Candid Conversations: Ret. General Donald Bolduc

With Veteran's Day celebrations through the weekend, it was important to us to highlight a very special veteran in our lives, Retired Brigadier General Donald Bolduc. With 32 years of activity duty service and an impressive career spanning from private to one star general at the time of retirement, General Bolduc knows the true meaning of service and sacrifice for our country. He is the epitome of a leader, with many lessons from his time in service to share with audiences around the world. Thank you, Don (and your family), for your years of service to our country!

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Take a moment to learn more about Don in our Candid Conversations series:

OA: What are you Outspoken about?

DB:  I am Outspoken about combat the stigmas around post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As one of the few military officers, and, at the time, the only active duty general officer on record, to openly discuss his own struggles with PTS, I have used my leadership position to change the conversation to one of understanding and acceptance through my own experiences. I am also outspoken about the importance of moral courage and how this is a leadership attribute that is in short supply among our civilian and military senior leaders.  I am known to always put my country first, and now I look to continue my  service off the battlefield sharing my leadership mantra of “Mission, People, Family” and my personal experiences with mental health to educate others.

OA: How has your recent work transformed the focus of your content when delivering a speech?

DB:  My recent work continues to inform every speech. By listening, I learn, and this allows for content improvement. It is also an opportunity to learn how others deliver messages and this improves my approach to speaking.

OA: How do speaking events help your growth?

DB: Every speaking event is an opportunity to learn. It is also an opportunity to improve how you connect to people.     

OA: What would you like to see happen more often at events to engage with the audience?

DB: More audience participation.     

OA: What has been one of the most fulfilling audience experiences at a speaking event and why?

DB: The audience that share the same passion for the subject are the best and most fulfilling experiences I have had as a speaker. It is hard to speak at events that the audience were scheduled or required to be there.  

OA: How can people become more involved with your work?

DB: They could ask me to speak at their event. Leadership and veterans issues are a hugely important topics in our society. People can get involved by volunteering, supporting, and contributing to private veterans organizations would be very helpful. Leadership is probably the most over-discussed and misunderstood topic. We must teach children about leadership and the importance of moral courage, compassion, and empathy.       

OA: If you could hear someone give a speech alive or dead, who would it be and why?

DB: Abraham Lincoln. His speeches were so concise and delivered such a powerful message. I also like the stories he tells as analogies to make his point or capture the attention of the person or person(s) he was speaking with. I would also like to see his delivery and presentation.