Dec 7, 2016
Co-hosts Jan Rutherford and Jim
Vaselopulos interview Rob “Waldo” Waldman, professional wingman and
leadership expert. Waldo is his call sign from his days as a
fighter pilot. The Wingman, as Waldo is known, is a professional
leadership speaker, and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller, 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 successful businessman. Jan and Jim talk with
Waldo about what it means to have a wingman, to be a
wingman, to build the trusting, mutually beneficial relationships
wingmen share, and what role a wingman plays in the business
Listen in to learn how to
nurture trust in your organization, and how your core values are
central to that trust.
[3:25] The term wingman came
from the person at the pilot’s 9 (or 3) o’clock position, who could
see the pilot’s 6 o’clock, and keep them from being shot down. It’s
about mutual support, calling out the threat, and having the trust
necessary to take action.
[6:04] From a networking
perspective, we’re seeing a lot of that ‘pay it forward,’ honorable
behavior, as networking becomes more mainstream.
[6:36] Part of the Code of Honor
at the Air Force Academy is, “We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor
tolerate among us anyone who does.”
[7:31] ‘Wingwork’ is thinking
about who you’re going to help; about what questions to ask to help
this person who may be struggling; and about who you know, who
could also help.
[8:00] Being a wingman takes
time and effort. We’ve got to build a relationship, and establish
trust, by honoring the relationship with mutual support, by
nurturing and appreciating — not just picking each other’s brains
to extract value from them.
[13:27] Sometimes it’s important
to manufacture pressure in business — business may not seem like a
life-or-death situation, but it is the life or death of a sale, a
quota, a company, your family’s support, and your dream.
[19:57] When you’re truly afraid
of death or loss, that brings out doubt, which destroys a warrior
spirit. Turn that doubt into confidence and courage. That’s what
peak performers do. On the opposite side of fear is
[24:44] When you focus on
serving someone, and being present for them, you leap past your
fear into productive action.
[28:28] It all begins with you
as a leader. Look at yourself in the mirror and consider your goals
and core values. Tap into your core, and hire for it. Create an
environment where it’s safe to tactfully call out
[34:21] The biggest challenge in
business today is people are afraid to go to each other for help.
They’re afraid to show vulnerability — a lot of times, because
their leaders are demanding instead of commanding.
"You can’t see your most
vulnerable position in combat, which is behind you."
“Trust takes time. It starts
with core values, mutual respect, integrity — and it takes effort.
“You need to be experiencing it
under the gun — that’s where the learning happens.”
“Passion trumps fear. Your
passion’s got to be greater than the fear.”
‘There’s no greater impact that
you can have on folks who are needing you, than your
Books Mentioned on the Show
Waldo is a graduate of the U.S.
Air Force Academy, and holds an MBA with a focus on organizational
behavior. He is an inductee into the Professional Speaker Hall of
Fame, and has many more credentials. He founded The Wingman
Foundation to build funds and awareness for soldiers, veterans,
airmen and their families.
Waldo believes that the key to
building a culture of trust lies with your wingmen — the men and
women in your life who help you overcome obstacles, adapt to
change, and achieve success. In your business and life, you should
never fly solo.