Leadership when it matters.

About Kirk

Commander Krik Lippold, USN (Ret.) was the Commanding Officer of the USS Cole when it came under a suicide terrorist attack by al Qaeda in the port of Aden, Yemen. During his command, he and his crew distinguished themselves by saving the American war ship from sinking. This event is widely recognized as one of the most brazen acts of terrorism by al Qaeda prior to September 11, 2001.

Today, Commander Lippold is a popular inspirational figure and leadership speaker who remains in high demand with Fortune 500 companies, leading financial institutions, top industry associations, the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and state-level governments, both in the United States and internationally.

More About Kirk


Lippold Strategies


The privilege and burden of leadership comes with a level of accountability that business leaders must achieve to ensure their long-term success. The art of leadership can be developed and sustained throughout any organization given the right tools and commitment.

Crisis Management

Business leaders today need to know and understand the key steps of how to lead through crisis and maintain top-notch effectiveness of their team or organization. Learn how the importance of human factors during a crisis can be used to teach every company’s team to prepare for what’s ahead.

National Security

We work in an increasingly complex world where urgent financial, security, and global threats appear regularly. It is vital for organizations to gain perspective and learn not just how their business contributes to our national security but what resources are available to contribute to their success.

Clients and Partners

From the Commander’s Desk

Speaking Engagements

Building A Foundation of Leadership

Leadership and Accountability When It Matters – Five Pillars of Leadership To Success

Leading Through Crisis and Thinking Ahead of the Problem

Books and Publications


Front Burner

On October 12, 2000, eleven months before the 9/11 attacks, al Qaeda detonated a bomb alongside the USS Cole in the port of Aden in Yemen. The ship’s commander, Kirk Lippold, knew in a matter of moments that the Cole had been attacked. What he didn’t know was how much the world was changing around him.In this gripping first-person narrative, Lippold reveals the details of his harrowing experience leading a crew of valiant sailors through the deadliest terrorist attack on an American warship in history. He’ll also explain how bureaucrats and politicians reacted to the attack, ignored the dangerous warning signs it foretold, and avoided responsibility before the event was overshadowed by 9/11. An essential recounting of a critical moment in America’s battle against al Qaeda, Front Burner details a crucial story that has until now been lost in the fog of the war on terror. Front Burner is available from major book sellers and as an author-narrated audiobook.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble Audiobook: Downpour

Contact Kirk

To contact Kirk, use the contact form or email info@kirklippold.com.


Kirk is available for motivational speaking engagements through the Keppler Speakers Bureau. For booking information, contact kirkspeaks@kirklippold.com