Academic | Education Speaking Summary

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Lee Ellis, CSP*

Nationally-Recognized Leadership Coach, Award-Winning Author, Certified Speaking Professional, & Colonel USAF (Ret)

Industry Experience

Here are just a few of the following academic/education groups that Lee has worked with in the past –

  • Bibb County Schools – Georgia
  • Brookfield High School – Wisconsin
  • College of the Ozarks
  • High Point University
  • Lenoir-Rhyne University
  • Myers Park High School / Internat’l Baccalaureate Program – North Carolina
  • Northeastern University
  • North Hall Middle School – Georgia
  • Riverside Military Academy
  • UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina
  • UGA Library Foundation, University of Georgia
  • UGA Terry College of Business
  • S. Air Force War College & Air University
  • S. Air Force Academy (USAFA)
  • West Point Military Academy
  • Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
  • USAF Air University – Squadron Officer School
  • Harding University
  • Kennesaw State University – Coles College of Business
  • Turknett Leadership Group
  • University of North Georgia (UNG)
  • Woodward Academy
  • Georgia School Superintendents Association
  • Georgia Lt. Gov 2017 Business and Education Conference

Lee’s past work in this industry group focuses on teaching the next generations of leaders by –

  • Historical story-telling and contemporary application through his Vietnam POW experience
  • Sharing his wisdom and experience as a subject matter expert and advisor on leadership and human performance development and character-based leadership with students and faculty.
  • Individual coaching and team development through all staff strata –
    • Senior academic and educational leadership
    • Teachers and educational professionals
    • Support and administrative staff
    • Personal and professional development through behavioral assessment and self-awareness tools

Presentation Options

1. Leading with Honor®

  • Lee shares his story of being captured and held as a POW in Vietnam for over five years and the powerful leadership principles that helped him and his comrades return home with honor. 14 leadership lessons are covered in the book, and clients choose the top 2 or 3 lessons that they would like their audience to hear.
  • Desired Learning Objectives (DLO) – Lee’s recurring themes highlight the importance of character, courage, communications, and culture for cohesive teamwork and success. He reveals how the courageous leaders in the POW camps, suffered the most, yet bounced back with humility and strength to inspire others to accomplish the mission: Resist, Survive And Return With Honor.
  • A full-color handout is provided for each participant with the 14 lessons from his book and training resources

2. Engage with Honor™

  • In addition to sharing his story of being captured and held as a POW in Vietnam for over five years, he shares the Courageous Accountability Model™ based on the core principles of character, courage, and commitment.
  • Desired Learning Objective (DLO) – Learn how the 4C’s (Clarify, Connect, Collaborate, and Closeout) can provide a tactical plan for increasing performance and getting results with your team or organization.

A full-color handout is provided for each participant with the Courageous Accountability Model and 4C’s from his book and training resources.

3. Leadership Engagement: Initiate, Collaborate, Negotiate, and Celebrate

4. Trust: The Foundation for All Relationships and the Glue for Successful Teams

5. The Three Fundamentals of Successful Leadership – Character (Commitment), Courage, and Competence

6. Becoming a Balanced Leader –

  • Mission and People
  • Confidence and Humility
  • Visionary and Practical
  • Bold and Cautious

7. Understand Human Behavior – Self and Others

Sample Video Clip

Presentation Fees

In addition to determining Lee’s availability for your event date, we will also evaluate the purpose and scope of your event and work with you in regards to any presentation fees and travel expenses that are required.

Biographical Information 

Lee Ellis is Founder and President of Leading with Honor® and FreedomStar Media®. He is an award-winning author, leadership coach, and expert speaker in the areas of leadership, teambuilding, and human performance. His past clients include Fortune 500 senior executives and C-Level leaders in telecommunications, healthcare, military, and other business sectors. Some of his media appearances include interviews on networks such as CNN, CBS This Morning, C-SPAN, ABC World News, Fox News Channel, plus hundreds of engagements in various industry sectors throughout the world.

Early in his career, Lee served as an Air Force fighter pilot flying fifty-three combat missions over North Vietnam. In 1967, he was shot down and held as a POW for more than five years in Hanoi and surrounding camps. For his wartime service, he was awarded two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with Valor device, the Purple Heart, and POW Medal. Lee resumed his Air Force career, serving in leadership roles of increasing responsibility including command of a flying squadron and leadership development organizations before retiring as a colonel.

Lee has a BA in History and a MS in Counseling and Human Development. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the Air War College. He has authored or co-authored six books on leadership and career development. Lee’s book entitled Leading with Honor®: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton has received multiple awards since its release including Winner in the 2012 International Book Awards in the Business and Management Category, and selection on the 2013 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Reading List. His latest books are entitled Leadership Behavior DNA®: Discovering Natural Talents and Managing Differences and Engage with Honor: Building a Culture of Courageous Accountability.  

Lee and his wife Mary reside in the Atlanta GA area and have four grown children and six grandchildren.

  • Read a more comprehensive biography here.

Academic/Education Survey Results

Please download and review some audience survey results from a past academic/education event.

Academic/Education Presentation Endorsements

“By observing the crowd, they seemed to be very engaged in the content of your message, and the brisk sale of your books indicates to me your impact was felt. Many of our superintendents continued to discuss the vivid stories you shared. Thank you for choosing to speak to our group…”

      – Dr John F Zauner, Executive Director, GSSA (Georgia School Superintendents Association)

“The remarks I heard from people who attended our CPCU Society event were over-the-top favorable of your speech, and that you were the best speaker in 10 years. I share those views.”

        – Harold A. Weston, JD, CPCU, RPLU, ARM // Clinical Assistant Professor of Risk Management and Insurance, Undergraduate RMI Program Advisor – Georgia State University

“Colonel Ellis is an American Patriot and an outstanding speaker.”

       – Nido R. Qubein, President, High Point University

“As a graduate of The University of Georgia, Lee Ellis fully encompasses the University’s motto: ‘To Teach, To Serve, To Inquire into the Nature of Things.’ Lee’s dynamic speaking engagements teach the understanding of integrity, character, and the meaning of selflessness. By drawing from his personal experiences, Lee is able to develop a successful model of character building that is beneficial to any company, organization, or institution. If you are looking for a captivating and enriching seminar, we give Lee Ellis our highest recommendation!”

        – Chantel Dunham, Director of Development, UGA Libraries, UGA Press, and The Georgia Review, University of Georgia

“When presenting to alumni of the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, Lee Ellis’ matter-of-fact and sometimes humorous style provided clear examples and illustrations in the lessons of honor as a basis for making major corporate decisions. These lessons also carry over to everyday choices. Across the board, attendees expressed their appreciation of the very personal and meaningful lessons Lee shared with the group.”

        – Mackie Horton, President, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Atlanta Alumni Club

“Everyone here was extremely impressed with Col Ellis and several stated that it was by far the best speaker that we have had on campus since we started the [Character Development] program!”

       – LTC Anthony E. Fritchle, Executive Assistant to the President & Director for Planning, Riverside Military Academy

“Every American, especially the younger generation, needs to hear Colonel Ellis’ inspiring message, which reaffirms that freedom is not without sacrifice.”

      – Jerry C. Davis, President, College of the Ozarks

  • Read a more comprehensive list of endorsements here.


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