Knight Campbell

Cairn Leadership Strategies

After graduating from the Naval Academy, Knight Campbell excelled in flight school, learning to pay attention to detail, manage fear, and confront risk with his team. Choosing to fly the mighty SH60, he led sailors on three deployments. Mr. Campbell then went back to the Naval Academy earning master’s degrees in leadership from the University of Maryland and the Naval War College. More importantly, he had the honor of leading more than 700 Midshipmen. From tackling 24-hour crucible events alongside his people to teaching advanced leadership theory at the collegiate level, he left the tour with a burning passion for helping people reach their fullest potential as leaders. In 2006, he and his wife, Leonie, decided to climb the highest point in every state – they have since conquered all but 10 of them! They found deep passion for the experience of climbing mountains. Seeing the limits of teaching leadership in a classroom, Mr. Campbell knew outdoor adventure would be a perfect place for leaders to challenge themselves and thrive. He started teaching rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking for REI Outdoor School, and then he did a 30-day expedition in Alaska with the National Outdoor Leadership School to become an instructor. Seeing the need for experiential leadership development, he completed an Executive Leadership Coaching Certificate at Georgetown University. Mr. Campbell created Cairn Leadership to combine his passion for the journey in leadership and adventures in the wild. Now he guides leaders to the tops of the mountains you see on everyone else's websites! During an opportunity to teach women specific rock-climbing classes for REI, Mr. Campbell experienced firsthand the powerful dynamic of strength and support found in a group of women facing adversity.  He and Leonie, a former combat Marine now medical student and President of Cairn Leadership, dove straight into women-specific events to harness the power of outdoor challenge for developing the authentic and courageous women leaders our world desperately needs.