Gen. C.Q. Brown, Jr. is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. He is THE senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping of 689,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. In this role, he also serves as member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the general and other service chiefs function as military advisers to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council and the President. The general is a DG of the Texas Tech University (“Guns up”) ROTC program and the USAF Weapons School. Our conversation includes candid discussion on how to BEGIN to fix the race and (and likely gender) discrepancies in the USAF. The Chief also shares his thoughts on risk-averse leaders, the necessity for transparency when developing trust and how being selfish MAY be a good thing. It is an honor to be able to spend an hour with a man I consider a mentor and someone I hope to make proud.
Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt is the Commander, Combined Force Space Component Command, U.S. Space Command; and Deputy Commander, Space Operations Command, U.S. Space Force, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. She leads more than 17,000 joint and combined personnel with a mission to plan, integrate, conduct and assess global space operations. Maj. Gen. Burt entered the Air Force in 1991 as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Her career has included numerous satellite operations and staff positions in Air Force Space Command and U.S. European Command. Today we discuss the contagious nature of leadership passion, Gender bias from a Commander's perspective, how to reward bold leadership and how to persevere when trying to build connection and trust.
Col James ”Gumbo” Coughlin, Ed. D, is the father of NINE children, the husband to Erin Lynn, serves Airmen as the Commander of the 5th Combat Communications Group, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. The group is comprised of one support squadron and two deployment-ready squadrons. He directs the training, mobilization, and deployment of Airmen, communications and computer systems, and supporting equipment to enable combatant commanders, joint task forces, and Air Force component headquarters contingency operations.
Dr. Gumbo shares how he serves the people he leads (or "works for"), how one person sets the bar and how the venture capital world can teach us a lot about innovation. Additionally, Dr. Gumbo discusses thoughts on mirroring feedback and how your name can keep leadership doors open.
Stories are powerful! Col "KC" Campbell has one of the most powerful, inspiring, and frightening stories I have ever heard. I appreciate her service, bravery and for trusting me with helping her tell the story as she, her Hawg, and her flight lead bravely supported friendly "troops in contact" in one the most dangerous parts of Iraq in 2003. KC shares the impact this experience had on her as a person, an Airman, and a leader. KC also talks about the leadership connection lessons she learned from running into a burning house with her Airmen, the power of empowerment and how work-life balance is a long-term endeavor. Thank you, KC!
General Harrigian is as real as they come. This leader wears multiple command and leadership hats as a 4-star general. He commands the US Air Forces in Europe and Africa and also serves our NATO allies as the Commander of Allied Air Command and Director of the Joint Air Power Competence Center (or Centre for our European listeners). He is responsible for the air and missile defense of 29 NATO alliance member nations. The general shares his thoughts on being who you are as a leader, the importance of baselining and defining "toxicity", how to lead and have uncomfortable conversations and the value of asking for nothing! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Lead 'em well!
Brig. Gen. Michael R. Drowley is the Commander of the 57th Wing, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. He is responsible for 36 squadrons at 12 installations constituting the Air Force's most diverse flying wing. He is a lifelong student of leadership and an excellent practitioner. Today, "JB" discusses leading in the age of social media, not taking himself too seriously, and his views on the "character of leadership". We also discuss leadership toxicity and how he protects his teams, and his leadership legacy, from toxicity. Brigadier General Drowley is an avid reader; he shares his reading list with us (to include a book by Simon Sinek in which he plays a leading "role"). https://www.nellis.af.mil/About/Biographies/Display/Article/2307981/brigadier-general-michael-r-drowley/ https://simonsinek.com/product/leaders-eat-last/
Scott “Soup” Campbell is a national hero! He is a retired Air Force fighter pilot with 25 years of Air Force. He led at all levels up to and including Wing Command and served as an instructor at the prestigious U.S. Air Force Weapons School. My friendship with Soup started in 1991 at the USAF Academy. He was ALWAYS the one who excelled and stood out among our peers.
I had a blast sharing leadership thoughts with Soup, and I know you will get a lot of this leader. I especially enjoyed his critical thoughts on the difference in asking for feedback and seeking feedback. We also deep dive into how to accept, quantify, and take risk. Soup explains why “soft skills, being who you are and not who your team thinks you should be, why follow through are keys to developing trust with your teams.
Soup retired from the Air Force but continues to share lessons and influence leaders and leadership at the USAF Academy and his new professional home at Victory Strategies. At Victory Strategies, he is part of a leadership assessment and development company comprised of elite practitioners. He and his team improve organizational culture, alignment, and efficiency through leadership development training and team engagement.
I included links to Victory Strategies as well as some of Soup’s writings on thriving through bad leadership and being a B.A.D. leader!
Brigadier General Choquette, Director of Operations at 12th Air Force, responsible for conducting security cooperation operations throughout South America. The general is a graduate of the USAF Academy, was commissioned (and flew helicopters) in the US Army before he found his way back to the USAF. The General shares some of the tools he collected in his leadership tool kit, his mistakes, and his lessons. He emphasizes why it is important for leaders, and leaders in training, to get out ahead of your skis periodically. He shares ideas on how to overcome trust hurdles, empowering and supporting subordinate leaders, and flat out working hard. We also discuss the importance of taking and accepting risks as part of a leaders responsibility. Lastly, we discuss how important disruption is to building safe and trusting leader and leadership development environments, especially when we want teams to innovate. THIS leader is one of the best commanders I had the privilege to serve; he gets it...that leadership is a relationship business. I am glad I was able to spend some time with him.