Sep 28, 2016
Co-hosts Jan Rutherford and Jim
Vaselopulos interview Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Schmitt, as he
transitions from special operations leadership to corporate advisor
after 30 years of military service. Starting his career as
an enlisted soldier at the age of 17, he understands the
requirement to recruit great people while investing in their
development and taking the time to explain the organization's
why. He is excited about the future and the
goodness he expects to bring to others in the corporate
sector. On this episode, Chris discusses principles of military
leadership, his participation in the upcoming Patagonia Crucible,
and his plans moving forward to support corporate leaders to build
high performing teams. Chris wants this next chapter of his life to
be about increasing the capacity of purposeful teams, developing
positive leadership and mentoring winners!
Listen in to learn the value of trust in enabling
your team members’ individual growth and joint success.
[3:32] Perseverance and persistence are important
virtues to pack in your ruck.
[4:12] The experience of starting as an army private
gives great perspective as an officer.
[8:56] Adaptability and moving forward will not
happen without trust.
[9:10] Why is trust harder to develop in business
than in the military - or is it?
[10:32] To be a rockstar organizational leader you
have to take a chance and give some of that trust to the people in
[14:20] Provide a vision, and then allow people to
just go and do it.
[17:38] Always try to do what you can do well, and
leverage your core competencies.
[19:38] In order to excel in a new field, start by
listening so that you can learn and understand the nuances in
culture and language within that field.
[26:23] From Simon Sinek on leadership: Start with
the Why. Being kind is important. Allow people to adapt and
“My purpose is to facilitate others’ success, and to
work toward continuing to help high performing teams succeed.”
“No matter how high you are up the chain...there’s
not a little magic box that gives you all the answers.”
“Not taking time to sit back and reflect — that’s
when you make small mistakes and difficulties.”
“Having genuine concern for people, pushing your
purpose and sharing hardship are the things we need to continue to
prepare our leaders for.”
“Being in charge is hard work.”
Books Mentioned on the Show
Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, book by
General Stanley McChrystal
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, book by Jocko
Willink and Leif Babin
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t,
book by Simon Sinek
Jerry Kramer's Farewell to Football, book by Jerry
Christopher Schmitt has developed as a strong leader,
coach and mentor over the past 30 years of military service.
Starting his career as an enlisted soldier at the age of 17, he
then applied to West Point U.S. Military Academy. Working his way
up through the ranks after graduation from West Point, he learned
the importance to build a core team around the organization's
values and purpose. Over the past 18 years as an international
project officer and change agent as a deployed Special Forces field
grade officer, Chris experienced how to motivate high performing
teams to accomplish national strategic agendas.
With 14 years of service outside of the United
States, from the destroyed Olympic City of Sarajevo to the dusty
outposts of Timbuktu with trips to Afghanistan, as a Paratrooper,
Ranger, and Green Beret, Chris has a rich appreciation for good
leadership. He has a passion for interacting with leaders and
helping them excel. He has a skill for building teams, mentoring
their development and coaching them toward success. Chris has
stuffed his rucksack with best practices necessary to motivate
gifted individuals to perform as high-functioning organizations.
Chris plans to transition his passion for building partner nation
special operations teams to mentoring development of Corporate
Leaders and their organizations. He can’t wait to get started and
begin making an impact.