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The Professionals Playbook

Author: Justin Lee

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*Ranked "A 2019 Top Podcast" by Stitcher* Join Air Force F-35 fighter pilot Major Justin Lee as he interviews world-class performers. From NASA astronauts to NFL Super Bowl Champions to Top Gun fighter pilots to Founders and CEO's of companies--he talks with the top people in their field so that you can be ahead of the curve at your job. He dives into their routines and mindset behind success--exploring decision making, prioritization, exercise, time management, self-talk, and more. Major Lee has 8 years of experience flying both the F-16 and F-35. In 2016, he was selected as Shaw Air Force Base’s Top Instructor Pilot of the year. In 2017, he returned from Afghanistan where his squadron dropped the most ordnance since the opening days of the war. He has 4 Air Medals and nearly 400 hours of Combat Flight Time. Maximize your potential using these experts' techniques in leadership, goal setting, family balance, character building, mental toughness, visualization, emotional intelligence, rapport building, negotiation, teamwork, and more.
28 Episodes
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My guest today is Jim Abbott, a pitcher who played for 10 seasons in the Major Leagues. Despite being born with only one hand, he won the James Sullivan Award as the nation's best amateur athlete and then went on to win a gold medal in the Summer Olympics. He is one of only 8 players in the last 40 years to skip the minor leagues and make his debut in the Majors. His successful career is highlighted by a no-hitter he thew as a member of the New York Yankees. Jim is a trailblazer who inspired me going up. In our conversation he talks about the electric feeling of taking a no-hitter into the 9th inning, his mental training, how he de-briefed his outings, and more. Note: the audio has some issues the first 10 minutes, but smoothes out after. Below are the show notes with associated timestamps:Pitching a No-Hitter--thinking and feeling throughout (min. 03:30)No mold to follow--did that empower or intimidate? (min. 10:30)Mindset growing up (min. 15:00)A moment that altered the trajectory of his life (min. 19:30)Winning a gold medal in the 1988 Summer Olympics (min. 25:30)Skipping the minor leagues (min. 28:30)His motivation (min. 31:15)Techniques to perform your best (min. 32:30)Mental Preparation (min. 34:00)The baseball debrief (min. 37:00)Biggest lesson for the next generation (min. 47:30)Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode I've also started a monthly newsletter where I send out a few useful or insightful things that have helped me over the last month. You can sign up by clicking here or going to:https://www.professionalsplaybook.com/newsletter Instagram-- @justinfighterpilotFacebook--@justinfighterpilotThis episode was edited by Trevor CablerIf you got value from this episode, please give the show a review by tapping here and scrolling to the bottom where it says: "Write a Review." Make sure you use a unique username. Thanks for the support 👊
My guest today is Roy Bahat who is the head of Bloomberg Beta, an investment firm with over 150 million dollars under management. He invests in the future of work with a focus on machine intelligence and automation. Fast Company magazine named Roy one of the Most Creative People in Business. Before heading up Bloomberg Beta, Roy served as the president of IGN Entertainment, the leading Video Games' media company. There he was known for unorthodox but very effective hiring strategy. Roy is also on the faculty at U.C. Berkeley, where he teaches about media at the Haas School of Business. He's a graduate of Harvard and was also a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.I had a great time chatting with Roy today. He is the leading expert on the future of work. In our conversation we talk about how he choses a startup team, the principals he uses to run Bloomberg Beta, the future of media, and more. Below are all the show notes with associated timestamps:Bloomberg Beta background (min. 02:45)Finding companies with potential (min. 03:45)Data vs. gut feeling (min. 06:30)Successful startup team makeup (min. 12:00)Lessons learned over the years at Bloomberg (min. 15:30)Trends of the future (min. 22:30)Future of work (min. 25:00)Artificial Intelligence (min. 28:00)Separating the signal from the noise (min. 33:45)De-emphasizing the resume (min. 35:00)Future of formal education (min. 39:00)Advice for next generation (min. 41:30)Projects working on now (min. 43:45)Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode I've also started a monthly newsletter where I send out a few useful or insightful things that have helped me over the last month. You can sign up by clicking here or going to:https://www.professionalsplaybook.com/newsletter Instagram-- @justinfighterpilotFacebook--@justinfighterpilotIf you got value from this episode, please give the show a review. Thanks!
My guest today is Chris Voss who served as the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI. During his career, he worked on over 150 international hostage cases. During his 24 year tenure, he was trained in the art of negotiation by not only the FBI but Scotland Yard and Harvard Law School. He is also a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Excellence and the FBI Agents Association Award for Distinguished and Exemplary Service. Chris is a master negotiator who has since written one of the top books in the field titled "Never Split the Difference." He also works as an adjunct professor at USC's Marshall School of Business and Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. In our conversation we talk about what it's like to be on the phone with a terrorist, the traits required of a hostage negotiator, how everyone can become better at negotiating, and more. Below are all the topics with associated timestamps:Big picture of his career and highlights  (min 03:00)The moment he starts speaking to a terrorist or criminal (min 04:30)Building rapport with the other side (min 09:30)The ebbs and flows of a hostage negotiation?  (min 11:45)Traits of a great hostage negotiator? (min 16:30)Why only 5 people on the planet can do this (min 19:45)Negotiation he's most proud of (min 23:00)Negotiation that didn't go well (min 25:15)Reading someone's voice (min 27:45)Negotiating in business (min 31:00)How to improve your negotiation skills (min 34:30)Mistakes most people make (min 38:00)Dealing with people who have a big ego (min 39:15)Negotiating over email (min 40:15)Asking for a raise (min 42:30)Negotiating exercises (min 43:45)Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode! I've also started a monthly newsletter where I send out a few useful or insightful things that have helped me over the last month. You can sign up by clicking here or going to:https://www.professionalsplaybook.com/newsletter Instagram-- @justinfighterpilotFacebook--@justinfighterpilotYou can help by sharing the episode and writing a review. Enjoy!
My guest today is Tyson Weihs, the Co-Founder and CEO of ForeFlight--by far the best aviation software ever produced. Tyson and his company Foreflight has nearly singlehandedly dragged the entire aviation industry into the future. Before Foreflight aviation software was slow, cumbersome, and obsolete as soon as you bought it. It was similar to the dashboard GPS devices you stuck to your car window. Foreflight has done to aviation software what Google Maps did to the TomTom. It works seamlessly, it's updated all the time, and every few months there's a new feature you can use.In our conversation, we talk about what it takes to build a great team, how to harness innovation, how he manages his time, and more. Below are the full show notes with associated time stamps:Where the idea of ForeFlight came from (min. 03:30)Obstacles Foreflight has had to overcome (min. 08:15)His biggest win (min. 12:40)Building a great team and culture (min. 19:15)How to manage innovation (min. 29:15)Making the software useful to everyone (min. 34:00)Surprises as CEO (min. 36:30)How he manages his time (min. 39:30)Things that increase his performance (min. 41:30)Where ForeFlight is going in the future (min. 42:30)Whats next (min. 49:15)Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode! I've also started a monthly newsletter where I send out a few useful or insightful things that have helped me over the last month. You can sign up by clicking here or going to:https://www.professionalsplaybook.com/newsletter Instagram-- @justinfighterpilotFacebook--@justinfighterpilot
My guest today is Matt Hall, Australia's top aviator. He has logged over 6,000 hours in various aircraft, including the F-18 Hornet and the F-15 Strike Eagle. He is a decorated Wing Commander in the Australian Air Force, a Fighter Combat Instructor (Australia's version of Top Gun), and in 1997 was named Australia’s Fighter Pilot of the Year.Matt has also competed on the international level in aerobatics, winning the Australian Advanced Aerobatic Championship and finished first in Freestyle and second overall in the Unlimited category. For the last 10 years, Matt has been flying at the pinnacle of aviation racing--The Red Bull Air Race series. He is one of the top pilots, coming in second overall a record three times. With the final Red Bull race ever coming up, Matt is in second place with a chance to win the championship. What struck me most about Matt was his system's approach to winning. He has merged the training he did in the Air Force with an Olympic athlete's mindset. Every aspect of his life has been optimized so that on race day he can fly as fast as possible. In our conversation we talk about what it's like to pull 12G's, the time his wing hit the ocean during a race, his sports psychology training, and more. Below are the show notes with the associated timestamps:Where passion for aviation comes from (min. 02:45) Highlights of your military career and stories (min. 08:00)Lessons learned from combat (min. 12:15) How he got into racing (min. 14:45)How difficult the transition to racing was (min. 17:45)How to reduce jet lag (min. 20:15)Red Bull Air Race weekly schedule (min. 23:45)How the military background helps now (min. 27:45)Using sports psychology for flying (min. 30:15) Mental and physical training (min. 33:15)Pulling upwards of 12G's in turns! (min. 35:15)Race overview (min.37:15)Strengths and weaknesses flying (min. 39:45)Challenges he's had to overcome (min. 41:15)Being the CEO of the team and the pilot (min. 43:45)Crashing a Red Bull plane into the water (min. 47:00) Whats next now that the Red Bull series is canceled (min. 54:45)Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode! I've also started a monthly newsletter where I send out a few useful or insightful things that have helped me over the last month. You can sign up by clicking here or going to:https://www.professionalsplaybook.com/newsletter Instagram-- @justinfighterpilotFacebook--@justinfighterpilot
My guest today is a genius that is changing the paradigm of the world we live in. I don't use those words lightly. He is the Co-Founder of Siri, the digital assistant that's in every Apple device. He is a founding member of Change.org, a community of over 200 million members who fight for what's right by shining a spotlight on important issues around the world. He is also a founding member of Sentient, the worlds most well funded artificial intelligence company. He is currently working as the Co-Founder of Viv Labs, developing Bixby, Samsung's digital assistant. He has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, and holds 26 patents. Talking with Adam was an incredible experience. He is one of the few people who has changed the world in a measurable way. His story about Steve Jobs calling him up and offering to buy his company is amazing. He talks about how he managed his time while starting 3 companies simultaneously, how to develop a mental model to predict the future, and his current digital assistant, which the rest of us won't have access to for several years. If you listen to one part, listen to the last 10 minutes, where he talks about the key to his success--verbally stated goals. Below are the topics we discussed along with timestamps:Origin of Siri (min. 02:45)How to know when you can commercialize a passion (min. 06:15)Developing a mental model of the future (min. 10:30)How social media has helped us (min. 15:00)Working with Steve Jobs (min. 17:00) The Apple culture (min. 24:00)Seeing Siri everywhere now (min 27:00)Future of digital assistants (min 30:30)Developing Bixby for billions of devices (min. 34:00)Balancing security with function (min. 37:15)His personal super-assistant (min. 38:30)Founding Sentient, the worlds most well funded AI company (min. 41:45)Using Sentient computing to find the perfect shoe (min. 46:15)Amazing time management skills (min. 48:30)His key to success--verbally stated goals (min. 53:15)Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode! I've also started a monthly newsletter where I send out a few useful or insightful things that have helped me over the last month. You can sign up by clicking here or going to:https://www.professionalsplaybook.com/newsletter Instagram-- @justinfighterpilotFacebook--@justinfighterpilot
My guest today is Brig. General (retired) Pete Palmer. He served for 32 years in the Army in various infantry assignments, both stateside and abroad. His joint and coalition experience include four tours in NATO as well as Kosovo and Iraq.  During the latter part of his career Pete was assigned to serve as the Director of Accelerated Capabilities Development, where he helped champion the Army’s push into improving the relationship between the soldier and technology. He most recently served as the Director of General Dynamics's EDGE innovation Network, which develops and nurtures emerging technology.Pete has served as somewhat of a mentor to me. He is truly world-class in connecting people with an idea or team so that they will succeed. He has also worked with nearly every major government organization that is researching human performance. In our conversation we talk about mapping the human mind, the top ways to increase a soldiers performance, being able to "smell" the battlefield, leadership lessons learned, and more. Below are the topics we talk about, in order with timestamps:Background (min. 02:30)Why we don't focus on the brain of the warfighter (min. 06:00) Cognitive shoe size (min. 09:00) How close are we to mapping the mind (min. 14:00)Should we train people up or have them do a different job (min. 18:30)Once we have a map of the mind, how do we assign jobs (min. 22:00)Biggest ways to increase a soldiers performance (min. 25:30)Playing the "bad guy" and running new commanders through the paces (min. 30:30)Being able to "smell" the battlefield (min. 34:00)Training EVERY senior leader that fought in the last gulf war (min. 36:30) Leadership lessons learned (min. 38:30). Deciding between firing someone and training them up (min. 41:00)Giving people feedback (min. 43:15)Projects working on now (min. 50:00)Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode! I've also started a monthly newsletter where I send out a few useful or insightful things that have helped me over the last month. You can sign up by clicking here or going to:https://www.professionalsplaybook.com/newsletter Instagram-- @justinfighterpilotFacebook--@justinfighterpilot
My guest today is Andy Findlay, the 2018 Reno Air Race Champion. The race, officially known as the National Air Race Championships, is a multi-day event that takes place every September. It is billed as "the worlds fastest motor sport." The highly modified aircraft often reach speeds in excess of 400 mph, often just feet from each other. Andy has raced competitively for most of his life--downhill skiing, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and now airplanes. He has flow over 20 different types of aircraft and has a background in engine development. He was the 2013 "rookie of the year" and is now the reigning sport-class champion.Two things stood out to me about Andy--his engineering expertise and his passion for understanding the mental side of peak performance. His engineering background is evident as he discusses how he gains an incremental advantage with each modification to the plane. It was also fascinating to hear how he trains mentally to perform his best on race day. In this episode we talk about, in order:What is sport-class racing (min. 2:45)How he got involved in racing (min. 4:00)Why it's so difficult for a prop plane to go 400mph (min. 6:15)What happens if a prop goes supersonic (min. 8:45)Engine development (min. 9:15)Engine blowing up (min. 14:00)What a Reno race is like (min. 17:30)Race strategies (min. 19:30)Losing a friend while flying (min. 21:00)Training required (min. 23:30)Reno Race debrief (min. 25:30)What it's like to be the champion (min. 29:15)Breaking the 400mph barrier (min. 35:30)Strengths of the plane, team, and him (min. 38:00)Getting into a flow state (min. 40:30)Performing at peak performance (min. 42:00)How much faster he can go (min. 49:30)Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Check out all the interviews at https://www.professionalsplaybook.comInstagram-- @justinfighterpilotFacebook--@justinfighterpilot
Patrick Sobalvarro is the Co-Founder and CEO of Veo Robotics, a company that creates the brains for superhuman industrial robots.Patrick has more than twenty-five years of experience in computer vision, robotics, and industrial automation. Prior to founding Veo Robotics, he was the first Entrepreneur in Residence at Siemens Venture Capital. Patrick was also President of Rethink Robotics, creators of collaborative manufacturing robots, and founded and led the computer vision startup IntelliVid to its acquisition by Tyco International.Originally trained as a computer scientist, Patrick holds a Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. in Computer Science from MIT. I was impressed with how Patrick was able to explain the nuances of what he does to someone outside the industry like myself. He is humble and knowledgeable which makes him a great teacher. In this episode we talk about how robots are similar to the plow-horse from the early 20th century, how Tesla automated their factory too much leading to disastrous results, computer vision, A.I., what he looks for in new-hires, and his No-Jerks policy. In this episode, we talk about in order:Insights from computer vision in stores (min. 5:30)What defines a robot? (min. 9:30)Industrial robotics overview (min. 14:15)Tesla overreaching (min. 19:30) Handoff between robots and humans (min. 24:30)Removing robots from their cages (min. 33:00)The "Moses Vest" (min. 37:45)Computer vision (min. 39:00)Computing power required (min. 40:30) AI/machine learning  (min. 42:00)Future of industry (min. 47:15)As CEO what qualities he looks for in new-hires (min. 49:45)No-Jerks Policy (min 51:30) Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Check out all the interviews at https://www.professionalsplaybook.comInstagram-- @justinfighterpilotFacebook--@justinfighterpilot
Valerie Plame is one of America's most famous CIA officers. Her life was the subject of the 2010 movie Fair Game staring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. During her time in the CIA she served several tours as a NOC, which stands for non-official cover. NOC's are the most covert of the Agency's operatives, working with no connection to the U.S. government and without diplomatic immunity. While much of the work she did still remains classified, Valerie spent time in the CIA's nuclear counter-proliferation division preventing rouge nations from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. I had a good time talking with Valerie. I was impressed with how open and candid she was about her time in the CIA. I think a lot of her insights are applicable to more normal jobs, especially about how she overcame a gender bias and her tips on networking. In the episode we talk about her time at the CIA's training center, known as "The Farm," what being a NOC was like, leadership tips, the types of people who thrive in the CIA, and more. Below are the show notes with the topics we discussed along with the times.CIA selection 2:15Initial CIA training 10:30Follow-on training 12:10Favorite part of the job 13:30 Org chart of CIA 16:30Types of cover 18:30Role of human intelligence 21:00 Being a NOC 22:30Types of people who thrive 22:45Is it lonely 24:15Handling pressure 25:45 Good Stories 26:30  Leadership undercover 28:00 Mentorship vs sponsorship 32:10How the role of women changed 34:09  Playbook on networking 37:00 Life made into major movie 38:30 Spies lies and nukes conference 39:30Make sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode! Check out all the interviews at https://www.professionalsplaybook.comInstagram-- @justinfighterpilotFacebook--@justinfighterpilot
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