Linkage, Inc. Awards Warren Bennis Award for Excellence in Leadership to Internationally Recognized Crisis Leadership Expert Thomas Kolditz

Founding Director of the Ann and John Doerr Institute for New Leaders Honored as an Inspiration and Role Model for Current and Aspiring Leaders Worldwide


BURLINGTON, Mass., Oct. 12, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Linkage, Inc., a leadership research and consulting firm today announced it has awarded the 2017 Warren Bennis Award for Excellence in Leadership to Thomas Kolditz, an American retired Brigadier General and author of In Extremis Leadership: Leading As If Your Life Depended On It. After more than 25 years in leadership roles, including heading up leadership training at Yale and West Point, Tom is spearheading a unique program designed to equip students at Rice University for real-world leadership, as the Founding Director of the Ann and John Doerr Institute for New Leaders.

Established by Linkage in 1999 to honor the legacy of Warren Bennis, who Forbes Magazine called the “Dean of Leadership Gurus,” this award honors a recipient who demonstrates courage, endurance, capability and success in his or her field and is an inspiration and role model for current and aspiring leaders. He or she must also embody the five core leadership commitments that define Linkage’s model for leaders, called Purposeful Leadership™. These commitments include inspiring teams for bold new visions, engaging diverse teams to optimize results, innovating new processes or offerings to achieve breakthrough success, and continuing to become evolving leaders who make purposeful decisions.

The award is presented annually at Linkage’s Global Institute for Leadership Development® (GILD®), a five-day learning experience that helps leaders focus on expanding their abilities related to these core commitments.

“We are thrilled to honor Tom’s remarkable journey. His incredible leadership experience within business, academic institutions, and the military uniquely position him as a preeminent expert in leading effectively in all circumstances—a ‘must-have’ for leaders today,” said Rachael Marangu, director of Linkage’s Institute. “We are honored and humbled that he will be joining us to share his insights.”   

“I’m incredibly grateful to Linkage for this recognition and completely humbled—I view many of the former awardees as heroes and role models, some are mentors,” said Tom Kolditz. “I am inspired by this award to work even harder to develop more leaders, and more capable leaders, for our country and our world.”

Past recipients of this award include:  Alan Webber (2016), former Editorial Director and Managing Director of Harvard Business Review and co-founder of Fast Company; Ken Blanchard (2014), author and Founder of The Ken Blanchard Companies; Rosabeth Moss Kanter (2014), author and Harvard Business School Professor; Ronald Nelson (2013), Chairman and CEO of Avis Budget Group, Inc.; Bernard Tyson (2013), Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente; Doris Kearns Goodwin (2012), Pulitzer prize-winning presidential historian; and Tom Peters (2012), internationally renowned author and consultant.

About the Warren Bennis Leadership Award
Linkage established the Warren Bennis Award for Excellence in Leadership in 1999 to honor the legacy of long-time partner Warren Bennis. Warren co-founded Linkage’s Global Institute for Leadership Development® 21 years ago. He was an exemplary leader who practiced, studied, wrote about and taught leadership for decades. The Linkage team continues to honor his legacy through this award by welcoming a deserving recipient to the stage each year to address the senior leaders from around the globe who attend. This year’s recipient is Tom Kolditz, an internationally recognized expert on crisis leadership, author of In Extremis Leadership: Leading As If Your Life Depended On It, and founding Director of the Ann and John Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University.

Click here for a full list of past recipients.

About Linkage, Inc.
For 30 years, Linkage has helped nearly 10,000 organizations strengthen their leaders and build cultures of employee engagement that achieve and exceed organizational objectives with leadership development insights, learning and strategy. Linkage believes that becoming an impactful and purposeful leader requires a lifelong commitment to learning, adapting and changing. We’re passionate about working with leaders who want to create lasting impact and positive change in their organizations, with their teams, and in greater society. Please visit for more information on how Purposeful Leadership can help you strengthen your own leadership and the leadership of your organization.


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