Christopher D. Kolenda, Founder of the Strategic Leaders Academy, helps consultants, experts, and owners grow a meaningful, joyful, and profitable business. You get these outcomes by leading as your best self, Building an Inspiring Culture (TM), and making the pivotal decisions that create sustainable success.
Chris is both warrior and diplomat, combining assertiveness and statesmanship to gain dramatic wins. A West Point graduate, internationally renowned combat leader, and retired Army colonel, he defied conventional wisdom in Afghanistan by developing an innovative strategy that motivated a large insurgent group to switch sides, the only example of such success in the 20-year history of the war.
Unsatisfied with the complacency, Chris inspired change in the military’s strategy and got Pentagon officials on board to push for new diplomatic initiatives. As a trusted adviser to three 4-star generals and two Secretaries of Defense, Chris became the first American to have both fought the Taliban as a commander in combat and negotiated with them in peace talks.
After resigning from the government, he’s brought warrior-diplomacy to the private sector, helping business leaders challenge conventional wisdom, imagine the future, and implement innovations that soar their businesses to new heights. Alan Weiss has selected Chris for his consulting Hall of Fame.
His unique warrior-diplomacy has been featured in the New York Times bestselling books: The Outpost by Jake Tapper and Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson, as well as Steve Coll’s Directorate S and several others. His contributions have also been cited in journals and newspapers such as the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, and The London Times.
His books include Leadership: The Warrior’s Art, which has sold over 50,000 copies. The Counterinsurgency Challenge, and Zero-Sum Victory: What We’re Getting Wrong About War.
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