Sessions and Events

2018 TMSA Logistics Marketing & Sales Conference

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Finding Saddam Hussein: Mastering Innovation, Teamwork 
Innovation and teamwork are two key ingredients for business alignment. In fact, they're necessary in virtually any organizational environment. Including the military. For example, in 2003 as the U.S. military was fully engaged in Operation Desert Storm, failure to locate Saddam Hussein (the primary high-value target and Ace of Spades) weighed heavily on the leadership. Staff Sergeant Eric Maddox, newly trained interrogator, was billeted to Iraq to assist in gathering intelligence.

In the face of failure to acquire actionable intelligence through standard practices, Sgt Maddox began to develop a new approach to gathering intelligence from prisoners and targets. Through an empathetic listening process and a focus on connections, he built a network link model to navigate the hierarchy of Iraqi leadership to find the most high-value of targets, Saddam Hussein.

His thrilling story of overcoming obstacles and innovation through collaboration serves as a contextual map for successful interactions in any situation – whether negotiation centered, relationship expansion focused or alignment driven. Understanding of your goals and the needs of others provide the foundational elements to building trust and credibility for long term success.

About the Presenter: Upon graduating from Sapulpa High School in 1990, Eric attended the University of Oklahoma where, just months before graduating he made an appointment with an on campus recruiter and enlisted in the United States military. Four weeks after graduation, Maddox left for the U.S. Army as an infantry paratrooper for the 82nd Airborne Division where he became a jumpmaster and entered Ranger School. After spending three years as a paratrooper with a Ranger tab, he reenlisted as an interrogator and Chinese Mandarin linguist.

In 2003, three months after U.S. forces invaded Iraq, SSG Maddox received unexpected orders to report to the Baghdad International Airport. There he was assigned to a Delta Force Special Operations team in Tikrit. The team was a part of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) responsible for tracking down the most wanted men in the world, or the infamous Deck of Cards. During his six month tour with this Delta Force team, he conducted over 300 interrogations and collected the intelligence which directly led to the capture of Saddam Hussein. For his accomplishments, Maddox was awarded the Legion of Merit, the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Director’s Award and the Bronze Star.

Following the capture of Saddam Hussein, Maddox was hired as the first civilian interrogator for the Defense Intelligence Agency where he continued to work with the Joint Special Operations Command in tracking down the U.S. military’s most wanted radical extremists. Since 2003, he has conducted over 2,700 interrogations of prisoners from 25 different countries while deploying eight times including: two tours to Iraq, three tours to Afghanistan; and tours to The Philippines, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as undisclosed locations in Eastern Europe.

Maddox served in the U.S. Army and the Defense Intelligence Agency for over 20 years before retiring in 2014. Maddox continues to help corporations, organization, universities, CEO’s, and audiences worldwide, in the art of questioning, negotiations, and information gathering, to use for their advantage.