Kelly Harrison: On Surviving a Helicopter crash, conditioning ourselves for Adversity, and the power of Diversity in Leadership

March 27, 2024

In this episode Kelly Harrison, a retired Navy Commander and award-winning helicopter pilot, shares her harrowing experience of a near-fatal helicopter crash in 2007, and the leadership lessons she learned from it. Kelly discusses the importance of preparation, courage, and the value of sharing difficult experiences for personal growth and greater team cohesion. The conversation delves into the significance of diversity and open communication in leadership, and how Adversity can be a powerful teacher. Kelly also talks about her transition from military to civilian life, her exploration of new passions, and the ongoing journey of self-discovery and leadership.

Episode Highlights:

01:09 The Night That Changed Everything: A Helicopter Pilot’s Tale of Survival

25:39 The Weight of Expectations and Self-Doubt

28:01 Reflections on Leadership and Learning from Hardships

30:19 The Power of Sharing Hard Stories

36:59 Exploring New Paths After the Military


Kelly Harrison, a dynamic Keynote Speaker, Executive Director, and Aviation and Defense Consultant, passionately guides teams to exceptional results. With a blend of public and private sector expertise, she champions process improvement and effective leadership. Kelly’s captivating narratives, drawn from commanding officer roles and piloting experiences‚ÄĒincluding surviving a harrowing helicopter mechanical failure‚ÄĒinspire trust, collaboration, and resilience. Through tailored solutions, she empowers clients to navigate change, foster growth, and optimize team performance.

You can connect with Kelly on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/kellynatterharrison

Episode Details

Kelly Harrison: On Surviving a Helicopter crash, conditioning ourselves for Adversity, and the power of Diversity in Leadership
Episode Number: 193

About the Host

Marcus Aurelius Anderson

Mindset Coach, Author, International Keynote Speaker