Ray Smith


About Ray Smith - Former Commander of Navy Seal Force & Inspiring Speaker on Leadership and Teamwork:

Widely regarded as one of the Navy's most inspirational leaders, Rear Admiral Ray Smith has spoken extensively on his leadership experiences to a wide range of audiences including corporate, political, military, and civic leaders.

A Navy SEAL for almost 39 years, he achieved extraordinary success through focused, participatory leadership. During his four-year tenure as Commander of the 2300-men SEAL force, he raised personnel retention to a level three times the Navy average. As a Navy Captain, he led the Navy SEALs in Operation Desert Storm, conducting over 200 operations of strategic significance while incurring no casualties. Earlier in his career, Admiral Smith directed Navy SEAL training, generally considered to be the most challenging military training in the world.

Admiral Smith has been recognized in Newsweek, Fortune, Reader's Digest, and on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and CBS This Morning. He published two highly successful Navy SEAL manuals, one on nutrition and one on fitness. He was awarded the California Distinguished Service Award while a member of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Admiral Smith holds a Master of Science degree in Physical Oceanography from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Admiral Smith successfully completed the 350-mile Beast of the East Adventure Race in 1998 and 1999, finishing with his three Navy SEAL teammates in 9th place out of 34 teams.

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What Ray Smith Talks About:

The Secrets of Navy Seals

In this highly inspiring talk, Admiral Ray Smith shares his sights on leadership and teamwork in high stress environments:

  • Leadership Prism Pointing Down – emphasizes the SEAL culture of officers and enlisted going through training together, forcing the officers to begin their SEAL career with the recognition that their success depends on the men in their unit
  • When evaluating subordinates, disregarding SUPERFICIAL MEASURES.
  • NOT WASTING TIME OR ENERGY on the mud of life(or the little things) but rather focusing one’s energy on the important goals in life
  • MAXIMIZING OPPORTUNITIES to work directly with employees – SHARED EXPERIENCES are powerful
  • Learning to deal with UNPREDICTABILITY in one’s life … because it will occur
  • Making decisions by yourself produces OUTCOMES, NOT NECESSARILY SOLUTIONS. What do leaders want?
  • FINDING A WAY! A key characteristic of Navy SEALs
  • TWO IS ONE AND ONE IS NONE. Redundancy and back up are critical to the SEALs and business
  • SITUATIONAL AWARENESS and its importance in combat and today’s business environment
  • PERSONAL RECOGNITION and its importance in any organization
  • LEADERSHIP is not only authority and responsibility, but also ACCOUNTABILITY, something lost in today’s culture
  • A leader’s personal example and its importance.

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 Recent Publications

    The Admiral was wonderful! Our team is still talking about his inspirational presentation! What a neat guy - so approachable and easy to talk to.

    Brookfield Inc.

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