Lee Ellis is a retired United States Air Force Colonel, award-winning author, speaker, and leadership consultant. As a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War, he was shot down, captured, and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war. He’s authored several books, including Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton, which was published in 2012 and shares his POW experience and the leadership principles that helped him and his compatriots resist, survive, and return with honor. Ellis is now an international speaker and consultant on leadership and human performance, organizational integrity, and operational effectiveness. Tune in to hear his remarkable story.
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In this podcast your host Loree Draude, former Navy combat jet pilot with decades of experience leading teams in the Navy and at Google, Facebook and Silicon Valley startups, and to stories about developing leaders and teams to reach peak performance. You’ll be inspired by World Class guests and learn strategies, tactics, the mindset and skill set needed, so you too can develop supersonic leaders and teams. here’s your host, Loree Draude.
Loree Draude 0:35
This week, I have a special guest on the supersonic leaders and teams podcast in honor of Veterans Day. Lee Ellis is a retired United States Air Force Colonel, award winning author, speaker and leadership consultant. As a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War. He was shot down captured in spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war. He’s authored several books, including leading with honor leadership lessons from the Hanoi Hilton, which was published in 2012, and shares his POW experience and the leadership principles that helped him and his compatriots resist survive in return with honor. It is a great honor to talk with Colonel Ellis about leadership in our podcast today. Thank you so much for talking with me today. I’m really excited to speak with you about your experience and about your book too. So I thought I would start by asking you, you were a POW in Vietnam for five years. And that’s a very intense experience. So I was wondering if you could share with us your POW story and know what kept you focused on survival? Well, I just turned 24 years old, I’d always wanted to be a fighter pilot. And so quick as I finished college, I went straight to flight school in the Air Force, and then went to Southern California to get combat qualified in the f4 Phantom jet. And it was called f4, panem, f4. Phantom pipeline, Southeast Asia. And as quick as I could get a combat qualified, we’re going to war. This was 1966. And sure enough, that’s what happened. We headed to the war, and I got went to Danang, which is the northern province there. And in South Vietnam, we were about 60 miles south of the DMZ. And majority of our missions were over the North, over North Vietnam, which was a true enemy territory. So we did fly submissions, close air support for the army and a lot for the Marine Corps. And then we flew interdiction in Laos, on the human trail when it came over and down through Laos. So it was a variety of missions. And we also had air to air when I first got there. But I’ve been there about a month. And all of that moved over to Thailand, and we didn’t have any more combat air patrol, flying, you know, air to air cap mid cap for protecting track force. That’s how I got in there. I was actually on my 53rd mission over the North, he had to fly 100 over the North to get to go home or the year in combat. And so I was on my 53rd. So I was pretty experienced in the combat zone by that time. But on the seventh of November 1967, my airplane was hit and blew up over me territories, a lot of AAA aircraft artillery, and had to do the nylon let down. Because I know that James Bond system worked really well I pulled the handle and everything worked perfectly. And next thing I know I’m in my parachute, I’m deciding where I’m going to land and how I’m going to evade the enemy. Unfortunately, they were all around and surrounded me immediately captured me stripped me down to my jockey shorts. And there I was, I was really pretty cool until I was captured. And then that shock is traumatic, because you have no idea what’s going to happen. I took me two weeks to get to Hanoi. And I went to the Hanoi Hilton and was put in a six and a half by seven foot cell. And it was two years before I got to write a letter, wow, two and a half years before I got my first one. And fortunately, I was single, the married guys, you can imagine how difficult it was. I mean, I had friends that had four kids, five kids. And you know, they struggled because they had not only to fight the war. And of course, our war changed. When we were captured, it became a different battle was a battle, right. But it was a different battle. But they also had to deal with the fact that their kids are growing up without them House of life to run. And if you leave her what she needed, carry on and all that kind of stuff you can imagine. The amazing thing was that we learned in those years there that the human being is much more resilient than we think. Especially when you have a community around you. You’re not alone. Even though we were alone. We weren’t alone because we were covertly connected through covert communications. We would take great risk to find somebody in solitary confinement, reach out to them, encourage them, let them know we’re going home without your buddy doing great and we’re proud of you and that kind of thing. encouragement givers.
Col. Lee Ellis 5:00
zillions also of our leaders, that’s what really set the pace. They were so tough. And our most of our senior leaders were there, seven and a half years. So they’ve been there over two years when I got there. Wow. You know, think about that. And their example was so inspiring for us. We wanted to be like them. But they were very genuine, or humble, but very strong, and leaders who are humble and competence strong. Both are very attractive. You want to follow those? Right. Wow, as you look back, what were the key leadership principles that helped you to survive that experience. We had good training, and we were kind of selected pros. Most of us were air crews. So we’ve gone through some selection. And so we were mentally fairly sturdy, fairly competent, fairly competitive people, which helped us there. I think, my faith I have, I’m a strong Christian, I grew up in a Christian home, I had super strong faith. And that was a real resource for me, and I think most of the gods there and although we probably all had drifted in our early fighter pilot days,
we certainly came like a boomerang, we came back or a yo yo, we came back and that was helpful. But the leadership, the great leadership really made a difference in the communications of staying connected and community and navy seals and fighter pilots don’t want to fight long fight in teams, we have we protect each other. So that was very, very crucial, I think. The research done by the naval operational Medical Institute down at Pensacola, the Mitchell Institute is called now but they’ve done a lot of research on the pure depth use psychological compared to control groups and all that. And we had very strong optimism and hardiness. And that was realistic optimism. The Stockdale paradox that Jim Collins talks about in his book from Admiral Stockdale, they were friends at Stanford after the war, it says, You never give up hope. You’re always believing that a good outcome, but you have to deal with the brutal realities of the current situation. Right. And that’s the way we naturally went at it. We didn’t know the Stockdale paradox we lived,
Unknown Speaker 7:13
named afterwards, but our leaders did set that example. And that optimism that we are going to win this thing we’re going to hang on, our country’s not going to leave us here forever, politics and everything, eventually they’ll get a foul. And when you’re down usually there for your teammates and kind of help you get back up. But it was a daily battle for many years. I can only imagine Holy cow.
Unknown Speaker 7:37
You wrote a book that was based on your experience.
Unknown Speaker 7:41
From the Hanoi Hilton, can you tell me a little bit more about I mean, coming back from an experience like that, I would imagine it would take you some time to recover? Like how long did it take you to recover to the point where you felt like Wow, there are some amazing lessons from this experience that I want to share with others. Well, we didn’t think about that most of us didn’t think about that immediately. I didn’t write that book till 2012. And people kept bugging me.
Unknown Speaker 8:03
I started writing a biographical book and a pretty well known writer looked at and said, well, what’s different about your book from other POW books? Which stung a little bit?
Unknown Speaker 8:14
feedback always thinks a little bit. Yeah, I said, huh. So I thought it over and I say he’s probably right. So recaptured it into a leadership book with a POW story in every chapter. But when we came home, you know, I was still pretty young. And I got promoted to making sure not too long after I got home, and I had virtually no operational experience. We were working hard to keep up. So we didn’t think about writing books, we’re thinking about, how am I going to compete with my peers? How am I going to be a good leader, this level that I’m at right now, was a flight Ender within requalified. And flying in the T 38. I was going to go back to the f4. Because of the Arab Israeli war 73, we given so many of our parts to them, we had the f4 pilots, were getting 10 811 or 12 hours at the most a month. And I said, I’m sitting on the ground for almost six years. I gotta get some hours here.
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38, it’s instructor pop. And that ended up being a good decision, even though I’m a fighter pilot and hard into decision. And that went well. And so I would, but I had to work hard to you know, to do my job, and to keep going and advancing. And the good thing is, when you’ve been a pow, you don’t worry much about getting promoted and stuff like that.
Unknown Speaker 9:37
You want to do your job. Well, you want to impress people that you’re capable of carrying your own load, but you don’t have a lot of fears about what’s going to happen next.
Unknown Speaker 9:47
Just having fun and going at it and as we used to say, Well, what are they gonna do to me, put me in jail.
Unknown Speaker 9:56
But we did obviously honor was a very important thing.
Unknown Speaker 10:00
To the pow, because our motto started out as resist, survive and return with honor. Over the years after resistant and surviving for a number of years, it just became return and honor. It captured our mission, our vision and our values in three words, we wanted to go home. But with honor, the challenge, you know,
Unknown Speaker 10:24
when you think about the times we’re in now with the Coronavirus, and a lot of upheaval within our own country, how do you see some of the leadership principles that you talk about in your book applying to our current situation? Well, that book, the leading without a book, lessons from the Hanoi Hilton came out in 2012. And all those are foundational for leadership changes civilian military, those were foundational. And then the 2016 book, which follows the same format with a POW story. And then of transition into here’s the lesson, here’s how that lesson applies in today’s workplace with stories from my clients. I’ve been a leadership coach for 22 years, I’ve had my own business for 22 years. So I’ve done a lot of leadership stuff. And then there’s coaching questions at the end of each chapter. But lessons, both of those are good, but the 2016 book, engaged with honor building a culture of courageous accountability really fits well now, because it really highlights the need for clarity. When you’re working remote, you really have to work getting more clarity, like in the POW camps, we really had to work hard to get clarity. And then to connect, you have to connect with people based upon who they are. Not everybody’s saying, you know, major Jim Kessler was one of the toughest guys that’s ever lived. And he could take torture a lot longer than most of us could
Unknown Speaker 11:47
pass but you some people are better at something. Some people are better. You know, art a friend in the air force one time use a flight commander and I was a squadron commander. And I told him, I said, You know, I made a mistake. This is not your fifth, I made him a staff officer and he did a great job. But he was not a good flight commander. He didn’t, didn’t make things happen and wasn’t tough enough. Connecting people based on their natural talents and being able to relate to them in a unique way. Like with Leigh Ellis, May, you better get in my face and get real direct. If you want to get attention and put pressure on me. That’s okay, I’ll perform better. But with Mary Ellis, that will not work her performance wound mana Golub so you got to manage people differently. And then connecting with the heart, which is so important right now, people want to feel significant. They want to feel valued, so important. And then collaboration, you got to collaborate, we collaborate and POW camps. And today, people are having to work harder to collaborate. But it’s just as important as ever. It’s really an amazing point you’re making about like that need for collaboration and communication in today’s world of being sheltered at home and working remotely. And I never thought of that in you know, in regards to the POW experience, which is like the most extreme form of that. But yeah, people are really feeling disconnected. So improving that communication and really focusing on that I can see where that would help quite a bit. So I have a question for you about your childhood.
Unknown Speaker 13:16
When did you first feel like you could influence people and realize, Oh, you know, I could like this leadership thing. I can lead other kids or other people as a young adult, when did that first occur to you that that might be something you’d want to do?
Unknown Speaker 13:32
That’s an interesting question. I grew up, I had no younger people around me, okay. And so when I grew up on a farm out in the country, we visited friends from the church and family, a lot of family, not my age, but my parents age, and their, and their parents age around the community. So I was always around adults. And so I had to learn to think and operate a lot like an adult. So it just came natural to think to think that way. And then, in the eighth grade when I thought I’d always wanted to play football, and I always want to be the quarterback. So that tells you something starts running.
Unknown Speaker 14:09
And I was a quarterback. And then in high school, I was a quarterback and I had two goals in life. One was to be a quarterback at the University of Georgia. One was to be a fighter pilot, and my senior year in high school away 255 pounds. And I was honorable state all mentioned but not near good enough to get a scholarship to, you know, significant schools. So I think, let that one go my size and speed away 155 pounds as a senior and I wouldn’t have asked this guy on the team. But all that worked really well to be a fighter pilot. What would you say are the key disciplines an effective leader must embrace in her personal life. The key ingredient you must embrace in your personal life. I think the most important thing for a leader is to know yourself. That’s chapter one and the leading with honor book
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You got to know yourself and you got to be comfortable in your own skin. Now my senior ranking officer in the POW camp for three years, Captain Tim Fisher, who’s retired colonel now, he was 30 and a half captured. I was just starting 24. And he was my leader, my cellmate for over three years. And I asked him when I wrote that book, I said, Well, how did you see me as a POW? I need an honest answer. And he said, Well, you know, when you were captured, I don’t think you were completely comfortable in your own skin. By the time you came home, you were
Unknown Speaker 15:38
safe. When you’re comfortable in your own skin, you feel secure. Now, nobody feels secure all the time, I have a model and sliding scale on one side on the right side, or P is completely secure. On the left side is insecure. fears are influencing you when you’re insecure. And we all slide back and forth on that continuum every day. in different situations, we’re always sliding back and forth. The more that you become confident with yourself and secure with yourself good and bad. And you’re working on your bad and getting better at. And the more you slot for the competence side and the secure side, the more healthy you will be as an individual, the more genuine you will be seen by your leaders, teammates, your children, your wife, your husband, whatever your team, your neighbors, the more secure you are about being a genuine person is, the more important you’re going to have. Nice. Do you think that leaders are born or developed? Do you think anyone could be a leader, everybody is born with some leadership characteristics. Some are born with more, because they want to be in control, they naturally want to be in control. But I have been working and doing research and using behavioral assessments for more than 30 years. I’ve assessed 1000s 10s of 1000s. And our assessments have done millions of people. So I’m very familiar. In fact, my last book came out in January leadership behavior, DNA, discovering natural talents, and managing differences. And so what I say is that anybody has the characteristics to be a great leader. And in my book, we show that we point out generals, admirals and presidents, with very different born with very different traits. But they all had to learn to adapt. If you’re highly relational, you have to adapt, to be tough. Also, to be tough and results focused. You have to learn to adapt, and to give positive feedback and encouragement and connect with the heart I mentioned earlier, is the willingness to learn to adapt, that can really make you successful. I have a friend who’s a retired four star General, he was the most popular four star general in the Air Force in recent years. And maybe ever I don’t know, but he really popular. He was a commander of one of the most important commands in the Air Force. And he retired a couple years ago, and then I’ve worked with his organization since then, and we use our assessments. And he came out real people oriented. But he’s a four star general. And and I know he knows how to be tough, you know, he can eat your lunch, right? We had our debrief, we were talking about this. And I said Do you have any comments on this today in the workshop? And he said yes, he said, the higher up I went in the organization, the more I had to learn to do stuff I wasn’t good at. Hmm. You know, I’m big believer in using your strengths, your natural talents is good, big stuff on strength, okay, I’m big on that. But when you’re leading, it’s your struggles that cause you to get in your own way. And, you know, sometimes you may be great at talking, but you learned need to be a good listener. You need to be a good listener, but you need to know when to speak up, guys. Well, both sides of the street. And that’s what makes really a great leader when they can do both people. And mission, result and relationship. Got it? Yeah, I was wondering if feels like sometimes different situations require different types of leadership, because I think sometimes you need that very directive, get this done right now. And then there’s more of the relationship. And I think that might be what you’re referring to as results oriented and people oriented. The leaders can be both Yeah. And the MRIs of the brain can so we use a three minute video by Dr. Richard boyatzis, who was co author of prom leadership and all. And but the MRI scan show that there are two networks in the brain, and they’re different. One of them is task focus, and one of them is more social, you got to learn, he talks about learning to switch from one to the other. But when you’re problem solving, you always go tasks, but when you’re doing tasks, it’s hard to bring in the social. But back to your point. I have another friend who’s retired Marine Colonel, and he’s written a book about executive leadership. And he makes a good point that some people are just better equipped to do a turnaround on an organization turnaround. Thank you guys.
Unknown Speaker 20:00
When you got to turn, you may have to fire people, you may have to, you know, you’re gonna have to be tough when you don’t turn around and you ain’t gonna be popular. Yes, sir. There’s a period of time there when it takes more the mission task focus, and less the people focus if you’re going to be really successful over the long haul, and even more so in today’s culture, I think than 50 or 100 years ago, is you have to have both of those, you know, I call it the leadership squeeze, or you could pay us, it’s where you put them on the rack, you know, you’re being pulled in two different directions, but you have to take care of the people, because they’re the one doing the work, and you want to keep the morale up, and they’re energy positive. But you also have to focus on the mission. So I say leaders are always putting money in the, in the two banks, the bank with your boss above you getting results, and having the right numbers and all that. So but you need that credibility with your boss. So sometimes you may have to push back on your boss and say, boss, you know, it’s peetham, here, we’re burning our people out, and they’re gonna leave, they’re gonna go somewhere else, competition for good talent. Today, they’re gonna go somewhere else, if we don’t back off and try to take care of people. And there are times, you know, your people are saying, what about me, I’m gonna get promoted by helping me and you got to listen to that. And you got to know when to take care of them and encourage them, you have to do both. Unfortunately, back to the birth, the DNA thing. Most of us 40% of born results, task focus, and 40% of born relationship people, the great leaders learn to do both. Now in a certain situation, you’re going to have to have more than one more of one than the other for sure that’s true. But that ability to adapt and go from one to the other. You know, when I was a squadron commander for flying Squadron, and back then we had, we’re just starting to train some of the first women and pilots in the Air Force. Oh, fantastic. Thank you, sir. It’s so cool. In fact, my wife, ob gyn nurse became the first Air Force woman to receive her wings. Wow, wow. Right? You became a t 38. Instructor pilot. So anyway, I would have commanders call, you know, once a month, and I keep the pilots around and give them a little whatever update or whatever. But about every six months, I would say guys, you know, I love you. You’re great. I’m so proud of you. But I’m telling you, if you step over the line you buy like FAA or Air Force regulations, the hammer is coming. And you’re gonna think well, I thought he was my friend. I said, I am your friend. But I’m telling you their boundaries, and you better respect them or toughness is going to come, right? Because I didn’t want them to take my niceness think, Well, you know, nothing he’s not gonna do he don’t do anything. I wanted him to know that I would write well, besides setting clear expectations with your teams, how else did you build cohesive teams, I think it takes some a degree of camaraderie. And that means trust. And it means doing things together, doing some fun things together, getting to know each other, the more you know each other, the more you don’t surprise each other. And the more you are less concerned, I think it’s also important for the leader to have a relationship with people. So they know you’re not playing favorites, that everybody I’m gonna help collect. I talk about I want to collaborate with my people, I want them to be successful. But also i’m going to give them negative feedback if need be. I’m gonna say hey, that didn’t work. But what’s that about? How can we make that better, so I’m kind of coaching them along the way or coaching their leaders to coach them if need be. But so much of it is to culture, every leader on the culture. And you build a culture of culture that says, You’re valued, you’re important, the mission is important. And you want to tie that mission to their purpose in life, our own personal mission. So they feel like when they’re accomplishing the unit mission, they’re also accomplishing their some of their personal mission. My grandson, he did some really good stuff from college, and now he’s working with a company of IT manager. He’s just 26. He’s already moved. He’s manage a whole department, and artificial intelligence for a big company. Wow. And all of this came up when he’s 25. He’s managing a bunch of millennials, will house and he said, Well, it’s going good, but you know, those millennials, they just, they just don’t get it. And he looked over his shoulder a couple of times. He said, but I want a meal.
Unknown Speaker 24:32
In the next year, I took him out to lunch up in DC and he said, You know, I said How’s it going? He said good. He said I take them to lunch or coffee every week I get with for 30 minutes I get with all my people I got seven or eight. I get with him for 30 minutes and don’t talk business I just some stuff. He said the problem is when I asked them, What are their values, they don’t know.
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I’m trying to help them along their personal values with the corporate values and vice versa was
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So often they have never thought about what their values are.
Unknown Speaker 25:03
So that’s a challenge that leaders have got to think about too. Absolutely. That foundational work that I do as a coach with people is to understand those values. And I think a lot of times people think it’s kind of like this, I don’t know, like a soft thing, right? Like as a leader, oh, I, you know, I can think about that some other time. But it really creates dissonance if you are not doing work that aligns with your core values. And that’s different for everybody. So, Wow, good for grandson. He sounds very evolved.
Col. Lee Ellis 25:34
We’re proud of him.
Unknown Speaker 25:36
He’s pretty results oriented and kind of tough. And so all the thinking is that way, too. So thinking, Well, I’m so proud of him. What do you learn that 26 years old? Oh,
Unknown Speaker 25:50
that’s awesome. Do you have any favorite leadership advice that you’ve either received or that you like to give, we hear a lot about ownership these days. And I really think that’s important to take ownership. I think so many young people today have never had to be owners of what it is it’s around them, they’ve always had somebody kind of carrying them along and bailing them out. And they haven’t been allowed to fail and receive the consequences. And so they don’t have the same mindset about responsibility and ownership. So I think leaders are going to have to work with him on that. And I think you just got to be cognizant of this is a developmental area that has to take place. The other thing I think, is, leadership can be very lonely, but it’s also very dangerous if you’re all alone. So I say every leader needs to have some peers that he or she can talk to, to bounce their ideas off, I have friends that sometimes when I’m facing a situation, especially if it has to do with integrity, or strategy, that’s an area that’s not my specialty, and I’m in emotionally involved. You know, if I have an emotional involvement, I know that my judgment may not be as objective as it needs to be. So that’s when I bounce ideas off, I say, does this pass the smell test? Or does this thing why if you were in your situation, what would you be thinking, and I listened to him and I make my own decision. One of the most important things I use, and I learned this from some of my leaders watching them, is I make it real clear. If you work for me, this is what I want. This is what I don’t want. I like this, I don’t like that. And everybody’s different. So this is what you communicate with me, I’d like you to be real direct. Tell me what you think, argue with me. I don’t mind your argument me. Just use logic. Give me the logic. Let me understand it. And if you’re right, I see your logic. I’ll jump on your side, and I’ll go with your plan.
Unknown Speaker 27:41
I’m going to say, Well, thank you very much, I heard you. And if it goes bad, you’ve been very loyal and done your job. If it goes bad, I own it.
Unknown Speaker 27:52
So and people really understand, again, it goes back to that being genuine, that I want to your valuable resource to me, I’ll tell you, I was very successful. And everything I’ve ever done, mainly because people made me look good people that did stuff really well and did a lot of stuff that I don’t do well. They did it well. And they made me look good and successful. I value them. Absolutely, I don’t mind delegating to somebody that I know is better at something than I am, I don’t give up my responsibility. I’ll give them the authority to do a lot of room room to roam. And I’ve been done. And I have to call them by and say, Yeah, don’t do that quite that way. Right. You know, that’s
Unknown Speaker 28:39
letting them have the freedom to do what they do. Well, to me, it’s just a powerful thing. Can you tell me how you compiled the principles that are in your book? I know, you said that you took a POW story and the leadership lesson from it. When you went into writing. When you started writing the book, did you have some of these ideas in mind? Okay, I took some of the leadership lessons that I had been learning and using over the years as a leader, because I wrote that book in 2011. And so that was
Col. Lee Ellis 29:11
13 years I’ve been in leadership. I had owned a leadership consulting and training company. And then before that, I ran to leadership skills in the Air Force that ended my career. So I guess I pulled together the things I’d seen that really work. And, and kind of built on those I actually took a spreadsheet and put down all the ideas and principles on it and I prioritize them. And then I made a pie chart out and kind of put around a circle. And then I’ve moved them around and play with them. And once I got the ones I wanted to use and then I started outlining this chapter. When I write my books, I don’t write very often about the success and good things I’ve done. I usually write more about the mistakes I make, because that’s where I learned the most. And a one quick story. I was squadron commander
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And then there was an airplane crash of another base. So my squadron was training all the T 38 instructors for the whole command that had seven or eight bases back then. And so the I was down there doing an inspection, there was an accident board, but also the IGP was checking, because evidently, the guys that had the wreck, and one or two of them were killed, had violated some flying regulation or some tactics. And they were trying to see if our gods were teaching them. Okay, so the idea was in my Squadron checking us all out, and they’re taking sworn testimony, and it was very disruptive to our morale. And I in none of my Gods had ever trained any of the people who were in the accident. So I went to my boss to do director of operations, and I said, Hey, this guy, they’re messing with knives, and they’re messing around in my squad, or how about getting out there just causing problems and,
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and we didn’t have anything to do with it. He said, Lee, let me tell you some, anybody steer the ship to calm waters, real captains take it through the store.
Unknown Speaker 31:03
I didn’t say another word, I just got up and said, Thank you, sir. Well walked out. Because I knew that was a lesson I needed to hear. Right, that’s like a famous in the Navy smooth seas do not make for a good sailor,
Unknown Speaker 31:18
or I think it’s, it’s set a different way. But that’s basically a similar justice. So I have a triangle, I learned this factor in ROTC and leadership. Everything is built on this triangle. Everything fits in this trial, everything. Because we’ve simplified it to the minimum, the bottom ledge layer of that triangle is character integrity, values, reliability, the things that we think of his character and being a responsible person. And that is a foundation for trust and leadership. Because if people don’t trust you, they don’t want to follow you. Right and kind of minimize, they’ll start to withdraw, they’ll do enough to cover and stay out of your way. But they’re not giving you 110%.
Unknown Speaker 32:00
Like, if they saw good character in you, you just think about your past experience. And everybody will know that. Second level up is this mission and people and that are the 40% 40% are naturally bent towards results 40 toward people. And yet you have to this is where I spend so much of my time in the work is helping people get a better balance there. And this leadership balance between those two,
Unknown Speaker 32:26
and 20% have some of both, and under pressure, they go straight to results.
Unknown Speaker 32:34
You’re my friend.
Unknown Speaker 32:37
Then the next level up is emotional intelligence. Now, we didn’t have that in there in the 1990. But when I started reading about emotional intelligence, I knew we had to put that in there. Because if you don’t recognize and manage your own emotions, you’re going to undermine yourself. And if you don’t recognize the other person’s emotions, you’re not going to be able to inspire them, you’re going to put them down, you’re going to hurt them, and not really energize them. You know, I was offered a bunch of guys at a lake event for the weekend, a few years ago. And I shared something about from one of my sons had might have created a song out of a poem we had for our organization. And I played it on a little cassette tape for this guy who was a guitar player and everything. And when I finished it, it’s only like two minutes. And he said, huh, and got up and walked out. And I’ve never forgotten that. I mean, that guy’s a good guy. But I mean, that was so stupid. All he had to say with that was neat.
Unknown Speaker 33:38
Did a good job of saying, you know, he did not consider the impact of his action on my emotions.
Unknown Speaker 33:47
You know, somebody’s telling you, their son hit a home run in a little league last night in the break room, you don’t just walk in and say get back to work.
Unknown Speaker 33:55
Right? Well, wow, I bet you’re really proud of that. That’s really neat. Well, head on back notes, work.
Unknown Speaker 34:03
notes are so emotional, tells the next level. And then the top level is the thing, the skills that we learned either leadership skills or technical skills that we learned and that looks small on the triangle, but it’s huge. So those areas kind of cover everything. But so much of our work, we try to work on character, you know, are leading with honors the name of the brand and company, and yet,
Unknown Speaker 34:27
you know, people don’t they’re not as interested in that. But we do try to push that as much as possible. We have a code of code of honor code on our website, seven articles, kind of like the code of conduct in the military. And they and they’re downloadable there and I just I try to live up to those and it’s battle every day.
Unknown Speaker 34:48
And then working on that and then the balance between results and relationship. Those three thing will do more to advance a person’s leadership ability than anything else. They’re going to pick up a lot of other things.
Unknown Speaker 35:00
length along the way, and the emotional intelligence. So almost all of our work focuses on that. And most of my books, spend a good bit of time on that. Fantastic I, I really appreciate what you shared about character and integrity being the foundation of those relationships as a leader, Google did a study a few years ago about their top teams, and what were the common characteristics of the top functioning teams at the company. And the number one factor was psychological safety. So feeling like you were taking care of on the team that you could trust people on the team and, and a lot of that has to do with if you trust the character, the person, you and you believe that they’re going to do what they say. So talking about the emotional intelligence, I’ve been married 46 years and two days ago, I turned and said something to my wife were two standard deviations apart on every factor. But one, and that’s patience with three standard deviations.
Unknown Speaker 35:56
And she has a boat load and I got
Unknown Speaker 36:00
the patient people are very sensitive. Okay, tense and stressful and intense stuff. Really, they don’t respond well to not turned off. Or real direct and blunt. It was kind of harsh to her it was harsh To me, it was just talking. And she looked at me like and just turned and walked away. It was less than two hours I went to and said Hon, I am so sorry. I should have never done that over responded. You know, you were right. And, and apologize. But, you know, these kind of things are not easy, right? I’m working on this for I
Unknown Speaker 36:36
would say it’s a slow learner. But
Unknown Speaker 36:39
we have a good marriage. Oh, absolutely. Wow. That’s amazing.
Unknown Speaker 36:46
It’s been so wonderful to speak with you about all of these topics and to get your your sage advice on leadership and how you’ve helped others become better leaders as well. So I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me today. Thank you, Laura. It’s been great to be here. And on the subject of marriage. I got to tell you about my next book. Oh, absolutely. I’ve had this in my mind for about 10 years. Pow. came home, and some were married and stayed married. And they’ve been married over over six years. Some of them, wow. Some were married and came home and their wives had moved on. They were gone six, seven years. And you understand that? They remarry. Most of them remarried. But then a couple years. Some of them took me a while.
Unknown Speaker 37:29
And they’ve been married 40 567 years. And then the group like me who were single came home and met somebody in the first year and got married right away. So I’m working on a book right now was I have a co author and we’re working on right now. And we’re gonna have 20 to 25 stories and the working title of the book is captured or captivated by love. And the subtitle is the amazing romance stories of the Vietnam POW. Wow.
Unknown Speaker 38:00
These stories, hollywood could not write a script this crazy. And I cannot wait. That is That sounds amazing. It sounds like one day I got one today. And I was reading it. And I just went to tears two or three times I said,
Unknown Speaker 38:18
this is unreal. And I’m not. Well, in my old data. I’m starting to shed a tear here. And they’re generally pretty solid. And
Unknown Speaker 38:27
it was unreal. It was unreal. This romance and they got married. The he proposed to her the fifth time they met. They got married as quick. Get back home. They were in Europe.
Unknown Speaker 38:40
And we just had been married 47 years. Wow. Wow. Well, there’s no crying in fighter aviation. So I don’t know if we could read that. But I’m really excited to see that sir. That sounds incredible. I’ll keep you posted on it. Okay, I can’t wait.
Unknown Speaker 39:00
And that’s it. For today’s episode, head on over to iTunes and subscribe to the show. One lucky listener every week who posts a review on iTunes will be entered into the grand prize drawing to be Loree Draude’s VIP guests at San Francisco’s Fleet Week where they’ll experience and exhilarating performance from the Blue Angels flight demonstration team. Be sure to head on over to supersonic show.com and pick up a copy of Loree Draude’s free gift and join us on the next episode.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai