UG 019 – Never Fly Solo: Fighter Pilot, Rob “Waldo” Waldman on Overcoming Fear, the Importance of Gratitude, and Diving into Commitment

    As a kid, there were a few careers that I always dreamed. Top of that list? Air Force pilot. What could be cooler than flying an F16? On this episode of Unlocking Greatness, I get the change to talk with Capt. Rob “Waldo” Waldman on how he pursued his dream of becoming a pilot. Life wasn’t so easy for Waldo, however: Three years into his military career, he developed extreme claustrophobia due to a scuba diving accident. While that may have lead others to quit the service, Waldo kept flying. Waldo shares with us how he overcome his fear and recommitted himself to excellence. His tips, insights and strategies apply to military and civilian alike.


    • How Waldo became a fighter pilot (2:29)
    • Overcoming doubt, uncertainty and fear (3:50)
    • Family influence, core values and passions (5:54)
    • Discipline and committing to excellence (8:53)
    • How does the Air Force get their soldiers to commit? (13:03)
    • The value of teamwork (16:56)
    • Hard work and sacrifice for the cause (19:12)
    • Attitude for gratitude (22:36)
    • In order to not quit, passion has to be greater than your fear in order to not quit (29:03)
    • Not letting fear define you (33:10)
    • Never fly alone. Identify your wingman. Ask for help. (37:44)
    • Daily rituals (39:58)
    • The idea of “getting it done” (43:45)



    • “You are only as strong as your weakest link.” RW
    • “We can’t be all thrust and no vector.” RW
    • “Personalities weren’t as important as performance.” RW
    • “If the passion for what you do isn’t greater than the fear of uncertainty, you’re going to bail out or abort.” RW
    • “Love is usually greater than fear; we commit more for others than we do for ourselves.”
    • “The more you fight the less you bleed.” RW

    Never Fly Solo: Lead with Courage, Build Trusting Partnerships, and Reach New Heights in Business by Rob “Waldo” Waldman

    Rob Waldo Waldman – aka “The Wingman” – is a motivational speaker and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Never Fly Solo. Waldo overcame massive claustrophobia and a fear of heights to become a fighter pilot with over 65 combat missions and 2,650 flight hours. Waldo has been awarded 5 Air Medals, 2 Aerial Achievement Medals, 4 Air Force Commendation Medals, and 2 Meritorious Service Medals.
    A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, he also holds an MBA with a focus on Organizational Behavior. Waldo is also a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and was inducted to the Speaker’s Hall of Fame. Waldo was ranked one of the Top 40 under 40 Business Leaders in Georgia and has been featured on Fox & Friends, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, The Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, Entrepreneur Magazine, Success Magazine, Inc. Magazine, BusinessWeek, and many other media outlets. Waldo is also the founder and President of The Wingman Foundation, a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to raise funds and awareness for soldiers, veterans and their families in need.


    • What fear(s) are holding me back from achieving my lifelong dreams?
    • Do I have gratitude for the people around me?
    • Am I always there for my team- at work, at home, anywhere?

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