Aug. 24, 2022

569: Never Fly Solo & The 7 Wingman Principles

On today's episode, I'm joined by Lt. Col Waldo Waldman to talk about leading with courage, building trusting partnerships, and reaching new heights in business.

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On today's episode, I'm joined by Lt. Col Waldo Waldman to talk about leading with courage, building trusting partnerships, and reaching new heights in business.


We've all heard the old saying that you're only as good as your wingman. But what does that mean? And how do you build trust with your partners? And how can you lead with a single-minded focus on success?


These are just some of the questions we'll be answering today.


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Brian Nichols  0:04  
focusing on winning arguments. We're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, Happy Wednesday there folks linings here on The Brian Nichols Show in for joining us on a horse. Another fun episode i As always your humble host today to talk about why you should never fly solo ie that in business in life or in the seat of a cockpit but before we get there, I'm gonna go ahead and give a shout out to today's sponsor. That is the expat money show head over to the Brian Nichols forward slash expat where you can join our good friend McHale Thorpe who he's going to help you protect the money you work so hard to earn from ambulance chasing lawyers, nefarious creditors and greedy unjust governments. He helps people just like you invest internationally secure second passports and residencies eliminate your tax bill and take advantage of offshore structures so you can travel the world freely and never have to worry about money again now McHale Thorpe he's gonna be joining us here on The Brian Nichols Show comm towards the end of September why because I want you guys to learn more about the expat money show. But also I want to go ahead and make sure you are getting prepared for the ex Pat money Summit. Yes, that's taking place November 7 through November 11. Five days 30 expert speakers and one of those speakers the one and only Congressman Ron Paul and guys tickets are limited so head the Brian Nichols forward slash expat and get your free tickets. Yes, I said free today. One more time. Brian Nichols Forward slash expat. All right, folks, looking forward to today's episode because yeah, we got to talk about the importance of as I mentioned, never flying alone. And there's no one better to speak about that than one Waldo while Ben Waldo. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show.

Waldo Waldman  1:59  
Good to see you. Happy Wednesday.

Brian Nichols  2:01  
Happy Wednesday. Thank you for joining us, sir. And obviously, I'm looking forward to this conversation because I think you have a little bit of experience in terms of this whole flying thing. So let's start off there while though introduce yourself to The Brian Nichols Show audience and why you're leading with the charge that we should never fly alone.

Waldo Waldman  2:17  
Great to be here, Brian, and congratulations to everyone who made the commitment to listen to this podcast this show. You know when you show up every day, an empty vessel, ready to learn, ready to refine, maybe get a little uncomfortable. You realize that the most important wing man or wing man there is is yourself. I talk a lot about what I learned in the cockpit of this f 16. Flying with my teammates, my wingman from all over the world have each other's back checking the blind spots out. At the end of the day, you've got to be the master of your own aircraft. You can see I'm a little sweaty today I hit the gym this morning. I know that I need the horsepower to make today happen. So the first wing man the partner is yourself doing the work and then being able to think outside your cockpit and realizing that to when dodged the missiles not just of combat but of life and adversity and change and struggle. You need a wing man or a wing ma'am. To help you push up the throttle hit those targets. And when

Brian Nichols  3:14  
you're here, I mean, part of my personal journey. I've talked about this a few times in the program 10 plus years or so ago, I was actually longer than that now wow times a son of a gun. It was all the way back in 2008. I was morbidly obese I was 385 pounds, I was big, big boy. And ended up it was it was a doctor basically telling me hey, you got to get your life together. And starting with your health, otherwise, you're a ticking time bomb. And that kind of you know that starts jumpstarting a lot of things in your mind when you're younger, especially because that's not something you think about until you think you're older, right? But then all sudden, me being a young younger gentleman at that point and hearing that and being like, Oh wow, I really need to start focusing on stuff that turned me into this two year journey of I started just focusing on doing you know, walking, jogging, whatever I could do to get active and over two years lost around 180 pounds. And I said Alright, now we're gonna start building and I started doing weightlifting and getting more involved at the gym versus just going out and walking on the road because I was embarrassed in my my physical appearance. And once I got my physical health in order, then all of a sudden it starts to correlate into other areas. And then to your point, it allows you to really refine who you are as a person but then to realize Yeah, I can do whatever it is I'm looking to do alone. I look back, I was working with so many people whether it was my friends, my family the folks who I didn't go to the gym who were giving me advice so you develop this idea of the seven wing man principles which I you know, look back I definitely utilize and I didn't even realize it so well though if you would start things off kind of outline. What are these seven wing man principles and how does it pertain not just the business, but also the life? Nope, I'm

Waldo Waldman  4:54  
gonna show you a photo here I'm putting on my E cam. Here. It's taking a while so So you can see here I just showed a photo, I was in the gym a couple days ago in Illinois prior to doing a speech and it says, Don't wish for work for it, you know. And I use that as a reminder, I made a post on LinkedIn. And folks want to follow me there at Walter Waldman. But you know, when stands for work, and now, we don't put off tomorrow, but can what can be done today, or should be done today. So when you're looking to build trust in others, and build that confidence that others can come to you for help. And if you're a sales and marketing expert, if you're an entrepreneur, if you're an American, by golly, be the type of person that others can come to you for help, because you emulated excellence, you did the work I think we have a lot a lot of whiners and complainers in the world today. And quite frankly, you know, success is how we define it. It doesn't necessarily have to be doing with money in the bank, but the relationships, our integrity, how great of a parent we are to our children, to honoring our word accountability, because we all have to make sacrifices, but it takes work. It takes sacrifice, and we have to jump into our cockpit every day, leverage the tools and just like your doctor was the wing man for you. Sometimes you have to be courageous enough to have folks tell you what you need to hear in that what you want to hear. And to have somebody potentially bruise your ego, potentially an expert who's a doctor, or your spouse or a buddy of yours who's willing to piss you off, because they love you enough and care enough about you to push you in the right direction to get you out of that comfort zone and into the the performance zone. So want folks to really tap into this, because many of the issues that we have, and you referred to it before Brian may have nothing to do with business, it may have to do with how you're showing up in your relationship at home, your health and fitness, your mindset, your addictions, your habits, what you're watching on TV, the garbage that may be coming in your ears, and going into your heart and through your hands as you push up the throttle. So we have to think holistically, macro wise and no success. And then once again, be willing to to ask for help and have the courage to humble ourselves to take off a mask and say hey, man, I'm messing up here, I need help. And find find a pro a Top Gun who can get you in the right direction.

Brian Nichols  7:19  
One thing you said was about getting outside of your comfort zone. And man this this rings true. So for my background, for those of you who maybe are new here to the program, sales and marketing executive in the telecommunications cybersecurity industry, and one of the things that we always talk about is, when you're selling, you're not selling a product or service, a feature a benefit, you're selling change, you're getting somebody to go from where they are in their status quo, to getting outside of that comfort zone and going to a different solution that's gonna help solve a problem they're currently experiencing. And to your point, that is exactly what you're looking for in a wingman is someone who's going to help you along that journey. And actually, I have an ebook I wrote, and I use the exact example that you use, if you're talking about the way I use my doctor, and that was, you're not gonna go to the doctor and say, Okay, I went to WebMD, I found every single possible ailment, I'm pretty sure I have I have you know, stage four, terminal cancer, the doctor is gonna look at you and be like, Okay, well, did you do some tests? Did you? Did you do some more thorough digging? Or did you get some outside opinions. And maybe we should reverse engineer this and start to start from square one versus just assuming the worst based on what you did in a quick Google search. And that is where you can play the role of consultant the role that trusted advisor much like a doctor is to you or a best friend. And that's important when you're looking to actually get from where you are, you're comfortable in many cases status quo, where maybe you have some problems, but they're not enough problems that you're going to focus on them to get uncomfortable with where you are, because the pain of change is sometimes more perceived pain than the pain of actually going to the new solution.

Waldo Waldman  8:53  
Yeah, I wrote up a Post this morning. It has to do with that sweating. We have to say in in the fighter pilot world. The more you sweat and peace, the less you bleed in battle. The more you sweat, the less you bleed, and I came up with another quote, pain leads to peace. When you're in the gym, you're struggling when you say no to that Krispy Kreme. When you force yourself out of bed in the morning when you're surrounded by the blankets and you feel the pain and struggle of humbling yourself and admitting that you're wrong when you mess up. The peace will come and the joy and the fulfillment will come from that internal source call it God call it your competence call it your your your ego whatever it is right that the joy comes in the Peace comes when you know you did the hard work. You know God rested on the seventh day, as they say in the Bible, right? But which meant he worked his butt off six other days. God is a worker, the Creator who whatever you do in your life is creating planting seeds tilling the soil. So when I flew in combat as a fighter pilot serving my country And then when I went to the business role I was I went to tech sales like you were in and then mergers and acquisitions, commission only sales. And then I leveraged those processes and disciplines or relationships that I learned in the world of combat and I put them into sales and and ultimately, as a Hall of Fame speaker and you know, New York Times bestselling author. I leveraged those concepts. But it's always about saying, What am I doing today to be relevant and unique. And up to date with the changes in the world, the tools and technologies, we've got a war for talent, we've got supply chain issues we got, you know, we've just finished up with this crazy pandemic, etc. We've got political dysfunction, we've got all sorts of craziness. And so you have to look at yourself and say, What am I doing? How am I building my team, and emulating, emulating the things that you're fighting for? It always starts with you. I say, there's no I in team, but there is an MN and D, my friend. So it starts with me before the team. And then you know, never fly solo. It's, it's a proof of concept in action.

Brian Nichols  11:11  
One thing I wanted to maybe dig into a little bit, and this was the seven wingman principles, number four standards, determined culture now in the world of politics, we are fond of the expression politics is downstream from culture. But number four for you standards determine culture. So it sounds like that might be important if we're looking to change culture in the world of politics. Can you speak to that? Well, that well, though?

Waldo Waldman  11:35  
Well, yeah, so I've spoken at some pretty big events with some past presidents of the United States, I assume, you know, some of them that, that are potentially getting back in the race again, and I don't want to necessarily get political today. But I believe that conservative values, I believe in the old work ethic, you know, call it from my background as a fighter pilot, my parents, but when you look at the standards that you have in your life, the things that you emulate the people that you spend time with the disciplines that you you put up with, for yourself and for your team, you have to be willing to place your line in the sand, that red line, the forward edge of the battle area, as we call it in combat, the no fly zone, and say, These are my standards, I'm planting my flag not just as a business person, but as an American as a human being and saying, This is what I believe in, when it comes to integrity, work ethic, accountability, standards of excellence, and hold each other accountable what I loved about being in a fighter squadron, where we coached each other where we pushed each other where we commanded excellence, we didn't demand it, is that every guy or gal pushed each other. And set the example the worst fighter pilot was still great. But we had high standards. And if you didn't accommodate and meet those standards, or garlis, of how nice you were, regardless of you know, your friendly nature and your motivation, guess what, you weren't fit to wear the Fighter Pilot Wings and the flag on your shoulder, didn't mean you were a bad person just meant you weren't fit for a squadron of fighter pilots of top guns who had high standards so so you have to set high standards for yourself, and then hold others accountable to the standards, especially if you're in sales. You're a manager of a team. And finally, I'll leave it at this when it comes to standards. As George Patton once said, General George Patton, you're always on parade. So everything you do everything you say, how you show up, your emulation of excellence, your teammates, your customers, your prospects, your family members, your kids, they're watching you. Are you pushing up the throttle? Are you pulling it back? Are you setting the tone for the team? Because if you're not willing to set the standards and live by them and emulate them, which is not easy to do, you can't expect others to do it. And you sure as heck can't expect your kids or your clients to do it either.

Brian Nichols  14:01  
Yeah, well, and it goes to number six of your principles. Be courageous, not and not fearless, right? Because it is sometimes tough to lead with what are considered to be unpopular opinions, and it requires you to be courageous. Good. So could you maybe focus a little bit on how somebody can overcome that anxiety of going against the status quo, especially when it seems like there's a crowd of people who are against you?

Waldo Waldman  14:27  
Well, you have to really believe ultimately, in what you're fighting for. You can't be blown by the winds of change, you know, a victim or a byproduct of the circumstances out there. You know, I'm not a big fan of people who are inconsistent with their values and their standards. I can't really trust that person who's not consistent. But when you look at all the change that's going on in the world today, and if you look at you know, setting, setting standards for you yourself and with your team and all, you know, like you said, the being the change. Sometimes you've got to make an unpopular decision, you have to willing to be willing to piss people off to do what's right. Integrity isn't just about, also about being honest. And, and, you know, you know, being truthful all the time, it also means Hey, to say I am, I'm messed up, I'm sorry, I made a mistake. I need help. You know, I messed up today. And it takes an awful lot of courage and, and discipline and confidence to be willing to be wrong. You know, the best fighter pilots I flew with were the ones who are always asking the questions and admitting when they messed up, building their integrity and getting Whole Again, by fixing what they what they messed up. And if you look at politics in the world today, that our ability to influence others to kind of go into our direction, I think both parties for that matter, need to be willing to be flexible, to be a little more empathetic and perhaps compassionate with the mindsets and values and ideas of some other, you know, other backgrounds, etc. And so if you're trying to influence other folks, it may mean to mean you saying, Okay, let me not judge let me be a little more critical. There's nothing wrong, by the way, with being critical. It's judgment, that's not good. To try to see other people's point of view, be willing to possibly change. And also to be willing to lose a battle to win the long war. Be willing to say, You know what, I'm willing to lose this battle. If you look at things like like birth control, you know, gay rights, you know, they just came out today with, you know, eliminating student debt. I'm not a big fan of a lot of those things. But sometimes you have to say, I'm willing to fall on my sword and be wrong and accept losing this battle, in order to win the longer war, the longer game, to appease and influence others to maybe make some sacrifices. And I think that's where politics is going wrong. Today, we need to be a little more flexible, while not sacrificing, and accommodating things that are outside of our standards of what we truly believe in. Because once you sell out, as a politician, as a leader, as a community member, as a business person, then it's a slow, insidious descent to irrelevance and death, and death of your business death of your family and relationships and life. And we can't do that you've got to be strong and powerful, but also be a little bit more influential by being more compassionate and empathetic and listening a little bit more to others points of view,

Brian Nichols  17:44  
man and speaking of empathy, here's a real life story. So I'm still doing my sales stuff with direct sales. I'm reaching out to sea level executives, mostly in the technology space, and I'll tell you a real story as I was working on this one account and we're waiting for paperwork back we got a verbal agreement moving forward, you know everything the guy great call great Hey, I'm gonna go ahead after this call hang up, literally go sit down with the other guy we're working with. We're gonna sign all the paperwork together good to go all sudden, nothing is on a Monday we had this conversation. And he just ghosts. And the other guy I'm working with. He's like, we got calm. We got calm, like nonstop. I'm like, No, it's something's something feels off. Right. Like I'm feeling like he's been communicating throughout this entire process. And Randy to literally just disappear. Something's up. So we give it you know, through Friday, nothing. He's like, Hey, can we can we call him I'm like, No, he will. We like the balls in his court. He will get to us Something must be up. So Monday, late in the afternoon, I get a phone call. It's our guy. He's like, Brian, I'm so sorry. He's like, ended up I got a phone call literally after I hung up the phone with you. And got a phone call from the hospital. My mother, she had a stroke when she was driving her car. And she lost both sides of her peripheral vision. And she ended up pulling out into the side of an 18 Wheeler. And she lived but she's in critical condition. And it just also happened to correlate with his birthday last week. So that plus the emotional angst of his mom now being in the hospital and everything he was out visiting her making sure he could do what he could, but he was gone. He was he was out of the office all last week because of a family emergency. And like that if we had been bombarding this guy with phone calls emails left and right like he's he's got some bigger things I focus on but and I'm not trying to pat myself on the back but like, it is important for us to focus on what is the other person experiencing they are human just like us they put their shoes on the exact same way left foot right foot. Well, least that's how I do it. But that's what we have to remember is that when we are engaging in conversations, whether it's political conversations, whether it's conversations in business sales conversations, at the end of the day, you're not talking to the Democratic Party. You're not talking to this faceless organization. You're Talking to people, you're engaging with people. And if we don't focus on the human aspect of building these relationships, which also is one of your principles, well, then we're gonna be missing out on a lot. And unfortunately, we're already while they're hard pressed for time. So I know we have to point folks though, for a call to action first. And how about this? What better place to go than to start off with your amazing book? Never fly solo? where can folks go ahead and find that and also, we're gonna folks go ahead and find you. They want to continue the conversation, maybe have you come speak, do some coaching all that fun stuff.

Waldo Waldman  20:31  
So so my book never fly solo was a New York Times Wall Street Journal bestseller. You can get it on Audible for 20 bucks. Or you can go to this QR code and that web link right there and you're wing, forward slash NFS. Like never fly solo. Take a screenshot of that, or, you know, check that out. You'll get into my ecosystem, you'll get that audio book, share it with your kids. If you do get it, you know, send me a note at info at your wing And let me know that you got the book from The Brian Nichols Show. And you can also find me on LinkedIn, Walter Waldman, social media, Instagram, Twitter, etc. My website is your Like I said, I speak all over the world, from Dell computer, the Denver Broncos football team. And I also do coaching for entrepreneurs who are looking to get out of their head get out of the cockpit and, and start flying successful missions, I overcame claustrophobia as a fighter pilot. I run a very successful business helping folks break through their barriers and to win so that's the big picture. And it was great fire with you, Brian.

Brian Nichols  21:43  
It was a pleasure, Waldo. Thank you for joining the program. And folks, if you enjoyed today's episode, I'm going to ask you to do a couple things number one, go to this episode give it a share number one and make sure you go ahead and tag Waldo all the social media he showed there will be included in the show notes. But number two, go and reach out to Waldo give him a shout tell him you enjoyed his appearance on The Brian Nichols Show. I know my audience always goes out and says hello and guests love hearing from from the audience. Please make sure you mentioned you heard Waldo here on the program. Yes, right there. Over at Waldo Waldman. And folks, if you can do me a favor also please when you head over to the Brian Nichols Number one you can find today's episode with the entire links but also the entire transcript for today's episode. But also you will find a link to our YouTube version of the program. Make sure you head over there, hit the little notification bell and subscribe button so you don't miss a single time. We have an episode here on The Brian Nichols Show airing and with that being said, Folks, did you catch my conversation yesterday? If not well, you have a great one to go ahead and check out because yesterday we sat down with Clint Russell, we talked about Joe Biden it was teased today going ahead and canceling the $10,000 worth of student loan debt. Clint Russell joined us to dig into that and more. If you missed that episode. I'll include it right here for you on YouTube. Just go ahead and give it a click and also folks, if you enjoyed the episode by the way, make sure to head the Brian Nichols And give us a five star rating and review but with that being said, it's Brian Nichols signing off. You're on The Brian Nichols Show for Waldo Waldman. We'll see you tomorrow,

Unknown Speaker  23:08  
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Transcribed by

Waldo WaldmanProfile Photo

Waldo Waldman

Lt Col/MBA/Motivational Speaker/Business Coach

The Wingman
Keynote speaker and leadership expert Waldo Waldman is the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Never Fly Solo®. He teaches tactics on how to build trusting, revenue producing relationships with employees, partners, and customers while sharing his experiences as a decorated fighter pilot and sales expert. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, he holds an MBA with a focus on Organizational Behavior and is a former top producing sales manager. He successfully led national sales efforts for several cutting edge technology and consulting firms before becoming a motivational speaker and leadership expert.

65 Combat Missions and 2,650 Flight Hours
Waldo is a retired Lt Col who overcame massive claustrophobia and a fear of heights to become a decorated fighter pilot with 65 combat missions and 2,650 flight hours. He’s deployed worldwide and led combat missions in Iraq, SE Asia, and Kosovo during Operation Allied Force.

Proud Father and Husband
Waldo’s greatest honor is being a father to his son Ace and a partner with his loving wife Dana. He is passionate about 80’s music, fitness, big dogs and Thai food. He shares his Atlanta home with his Great Dane “Willie” and two cats – Olive and Fig.
Waldo & Willie

Speaker Hall of Fame Inductee
Waldo has been inducted into the National Speaker’s Association Speaker Hall of Fame. Also known as the Council of Peers Award for Excellence (CPAE), the award honors those who have reached the top echelon of platform excellence. It has been bestowed on less than 200 speakers worldwide since 1977, including Colin Powell, Zig Ziglar, and Ronald Reagan. Waldo is also a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – the highest earned designation recognized in the professional speaking industry. Only 7% of all professional speakers hold this exclusive designation.

Never Fly Solo!®
Waldo believes the key to building a culture of trust and performance lies with your wingmen – those who help you overcome obstacles, adapt to change, and achieve success. In business and life, you should never fly solo! The power to win lies in the ability of every wingman in your organization, regardless of their role, to support the team and be 100% accountable and committed to the mission.

Audiences connect with Waldo because of his energy, extensive business background and his infectious passion for helping people. Through his motivational keynotes and leadership seminars, he applies the same principles that guaranteed his success in the competitive world of aerial combat.
His message is simple – whether achieving victory as a fighter pilot or in business, the same qualities that ensure success apply: courage, accountability, preparation, integrity, teamwork, and a commitment to excellence!

Waldo In The News
A high energy motivational keynote speaker, Waldo Waldman 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, Business Week, 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.