Colonel Sean Hannah, Ph.D.
(USA, Retired, University of Nebraska)


Leader development, building high-performance teams, business ethics, organizational cultures, strategic thinking and planning, leadership coaching 


Sean has been part of Thayer Leadership since its inception. He holds a prestigious Endowed Chair and Full Professorship of Management at the Wake Forest University School of Business, a top-50 university. Sean served in the Army for 26 years, including as the founding Director of the Center for the Army Profession and Ethic (CAPE), the Army-wide center for character-based leadership; the Director of Leadership and Management Programs at West Point; and an Infantryman in Europe, Cuba, Panama, Southwest Asia, and the US. He served in combat with the lead unit of 3d Armored Division in Desert Storm, where his unit received the Valorous Unit Award; Operation Sea Signal (Cuban Boat Lift crisis), and the coordination cell for Joint Task Force Los Angeles (LA Riots). He was in the Pentagon on 9/11 and was assigned in the aftermath to rebuild the organization that sustained the highest casualty rate in the attack. He has served from tactical to strategic levels, having worked for two Chiefs of Staff of the Army and an Assistant Secretary of the Army.

Scholarly Work/Publications/Awards
An internationally renowned leadership scholar, Sean has over 70 peer reviewed publications in the world’s top leadership, management, and applied psychology journals. A Stanford University study has recognized him, in each of the last three years, as being in the top 1% of all eight million researchers in the world, across all sciences, based on the number of citations to his research. Sean is senior editor for the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies and sits on other top journals’ editorial boards. He was recently awarded the Practice Impact Award by the 30,000-person Academy of Management for his contributions to the practice of leadership. Sean was inducted as a Fellow of both the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology and the Association for Psychological Science. He collaborates with international scholars to study leadership, teams, organizational culture, business ethics, corporate strategy, top management teams, and firm governance. Sean has 44 military awards and decorations and has been inducted in the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame.


PhD, Management, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
MBA, Business Administration, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
MPA, Public Administration, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
MS, Military Science, Marine Corps University, Quantico, VA
BA, Political Science, California State University, San Bernardino, CA


Academy of Management; Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology; Association for Psychological Science;
Veterans of Foreign Wars; Military Officers of America Association

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Leadership Quote

"Most people spend 90% of their time on tasks and 10% on leadership. Start spending 50% of your time on leadership and you will notice that others will pick up the slack on the tasks."
Colonel Sean Hannah, Ph.D.

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Leading with Character Vol. 2, Lessons in Leadership - George Washington and the Newburgh Conspiracy

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