“It’s not the fear that matters; it’s what you do when you are scared that matters.”
Today, Kim joins me to share her story and what she’s learned from it. She shares why she decided to become a fighter pilot and talks about her experience as one of the few female fighter pilots at the time.
Kim talks about when her airplane was hit by a missile over Baghdad, sharing what it was like in the moment and what she took from the experience afterward. She talks about the importance of a wingman and explains why we need a wingman culture.
She defines the fighter pilot mindset, and she shares her thoughts on the power of small acts of courage. She points out that it’s easy to blame an individual when someone goes wrong, but it’s the leader’s job to set the precedent of tracking down and learning from the problem’s root cause.
She also discusses the importance of showing the human side of leadership.
Kim “KC” Campbell is a retired Air Force Colonel who served in the Air Force for 24 years as a fighter pilot and senior military leader. She has flown 1,800 hours in the A-10 Warthog, including more than 100 combat missions protecting troops on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2003, Kim was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for Heroism after successfully recovering her battle-damaged airplane after an intense close air support mission in Baghdad. Kim is a distinguished graduate from the United States Air Force Academy. As a Marshall Scholar, she earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of London and a Master of Arts in International Security Studies from the University of Reading in England. Kim’s Air Force assignments include leadership roles as a Group Commander, responsible for over 1,000 Air Force personnel in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Kim also served as the Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, advising the number three civilian official in the Department of Defense on national security and defense policy issues. She also served as the Air Force Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, a pre-eminent think tank promoting international leadership and engagement. During her time as a fellow, Kim participated in strategy sessions with ministers of defense, military leaders, and CEOs. Most recently, Kim served as the Director, the Center for Character and Leadership Development at the Air Force Academy, responsible for the professional development of faculty and staff and reinforcing character and leadership programs within the 4,000-member Cadet Wing.