The Professionals Playbook

The Professionals Playbook

*Ranked "A 2019 Top Podcast" by Stitcher* Join Air Force F-35 fighter pilot Justin Lee as he interviews world-class performers. From NASA astronauts to NFL Super Bowl Champions to Top Gun fighter pilots to undercover CIA agents--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, prioritizing, 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. Crush your job using these experts' techniques in leadership, goal setting, family balance, character building, social media, mental toughness, visualization, emotional intelligence, rapport bui... Show More

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)
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