Commander Kirk Lippold Biography
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2016 GMIS International Annual Conference
Keynote Speaker



Legendary Commander of USS Cole and Author of Front Burner

Commander Kirk Lippold, USN (Ret.), author of Front Burner: The Attack on the USS Cole, knows what it takes to create the foundation for successful leadership that prepares teams to rise to any challenge they may face.

In 2000, when the USS Cole was attacked by Al-Qaeda terrorists in the port of Aden, Yemen, Lippold and his crew distinguished themselves by saving the American warship from sinking in the face of one of the most brazen acts of terrorism prior to September 11, 2001.

Lippold shows how the difference between team success and failure lies in the instinctive principles that are ingrained through training and guide people to action. Based on the leadership standards he instilled in his crew leading up to that historic day, Lippold has developed the "Five Pillars of Leadership" that construct a framework for getting the most from your workforce: integrity, vision, personal responsibility and accountability, trust, and professional competence.

With this unique and invaluable experience, Commander Lippold has briefed over 6,000 military officers, 2,000 federal and state law enforcement officers, and given over 300 presentations on this seminal event in the war on terrorism.

Currently, he is president of Lippold Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in executive leadership development and long-range strategic planning and serves as Senior Vice President for military policy and strategic development at the public affairs firm Phillip Stutts & Co.  A US Naval Academy graduate, Lippold has received the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Meritorious Service Medal among others.

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