The Professionals Playbook

The Professionals Playbook
*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

Legendary Baseball Pitcher Who Was Born Without a Right Hand—Jim Abbott
Oct 15 • 52 min
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.
The Head of Bloomberg Beta with $150M Under Management on Team Chemistry and the Future of Work—Roy Bahat
Oct 1 • 49 min
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.
The FBI’s Lead International Kidnapping Negotiator on How to Get a Raise and More—Chris Voss
Sep 17 • 48 min
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.
CEO and Co-Founder of ForeFlight on building the worlds best aviation software—Tyson Weihs
Sep 3 • 53 min
My guest today is Tyson Weihs, the Co-Founder and CEO of ForeFlight—by far the best aviation software ever produced.
Lessons from a top Red Bull Air Racing and decorated fighter pilot—Matt Hall
Aug 20 • 60 min
My guest today is Matt Hall, Australia’s top aviator. For the last 10 years, he has been flying at the pinnacle of aviation racing—The Red Bull Air Race series.
The Co-Founder of Siri and on working with Steve Jobs, Time Management Techniques, and Keys to Success—Adam Cheyer
Aug 6 • 63 min
My guest today is a genius that is changing the paradigm of the world we live in. He is the Co-Founder of Siri, the digital assistant that’s in every Apple device.
Brig. General on Human Performance, Fostering Innovation, and Leadership Lessons—Pete Palmer
Jul 23 • 52 min
My guest today is Brig. General (retired) Pete Palmer. He served for 32 years in the Army in various infantry assignments. His joint and coalition experience include four tours in NATO as well as Kosovo and Iraq.
Reno Air Race Champion on Optimizing Human and Machine Performance—Andy Findlay
Jul 9 • 55 min
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 and his team gain an incremental advantage with each…
CEO and Co-Founder of Veo Robotics on superhuman robots and manufacturing—Patrick Sobalvarro
Jun 25 • 55 min
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…
The CIA agent behind the movie ‘Fair Game’ starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn—Valerie Plame
Jun 11 • 42 min
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.
USAF Thunderbird #1: The Air Force’s top ambassador and warrior on life, loss, combat and more—John “Brick” Caldwell
May 28 • 62 min
Lt. Col. John “Brick” Caldwell is the Commander and Leader of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. I had never met “Brick” before this interview, but several pilots I’ve flow with have a tremendous amount of respect for him. After our conversation, I do now…
Memorial Day Speech on combat, service, sacrifice, and remembering the fallen
May 27 • 14 min
This is not a typical episode, but I felt it was worth sharing. It’s a speech I gave for Memorial Day. The audio quality is not great, but it’s meaningful to me. If I can use this podcast and platform to help keep the memory of the fallen alive, then it…
Host of the “Airline Pilot Guy” podcast and one of the most senior airline pilots flying—Captain Jeff
May 7 • 58 min
Jeff Nielsen, also known as “Capt. Jeff” is the host of the very successful “Airline Pilot Guy” Podcast. He has the calm demeanor and soothing voice you’d expect from a senior airline pilot. He has a wide breath of aviation knowledge and is the subject…
The first woman to solo across Antarctica: polar explorer Felicity Aston
Apr 30 • 59 min
Felicity Aston is a British Polar Explorer living in Reykjavik, Iceland. In 2012 she became the first person in the world to ski alone across Antarctica using just muscle power.
3-time NFL Super Bowl Champion and Fighter pilot—Chad Hennings
Apr 16 • 51 min
Chad Hennings is is a three time NFL Super Bowl Champion with the Dallas Cowboys, a former A-10 fighter pilot, an author, a speaker and an entrepreneur.
A day in the life of an Editor and Writer—Alex Hollings
Apr 10 • 43 min
His writing can be found on a number of websites; most notably, where Hollings serves as editor,, where Hollings serves as a Senior Staff Writer, and Popular Mechanics.
Launching into space and commanding the International Space Station—NASA astronaut Terry Virts
Apr 2 • 50 min
Terry Virts is a U.S. Air Force test / fighter pilot and a NASA veteran of two spaceflights – a two-week mission onboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2010 and a 200-day flight to the Space Station in 2015. He is a leader, speaker, and author who is…
CIA Officer and author of “Breaking Cover, My Secret Life in the CIA”—Michele Rigby Assad
Mar 19 • 44 min
Michele Rigby Assad is a former undercover officer in the National Clandestine Service of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
“The Fighter Pilot Podcast” host and TOP GUN Instructor—Vincent “Jell-O” Aiello
Mar 5 • 58 min
In this episode we talk about his advice to a new fighter pilot, what it feels like to land on a carrier at night, his favorite aircraft to fly, his views on leadership, and more.
Fighter Pilot, ER Doctor, and Firefighter: the most interesting man in the world (part II)—Jason Patten
Feb 19 • 53 min
Minute 47:00 of this episode has a story that nearly brought a tear to my eye. Having been deployed to combat, I’ve seen the incredible team effort to save lives that he talks about. It’s truly awe inspiring to see the military men and women, most under…
Race Car Champion and youngest to finish the 24 hours of Le Mans —Gunnar Jeannette
Feb 12 • 66 min
Gunnar Jeanette is a professional race car driver. At the age of 18 he became the youngest ever driver to finish the 24 hours of Le Mans. He has since raced there an additional seven times. He also competed in the American Le Mans Series, the Rolex Sports…
Similarities between the S.W.A.T. team and fighter pilots—Mike Doyle
Feb 5 • 55 min
Mike Doyle is an active Special Weapons and Tactics team member, known as S.W.A.T. He also hosts a podcast called Tactical Tangents that delves into decision making, critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, and teamwork.
Red-Cell Navy SEAL, BUD/S Instructor—Ron Montgomery
Jan 29 • 63 min
Monty served in nearly all of the East coast SEAL teams throughout his career, though much of what he’s done remains classified. He spent a tour in the elite Navy SEAL Anti-Terrorism Team as well as as the Naval Security Coordination Team, known as…
Fighter Pilot, Delta Pilot, Ranger Grad, Harvard Grad: The real life most interesting man in the world- Stephen ‘Boards’ Kaminski
Jan 22 • 77 min
‘Boards’ Kaminski is the real life most interesting man in the world. He is a F-16 Fighter Pilot in the Air National Guard and flies for Delta Airlines.
How to call in Airstrikes with elite 6’5 240 lb Machine ‘Nasty’ Staggs
Jan 14 • 66 min
Nasty Staggs is THE premiere Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) for the US Air Force. He’s won nearly every award that a JTAC can win
F-16 Flight Doc and Neuroradiologist Fellow at Duke University—Dr. Clint Davidson
Jan 2 • 60 min
Clint Davidson was a poor academic student growing up until a mentor’s advice changed the way he studied—now he’s a radiologist fellow at Duke University.
Lessons from a legendary Fighter Pilot—Matt ‘Freq’ Casey
Jan 2 • 64 min
‘Freq’ Casey is a legend in the fighter community. He has shot the most HARM missiles in combat of anyone in the world, he is a graduate of the prestigious Air Force Weapons School, and recently retired after a 23 year career in the Air Force.
Introducing The Professionals Playbook
Jan 2 • 3 min
Welcome to The Professionals Playbook—listen to this episode to get a flavor of the podcast.