It was such an honor to connect with Preston, who runs the #1 Investing Podcast, We Study Billionairs, which has over 1 million downloads per month. In addition to that, he is ranked on Amazon in the top 35 Business Authors. Both of these are impressive enough on their own, but what really kicks this to the next level is the fact that Preston does all of this while serving on Active Duty in the military, as well as being a present parent of four kids. First of all - my apologies to both Preston and listeners, because I had some technical difficulties with this interview. Fortunately, Preston is always prepared, and had a backup recording of our interview, as my recording software crashed for the first time in 280 episodes during Preston’s interview. However, that recording did not have my audio, so I had to re-record this. So, bear with me if the audio quality of this episode is not as good as other episodes, but I assure you the content is absolutely top notch. Preston is humble and authentic in his advice, and I believe - regardless of your intended career path - you will benefit from listening to this episode.
Preston is the founder of The Pylon Holding company, which conservatively grows equity through the acquisition of private or public companies. He runs the #1 Investing Podcast, The Investor’s Podcast, with over 1 Million downloads per month. He a best selling author and ranked by Amazon in the top 35 Business Authors. He started out at West Point, served in the Army for over seven years. He holds an MBA from the Johns Hopkins University and has been accepted to pursue a Master of Computer and Information Technology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Context: in 275+ interviews with military Veterans about their civilian career, one of the biggest challenges I hear about from guests is around interviewing, salary negotiation, and sales in general. Two reasons often cited for this are (1) little to no practice with this while in the military, (2) a culture of advocating for one’s subordinates but not ones self (eg. I will use “we” not “I”, I will speak of what my team accomplished, but not what I accomplished), and (3) a culture of service and putting others before self (ie. everyone’s needs matter except my own). Maggie, while not a Veteran herself, is a world renowned authority on negotiations. She has taught negotiations for over 24 years at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, has authored over 70 articles in top publications about negotiation, and is the author of multiple books. This interview is a must-listen-to episode for Veterans in any career path.
Margaret Neale is the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, Emerita. She has been a Professor at Stanford University for nearly 24 years, where her research includes bargaining and negotiation, distributed work groups, and team composition, learning, and performance. She is the author of over 70 articles on these topics and is the author of multiple books, including Getting (More of) What you Want. Previous to Stanford, Maggie was a Professor at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management for 8 years. She holds a PhD, 2 Master of Science degrees, and a Bachelor of Science.
Steve served as President & CEO of Mercedes Benz USA, and now oversees the parent company for the Falcons and other iconic brands. We talk about the rejection that Steve faced on his way to these incredible accomplishments, and how persistence, taking advice from wherever you can get it, and creating purpose in the workplace made all the difference. Having served in such high-level leadership positions, Steve and I talk about the differences between leadership in and out of the military, as well as a common misconception about work-life balance. And we talk about the importance of getting out of one’s comfort zone, because this is precisely the area where all growth comes from.
Steve Cannon is the CEO of AMB Group, which is comprised of Arthur Blank's for-profit businesses, including the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, Mercedes-Benz Stadium and PGA TOUR Superstore. He started out at West Point, after which he served as an Army Airborne Ranger and served as 1st Lieutenant in West Germany during the fall of the Iron Curtain. He worked as a Principal at The Richards Group, which is the largest independent branding agency in the nation, with a staff of over 700 and annual billings above $1 billion. He worked at Mercedes Benz USA, first as Vice President of Marketing, and then as President and CEO.
This is my second interview with Jan, and if you haven’t had a chance to listen to Episode #240, be sure to check that out. In this interview we talk about crucible experiences - what they are, why they are so valuable, and steps you can take to introduce them into your everyday life. We talk about why you may want to write a book even if you don’t think you would like to write a book. We talk about self-publishing vs. publishing, costs associated with writing a book, and tactical advice on how to make it a success. We talk about entrepreneurship, life, and a whole lot more.
Jan Rutherford is the Founder of Self Reliant Leadership, an executive and military veteran program for leaders who are Selfless, Adventurous, and possess Heroic Aspirations. He entered the US Army at age 17 (weighing 114 pounds), and spent six years in Special Forces as a medic and “A” team executive officer, and three years as a military intelligence officer. In addition to having over 25 years of business and healthcare experience, he is the co-host of The Leadership Podcast, and the author of “The Littlest Green Beret: On Self-Reliant Leadership” where half the proceeds go to the Special Operations Warrior and Green Beret Foundations.
Valerie left active duty after 15 years of service, and has gone on to found a company designed to help people thrive at work. In addition to discussing her own journey, we talk about how to find out if a culture is right for you, how to shift your mindset to be happier at work, how to make sure you are living a life of alignment, and more.
Valerie Rivera is the Founder & CEO of Take Back WOrk, who’s mission is to partner with organizations of all stripes to create workplace cultures where people thrive. She served for over six years in the AIr Force, most recently as Team Leader for Tradecraft Deelopment and Capability Integration. She earned her MBA at Stanford Business School. "
Kirk retired from the Army after 22 years of service, but still found that the transition to his civilian career snuck up on him. In this interview, Kirk is candid about a lot of the mistakes that he made in his own transition. More importantly, as an act of service he put together some of the most compressive transition documents we’ve come across. In this interview we talk about Kirk’s advice on how to approach a transition out of the military, as well as Kirk’s experience at Lockheed Martin. We talk about personal branding, advanced planning on LinkedIn, the burden of responsibility that you may not realize you have, why Veterans should consider PMP programs, and more.
Kirk Windmueller is a Senior Operations Analyst at Lockheed Martin. He has written a few very popular articles on LinkedIn about transitioning, timeline and more, which is actually how we came to connect. Beyond the Uniform listener Chris Pisani sent me an incredible document that Kirk put together, and I realized we had to meet. Kirk is a graduate of the Citadel and the Naval Post Graduate School, and served in the Army for over 22 years, including work as a Green Beret, and retiring as an O-5.
American Corporate Partners is one of the most cited resources on Beyond the Uniform. Colleen is ACP’s Executive Director, and in this interview we talk about what she and her team have learned from helping over 14,500 Veterans in their civilian career. We talk about mentorship, networking, and more.
Colleen Deere is the Executive Director of American Corporate Partners, where she has served for over nine years. She graduated from the University of Mary Washington, Cum Laude, and holds a Master’s in English Composition and Rhetoric from Kansas State University. She is married to an Army Veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2008-2009, and is the mother of two toddlers, and is an avid long-distance runner.
What to say about Justin? Well, he was shot in the head by a sniper and pronounced killed in action… but that didn’t stick. Justin is a Purple Heart recipient, an author, a lawyer, an motivational speaker, an entrepreneur, and he now works with a company that helps over 24k military members and their families EVERY MONTH - that’s right, every month - find their ideal job and make their career transitions easier. It’s a little disappointing to be on a show with two Justin’s, and realize that the other Justin is kicking a— and you need to try your best to keep up. This is a great interview for any career path, and I think you’ll really enjoy Justin’s story.
Justin joined the Marine Corps while in law school at the University of Denver School of Law, and served on active duty as a JAG officer for six years. Then as a Reservist, Justin deployed to Iraq in 2006, serving as a Civil Affairs Team Leader while attached to an infantry battalion. During a combat patrol, Justin was shot in the head by a sniper.
Although the original prognosis was that he had been killed in action, Justin survived thanks to risks taken by his fellow Marines and a courageous Navy Corpsman. In fact, when Corpsman Grant first rolled Justin over, he was no longer breathing. For his service in Iraq, Justin earned the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon and Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
Justin retired from the Marine Corps at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He now runs his own business as an inspirational speaker and veteran employment expert. His writing on military and leadership issues has been published in The Washington Post, Time, CNN, The Atlantic, Forbes Magazine and other media outlets. In 2015, he completed his first book, My Battlefield, Your Office, which applies military leadership skills to the private sector. And in partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Justin recently authored From “We Will” to “At Will”, an authoritative and interactive guidebook about veteran and military spouse employment. Justin is also a Partner at JobPath, a robust veteran employment platform that provides a variety of solutions to corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations that hire veterans.
Well this is the first interview I’ve done with a vineyard owner, and the first interview I’ve done with the owner of a wellness retreat for Veterans. These are both great resources and career overview for listeners, but Leon and Ken cover so much more ground. They both served in Explosive Ordinance Disposal while in the military. They have some incredible nuggets of wisdom about doing your job better rather than looking for a better job, and how work life balance doesn’t exist. Prepare to be motivated, because Ken and Leon make for an incredible combination of wisdom in this episode.
About Ken & Leon:
Ken Falke is Chairman of Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran wellness, which is a free, first-class rural wellness retreat for America’s military members, veterans and their families to recover from visible and invisible wounds by providing rest and reconnection time, reintegration training, and world-class combat stress recovery programming. He also serves as the Chairman of the EOD Warrior Foundation. He served in the US Navy for over 21 years, retiring as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Master Chief Petty Officer. He has also served as the CEO and Founder of A-T Solutions, and the CEO and Co-Founder of Shoulder 2 Shoulder.
Leon Tackitt Started his career in Navy Search and Rescue as a helicopter aircrewman in the Anti-Submarine Warfare field. He transitioned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal in 1985 and rose to the rank of Senior Chief before he was commissioned as a Limited Duty Officer in 1998. He retired in 2007 as a Lieutenant Commander
Why Listen: After a 30-year Navy career, Chuck made his transition into the corporate world. We talk about what that transition was like, and how leadership differs inside of the military vs. outside of the military. We talk about his role in Corporate Strategy & Business Development at Lockheed Martin, and how the collateral jobs we did in the military may play a bigger role in our career choice than we often realize. We talk about the breadth of skills Veterans bring to their employers, and how to communicate this in interviews. We also take a detailed look at the incredible breadth of opportunity at Lockheed Martin, and what they’re doing to support the military community. Lockheed Martin employs over 22,000 Vets, and just last year they had 19,000 connections with Veterans, with 170 events and 3,500 Veterans hired.
About Chuck: Chuck Hollingsworth is part of Lockheed Martin’s Corporate Strategy and Business Development, where he focuses on strategic customer relationship development, corporate orders growth and focus programs, and several functional development courses such as the Doing Business Overseas Institute. He started out at the US Naval Academy, after which he served as an officer in the Navy for over 30 years. This service includes serving as Chief of Staff to the Chief of Naval Air Training, with oversight of all undergraduate Navy flight training, as well as the Navy Flight Demonstration Team (Blue Angels.) It also includes being a responder to support in the aftermath of the USS Cole attack. And it includes being the, immediately after 9/11, being dispatched to Islamabad, Pakistan where, at the Pakistan government’s request, he served as the principle U.S. military liaison to coordinate combat operations. through Pakistan into Afghanistan. Chuck has worked at Lockheed Martin for over five years
Billy is a professional golfer, the first Naval Academy graduate to earn a PGA TOUR card, which he has done for the last seven years. The more I learn about Billy’s journey, the more I’m blown away by what he achieved. In a field that is crowded and incredibly competitive, Billy has succeeded despite having five years where - instead of focusing 100% on golf like his peer set - he was serving in the military.In this interview we talk about cultivating a mindset of excellence - even though serving as a Surface Warfare Officer didn’t directly relate to his aspirations as a golfer - he focused on it 100% and did the best job he could. We talk about making sacrifices and how to balance that with being present with one’s family. We talk about what life is like on the PGA Tour and more.
Billy Hurley III was a member of the victorious American team in the 2005 Walker Cup and served as captain of the 2004 Palmer Cup Team. He won seven collegiate golf titles at the Naval Academy, was named 2004 Patriot League Player of the Year and was ranked the #6 best amateur in the world. Billy was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy, serving as a Surface Warfare Officer for five years. After his Naval service, Billy turned his focus to golf. He earned his place on the Web.com Tour in 2011, finishing the season in 25th place and becoming the first Naval Academy graduate to earn a PGA TOUR Card. He has continued to be a strong competitor on the TOUR, winning the 2016 Quicken Loans National – a Tiger Woods-hosted tribute to military personnel. With the win, Billy qualified for his first PGA and Masters Championships.
Natalie helps military personnel realize their potential and define their professional goals. She partners with companies that are ready to hire Veterans, and acts as a broker to make sure that both the Veteran and the company are happy. In this interview, she shares an immense amount of wisdom she’s learned in helping Veterans. We talk about mentorship, mindset, and a variety of topics applicable to any Veteran career path.
Natalie Oliverio is the Founder + CEO of Military Talent Partners, which provides mentorship, coaching, and career discovery to help military talent realize their potential and define their professional goals. She served in the Navy for 4 years as a journalist and spent 10 years in Corporate recruiting and 3 years volunteering in professional mentorship among the military community.
Why Listen: In this interview, Erik talks about the challenges the airline industry is facing, with an extreme shortage of personnel anticipated in the future. He talks about the Rotary Airline Group, which exists to help members of the military - with ANY background - to enter into this industry. He talks about why Veterans may love this industry, and how he can commute to work for free… from pretty much anywhere in the world.
About Erik: Erik Sabiston is the Founder and President of Rotary to Airline Group, whose mission is to significantly increase the footing of military and civilian helicopter aviators in the commercial airlines. He is also the Co-Producer and Military Technical Advisor of Strong Eagle Media, where he has worked on four documentaries. And he is the author of the #1 Amazon bestselling military book "Dustoff 7-3 - Saving Lives Under Fire inAfghanistan”. He served in the Army for over 14 years, as an Enlisted Navy Reserves (cook), enlisted Regular Army (Crewchief), Blackhawk Instructor and Standardization Pilot
Special thanks to Frank Vanburen from episode #39 for making the introduction to Robert. Robert is the Founder of Banneret, which has discovered a unique method to help veterans transition, that is attractive to companies that want to do the right thing, but are cash strapped. In this interview we talk about this approach, which may be appealing to many listeners. We also talk about entrepreneurship.
Robert E. Woods III is the Founder of Banneret, an organization that is helping companies take advantage of incentives of hiring skilled military veterans. As a resultof our work, businesses can save tens of thousands of dollars for every veteran hired. Veteranshave an opportunity to add up to $45k to their first year's income without using companyfunds. He started out in the Air Force, where he served for 5 years as a Dental Technician in the Air Force, with a focus on oral surgery. He holds a BBA from Howard University, a Master’s Degree in Investor Relations from Fordham University, and a M.S. in Real Estate Development from Columbia University.
Comcast NBCUniversal was recently recognized by Military Times as the #3 best employer for veterans. With a commitment to hiring 21,000 members of the military community by the end of 2021, the global media and technology company is more than "military-friendly." It's "military ready." In this interview we talk about why Veterans may enjoy a career at Comcast NBCUniversal, what it’s like to be a test engineer, and how finding bugs and breaking products help ensure that customers don’t do either of these things. We talk about finding a community after the military, ways to give back, the unexpected struggles Veterans face in their military transition, and more.
Louis Daleandro is a Manager of New Product Introduction, Xfinity Mobile at Comcast. He served in the Navy for over 15 years, first as a Mess Specialist on board the USS Baton Rouge SSN 689. He then served from 1992- 1994 as part of the DECOM CREW where he was "SS qualified." He then transferred to the USS MCKEE AS-41, Submarine Tender based out of Point Loma, San Diego, CA. He also deployed overseas to support the war efforts for Operation Enduring Freedom- Noble Eagle. He has worked at Comcast for over seven years, and is a founding member of Comcast’s VetNet leadership team.
Why Listen: In this interview we talk about the Oil & Gas industry - the different aspects of this massive field, and why Veterans may like the mission-focused approach of this industry. We also talk about Bryant’s participation in a 3,000 mile rowing race, as the first military veteran team to row an ocean as part of the Fight Oar Die team.
About Bryant: Bryant Knight is a Senior Account Manager Rocky Mountains for LEAM Drilling Systems. He served in the Army for nearly 24 years, starting out as a flight medic, becoming an Artillery Officer, and then serving as ODA Special Forces Commander for the 20th Special Forces Group.
We had a team meeting this week to set our plan for Beyond the Uniform for the rest of 2019. I walk through what we discussed, as well as four different thoughts on mindsets to help you in your civilian career.
Why Listen: Jeffrey works at a company that is the Uber for small satellites. This is an eye opening interview about the space industry, and why Veterans should consider a career in this rapidly expanding…space (had to go there). We talk about program management, about work life balance with a demand job, the reserves, and five kids. We talk about the Reserves and the pros and cons of remaining in the Reserves. And we go through a very detailed breakdown of the space industry.
About Jeffrey: Jeffrey Roberts is a Mission Director at Spaceflight Industries, which enables timely and affordable access to space as well as capabilities to look at our planet in real time, in every spectrum. He started out at West Point, and served in the Army for 19 years, including deployments to Iraq & Afghanistan while on active duty, and most recently as an Infantry Battalion Commander in the Alaska Army National Guard. He has served as a Reservist and Guardsman, and holds a Masters of Science in Astronautical Engineering. He is married with 5 kids (4 of them are deployment babies!)"
Why Listen: While not a Veteran herself, Lida is an expert in personal branding and - in addition to her work with top executives, she has been helping countless members of the military and veterans for the past 10 years. In this interview we talk about your brand - what it is, why it’s important, and how to take steps towards improving it. We talk about defining your legacy, and how you can use your personal brand as a filter for what you say yes to and what you say no to. We talk about the strategy and the tactics for helping in your job search, and more.
About Lida: Lida Citroën, founder of LIDA360, is an expert in Personal Branding for Executives, a Corporate Brand Consultant, a Speaker, Author and Reputation Management Coach. She is the author of the best-selling transition book, Your Next Mission: A personal branding guide for the military-to-civilian transition, has top-notch video courses on LinkedIn, and has been featured in MSNBC, The UK Guardian, Fortune, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Hiring America, Forbes.com, Harvard Business Review, CBS MoneyWatch, US News & World Report, and others. She has spent over 20 years in corporate branding and marketing.
Morgan talks about how he made the difficult decision to leave the military after 12 years of service, and how he was pulled into government service. He talks about his day job with the US Department of Defense. However, we spend the bulk of our time talking about the non-profit version of his day job, the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum. I found this organization, and Morgan’s journey with it, extremely compelling. It’s a great look at how the military and non-military community can work together to be better than the sum of just their parts. It’s also compelling to see how a side pursuit can lead to more passion and productivity in one’s life.
Morgan Plummer is the Executive Director of The Defense Entrepreneurs Forum, which inspires, connects and empowers people to promote a culture of innovation in the U.S. national security community. He also works as Managing Director of the National Security Innovation Network.
He started out at Michigan State University, after which he served in the Army for 12 years with multiple U.S. units and once as an advisor to the Iraqi Army with 19A Armor. He holds a Master’s Degree in Policy Management from Georgetown University.
Why Listen: Stu started a non-profit to help the Special Operations community, and structured it in a way where it is partner and member run. He has now grown it to over 2k members in over 60 countries, with 88 corporate partners, and is growing at a rate of 10-15% every year. He talks about what it’s like to establish a “network of networks” where governments now go to seek advice. He talks about the challenges facing the SOF community, and more.
About Stu: Stu Bradin is the President / CEO at The Global Special Operations Forces (SOF) Foundation (GSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that aims to build and grow an international SOF network of military, government, commercial, and educational stakeholders in order to advance SOF capabilities and partnerships to confront global and networked threats. Stu started out at the Citadel, and served in the Army special forces, retiring as a Colonel.