This episode is the recording of a presentation Brian gave to the United States Military on the fundamental principles of good leadership.
Brian started a podcast on leadership in the middle of a global pandemic, during national racial protests, and in the middle of some of the worst political times in our nation’s history.
He started the podcast because he was sick of all the negativity and nonsense from our so-called national “leaders.” Brian wanted to highlight good leaders and to learn from them, so he could pass along his experience to others.
Brian has since interviewed some of the most amazing leaders you will ever meet, including US Congressmen, sports stars, coaches, highly decorated combat Marines, Air Force Combat Jet Pilots, New York Times best-selling authors, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, judges, and many, many more.
While producing the podcast, Brian started to see patterns in what his amazing guests were saying. Leadership leaves clues, and the amazing leaders Brian interviewed were saying the same thing, fundamentally.
In March 2021, Brian was invited by the United States Air Force to give a presentation on leadership.
This is the presentation.
We hope you enjoy it.
Watch the full speech on YouTube
Review The Five Fundamental Principles of Good Leadership
Read the transcript:
Brian Beckcom: Welcome to the lessons from leaders podcast. I'm your host, Brian Beckom. Well, season one is a wrap, and I got to tell you recording this podcast with 40 of some of the best leaders in the country has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have learned so much over the course of the past 12 months about leadership in general and positive leadership specifically.
In fact, it's clear to me after interviewing people from all different kinds of businesses and sports and the military and best-selling authors, psychologists, investors, CEOs; you name it. It's clear to me that there are fundamental principles of leadership. And if you pay attention, you will see that people say the same thing.
So in any event, a few months ago, I was asked by a United States air force, Colonel Daniel Urosik, whom I've known for almost 30 years, to give a speech on leadership to a bunch of air force enlisted men and women and air force officers as part of a two-day leadership conference that Colonel Urosik was putting on what a great honor it was.
And we recorded the speech, and basically, the speaker talks about what I've learned the last year about good leadership. Like what are the fundamental principles of good leadership I've learned? And so this speech is the first time I've given it, but it really summarizes what I think the five fundamental principles of good leadership are: five fundamental principles, plus a six bonus principle.
So the speech was recorded, and we did the best job we could with the audio quality. I hope it is good enough for you. So, in any event, in the last episode, it was a season, one of the lessons from leaders in my speech, to the men and women of the United States air force.
Major Alyson White: this morning, we have outside guests outside of Ellington. Mr. Brian, Beckcom friend of Colonel Urosik. They went to college together. So I'm going to let him talk about himself and go ahead, sir, this way, sir.
Brian Beckcom: Good morning.
Air Force personnel: Good morning.
Brian Beckcom: How's everybody doing this morning? The first thing I want to do is I want to thank Colonel Urosik for inviting me to speak here.
I've known Colonel Urosik for how long. 29 years. Yeah. A lot longer than I care to admit. But, you know, I've known him for almost 30 years, and when I first met him, I thought he was a top-tier leader. I've always thought that. So, thank you, Colonel Urosik, thank you for having me here, but I got a bone to pick with you.
You know, I'm a lawyer, right. You know, lawyers don't get up before zero nine, nine, especially on a Friday. I first met Colonel Urosik when I was in the Corps cadets. And what is the core design? There are four major units. There's the air force. There's the Marine slash army. There's the band. In my senior year, I was the wing commander of the Corps, cadets to me as I was in charge of all air force guys and girls.
Part of that, I got, we had, what did we have? Eight air force squadrons, I think at the time. Yeah. And I got to pick. We had two SATs or two lower-level staff. And then we had the Dwin commander that I was in charge of. And then I got to pick four juniors. Be on my staff. And what I tried to do is I tried to pick the best for you.
The sharpest, the ones that I thought would be the best sleepers, and Colonel Urosik were on my stack, despite not having the best grades. But I outrank Colonel Urosik, and I have, you know, 13 years later, I look back, and I laugh. And when we were seniors, we were supposed to go to morning formation, six 30.
And like I said, I'm not a morning person. So I used to send Colonel Urosik formation on my behalf quite a bit. Can I make him do this? So he was sending me back!
So what goes around comes around, but, for a very brief period of time, I outranked an air force Colonel. So I'm going to see if I still have any of that magic left.
Colonel Daniel Urosik: You still have!
Brian Beckom: By the way. How many of you are old enough to remember the OJ Simpson trial? Pretty much everybody. Okay. Do we have any JAG officers here? Any lawyers here? No. Okay. Does anybody remember the most memorable line from the OJ Simpson trial?
Air Force personnel: If it doesn’t fit you, you must quit.
Brian Beckom: If it doesn’t fit you, you must quit, right. So as lawyers, we're taught, so what happened there was, you know, they had this bloody glove, OJ denied. It was his, and the prosecutor decided to do a live demonstration in front of the jury. Okay. Without having tested it first. Right. You're shaking your head. Like that's crazy, sir. What's your name?
Air Force personnel: Simon Sergeant, sir.
Brian Beckom: Okay, you're shaking your head. Like that's crazy, right? Why would you never do that? You never knew that, right? Everyone. So we're taught as long as we never do a live demonstration without testing it first. So the reason I say that is, I don't know whether my head is grown or this habit shrunk, but I plugged this in last night.
And this is how it fits.
I mean, if I just, it like this, so anyway, back in the day, I was wearing this stuff, he's got my combat boots on too, by the way. And I see you guys are all wearing. We still can't beat the use. Oh, okay. That's a couple of iterations. I guess we just don't be to use a camera battle,
dress uniform, but anyway, Back in the day in 1996, when I wore this hat, I could turn to staff, Sergeant Daniel, you're a sec and say, drop and give me five. Does it still work?
Colonel Daniel Urosik: Not now. Not now.
Brian Beckcom: Anyway, I feel really lucky this morning. And I feel lucky for two reasons. First of all, you know, we hear all, Oh, I love the military. I respect people who say that all the time. Right. And, and of course, I feel that way, but my mind's a little bit more personal than maybe some civilians. And here's why. My father was a Lieutenant Colonel in the air force.
We 200 combat missions over Vietnam were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, I think is what it's called my many other offers. And then he was in intelligence. My grandfather was a Lieutenant Colonel in the air force, and he was stationed in, I guess it was West Berlin during World War II, but he was also a Lieutenant Colonel.
My mother, who died when I was 10, was an air force nurse. Her brother was the chief master Sergeant. My older brother was a Marine Corps enlisted man. And I was in the Corps. Cadets. We haven't had you here other than from your side. I was in the Corps cadets. And so I know hundreds of the military. So, one reason I feel lucky is that I feel like I grew up on six or seven different air force bases.
I was at Barksdale air force base still around. I was born in Barks, an air force base. My dad was in strategic air command. And so we were at Barksdale, and then we were at Plattsburgh air force base. Is that still around? Upstate and York? My dad was on the Guam islands. As a matter of fact, my dad didn't see me when I was born for six months because he was flying on bombing missions over North Vietnam.
And we're in New York at the time he retired at Croswell. So I moved around a lot. So I have a natural personal family association with the military and with the United States air force, in particular, I mean, I can still hum the burse. How does it go? Off we go into the wild, is that still the song? Off we go into the wild blue yonder? What's the next? First off, we go into the wild blue yonder.
I forget that it's something; I feel very lucky for that reason, but I also feel lucky for another reason. And that is leadership. And in particular, what I'll call leadership with integrity or ethical leadership has been something I've been interested in forever. I studied computer science at Texas A&M and philosophy.
And folks, my philosophy degree was focused on ethics, morals, and how to make good decisions. And so this subject is something. That is really near and dear to my heart leadership in general ethical or positive leadership specifically. And so currently you're a sec asked me to speak. I was like, man, what a great opportunity.
And frankly, I can't think of anything more important than our country needs right now. Good leadership, positive leadership. Not all this negative nonsense we see on TV. Sometimes I see these politicians talking, and I'm like: Grow up! You’re acting like children. And so this is a really cool topic, and I think it's an incredibly important topic.
And I look at you, men and women; I think this is what makes me feel good about the country, seeing you out. Because you are the leadership of Snellville we see on TV necessarily, it's folks like you. So I feel lucky to be able to top talk on this topic, but. Let me tell you a little bit about how I came to speak on this leadership topic.
So during quarantine, I would say probably your experience may be a little bit different because. You’re essential services or whatever we call it. But lawyers, especially civil lawyers, shut the courthouses down. No jury trials, nothing to do in quarantine for seven or eight months. Maybe it wasn't that long, six months.
And I'm sitting around, and I took quarantine very, very seriously. I have three kids, a wife. We went nowhere for months. Does that maybe get something to eat, and I'm sitting around during quarantine, and of course, there's nothing to do. So you're on social media, or you're on the internet and doing stuff like that.
And I just started, I mean, all this negative stuff with our politicians fighting each other and stuff. And I started thinking about this, and I was like, man, we need some positivity. Like somebody needs to get something positive out in the world. Like, show what positive leadership is like. And so I started a podcast, like it's like, everybody's got their own podcast, but I started a podcast that is important, and it's called lessons from leaders. And in the past year, I have had extremely good fortune. To speak with 40, some of the best leaders around, men and women in the US military, certain politicians, sports stars, New York Times, bestselling authors, people like that. And it's been an incredible experience. I mean, it's been, it's far exceeded my expectations, having talked to over the past year, 40 of some of the most amazing leaders you will ever meet.
I can tell you this. I was actually not expecting this. It is absolutely without question that there are patents. I have seen, I've talked to leaders that have never talked to each other before and they start saying, and they're in diff it's not just military leaders, its sports stars and congressmen and engineers and scientists, and entrepreneurs.
And they're saying the same type of thing. So I think leadership good leadership leads to clues. And so what I want to do, if it's okay with everybody, is I'm going to put on a case for you as a lawyer would do. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to suggest to you that over the next 30 minutes or so that there are essentially five fundamental principles of the leadership of positive leadership, five principles that if you have all of these principles, you will be a good leader. You will be a good possibility now. Obviously, the list is not exhausted. You know, there are all sorts of different things that good leaders do. But, I think these principles are fundamental, and here's how I'm pretty in my case too. Okay. I'm going to call witnesses, and the witnesses that I'm going to call are going to be the people that I interviewed on my podcasts. And at the end of this, I'm a little bit nervous about doing this, but I'm going to ask you if you think I put my case. Okay. Everybody is cool with that. All right. Number one.
And by the way, how, when you're in trial, you know, you'd be sitting there, and the judge would be all right, Mr. Beckom, and call your first witness. Okay. May I please the court?
#1 - Leaders Are Servants
Brian Beckcom: My first witness is Dusty Boyd. Okay. Dusty Boyd, hang on, hang on!
Just a brief bio, Dusty Boyd was a star athlete in high school. He played a few athletics in college and graduated. He got a law degree. Then he volunteered to go to Sudan, which was still a disaster, but I mean, it was a disaster at the time, and he volunteered to go there by the way, right after he had his first child to help them reconstitute their legal system.
Then he comes back to Texas, where he's from a small town in Texas, Gatesville. Anybody heard of Gatesville, Texas and runs for district attorney and has been elected twice. The district, also in Gatesville, is a small town. And I think people, especially people outside of Texas, had this impression of these small Southern towns, maybe being a little backward sometimes. He started a program on his own. That he created on his own call, the maps program, which is a way to get, and then he started this right in the middle of the George Floyd protest, everybody. I mean, would that case be tried right now, but remember there was this massive protest all across the country.
And that's sorry, the thing in Corel County called the math program, which is basically where they provide minority people in their community an opportunity to sit and evaluate the work of law enforcement. Was this a good arrest? Should we charge this guy at all? Or this girl at all? This is one of the most innovative programs in the country coming out of a small Southern Texas town.
So that's Dusty Boyd. So, I'm going to play a short clip from the podcast with Dusty. And I just, when I play these clips, what I want you to do is I want you to, cause I'm going to play for each principle. I'm going to play multiple clips from different people. Okay. And I want you to see if you see the same patterns that I do. Okay. So let's play the first clip to this:
Brian Beckcom: I'm sure you live a comfortable life. Now make a comfortable living. You got a newborn kid. You’re married, and all of a sudden, you just uproot yourself and go to a place in Africa. That is Mars.
District Attorney Dusty Boyd: Yeah, not a first-world.
Brian Beckcom: And so there must be some added. I'm really interested in this because I, and I asked Colonel Flan, I asked the officer called to ask Blake. I ask all these officers like there really has to be something drawing you to this, like, sort of real passion for uprooting your comfortable lives and leaving your newborn daughter and going to Africa. So what do you think that was like, fundamentally, that really pulled you to this?
District Attorney Dusty Boyd: Well, I think in one of your earlier podcasts with Blake Sawyer, I think he explained to where I will take a lot of it is how you were brought up, you know, with your family and the type of programming that you get from your folks on love for country love, for people, love for service. And so I think that's where it would at least start with how I was raised in the art of being in the core cadets and. And just the understanding and appreciation for what service really does to me.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah.
District Attorney Dusty Boyd: I love your podcasts. I know its lessons from leaders, but a lot of it is, you know, for this particular podcast, I read the lessons from the start because that's what I am. I'm a servant of the servants of my folks here in Moreno County. And that's exactly what I was when I went to Sudan. So I think a lot of it obtained from upgrading and how I was raised and then just more components were added on and more ideas were added all when I was around those kinds of people at A&M in the core, it really had.
Brian Beckcom: My next witness is US Congressman Will Hurd. Some of you may know Will Hurd. As a matter of fact, we'll hear the student body president at Texas A&M, and he was an undercover CIA officer for ten years in the Middle East running confidential. I don't know what they call confidential informants assets, but I mean, he was like, what you see on TV comes back to the United States, and he was elected twice to the United States Congress. And so this is what he has to say about his most important priority of his when he was a CIA case officer.
Congressman Will Hurd: By the way, the national client essence service, the people, they got the folks like me. And if you guys had guys like me that were to collect intelligence, we are the collectors of last resort. So if you can't get a piece of information the other way, so diplomacy from signals intelligence, take us on out of the sky and imagery intelligence. Then you go to the CIA because human intelligence humans are the hardest and the most expensive way of collecting insights. And part of the job is you have people that are sharing intelligence with you and it's protecting them.
And my number one job is to make sure one of them, a lot of movies, gets this part wrong. My most important job was to protect the life of the individual that's sharing information. And that individual’s family. And a lot of these videos, a lot of these movies try to act like those relationships I throw away.
I would literally, I may have had assets that could get a piece of information, but then getting it was going to put them in such harm that it would, it would potentially get them, you know, they'd be identified until, and so, you protect those folks. And then if you say, okay, there is a unit within the military that has some information that we need.
How do you get access to somebody in that? Right. And so
Brian Beckcom: My next witness, if it pleases, the court is Brigadier General Joe Ramirez, Joe Ramirez grew up in very modest financial circumstances in East Houston. I don't think anybody in his family ever went to college. He saw the Aggie band marching downtown Houston when he was a little kid and decided that's what I'm going to do anyway.
Long and distinguished military career in the army. And he's currently the commandant of the Corps cadets at Texas A&M; I think he's been the common op for almost ten years now, is that kernel? is that roughly ten years yet?
General Joe Ramirez: I always tell the story that when I got commissioned my father, who was a retired Master Sergeant, as he's pending on my gold bars, the second tenant, he told me, he said, suddenly we give you one piece of advice that I think will serve you.
Well, as you become a leader in the army, I said, what's that, dad? And he said, take care of your men. And then we'll take care of you. Yes. And that, you know, that served me well for 31 years in the United States Army, it is probably one of the biggest things that I talk about when it comes to leadership and to take care of your people, your people will take care of you and taking care of your people covers a lot of territories.
You have to be able to talk to your people. You've got to be able to understand your people and listen to them. And when I, when I talk about taking care of people, I tell junior leaders that doesn't mean you coddle them. And you treat them; differently you let them off easy. You have to hold them the same.
You have to hold within the state or make sure they're doing the job they get paid to do. And they're doing it well and make sure they understand that they are part of a much bigger organization than just themselves, but they are part of a team where everybody on that team is working together to make the organization successful.
Brian Beckcom: Skip over this, by the way, I'm going to skip over this one just for time purposes, but this is RC Slocum; Coach Slocum was the winningest Football coach in Southwest conference history also grew up or in projects, and you know what, let's go ahead and play this
Brian Beckcom: And I think in a lot of our opinions, Coach Slocum just wanted the best Aggies of all time, but none and Hunter said, yeah, man, I agree with that. Just make sure and ask the coach about the quote about your character. Really. Your character is what you're doing when nobody's watching, basically.
RC Slocum: Yeah. I mean, that's, it's basic credibility going back to my upbringing. If you believe in the concept of that, all she got.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah.
RC Slocum: All the time. You know, you pull into a parking place. I got all the lights where you see people pull in there; they just cut it off. The car was here in a hurry.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah.
RC Slocum: Well, which kind of comes along and would like to have a place to park you've taken up to or the way you park. No one saw you do that.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah.
RC Slocum: And I'm going to have like RDT on an exam that I've got down. And as I keep leaving my car apart like that and it is not the right thing to do. I know, I know, I put it in where I've taken all my spreads.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah.
RC Slocum: So I think if you operate under that deal, that whatever you're doing again, told me a story. I think it's maybe what hundreds are talking about. There's a shortage given to me by someone else. So it's not an original. Maybe they said, it's like when you kid pitch, go out to a farm, you pick up a pebble, throw it away or bar sign and go pump. And little circles started coming out. And these are over here.
Soon that side circle story. So as you continue to do that, it's like you and your life what's happening. Sooner or later, we all watched it. I watched a bunch of the little circles gets bigger, and then they started overlapping. So after a while, as you go through life, whatever those things are, you are what you are.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah.
RC Slocum: And so your reputation, you, we all have the ability, and we all get to make our tastes. So you may go into the cell level and across the street may have down there somewhere guys and they're working. He can be rude to him. You mean demanding, or how come you don't have this out here or out to this in their three-year retreat? She needs around stolen. And then you go into janitors coming through, sweeping up. They all have other lives. They have problems with their kids. They have all the different issues that we all have, and they come and go there, so you can just be. They are rude or whatever you can be caught there. One of the things I'll tell you is a quick story I posted about France, well, big things in my life, I suppose, from the present towards the future, Bush. So when I heard it hit me, we were close friends. He took me up to Pine Valley, New Jersey to play golf.
Brian Beckcom: great.
RC Slocum: We've got guns.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah.
RC Slocum: We see a table, president myself, and two other gentlemen, friends, as you came in were all you say their own property. So we came there, and this little elderly black lady came over to wave with us, and we'll just roll out a name, and we'll play it, everybody. Can you stop every day, or they were told about, he turned his attention. Hi girl, what are you doing? You know, just enjoy doing good that she's probably nervous about the former president of the free world.
Brian Beckcom: former president of the free world.
RC Slocum: Yeah. Yeah. And so then, at some point, as she came back over there, you said you have a grandson of someone who would like a golf ball you're Oh yeah. He takes a golf ball. You have some in his pocket, autographed it, and gave it to her to give to her grandchildren. And so I always thought here's a guy, the former leader of the free world shooting there, and he is French, and his golf game and all that, a big place to at timeout, this lady came over, and he made her feel very special.
Brian Beckcom: I can play ten more clips of this, but I'm going to suggest the number one principle. Okay. Positive leadership is to be served. Your job is to serve the people that you lead. And you know what; I'll be honest with you. I think that's our job, not just in the military, not just in the United States air force.
That's our job as human beings. And it took me a long time to figure that out because until I was about four years old, I thought this whole thing was about what I could do for myself. And I started listening to people like RC, Slocum, and others, and it finally occurred to me that your life, the quality of your life, ultimately will not be judged by what you do for yourself. It will be judged by what you do for others. So principle number one, leaders are servants.
#2 - Leaders Solve Problems
Brian Beckcom: Number two. General Ramirez:
General Joe Ramirez: So a lot of changes, so we spent the entire summer and literally planning and preparing for the fall. And despite the fact that therewase some that thought that we would not be able to have four cadets because of the pandemic, our attitude going in was don't tell us what we can't do. Tell us what we can do. And so we focused on, okay, we've got a challenge here. How do we overcome this challenge? And I am surrounded by a phenomenal team of leaders, former military education, you name; I’ve got a wide variety of backgrounds that work on my staff and the ROTC stats. And we all put our minds to figuring out how we're going to do this fall.
And we've been able to have core cadets. So we put in procedures to try and mitigate and reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19. We worked extremely hard with the school of public health, the university health center, the health science center, the resident's life; all these people helped us develop a plan to mitigate and reduce risks among the cadets.
So it's still that core and maintains some sense of normalcy throughout the fall semester. And thankfully, that has gone extremely well.
Brian Beckcom: Attorney, a district attorney, Dustin Boyd. By the way, this is district attorney, dusty boy, talking about the match program right after the George Floyd incident, all the protests to happen. So that's the context in which Dustin saw it:
District Attorney Dusty Boyd: Trust is not coming from a vacuum. You have to build that. So what you have to do is you have to design governance. That is transparent. There's accountability to connect, communicate, and not just communicate to its people, but also listen to these people and respond to their concerns. And that's, and I know we're going to talk about this a little bit with my program called maps. And I started here. I'm tired of the talk. I am 45 years old. I had no time to waste. The impacts and the dynamics about racism and for too long people, the first responders to New York, and talking, I don't care. What station is drawn? Well, we need to talk about this? No, we're done talking. Let's do something.
Brian Beckcom: So I don't have a video for this one, but this is a Purple Heart recipient. Nicole, Nicole was a United States Naval Academy. Graduate became a Marine during training. He got one hand-blown completely off. And lost a part of his thumb tips of his fingers on his other hand. And then continued. Can you imagine trying to pass the Marine Corps for UFC with one hand? Does any goes to Iraq and fight in the battle of Fallujah and was shot with a 7.85 millimeter round through the gut comes back to the United States, long period of recovery. He served his country as a Marine.
He's had one hand-blown completely off the other one badly damaged. Then he gets a gutshot. And what does he decide to do after he gets out of the Marines, become a firefighter in California, like the hardest possible job? And the firefighter jobs in California have rigorous physical standards too. And despite his physical incapacity, he went through all of it with no problem. And so, I’m going to suggest to you that a good positive leader principle number two is they are problem solvers with a bias for action. I've run a business for 20 years now here in Houston, a law firm, and we have a real Carlos who works with me. He'll tell you this, that the people that work for now are about 15 people that work for him or are not allowed to bring me problems unless I have solutions.
Anybody can tell you the problems, that is not hard at all. The reason you're wearing the uniform, you're wearing. The reason the people that work for me work for me is not to tell me the problems. I mean, obviously, you got to, I know what the problems are, but that's just half of it. The reason you had a uniform on is to solve problems.
As a matter of fact, that is the most important thing. I think a leader does to solve problems. All right, let's go to the next one.
#3 - Leaders Trust Their Instincts
Brian Beckcom: Number three. This is Bucky Richardson. Bucky Richardson was a college football player, phenomenal. Anybody remember Johnny Mansell, Johnny football. He was Johnny football before social media.
Okay. I was actually playing basketball day and then when he was playing football, so we knew each other a little bit, but he was a Superstore, and this is principle number three.
Brian Beckcom: A lot of people don't know that you were originally from Louisiana. And I think, tell me if I remember this right. You were too when you were trying to decide if you were a very good baseball and very good football player in high school, and you were trying to decide between us and the yellow suit and A&M.
Bucky Richardson: Yeah, that's correct.
Brian Beckcom: And, and I think, tell me if I'm remembering this right. You made your decision; I think right on signing day, you were pretty close to going to LSU. And then major decisions. So am I remembering that right? And so you did that?
Bucky Richardson: yeah, it was pretty close to signing. Day one day, I had grown up in Baton Rouge. I grew up about 15 miles from the tidy state. My dad would take me to the LSU games since I can remember. And that was always kind of cool to be able to play college one day, much less LSU or a place like KNM Charlton and Lee. I just. When I came on my visit to A&M, and you had a great tour of the campus.
And this lady that showed us around was just phenomenal. And patient wait, cause we've had a million questions. And I think after that campus tour, I said, this is where I want to be. And just those kinds of decisions, those big decisions that you've made. Do you educate yourself? You're going to fall in love with that.
Brian Beckcom: Next witness. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury are, active duty, Colonel John Gallemore, whom some of you may not, but Carl you're a sec is we've known Colonel Gallemore since he was a freshman, I guess, basically in the court, but he was a, he's a Thunderbird pilot. He's a combat pilot F sixteen’s. And he's the current group commander at Nellis air force base. At least as of six months ago.
Colonel John Gallemore: As much as I love flying jets, the air force takes you out of. Your comfort zone, if you will, out of a fighter squadron and then they put it, but you will professional military education, which is kind of, it's going to get a master's essentially. And then you have to do a staff job at some point. And prior to being here, back here at Nellis, my staff jobs, I was the deputy executive officer to the commander of the United States central command, which is one of six geographic combat commands we have around the world. And so he was a four-star general in, I learned more about myself. And about being an officer in the United States military in the 18 months that I served under him, I had in my 18 and a half years of service leading up to that point, it was a phenomenal life experience, but he, one of his four tenants was trusting your instincts. So he would talk to his other commanders, and he's as high as you can get. Right.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah.
Colonel John Gallemore: And when he would talk to other commanders, he would say, exactly, that trusts your instincts because your instincts are what got you here. And they haven't failed you so far now.
Brian Beckcom: Anybody knows this is by Vassili Arkhipov. Does anybody? I can't believe you guys don't know who this is. This man without this man, none of us are here right now.
Air Force personnel: He was known as a Russian sniper.
Brian Beckcom: close!
Air Force personnel: He was an air defense officer in, Russian military.
Brian Beckcom: close!
Air Force personnel: He like, he told the computers that were wrong when they said that our missiles were launching against us.
Brian Beckcom: Yes, essentially. Yes, this man is known as the man who saves the world. So he was a Russian sub commander during the Cuban missile crisis. And they had, at the time, the Russians had a system where two people had to authorize the launch of nuclear weapons. It happened to be that because he was a commander, his rank, he was the third guy.
They had gotten a false signal, essentially that we had launched nukes against him. He was supposed to launch nuclear weapons from his sub, but his instinct told him something was wrong, and he decided not to. Here's principle number three, it is to trust your instinct. Every one of you here is here because you have good instincts.
There's, there's a security expert in Gavin de Becker who provides security for Jeff Bezos and all these heads of state and stuff. He wrote a book about self-defense or protecting yourself. And one of the fundamental things he said was if something does, it doesn't feel right. Listen to your gut; trust your gut. We've evolved as humans over tens of thousands of years to have senses that sometimes we may not really. No, we can't put it into words. Stomp doesn't feel right. Everybody knows what I'm talking about, right? Good leaders trust their instincts. When I think back on my life, I'm 48 now. I think every time I did something that didn't feel right in my stomach, it was a bad decision.
And when I trusted my instincts, almost every single time, it was the right decision.
#4 - Leaders Do What It Takes
This is Ben Glass, nine kids; three businesses published eight bucks, successful lawyer, also a successful entrepreneur. This is one of his books. His book is called Play Left Fullback.
Brian Beckcom: Tell us that. What must the meaning of the time? Tell us the story behind the title.
Ben Glass: So when I was 12 years old, and I was a halfway decent soccer player, and we were going through my first tryout, and we've had days when you get there totally coaching, and he's going to ask and tell me, play left foot back. And I said, yeah, I'll do that. But let me ask you something first, how do you know I am the right one because, you know, I had never played defense before. He was young. So, you know, I like to swear bowls and say, why are we going to help them by level? Now, this is there's no one else is going to want to play that position. And you all at least get on the team right now; things will be to show up differently and these, and then we'll figure it out.
Brian Beckcom: My next witness, Blake Sawyer, who graduated from Texas A& M, nine 11 happens, joins the United States Marine Corps. Fights in the battle of Fallujah does two combat tours. I think Carl, you were saying that was Blake gets out of the United States Marine Corps, and now he's been a wildly successful entrepreneur. This is what he says about when he joined the Marine Corps. This is how he thought about it.
Brian Beckcom: So let me ask you this, like, did you have to go through officer candidate school? And then when you went through off, tell people what OCS is?
Blake Sawyer: So I joined through the officer selection office in Phoenix, Arizona of all places that I researched the offices that had a deficiency in officer recruitment, and Phoenix popped up as the number one. So I moved to Phoenix and joined there. I got in on a, on an eight in the Marine Corps, you can choose aviation or ground.
Brian Beckcom: Yeah.
Blake Sawyer: The only options. You don't get to choose what your job is. You earn at TBS or whatever. So he had one aviation slot open. I didn't want to be a pilot. I didn't want to be an aviator, but I wanted to get in.
And that was my ticket in. So I got in, I went to Quantico, Virginia, you have to go to OCS, which is an officer boot camp to nine, ten times. It was ten weeks. And the first day there, they mined all of the new candidates up on the parade deck. And they said, if you have an aviation contract, step forward to have a lot of people, step forward.
If you have a ground contract, take a step backward. Everybody stepped backward. If you want to switch, go to that side of the pregnancy. And so you had one other way and went to the other side of the braid deck, and he had wanted to be a mediator. I want it to be infantry.
Brian Beckcom: Next witness. This was Jared Don when Jared Don was 20 years old, yet about five minutes. Okay. I'm going to kind of go through this pretty quickly. Five, ten minutes, maybe a most. I know you guys have a schedule to keep it off. I'll kind of fly through this. Jared done graduated from college when he was 20 years old; he was camping on the Rio Grande, dove into the river. Hit his head has been paralyzed from the neck down. Since, since that point, he's become a world-famous painter who paints with his mouth.
I had Jared on the podcast because I'm running out of time. I'm going to skip that part of it. After the podcast is, I commissioned a painting from Jared, and he asked us about a five-foot painting. This is hanging in my office.
Go to the next one, go to the next one.
Brian Beckcom: Principle number four, be willing to play left fullback. In other words, do what it takes to get the job done. Okay. Be the best you can be at whatever it is you happen to be doing at the time.
#5 - Leaders Are Loyal
Brian Beckcom: And principle number five. This is Jake banks. When Jake graduated from college, he became a lawyer. He was a prosecutor in Tarrant County. He lost his first case. Then he won 44 straight cases, criminal cases, his first year, and then he spent the next two years in a French prison in solitary confinement for trying to smuggle ecstasy to the United States. Crazy story wrote a book about it called lawyer X. I want you to listen when you hear this clip from Jake, not necessarily about what Jake did, but about what his friend did when he was a prison:
Brian Beckcom: We have a mutual friend who is a very prominent military officer wherein recently that he's sent you a letter every single week. Yeah, two years when you were in jail.
I'm sure stuff like that hell too because one of the things that I think you were probably worried about, I would be worried about it and your situation is are my family and friends can ban abandoned me because I’m because of what I did. And I'm sure it helped a lot. When you realized at some point that you had a family and a group of friends that were not going to abandon you, they were going to stick with; they’re not, they weren't going to say: Hey, Jake, that was really smart. We support your drug dealing, but they were not going to; they were not going to quit.
Jake Banks: Yeah, it was great, and I think the lowest point there, the lowest point I'm looking at, the Maximum of 10 years in France, the lowest point on there and the letters that I got from my friends and it wasn't like everybody. I was surprised actually, a couple of people were so mad at me, so mad at me. I'm not, I can't, and I’m not going to write you because I'm so mad at you for what you did. I thought. Do you know the ones that are over here in jail? It took me a while to realize I'm mad at you. I'm mad at you because I love you.
Brian Beckcom: I'm running really short on time. So I'm going to skip over some of these clubs. So the point is that the friend of his, that wrote him a letter every single week for two years saved his life because Jake thought about committing suicide multiple times. Okay. And the friend that wrote those letters is a Marine Corps Colonel right now. Okay. He didn't abandon his men. He was loyal to you; he didn't say you did a good thing. I support what you did, just like in the military. I'm sure you're in the air force. You never leave anybody behind ever. You're loyal to your people.
Bonus - Leaders Are Nice
I have a bonus principle from my personal leadership hero. This is when I think of the best leader I can think of. This is the person I, I, that comes to my mind personally. And it's my father.
Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Augustus Beckcom III: I would say first, very first thing people, if you're later, first thing, in my opinion, keep in mind. I think I mentioned this the other night is leadership starts with caring. Okay. Yeah. Leadership starts with caring. That'd be caring about getting the job done that we just care about the people that you work with. And that'd be just caring about the community. Okay. Yeah. And I'm confessed to someone in our leadership position as they can count to keep those things in mind. It'll keep them out approach, okay, but anyway, these are just some things that update up, uh, be nice. Don't be a jerk. Yeah. All leaders are nice. And if they're not, they don't last very long. Yeah, I was in the strategic air command, and the motto was too very human to forgive is not certain pumps.
Okay. Command basically for all his commanders, but he was hugging to rake him. I'll be up and inside. They had a lot of people like that. Well, they can intimidate you. You are nice.
Brian Beckcom: Be nice, be good to your people. You don't have to be a jerk to be a good leader. As a matter of fact, you can be mean and lead people, but that never works long-term, so, anyway, I think those are the five plus a bonus fundamental principles of leadership. These are the witnesses I have for you. And with that, I guess the judge would be currently a second. With that, your honor, I rest my case. So what you're saying, did we win or did we lose the case? Let me see by a show of hands that we win. It's a unanimous verdict.