmac heart pounding freaking out.

Waldo Waldman: A bunch of times, I’ll never forget crossing the phone edge of the battle area in combat, for the first time you go master arm hot you hit the pickle button. Something’s coming off that aircraft. But guess what people are trying to kill you.

Waldo Waldman: Think about that. You’re in an area where people are trying to kill you. The fear is overwhelming, but guess what, you get used to it.

Waldo Waldman: And the next mission gets a little easier and you engage the enemy and you realize, hey, I can operate in this environment. I can operate and lead my team and feel confident in getting the job done. I’m building my skill set. I’m building more courage. I’m building more confidence in myself.

Waldo Waldman: Which will then allow me

Waldo Waldman: To take bigger risks and stay in the fight more and coach, others more. So that is the foundation of resilience

Waldo Waldman: Resilience just doesn’t mean I’m going to meditate. I’m going to call a friend. I’m going to have a green smoothie and do yoga and and maybe take a walk in the park. Those are important parts of distracting yourself from the current fear.

Waldo Waldman: But true resilience for a warrior for a leader who’s in the battle every day, risking it all risking getting shot at facing their panic attacks.

Waldo Waldman: Is being used to and getting used to operating in that danger zone and you’re just going there and that’s why the same pain leads to peace.

Waldo Waldman: Pain leads to peace that pain of staying in the jet being shot at overcoming the pain of being on that treadmill, like I was today.

Waldo Waldman: You know, doing the high intensity training going up to like nine nine, you know, nine on the thing and sweating and doing that 45 or 60 seconds. So I wanted to pass out and then slowing it down. I’m like, Okay, I’m used to that.

Waldo Waldman: Guess what that pain now builds the endorphins and I have peace because guess what listener.

Waldo Waldman: I did it. I stayed in that on that treadmill I bled and sweat and I went through the pain and I’m building that resilience and competence that only is a byproduct of risking it and stepping in the ring and and and facing your fears. That’s the gift, by the way.

Waldo Waldman: Of the pandemic. That’s the gift. When God forbid you get coven and you go through the rigmarole and God willing, you live.

David Horsager: That’s the gift.

Waldo Waldman: Of maybe having your spouse come up to you and say I want a divorce and working through that. That’s the gift of embarrassing yourself in front of a sale because you weren’t prepared and you lost a deal. And you have to go home with your tail between your legs.

Waldo Waldman: That pain will lead to peace, as long as you learn from it and a willing to continuously step into the jet and face those fears and that’s why the best leaders are the ones who have the experience and the scars and the battle damage to prove it.

David Horsager: I love it.

David Horsager: Well, there’s a whole lot more here. There’s a whole lot more and never fly solo and all the all the

David Horsager: Resources and we’re going to put them in the show notes. And I’m going to ask for a sec. Well, we should jump right here. Where would you say, where can people go to find out more about never fly solo all the great work you do and Waldo Waldman

Waldo Waldman: And then also just want to thank you David. We’ve been friends for many years we had I take a nice, fun lunch in Savannah. A couple years ago, I think it was just last few

David Horsager: More questions just serve videos. I’m gonna get we’re gonna get to the quick fire because I want to find one more. I want to follow up one more thing is one thing. Don’t let me forget

Waldo Waldman: That truly is the impetus for leaders. So if you go to your wingman.com your wingman calm and actually I’m going to give everybody a free download to my New York Times bestseller. My audiobook

Waldo Waldman: And we could track it based on your listeners if they go to your way man calm, forward slash and Fs like never fly solo your women.com forward slash best, you get a download of the audiobook

Waldo Waldman: And share it with your kids and people who who need that courage and if you go to wall a wall been on LinkedIn. That’s where I’m really, really do a lot of work Waller woman on LinkedIn or Google wall a wall, and you can find me there.

Waldo Waldman: I’m all over social media. And so that’s the best way to find me and I’m actually going to put it up here on the screen. If people want to connect with me if they’re watching this

Waldo Waldman: There’s a link to never fly so on. There’s a QR code. If you put your camera up to that press pause on this video and you can connect with me on LinkedIn right there.

David Horsager: So let’s get the lightning round. This is fantastic. What a couple quick things here. What’s your favorite book or resource right now.

Waldo Waldman: So I’m reading. How to Win Friends and Influence People again. It’s just such a fundamental critical book on communication skills on relationship skills on business. It’s just amazing. I actually had my son, read a

Waldo Waldman: CHAPTER THE OTHER DAY. I’m forcing him to read more. It’s just so great and then not Ernest Holmes. He’s a spiritual leader, he’s got he’s got 365 philosophies to every day. So I read that every day. And that’s, that’s my go to because it gets me thinking in the right direction.

David Horsager: Perfect. Good. I mean, how to win friends and influence people that that books changed a few lives, hasn’t it, I remember, I think it was 11 years old or something. When I read it for the first time for

Waldo Waldman: You good for you.

David Horsager: What’s your give us one tip parenting tip you got a great 10 year old great marriage one parenting or marriage tip leaders are great that are great at work are great at home.

Waldo Waldman: Make sure there’s consistency between your husband or spouse spouse or partner with how you you handle and discipline your son or daughter I you don’t correct your husband or partner or spouse.

Waldo Waldman: While they’re doing something

Waldo Waldman: If your son or daughter does something and you see your spouse or partner, make a make a decision.

Waldo Waldman: Hopefully that’s supporting how you feel about it but don’t correct them in front of each other. Make sure there’s consistency. Otherwise, your son or daughter will doubt you and they won’t know who to trust.

David Horsager: Absolutely. Don’t see ski. Yep, it is.

Waldo Waldman: It’s a culture of home critical right

David Horsager: What, what’s one thing left for you on the bucket list.

Waldo Waldman: Man.

Waldo Waldman: So I think I need to go. I need to go a parachuting I most people know I’m massively also afraid of heights. I was claustrophobic and afraid of heights.

Waldo Waldman: I need to jump out of a plane before I die and face my fear I did go scuba diving, again, a few years after that other Internet was in the Caribbean.

Waldo Waldman: Great training. I was in a cage initially and a coach me great important to have people you trust to face your fears. If you’re having an anxiety. Those instructors were phenomenal.

Waldo Waldman: But I gotta jump out of a plane that’s that’s on my fear bucket.

Waldo Waldman: List, so I don’t, please don’t hold me accountable. Yeah, sure, Waldo. So I’m going to make that happen with my twin brother, Dave. We’re going to both do it at the same time. And I’m going to, you know, face my fear and do it.

David Horsager: I’ll tell you what this many don’t know this about me but I had an incident. I used to be a lifeguard. You know, growing up and

David Horsager: My life guardian all that and I was caught under a big no more than a tarp is inch thick of bubble rubber under a big

David Horsager: Expansive water. Anyway, I should have died and that but that moment 20 years old that made me claustrophobic. And I learned it the first time when we went spelunking and caving and all that. What happened but but it was

David Horsager: That I don’t know how you get in those you know i mean i you gave a tip today on focusing on others, but it would be massively different

David Horsager: I bet challenge. I say, you know, flying 100 year or whatever it is a couple hundred times I guess round trip.

David Horsager: People don’t pay me to fly they pay me to get on the plane and and you know when everybody if if I’m inside and every stands up, I started, I have had to learn them to manage that as well. But my dad was a paratrooper. And so this kind of connection for you. And so I did go up and

David Horsager: You know parachute.

David Horsager: And that was a great experience. And I think you should do it.

David Horsager: But there are kind of opposites. But that, you know, one is being totally free and and high up in the air and the other one is being totally can.

David Horsager: Put in a tight space, but not a valid fears for sure.

Waldo Waldman: Afraid of heights. Let me share something real quick here.

Waldo Waldman: And it goes back to, you know, one of the tools of facing my

Waldo Waldman: Fear was, you know, reaching out to my team and realizing that and focusing on them, but it also is align and this is critical for the listeners.

Waldo Waldman: And it’s critical for a leader who have other people depending on them. It’s good. A hole for a wing mom a wing dad who has a spouse or partner or children depending on them. It’s called responsibility.

Waldo Waldman: I had wings on my chest.

Waldo Waldman: David listeners. I had rank on my shoulders. I was a fighter pilot. And when I was asked to go to battle it meant it was incumbent upon me to

Waldo Waldman: face my fears because others would depending on me when you were a parent. If you have little ones at home.

Waldo Waldman: You don’t say, Oh, I’m losing my passion. Today I I’m just a little afraid I’m losing my passion. Listen, two year old daughter or son.

Waldo Waldman: Hannah. Listen, I’m losing the passion.

Waldo Waldman: Why don’t you change your diaper and feed yourself some Gerber

David Horsager: And

Waldo Waldman: I’m going to go have a have a Chardonnay and call it a day. Because guess what my passion just isn’t there too bad.

Waldo Waldman: I told myself, Waldo Waldman

Waldo Waldman: You’re a fighter pilot you rose your right hand. YOU’RE MR fighter pilot. Top Gun

Waldo Waldman: You got these wings on your

David Horsager: Chest.

Waldo Waldman: You better do the damn job. My

Waldo Waldman: Ego was in the way and it helped me in a good way.

Waldo Waldman: But my sense of responsibility, which is an alignment with my honor

Waldo Waldman: As a leader and that others were dependent on me, got my butt.

Waldo Waldman: In that chat.

Waldo Waldman: And made me take off because if I didn’t fly if I quit. If I wasn’t present

Waldo Waldman: On the mission.

Waldo Waldman: Who would suffer not just me my team.

Waldo Waldman: We have a responsibility for our team. We have a responsibility to take care of our kids.

Waldo Waldman: We have a responsibility to live up to the standards that we preach about and too many people today in society are focusing too much on that passion and on their joy and fun and forgetting.

Waldo Waldman: That sometimes being a leader is going to suck.

Waldo Waldman: And we need to double down on those responsibilities and grind it out.

Waldo Waldman: And hopefully celebrate our wins, but

Waldo Waldman: Because life is tough. And sometimes it’s combat and

Waldo Waldman: I’m just passionate about that now.

Waldo Waldman: Especially with what’s going on in the world today.

David Horsager: Dave. It is work to be a leader, the weight of leadership is heavy, but it is a, it’s a massive responsibility and I appreciate what you said we I couldn’t agree more need leaders are leaders are responsible

David Horsager: So you know where to get everything listeners trusted leader show.com last question for you. Lieutenant Colonel, here it is.

David Horsager: It’s the dress. Oh, who is the you trust and why

Waldo Waldman: Say again who

Waldo Waldman: You you cut out

David Horsager: It’s the trusted leader show who is a leader you trust why

David Horsager: So,

Waldo Waldman: I love my twin brother, Dave.

Waldo Waldman: And he’s my best friend.

Waldo Waldman: He’s brutally honest with me and I’m brutally honest with him.

Waldo Waldman: And I know at the end of the

Waldo Waldman: Day, he


Waldo Waldman: Going to have my back and

Waldo Waldman: Tell me, once again, what I need to hear not what I want to


Waldo Waldman: We’ve had a long relationship. We’ve always been very competitive with each other, but we love each other. He’s the only person I

Waldo Waldman: I jumped in front of a train for other than my family.

Waldo Waldman: But the only person I probably push in front of on because he drives me crazy. Right. And for those of us who have kids in our brothers and sisters that way. But Dave is my ultimate wing that I know no matter what 24 seven. If I call out for help. He will be there for me.

Waldo Waldman: And he will give me the advice that I need.

Waldo Waldman: To hear not what I want to hear. And I’m blessed to have that in my life. It’s a

David Horsager: Context.

Waldo Waldman: Of my life. I learned it.

Waldo Waldman: We were not just wingman. We were roommates.

Waldo Waldman: Wound mates right and

Waldo Waldman: And so I’m blessed to have that in my life and he is my best friend and once again.

Waldo Waldman: He’s gonna piss me off sometimes but

Waldo Waldman: That’s who I want

Waldo Waldman: In my formation in combat somebody who’s really going to have my back and help me to get better.

David Horsager: Well, Lieutenant Colonel Lynn thank being on the show. Thanks for sharing with us. Thanks for what you do in the world I i’m not i don’t say this trial, you know, we’re friends. And I am so proud of you. And so grateful.

David Horsager: And all you do on stage and off, and there are so many more to get dig board today, but I’ll, I’ll just wrap with some of these you dissonance another’s you got to reward or the good, you got to be willing to be

David Horsager: asked for help. Remember input does equal output pain can lead to peace. That’s a good one. Make your friends, your mentors and your, your friends.

David Horsager: Question, do you trust yourself. You need to do the little things every day. Trust yourself. And with that, I want to say a huge, huge, huge thank you thank you to all the listeners for listening to the trust of leaders show. We’ll see you next time stay trusted.

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