Tom Kolditz is a social psychologist who develops leaders. He is currently the Managing Member of Saxon Castle LLC, a coaching and leader development consultancy. He founded the Ann and John Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University and led it for 7 years. Prior to Rice, he taught as a Professor in the Practice of Leadership and Management and founded the Leadership Development Program at the Yale School of Management.
A retired Brigadier General, Tom led the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at West Point for 12 years, and was titled Professor Emeritus after retirement. He served for 2 years as a leadership and human resources policy analyst in the Pentagon, and a year as a concept developer in the Center for Army Leadership. General Kolditz is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, the Army’s highest award for service. In 2017, he was honored with the prestigious Warren Bennis Award for Excellence in Leadership—an honor also bestowed on Doris Kearns Goodwin, Howard Schultz, Tom Peters, and Benazir Bhutto. From 2018 to 2023, he globally ranked in various coaching categories by Global Gurus, an independent research and professional ranking organization, most recently, #12 in Start-up Coaching in 2023. In 2019, he was selected by Thinkers50 MG100 as the #1 University Coach in the world in London in November 2019.
Dr. Kolditz has published more than 75 books, book chapters, and articles across a diverse array of academic and leadership trade journals, and served on the editorial and advisory boards of several psychology journals. He developed the concept of in extremis leadership—an original crisis leadership model—while serving in Iraq. His subsequent book on that topic, In Extremis Leadership: Leading as if Your Life Depended On It, currently helps train leaders in more than 8 service academies in the US, the United Kingdom, China, Israel, and Japan. His second book, Leadership Reckoning: Can Higher Education Develop the Leaders We Need, launched a national movement to improve the quality and quantity of leader development across higher education. Understanding the power of scale, Tom partnered with the American Council on Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to design and administer a Carnegie Elective Classification titled “Leadership for Public Purpose,” as a challenge to 5200+ colleges and universities to examine and improve the professional development of students, and is a member of the Leadership for Public Purpose National Advisory Committee. In 2023, he worked with the largest employer in Ukraine, DTEK, and the International Coaching Federation, to pilot and administer a grand scale coaching strategy in business and government to assist and accelerate the resistance and recovery of Ukraine. He is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association and a founding member of the Board of Advisors for the Department of Psychology at the University of Missouri. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Vanderbilt University, three Master’s degrees, and PhD in Psychology from the University of Missouri. Credentialed by the International Coaching Federation, Tom was also awarded an honorary Doctorate of Professional Practice by the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.