Jimmy Blackmon | Leadership Expert, Author & Professional Speaker
Jimmy Blackmon is among the most combat experienced leaders of the modern era. He has led high risk missions all over the world including serving as the air mission commander on the operation that netted #2 and #3 in the famous Iraqi deck of cards. Amazingly, Jimmy also served as the aviation commander during the battles in which four Medals of Honor were earned in Afghanistan – in the very valleys where the attacks of 9-11 were planned and rehearsed. Having achieved impressive results, Jimmy understands how to navigate the complexities of the 21st Century. His ability to develop an organizational strategy, build living systems and processes that enable organizations to thrive with speed and agility in the modern era, and build cohesive teams driven by vision and purpose are unparalleled. Jimmy’s natural storytelling ability bring his experiences alive. From funny, behind the scenes soldier stories to high stakes crisis management in combat, Jimmy shares colorful experiences that are sure to both educate and entertain your audience, but Jimmy is far more than a proven leader and entertaining speaker. Jimmy is an IBO World Champion in archery. He made a U.S. Armed Forces World Cross Country Team and has run a 2:33 marathon. Jimmy will motivate your team to define success, set goals, and maximize their own personal potential. As a keynote speaker or providing an in-depth developmental seminar, Jimmy can help make a difference in your organization. Having been born the son of a humble cotton mill worker in northern Georgia, Jimmy’s story is proof that the American Dream lives. He enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1986 with the dream of a bright future. He graduated from North Georgia College in 1991, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in aviation. In the thirty years that have followed, Jimmy has served in various command and staff positions throughout the Army. He has led American soldiers during two tours in the Balkans, two tours in Iraq, and two tours of duty in Afghanistan. Jimmy spent twelve years of his career in the famed 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), where he commanded Task Force Pale Horse from 2008 – 2010 and the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade from 2012 – 2015 where he led over 3,500 of American’s sons and daughters in combat in Afghanistan. Jimmy holds a Bachelors of Arts in History from North Georgia College, a Master of Science in Education from Old Dominion University and a Masters in National Security Strategy from the National War College in Washington D.C. He is Airborne, Ranger, and Air Assault qualified. Jimmy has earned the Combat Action Badge and is a Master Army Aviator. Some of his awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, four Bronze Star Medals, and four Air Medals. Jimmy is the author of two books, Southern Roots, a memoir of growing up in the South, and PALE HORSE – Hunting Terrorists and Commanding Heroes with the 101st Airborne Division. Jimmy concluded his military service in the J5 – Plans and Policy Division on the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. where he led a select team of Department of Defense strategists as they developed plans, policy and strategic posture for our nation’s most complex global problems. • Keynote: “Vision, Culture, Climate, and the Leadership that Binds Them” In the summer of 2008, Jimmy traveled to Afghanistan to visit the Army aviation unit that he his unit would be replacing six months later. While there the Battle of Wanta took place. Of the forty-eight American soldiers at Wanat, twenty-seven were wounded and nine were tragically killed. A Medal of Honor was earned. As a leader observing the battle, Jimmy felt the weight of responsibility like never before. Despite having served two years in Iraq, he had not seen attacks of that complexity. He kept asking himself over and over, “Are my soldiers prepared for this? Have I done everything possible to train them well enough?” Over the next few days, Jimmy realized that what he must do was shape the culture within his organization. He did not have all the answers. He was the leader and responsible for his unit, but he realized that he was surrounded by incredibly talented men and women. In a naturally hierarchal Army culture, Jimmy went about creating an environment where all ideas were welcomed regardless of the rank or experience of the person suggesting them. Jimmy set about empowering his people and trusting them. The results were remarkable. Jimmy’s air cavalry task force swept almost every Army award that year, but not because Jimmy Blackmon did anything extraordinary. He simply shaped an environment in which his soldiers could maximize their own personal potential. Jimmy realized that no matter how technologically advanced we become, life is and always will be about people and relationships. Through the colorful, engaging storytelling ability that Jimmy is known for, he shares practical, pragmatic methods for casting an organizational vision, shaping culture, and setting a climate that is conducive to success. Vision alone isn’t enough. Jimmy explains how leaders must employ a systematic approach to gain the trust and buy-in of their employees in order to reach their goals and fulfill their mission. Clients will leave this presentation with a clear understand of the importance of an empowering culture and positive work climate... • Keynote | 1/2 Day | Full Day: “Leadership for the 21st Century” Have you always wanted to invest and train your leaders, but you simply have not found the time to develop a program? The full-day option of Leadership for the 21st Century is perfect for you. Jimmy Blackmon has led soldiers for over 30 years, culminating as a Brigade Commander in the famed 101st Airborne Division, where he led over 3,500 of America’s sons and daughters in Afghanistan. Jimmy is oft quoted as saying, “No matter how technologically advanced we become, life is and always will be about people and relationships. In this presentation, Jimmy shows the power of inspiration that only comes when leaders genuinely connect with those they lead. Management is about systems and processes. Leadership is about inspiring human beings. Both are vitally important to the success of any organization. Through practical examination, Jimmy demonstrates the necessity of both. In his formative years, Jimmy was told that leadership is lonely business, but he never bought into that idea. “If you’re lonely you’re not leading,” he says. “You’re mountain climbing.” A leader that does not connect with those they lead will be followed half-heartedly because of position and title. An inspiring leader that develops genuine relationships with those they lead will be followed because they inspire human accomplishment. Are your employees compliant or committed? Jimmy will show you how to achieve commitment. Primary focus areas in this program are: Trust, Empowerment, Communication, Time Management, Delegation, Prioritization, Leader Development, Vision • 1/2 Day | Full Day: "Leveraging Holistic Strategic Planning" In these popular 1⁄2-day or full-day programs, Jimmy shares the importance of holistic strategic planning and the leadership behaviors necessary to truly leverage the plan. Through colorful real-life examples, Jimmy not only demonstrates the power of the founding story, vision, mission and values, but he explains how to use those documents to create a meaningful strategy, define goals and objectives, and most importantly, how to assess, evaluate, and adjust quarterly in order to achieve success. Jimmy will ensure that your leadership teams leave with a thorough understanding of the mechanics of strategic planning at the organizational level. The second portion of this program focuses on leader behaviors, prioritization, and living a balanced life. Companies with published strategies can choose to have Jimmy integrate their existing vision, mission, and values into the presentation in order to take an objective look at the quality of the documents. Organizations without these statements may choose to have Jimmy help facilitate writing them, and consult on strategic planning. Primary focus areas in this program are: Vision, Mission, Values, Innovation, Communication, Delegation, Prioritization, Leader Development.
- Breakout Session Leader
- Organizational Growth Specialist
If you’re looking for a master story-teller who delivers his messages on life and leadership with passionate authenticity, you can’t do better than Jimmy Blackmon!
Jimmy Blackmon is an inspiring leader whose public addresses provide a refreshingly honest and engaging perspective of unit cohesion and camaraderie through challenging environments and circumstances. He is a speaker not to be missed, as his talks mix humility, pride, and humor in captivating fashion. Jimmy's unique storytelling ability makes him a speaker for both domestic and international civilian and military audiences alike.
Connects on every level
Jimmy’s authenticity allows him to connect with every level of an organization. His inspirational stories around leadership as well as encouragement on the power of cultivating positive relationships allowed our team to have a greater understanding of each other as well as how we better motivate and communicate within our organization. I would highly recommend Jimmy for any company looking to maximize each employee’s potential.