Destined to Lead: Finding Purpose in Serving
Retired Sergeant Major Keith L. Craig, U.S. Army, having orbited the universe and back again, now resides in a world he could have never imagined in his wildest dreams; though he gracefully, humbly, and obediently responds to the calling of his existence.
Craig is a highly decorated war Veteran, Industry Executive, and Author, who in his multiple careers in the Armed Forces, European Football League, and Entertainment, triumphed over a plethora of obstacles and achieved vast amounts of success. He has fought for, relished in the experiences of, and mastered his life and has been uniquely positioned to guide many, many others.
Spawning from modest beginnings, a small, southern country town, and tight-knit community, the young Keith L. Craig narrowly escaped poverty and devastation, as he sought a much better life than “couch-surfing (homelessness) and rubbing two nickels to make it,” that he experienced in his childhood. Against all odds and the naysayers, he abandoned the desolate and shackling life that was carved out for him and ventured into the immense, unforgiving, and scary world, almost four decades ago.
Joining the ranks of the armed forces, leaving everything he knew, Craig timidly forged into his future, uncertain of his destiny and most importantly, his purpose. The challenges that came with the life of being a soldier made his way hard and unbearable at times, but didn’t stop him from staying the course and seeing his path to its end.
While serving under Presidents George H.W. Bush to Barack Obama, Craig had the distinct privilege of serving “with some of the most prominent war-fighters the history has ever known—all of them great leaders in their own right—including: General Norman Schwarzkopf, US Commander of the Gulf War; General James Mattis, the Marine General who served as Defense Secretary; General David Petraeus, United States’ Commander of CENTCOM, who led one of the first airborne divisions into Iraq, and later became the fourth director of CIA; and General Colin Powell, who became the first African American US Secretary of State.” He was an integral part of the most top secret and successful missions— including the retrieval of Osama Bin Laden.
Consequently, Craig has traveled the entire world, landing in more than fifty countries. His challenges, trials, failures, and disappointments all revealed themselves over time, as stepping stones to realizing his higher purpose. He actually found it, in serving. It was in battle and in strife that his destiny and purpose came into focus and clearer than ever before. He felt fulfilled while fighting to keep his nation safe, and taking the lead was the most natural feeling. As the years rolled by and his life unfolded, he embraced the fact that he was destined to lead. When opportunities to lead were presented, he stepped forward, taking on the responsibility.
Coming full-circle, the insurmountable world, drew closer and became smaller, manageable. Craig worked in many facets of leadership and has drawn upon all of his wins and losses, ultimately positioning himself to teach other leaders what he has learned. His astonishing career experience and accomplishments reflect a culmination of mixed experiences and to him, is equivalent to having lived three lives.
Reflecting on his amazement of his own tenacity, Craig shared, “ While serving in the Army, I played professional football in three leagues, in three different countries, in the same season.” Speaking of the time when he piled the most on his plate. He was somewhere in his tenure, serving 32 years and obtaining 51 awards and decorations, during which time he also played professional football for more than 10 years, winning 6 championships. He continued, “looking back, I’m like wow! that was a lot, and it was only a portion of everything I had going on.”
Seemingly entering into his fourth life, Craig transitioned into entertainment and is in Leadership at Walt Disney Studios. He is the Sales Manager of Motion Picture Theatrical Sales and Distribution and supports 20 markets in the U.S. He has participated in the success of 50 Disney releases and is a part of the record breaking, domestic theatrical distribution team at the Walt Disney company—distributing such niche films as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Black Panther, Toy Story, and Avengers: Endgame (as of this writing the highest grossing film of all time).
Leading with a vengeance has resulted in a tremendous amount of accolades and personal success for Craig. When asked about his confidence in his ability to drive others to similar achievements, he relished in the idea. “By now, I think I know a little something about leadership.” Said, Craig, jokingly. He continued, “I served my country with some of the most prominent war-fighters the history has ever known, followed many different kinds of leaders, and learned ways to make leadership work—not only for myself personally, but more importantly for the people I came to lead.”
Today, having overcome the traumas of life and conquered his struggle with PTSD, Craig is intentional in his approach to motivate ambitious leaders, and has written a book to ignite passion in them and propel their aspirations into fruition. Serving to Lead, allows many to realize their leadership dream and will uncover the leader lying dormant inside of many others. It empowers so many in between to achieve their own desired levels of success. Serving To Lead is now available and enables readers to fulfill leadership in their sights to scale the heights of their desires. It has been ranked an Amazon Best Seller #1 in Military & Spies Biographies, #1 in Military & War Biographies (Kindle Store), and #2 in Business Leadership and can be purchased at: Amazon.com.
About Sgt. Major Keith L. Craig (Ret)
Sgt. Major Keith L. Craig U.S. Army, (Retired) is a highly recognized combat Veteran, Entertainment Executive, Philanthropist and Author. Craig is the Sales Manager of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Theatrical Sales and Distribution and is additionally the President of Disney's diversity resource group, Salute, which supports the studio’s veteran employees. Craig is also the founder of Formation Entertainment Group, a firm dedicated to connecting, supporting, and facilitating introductory talent from diverse and underrepresented communities in their entertainment careers. He is also a member of Granville Investor Group, which owns and operates five fine dining establishments in Los Angeles, California. For more information about Mr. Craig, visit www.servingtolead.life.
About His Book
Sgt. Major Keith L. Craig U.S. Army, (Retired) provides executive coaching and training to influence tomorrows’ leadership pool. He does so through board administration, philanthropy, panel discussions, and now with the release of his new book, Serving to Lead, he guides those who seek wisdom and tools for becoming a great leader.
No matter their positioning, leaders; either natural born, appointed or made, have got the same things in common--the ability, timing and will to unleash their courage, determination, and passion to render a desired outcome.
Serving to Lead, pays homage to the pioneers who led us here through times of war, economic downturns, environmental challenges, technological fallouts, and even medical scares. It also salutes the leaders standing before us, with conviction, ownness, responsibility, and most specifically the willingness to carry the torch.