2015 | Mr. Robert Karjel
2015 | Mr. Robert Karjel
Robert Karjel is a helicopter pilot and lieutenant colonel in the Swedish Air Force. In 2010, he commanded a helicopter squadron that – as part of an EU mission – fought heavily-armed pirates off the coast of Somalia.

In 2013, the new unit of Blackhawk helicopters he built for Sweden was deployed to Afghanistan. Robert was appointed Speaker of the year 2013 by Talarforums clients.

Karjel inspires organizations and individuals to successfully meet new tasks, despite external and internal problems and an individuals self-doubt or even fear. He provides insight into how the "impossible" can be broken down into manageable parts, without losing sight of the big picture.

Faced with the prospect of fighting pirates, Karjel had a very little time to prepare his unit for the mission. Sceptics said he would never ucceed, given low morale and chronic delays within Swedish helicopter operations, following a series of deadly aviation accidents.

Karjel’s mission achieved a complete turnaround, however. The naval task force to which his squadron belonged averted more than 100 pirate attacks, while escorting critical UN deliveries of food and medicine to millions of Somalis. Their achievement, attracted considerable international attention.

In his lectures, Karjel speaks about forging successful organizations by creating momentum in the individual. He shows how a person’s fear of failure can be
redirected into a collective desire to achieve something grand.

Karjel provides insight into the individual’s willingness to take responsibility and the importance of being given the opportunity to do so. He shows through concrete examples how teamwork is accomplished, and how decision-making under pressure can be understood and facilitated.

Karjel tailors his lectures to match the context: leadership, teamwork, or pure inspiration, all presented within the context of an unusual, dramatic and deeply touching story.

Robert Karjel holds an M.Sc. in Applied Physics, has trained with the U.S. Marines, and in 2005 was a Copeland Fellow at prestigious Amherst College in Massachusetts, where he wrote fiction. Karjel has published four novels, the latest of which, "The Swede," received international distribution and is being considered for the U.S. film adaptation.
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