‘Leveraging Trusting Relationships to Build Courage’ With Leadership Speaker, Author & Coach Waldo Waldman

The Destiny Awakening Interviews is a podcast with Andrew Wayfinder and his guests.

Every week (sometimes more) we have a short focused interview with an expert, author, speaker designed to bring you powerful insights, inspiration and ways to break free, live life by your vision and values, and make a difference in our changing and challenging world.

Listen to the podcast at: https://www.andrewwayfinder.com/blog/DA0037

Andrew Hryniewicz
So hello everyone and a very warm welcome to another edition of the Destiny Awakening Interviews.

I’m Andrew Wayfinder Hryniewicz and I’m joined today by Waldo Waldman, fighter pilot, Hall of Fame Leadership Speaker, executive coach and author of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller “Never Fly Solo”.

So a very warm welcome to you, Waldo. And where are you hanging out today?

Waldo Waldman
I am in Hot-lanta, Georgia. Let’s see it’s probably 92 degrees today and my son’s getting ready to do some soccer tryouts in an hour. So we’ll get him prepped up and life is good. And getting ready to take my first trip in a few months out west in Lake Tahoe, so we’re…

Andrew Hryniewicz
Great. Okay, well, you know, life’s coming back to normal post pandemic.

Okay, well, let’s get on to your work and your experience. So Lieutenant Colonel retired Waldo Waldman, also known as “The Wingman”, overcame both claustrophobia, and a fear of heights to graduate from the Air Force Academy.

And then he became a decorated combat fighter pilot, with 65 missions, and 2,650 flight hours under his belt. After leaving the Air Force, he got an MBA in Organizational Behavior, and lead top sales efforts for cutting edge technology and consulting firms.

Now, as a speaker and leadership expert, he helps leaders and organizations accelerate their performance in changing environments. And his clients have included Marriott, Hewlett-Packard, American Express, The Denver Broncos, Verizon, and many more.

So thank you, Waldo, for your time today. And the topic we’ll be talking about is “Leveraging Trusting Relationships to Build Courage”. And Waldo’s going to unpack that idea by answering six questions.

So the first question is, who is your ideal client, and what’s the transformation your work helps them achieve?

Waldo Waldman
So I do mostly corporate keynotes, but I do entrepreneurial and executive coaching.

But I think the general hybrid of individual who gets the most out of my programs and philosophies are those entrepreneur mindset individuals who wake up every day with a goal… with a stretch goal.

Wanting to be better than they were yesterday and compelled to grow. And so many times, fear gets in the way… Relationships get in the way… Mindset… etc.

So I help them break through those barriers. Build trust, not just with the wingman — the men and women in our lives — but with the most important wing-man or wing-ma’am there is, which is themselves.

The person staring back at them in the mirror when they put their flight suit on every morning. And hear the “cleared for takeoff” call from their clients and their loved ones.

Andrew Hryniewicz
So what’s the biggest challenge they’re facing in that situation?

Waldo Waldman
I think most people are not very honest with themselves…

Many times they wake up doing what they’ve always done and expect to have change. And they’re not willing to get uncomfortable… and changing their habits, their protocols, their regimens, so that change will eventually happen.

So, you know, we have a certain amount of tools as leaders, as individuals, which we can access to solve problems or deliver results. Let’s say the average person has 20, the peak performer probably has 100.

And the weak or powerless individual has two or three that they depend on. So more competence comes when you have more tools.

And you get those tools through listening to a podcast like this, investing your time with learning a new insight, a new habit, a ritual, etc.

It comes from your fitness and health, right? Building that horsepower that’s necessary.

It comes from building a new relationship with a person who can help you solve a problem and guide you down the path… many people are afraid to ask for help.

And so a key tool in our lives are those people — those trusted partners outside of our formation and inside of it — who we can go to for help.

And so those are a couple key factors in building up those tools, those arsenal weapons, so that you can take out targets and help your teammates and wingman out as well.

Andrew Hryniewicz
Okay, a few military metaphors in there.

Waldo Waldman
Yeah you gotta throw them in there! I’m gonna hammer them all day long there, Andrew. So…

Andrew Hryniewicz
Well, it’s great because, I mean, everybody has the metaphor that they look at the world through.

And actually, I think you’ve already answered question number three, what’s your number one insight that you can share with people to help them? And it sounds like it’s get more tools.

Waldo Waldman
Get more tools. I think you can even boil it down, and be willing to ask for help. You know, I was a fighter pilot flying this cool jet.

And the reason why my book was “Never Fly Solo” is even though I was strapped in this jet for many years and then flew 65 combat missions. I had other men and women in my formation who checked out a blind spot.

I’m going to see if I could show a photo here… You know, when you’re strapped into a plane, you can’t see behind you. So you have to check your six.

And your wingmen check your six. They are the ones to your left and right to look over their shoulder and call out weapons, and missiles, and aircraft, and threats that are coming at you.

And so you need to have those people build your picture and develop a broader… what we call “situational awareness”… for you.

So if I’m strapping in, “Hey, Andrew… and this is why you’re such a great coach, you see my blind spots, you tell me to take action if a missile is coming at me”.

And then I’ll tell you as well, as a trusted partner.

If we have that really strong bond of trust, I may tell something to you, and give you feedback, that you may not want to hear but need to hear.

And so that’s the collaboration piece. So, ask for help, be vulnerable. It takes more strength to build those relationships and show that transparency and vulnerability.

And if you look at any of this peak performers out there, they seek out coaches who think differently. And who can augment their skill set with other ideas and philosophies for growth.

Andrew Hryniewicz
And that’s a perfect segue into question number four. In your own development, what concept, book, program, talk or experience was most impactful?

Waldo Waldman
Oh, goodness, well, you know, “Think And Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill is an old classic. Anybody who’s listening to this, I highly recommend it. It’s kind of a business lab.

But it’s also about, you know, overcoming fear and mastermind groups — all those people in your life who you can network, or what I call wing work, with. It’s a very key book.

Also, I read a lot of spirituality books, you know, on energy and philosophy. And Ernest Holmes is somebody who I really respect: it’s kind of a Christian based book, although I’m Jewish.

I think I spoke to you before I believe in it all.

But I think, you know, when you feed your mind with different philosophies… when you listen, watch, get into discussion, and then truly ponder what you’ve heard… and then take some actions based on the recommendations and philosophies that you heard.

I think that’s a key attribute.

But I would say “Think And Grow Rich”, Ernest Holmes, and then “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, another old school book.

Andrew Hryniewicz
I think, especially with the Dale Carnegie book, if you can get one of the early edition… because apparently in the later editions, they kind of tidy it up and edited it. And some of the real juice apparently, is not in the more modern versions.

Waldo Waldman
That doesn’t surprise me these days.

Andrew Hryniewicz
Okay, So question number five, what’s the free resource would you like to share with the audience to help them?

Waldo Waldman
So if you go to yourwingman.com/refuel. I’m going to share five videos on building resilience, through your relationships, through your mindset.

I have a little thing in there called Refuel, Retool, you know, kind of Refuel your jet and then Retool your jet, your weapon systems, as well.

So yourwingman.com/refuel, you’ll get those five videos as well. And then I’m gonna offer my book “Never Fly Solo”, which was a New York Times bestseller.

If you go to yourwingman.com/nfs, as in “Never Fly Solo”, and put your name and email address, and you’ll get a free copy, it’s 20 bucks on Audible. But as my wing man, I want to offer it to you as well.

Andrew Hryniewicz
Great, and those will both be in the show notes as well.

Waldo Waldman
Awesome.

Andrew Hryniewicz
Okay, so Waldo question number six, the last one, what should I have asked you that I didn’t ask you?

Waldo Waldman
You know, one of my favorite questions is “What are you excited about today? What’s exciting to you? What’s giving you juice?”

I have a saying, you know, “It’s not what keeps us up at night, that’s as important as what gets us out of bed.”

So many of us get focused on “What keeps us up at night?”. It’s a big sales question. So what’s keeping you up at night? That’s fear based, which I think is energy draining.

What gets you out of bed is courage based. It’s when you’re focusing on what you love, what drives you? What makes you want to, you know, jump into your jet, push off the throttle, take off… even though you may be getting shot at.

And so what was that? What was the question?

Andrew Hryniewicz
Yeah, what should I have asked you that I didn’t?

Waldo Waldman
So that’s something, you know, what’s exciting to you? I think people need to be focused on that, keeps your vector and your radar sweeping on what’s good. It’s all about good. There’s enough negativity in the world.

And for me, like I said, I’m going to Lake Tahoe with my wife and son, I’m trying to get a fishing trip. And that’s something that we’re fighting for, what we’re endeared to, what gives meaning to our mission.

And Lord knows these days, there’s enough things that are dragging us down. We need excitement. We need fun. We need joy.

Andrew Hryniewicz
I think that’s a great message. And I can see why you are Keynote Speaker of The Year. I love your energy and the way, you know, take on life.

So that was perfect. Waldo. Thank you so much for your time tonight.

Waldo Waldman
You’re welcome, Andrew. I really enjoyed it and I wish you well. Okay. Bye

Philosopher. Shaman. Architect. Therapist. I love time spent with friends and family, creating beauty and magic, and this amazing planet we all share.