Tom Kolditz is the founding Director, Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University. Prior to founding the Institute, Tom designed the Leader Development Program at the Yale School of Management and chaired the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at West Point for 12 years. Brigadier General Kolditz has more than 35 years in leadership positions on four continents, and received the Distinguished Service Medal, the US Army’s highest award for service. He is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association, and has published two books and more than 75 articles, including in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the proceedings of the World Economic Forum. Tom has delivered more than 350 speeches world-wide. In 2017, he received the prestigious Warren Bennis Award for Excellence in Leadership, a distinction shared by noteworthy leaders including Benazir Bhutto, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Bill George. An accomplished leadership coach, he was listed as #6 in the Coaching category in 2018 by Global Gurus, and in 2019, #24 in Coaching by Thinkers50, a UK management ranking group. In 2021, Global Gurus ranked Tom as #6 among start-up coaches and founders. He holds a BA from Vanderbilt University, three master’s degrees, and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Missouri.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who stand against oppressive government, by the innocence of children, and by the unconditional love of a loyal dog. I am inspired to make the world a better place for all of them.
What relationship has been most influential in your life?
My relationship with my father that was built in the first 18 years of my life. He gifted me conscientiousness, a respect for excellence, and an absolute commitment to honesty, courage, and personal integrity.
What’s on your bookshelf?
Leadership Reckoning: Can Higher Education Develop the Leaders We Need, Libby Gill and Ph. D. Thomas Kolditz
In Extremis Leadership: Leading as if Your Life Depended On It, Thomas Kolditz
The Leadership Challenge, Barry Posner and James Kouzes