Kim “KC” Campbell, a former fighter pilot and author of “Flying in the Face of Fear: A Fighter Pilot’s Lessons on Leading with Courage.” In this episode, Kim discusses a mission during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the importance of teamwork and staying calm despite chaos. Campbell emphasizes the value of listening to others’ stories, making tough decisions as a leader, empowering team members, and supporting veterans. She also highlights the significance of adaptability and facing fears with courage.
[03:43] Kim discusses her experience as an Air Force Academy graduate and her mission during Operation Iraqi Freedom where she received the Distinguished Fine Cross for heroism. Kim emphasizes the importance of teamwork, mutual support, and staying calm during crises as a leader.
[15:47] Kim, a former pilot and leader in the military, emphasizes the importance of listening to stories and learning from others’ experiences. She credits listening to fellow pilots’ war stories for her success during a crucial moment when she had to fly using a backup emergency system.
[21:44] She also talks about the challenges of having difficult conversations as a leader. Adaptability is a key competency that can be learned, and Kim encourages leaders to be flexible and responsive to changing circumstances. Lastly, Kim discusses her passion for supporting veterans during their transition into civilian life and believes in offering them support and opportunities because of their tremendous value in solving complex problems and leading teams.
[27:56] Kim also discusses the importance of trust and resilience in teams, and how stories can help build these qualities.
[31:50] She reflects on her experience establishing a center for Character and Leadership Development, which aimed to teach character and leadership skills through real-life examples and stories.
[37:45] Kim shares her experience writing letters every week to get accepted into the military academy, highlighting the importance of persistence and creativity in achieving goals.
[39:57] She encourages leaders to take action in the face of fear and to stay flexible and adaptable in challenging situations.
[41:26] Closing quote: Remember, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. ” — Henry Ford