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The Leadership Podcast

The Leadership Podcast

Why do we do this?

We interview great leaders, review the books they read, and speak with highly influential authors who study them.

How we do this?

#1 We interview great leaders.
#2 We review the books great leaders read and write.
#3 We have fun!

Jul 12, 2017

Summary & Ideas for Action

Kyle Lamb, President of Viking Tactics, talks about military and business leadership behaviors — what works and what doesn’t — with entertaining stories along the way. His authentic conversation reflects lessons learned that he energetically shares with others. He tells how his  entrepreneurial journey started on the family farm, continued through the military, and takes full form in his company, and in writing his books. His main focus is unflinching honesty when appraising team member and mission performance. He talks about his team-building training exercises, and how they are not for feeling good, but for learning to execute the mission with excellence. He uses humor, but keeps the serious moments completely serious. He stresses the importance of the debrief. He tells how his wife debriefed him after reading the final draft of his book, and made him improve it. Listen in to learn how mission skills apply to every endeavor, and in your organization.


Key Takeaways

[5:15] First, know your mission. In business, some people do not understand what the mission is. Teamwork starts with the mission. 

[16:05] Kyle talks about dads, needing to be there for their kids, and making sure they perform. Dads should have their children play in very competitive sports. People need to put forth 110%, and win. If you lose after your best effort, it is better than getting a participation trophy for little effort.

[20:41] Kyle has always kept his sense of humor. He disrupted school with pranks. Kyle sees humor as a part of quick thinking. He points out sports heroes who have a great sense of humor.  

[28:24] Kyle explains that his team-building seminars teach you how to do your job. He uses the basics of gear, respecting the team, planning, execution, “hotwashing” (debriefing), and repeating with a different leader. Team-building helps weaker leaders grow stronger. Kyle recalls an interaction with a troop commander who needed to learn the value of the skills of his team.

[33:18] Kyle is very serious during the hotwash. He asks, “Do you understand where I’m coming from with this shortcoming that you have?” If they say no, Kyle continues to explain it until they do. Be honest with people. If they bail, that is better then continuing with incompetence. Don’t be mean, but honest.

[37:07] Kyle puts mission over money. VTAC builds the best products for their customers. If you’re about the mission, you’re ultimately going to be successful. Kyle reminds his military friends that when they’re out of the Army, they’re no longer commandos, and no one cares what they did as commandos. They have the skillsets to be successful as civilian entrepreneurs, if they apply them to their new mission.

[44:00] Kyle’s his first two books trained him for writing his third book, Leadership in the Shadows: Special Operations Soldier. He was unimpressed with leadership books about clawing to the top. A friend  offered to help him write a leadership book in return for three V-back T-shirts. So he did. Then his wife read it, and told him to re-write five chapters, this time with a positive attitude. 

[48:17] Kyle wanted a book to read in five-minute windows. It is a book for busy people. He was inspired by The Warrior Ethos, by Steven Pressfield, that can be read in bits. Kyle includes a hotwash at the end of chapters.  


LinkedIn: Kyle Lamb

Facebook: Kyle Lamb

Facebook: Viking Tactics

Instagram: @vikingtactics

YouTube: Viking Tactics

Twitter: @VikingTactics


Website: Leadership in the Shadows