Combat pilot awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Fortune 50 Exec, All-Conference Collegiate Athlete, Author, MBA and the only person to land a KC-135 after both left engines came off the airplane.
"I consider that the finest piece of airmanship, to have occurred during the entire Gulf War." That is how General Charles Horner, the top commander of all Allied Air Forces during the Gulf War, recently described the heroic efforts of Lt. Colonel Kevin Sweeney for a flight in which both engines on his left wing came completely off his four engine jet on a Desert Storm combat mission. Amazingly Kevin and his team were able to successfully recover and land the critically wounded airplane after a harrowing hour and 15 minute flight back to the nearest suitable Allied airfield.
As an experienced Fortune 50 Executive, combat pilot decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross, all-conference collegiate athlete and business school university instructor, Kevin Sweeney has been there. He has the in-depth skill along with a one-of-a-kind unique understanding of the attributes needed to be successful in today's challenging business environment.
Lt. Col. Kevin Sweeney is a nationally respected and recognized expert on leadership. A captivating storyteller and inspirational icon, he shares a wealth of experience about the tools necessary for excelling when the heat is on!
Kevin has been a requested guest on over 450 radio stations in the United States and Canada. He inspires audiences with his unique insights into leadership, teamwork, and how to position yourself to perform under pressure.
Successful Corporate Executive
For more than a quarter of a century, Kevin has been a successful business executive at an elite Fortune 50 Company as well as an industry-leading software company.
Distinguished Combat Pilot
Kevin's compelling real-life story describes a combat mission during which two engines on his left wing were totally ripped off in mid-air, in the dark of night, while at maximum weight. His story illustrates how your team can overcome any obstacle facing them. He transforms the lessons his team learned into business examples that benefit your team.
•Pressure Cooker Confidence: How to Lead When the Heat is On
•Conversations with the Colonel: Lessons in Life, Leadership, and Wisdom.
Kevin brings in-depth business knowledge to your organization.
Industry Expertise (10)
Areas of Expertise (10)
Awarded United States Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross (professional)
Proud Grandpa (personal)
A cherished and awesome responsibility
Subject of an article in Readers Digest (professional)
Adjunct Instructor in School of Business (professional)
Washburn University, along with being a guest lecturer at several other Colleges and Universities
All Conference Collegiate Athlete (personal)
1st Team All Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Basketball player
Lt. Colonel (Ret) (professional)
United States Air Force
Command Pilot, United States Air Force (professional)
Air Medal (professional)
Mulitple Air Medals for flying combat missions in Viet Nam and Desert Storm
Author of two books (professional)
Pressure Cooker Confidence, How to Lead When the Heat is On
Conversations with the Colonel, Lessons in Life, Leadership, and Wisdom
Fortune 50 Executive (professional)
University of North Dakota: MBA, Business Administration
United States Air Force: Undergraduate Pilot Training
Washburn University: Bachelor of Arts, Economics
Washburn University: Bachelor of Business Administration, Business Administration
- National Speakers Association
- Global Speakers Federation
Jim Goetz, CIO | Convergys Technology Conference
"You told my people exactly what I wanted them to hear...I knew your speech would be good, but your ending was above good!!!"
Nancy Estes, Executive Director | Independent Distributors Association/Annual Meeting
I have been managing meetings and conventions for thirty years. You are exceptional!!..... What impressed me the most about your presentation is how extremely well you connected with the individuals in the audience. Your obvious strength of character made us want to listen; then once you grabbed our attention, you showed us how we could make genuine changes in our daily lives. All this before you wowed us with the climax,the rest of the story.
Robin Creasman , Robin Creasman Productions |
If you're looking for someone who embodies leadership, peak performance, accountability and knows what it takes to build a loyal and dynamic team, then you've found the right person in "The Colonel". Kevin Sweeney is a leader of men, both literally & figuratively. As a key executive in a top 50 company, a military hero, and now an author & professional speaker. The Colonel offers organizations and associations key insights to what it takes to lead when the pressure is on. I highly recommend Kevin as a speaker, author, and consultant. Bring him to speak at your event and your team will be inspired, encouraged, and motivated to deliver peak performance in all they do, even in tough times! It pays to have a "Conversation With the Colonel".
Ed Barnes, Vice President, Marketing | Spectrum Pharmaceuticals
"The value you brought to Spectrum was magnificent. Your ability to mingle with our people before your presentation was superb and after mingling with our people the knowledge gained you effectively included in your presentation to make it directly applicable to the needs of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals. I thank you for that!!"
Diana Thompson, Attendeee | CBITS annual conference
"I want you to know that the final keynote at CBITS this year was by far the best I have ever heard! Talk about motivation! I was sitting on the front row and several times felt as if my mouth was wide open-he just 'drew' me into his presentation!!!"
Charles Middleton, Small Business Development | Great Plains Technology Center
"Kevin got a standing ovation from a group of educators-that's incredible. I've been doing this conference stuff ten years or more, and I've never seen that happen."
Tricia Collom, VP Marketing | Homecare Homebase
"Your closing keynote was a perfect ending to our conference this month. It was the first time I've ever seen a speaker receive two standing ovations! Our client who sponsored your speech and provided your books for the attendees was thrilled...... I have several audience members who are interested in your contact information for other events and I will forward their information to your office."
Steve Johnson, Executive Director | Bowling Proprietors Association of America
"Your presentation supported our theme "United We Bowl" and as a thought leader you gave our members results oriented ideas for making profitable business decisions that will also put our members in position to excel under the pressures they encounter.
As was quoted in our recent Bowling Center Magazine article about your presentation: 'Now our members know the answer to the question, How do you put yourself and your team in position to excel under pressure?' The answer: 'Proper preparation, passion, focus, team work, and confidence.' "
Event Appearances (12)
Radiology Business Managers Association
Fall Conference Las Vegas, NV
National Association of Residential Property Managers
Fall Conference Dallas, TX
Kansas Society of Parks and Recreation
Annual Conference Topeka, KS
Annual Users Software Conference Dallas, Texas
Pillars of America Speaker Series
Pressure Cooker Confidence Juneau, Alaska
International lnstitute of Municipal Clerks
Annual Meeting Nashville, TN
West Virginia Bankers Association
Annual Conference Roanoke, WV
Owens and Minor
Annual Sales Conference Dallas, TX
Global Leadership Meeting Groton, CT
Society for Human Resource Management
Annual Conference Las Vegas, NV
Pressure Cooker Confidence
Whites Chapel Mens Group Dallas, TX
International Bowl Expo
Annual Conference Reno, NV
Sample Talks (4)
Pressure Cooker Confidence
How to Deliver Peak Performance when the Heat is On - Pressure Cooker Confidence enables you to say I can, I will, I expect, and I did it when the pressure is on. The Colonel's flagship presentation built around his dramatic life or death flight during a mission in Desert Storm introduces the five principles of Pressure Cooker Confidence. Learn why the hard work you do before hand counts more than the work you do when the heat is on. You will learn how to become the ‘go to’ person on your team.
In addition to his renowned keynotes, Kevin can moderate an interactive breakout session for your event in which the group explores the reasons why aircrews are so effective in their execution and performance even while under pressure, delivering a very high mission success rate.
Kevin will answer the questions as to why aircrews are known for performing under pressure and how they respond to emergencies so well. You will understand how to apply these tactics to your professional life.
Leadership in Challenging Times
True and effective leadership is not based upon rank or position. True and effective leadership is a critical and earned gift from the people you lead.
In this presentation Lt. Colonel Kevin Sweeney will show you how to:
■Identify personal attributes of great leaders
■Become the teammate that makes you a great leader
■Discover integrity characteristics that great leaders demonstrate
■Differentiate between good and great leaders-whether the leader is a C-level Executive or a 4 star General.
Conversations with the Colonel
Imagine getting the opportunity to sit in your living room and have a conversation with a gentleman who has been a leader of thousands of men and women. A man who has been awarded the esteemed Distinguished Flying Cross from the United States Air Force. A man who battled the physical loss of both engines on the left wing of his airplane during a night combat mission in Desert Storm and won! A man who has achieved incredible success as a sales leader in a top 50 American company.
- Workshop Leader
- Author Appearance