205 – LtGen George Flynn: Retired Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command

Simon Sinek said he had an “a-ha” leadership moment while interviewing retired USMC General George Flynn for Simon’s latest book “Leaders Eat Last“.

In the interview Sinek asked Flynn if he could summarize what made the Marine Corps leadership style so unique.  Flynn said it was quite simple; it was because “Officers eat last”.  This fundamental intentional concept explains what makes the Marine Corps so extraordinarily tight-knit, to the point that they willingly trust their lives to one another. In every chow-hall across the globe, Marines line up for their food each day, and the most junior ranking Marines eat first. Their leaders eat last. Such procedures are not recorded in the Marine Corp handbook or procedural code. Nor are they communicated at roll call. It’s just the way that Marine leadership teaches responsibility.

Many people think leadership to be about rank, power and privilege. Marines, however, maintain that true leadership is the willingness to place others’ needs above your own. That’s why Sinek titled his 2014 book Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. True leadership, he writes, is about empowering others to achieve things they didn’t believe possible.

George Flynn wrote the forward to Simon’s book and is a huge advocate of Sinek’s “Start With Why” movement.

In this episode we talk about:

  • The importance of empowerment and decentralized decision making.
  • How love enables others to overcome fear
  • How Commanders Intent is the answer to bridge the gap between strategic planning & execution.
  • Leadership is more about having a “teacher-to-scholar” relationship.

Here is LtGen George Flynn’s official biography:

Lieutenant General Flynn graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1975. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from Salve Regina College, a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and a Master of Science Degree in National Security and Strategy from the National War College. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the College of Naval Command and Staff and the National War College.

Lieutenant General Flynn’s command assignments include:
Commanding Officer, HQ Battery, 2nd Battalion, 12th Marines; (1979-1980); Commanding Officer, L Battery, 2nd Battalion, 12th Marines (1980); Commanding Officer, P Battery, 5th Battalion, 10th Marines (1984-1985); Commanding Officer, 5th Battalion, 10th Marines (1992-1993); Commanding Officer, Officer Candidates School (1999- 2001), Commanding General, Training Command (2002-2004), Commanding General, Training and Education Command (2006-2007). Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command (2008-2013).

Lieutenant General Flynn’s staff assignments include: Forward Observer, Fire Direction Officer, Battery Executive Officer and S-4 A, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines (1976-1979); Officer Selection Officer, Manchester, New Hampshire, (1981-1984), Operations Officer, 5th Battalion, 10th Marines (1985-1986), Plans Officer, Plans Policies and Operations Department, Headquarters Marine Corps (1987-1989); Junior Aide-de-Camp to the Commandant of the Marine Corps (1989-1991); Assistant Fire Support Coordinator, 2d Marine Division (1991-1992); Future Operations Officer, III Marine Expeditionary Force (1994-1995); Military Assistant to the Executive Secretary to the Secretary of Defense (1995-1997); Military Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations (1997-1998); Head, Strategic Initiatives Group, Headquarters Marine Corps (1998-1999); Military Secretary to the Commandant of the Marine Corps (2001-2002); Deputy Commanding General, Training and Education Command (2002-2004). Chief of Staff and Director, Command Support Center, United States Special Operations Command (2004-2006). Deputy Commanding General Multi-National Corps-Iraq (2008).

204 – William Ury: World Leading Expert on Negotiation & Mediation; Author of “Getting to Yes with Yourself”

William Ury, co-founder of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation, is one of the world’s leading experts on negotiation and mediation. He is currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Harvard Negotiation Project.

He is the author of Getting to Yes with Yourself (HarperOne, January 2015), The Power of a Positive NoGetting Past No, and The Third Side, and co-author (with Roger Fisher and Bruce Patton) of Getting to Yes.

Getting to Yes, the world’s bestselling book on negotiation, has almost twelve million copies in print in English and has been translated into thirty-four languages. “No other book in the field comes close to its impact on the way practitioners, teachers, researchers, and the public approach negotiation,” comments the National Institute on Dispute Resolution.

For the past thirty-five years, William has served as a negotiation adviser and mediator in conflicts ranging from Kentucky wildcat coal mine strikes to ethnic wars in the Middle East, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union. He has taught negotiation and mediation to tens of thousands of corporate executives, labor leaders, diplomats, and military officers around the world. He has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations reach mutually profitable agreements with customers, suppliers, unions, and joint-venture partners.

With former president Jimmy Carter, William co-founded the International Negotiation Network, a non-governmental body seeking to end civil wars around the world. In an advisory capacity, he helped end a civil war in Indonesia and assisted in preventing one in Venezuela.

During the 1980s, he helped the U.S. and Soviet governments create nuclear crisis centers designed to avert an accidental nuclear war. In that capacity, he served as a consultant to the Crisis Management Center at the White House. William is co-founder of the Climate Parliament, which offers members of congress and parliament across the world an Internet-based forum to address practical solutions for climate change. Time magazine described the organization as a “Google for global politics.”

He is founder of the Abraham Path Initiative, which seeks to build bridges between cultures and faiths by opening a walking trail and cultural route in the Middle East that retraces the footsteps of Abraham and his family. ABC’s Christiane Amanpour calls the Abraham Path “an unprecedented initiative to break down barriers and foster communication in the most divided region of the world.”

William is the recipient of the Whitney North Seymour Award from the American Arbitration Association and the Distinguished Service Medal from the Russian Parliament. His work has been widely featured in the media from The New York Times to the Financial Times and from CNN to the BBC. He has a popular TED talk, “The Walk from No to Yes.”

Trained as a social anthropologist, with a B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. from Harvard, William has carried out his research on negotiation not only in the boardroom and at the bargaining table, but also among the Bushmen of the Kalahari and the clan warriors of New Guinea.


How can you expect to get to Yes with others if you haven’t gotten to Yes with yourself?

The greatest obstacle to successful agreements and satisfying relationships is not the other side. The biggest obstacle is actually ourselves—our natural tendency to react in ways that do not serve our true interests. But this obstacle can also become our biggest opportunity.

William Ury’s Getting to Yes with Yourself offers six proven steps to get what you really want in life. The effective tips, strategies, and techniques in Getting to Yes with Yourself can be used by everyone, every day, in every situation.

In Getting to Yes with Yourself, you’ll learn how to:

  • uncover the inner obstacles that are keeping you from getting to Yes
  • reach positive agreements with others
  • develop healthy relationships
  • make your business more productive
  • live a more satisfying life

203 – Kimanzi Constable: Lifestyle Entrepreneur & Author

For twelve years Kimanzi Constable lived a life that could be best described as “existing.” He wanted more from his life but listened to his doubts, fears and the negative voices of other people.

Kimanzi started a service business at nineteen that grew to multiple six figures and had five employees in three states. Here’s the thing though, he didn’t know anything about business, and quickly got his family and himself into serious financial trouble.

He continued to limp through the business for twelve years, even though it wasn’t his dream or passion. Every day he wanted to quit, but without a college degree or any special skills, what could he do?

Things came to a breaking point in the summer of 2011. He was over $180,000 in debt, his marriage was falling apart, and his children barely knew him because he was always working. The cherry on the cake was that he was 170 pounds overweight!

In the back of his mind he had a dream of being a writer. How could that be possible, a guy with no college degree become a writer? More than that, he wanted freedom!

Three years ago he finally got fed up enough to stop existing and to do something about his dream. He decided to stop listening to all those things keeping him from a life that his family truly deserved.

He self-published a book that was a complete flop at first.  He sold five copies in the first six months. He was defeated, but determined.

He figured out a few things about the Internet and social media.  He used some strategy and self-published a second book. To date, both books have sold over 86,000 copies. (The strategies he used are in his free guides, so be sure to sign up for his email updates)

He got a book deal with a large traditional publisher and his dream of seeing his book in bookstores became a reality May 1,2013.

He got an invitation to speak at a conference in West Virginia in July of 2012, and has since spoken all over the world.  So far he has spoken in twelve states and twelve countries.

Despite all of these amazing accomplishments, he still has a family to support. The money from the books was good, and so was the money from speaking, but he needed more. He needed some consistent income.

So he sat down with his family and thought about what they wanted. They wanted freedom to do what they wanted, to live life on their terms.

They wanted to be location independent, where all they would need to make an income was an Internet connection. They’ve spent three years making that dream a reality and they are now living the dream!

Kimanzi lost 170 pounds, he quit my day job, and his family moved from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Maui, Hawaii! He’s not teaching you theories here. He’s done this in his life and he wants to help you accomplish your dreams.

He’s a contributing writer for the Huffington Post, the Good Men ProjectEntrepreneur Magazine, and Mind Body Green.