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Beyond the Pen
April 4, 2023

Leadership and Maverick Thinking with Guest Author Garry Hall | Beyond the Pen Podcast

Leadership and Maverick Thinking with Guest Author Garry Hall | Beyond the Pen Podcast

Join us on Beyond the Pen as we sit down with retired Rear Admiral Garry Hall, author of Navigating Leadership, for an insightful and entertaining conversation about the importance of risk-taking, fostering diverse relationships, and the power of teamwork.

From his journey as a Navy helicopter pilot to becoming a leadership expert, Garry shares his wit, wisdom, and personal anecdotes, revealing the secrets to maintaining a long-lasting marriage and the power of humor in diffusing tense situations.

Discover the power of the P.A.C.T. - Passion, Accountability, Commitment, and Traits/Traditions - and learn how these principles have shaped Garry's personal and professional life, providing valuable insights on leadership, goal-setting, and self-improvement. Tune in to hear from the next maverick of leadership, Mr. Garry Hall.

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Introduction [00:00:00] The host introduces the guest, retired Rear Admiral Garry Hall, and gives a brief background on his career.

Garry's Introduction [00:01:13] Garry introduces himself and talks about his background, including his time in the U.S. Navy and his book "Navigating Leadership."

The Importance of a Team in Writing a Book [00:02:37] Garry discusses the importance of having a team to write a quality book and acknowledges the host's contribution to his book.

Growing up in New York [00:04:36], Garry talks about his experiences growing up in a diverse neighborhood in New York and how it influenced his ability to connect with people from different backgrounds throughout his career.

The Ground School Engineering Exam Story [00:07:13] Garry shares a story about a risky leadership experience he h his roommate in flight school and how it changed his outlook on leadership.

Lessons in Humility and Priorities [00:10:54] The importance of humility understanding others as a leader, and how Rear Admiral Hall's priorities changed throughout his career and marriage.

Being Mentally Present [00:17:21] The importance of being mentally present when you are physically present and how it can affect relationships with loved ones.

Using Humor to Diffuse Tense Situations [00:19:50] Rear Admiral Hall's experience using humor to diffuse a tense situation with a three-star admiral and the importance of having a quick wit as a leader.

Leadership Success Story [00:21:29] Rear Admiral Garry Hall shares his experience of how passion, accountability, commitment, traits, and behaviors led to his helicopter detachment being recognized as the number one detachment in the Navy.

Character Creation [00:26:04] The host presents a fictional character, Jess Wildcat, who wants to be a great leader but is a toxic leader. Rear Admiral Garry Hall suggests five major things a leader needs to have: creating a document on who they are, being responsible, setting goals, being balanced, and taking a self-assessment.

Tips for Emerging Leaders [00:30:17] Rear Admiral Garry Hall gives tips for emerging leaders, including showing up on time, being clean of body, mind, and uniform, having a happy appearance, and pursuing goals with passion and commitment.

Writing Kryptonite [00:32:31] Garry Hall talks about his writing process and how distractions are his kryptonite.

Inspiring Quote [00:34:23] Garry Hall shares a quote from his late friend that inspires him to take opportunities when they arise.

Future Projects [00:35:28] Garry Hall discusses his future projects, including a new book called "Navigating Marriage" and continuing his podcast.

Self-Promotion [00:37:35] Garry Hall shares where listeners can find him, including his podcast and website for his book "Navigating Leadership."

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**Maccabee** (00:00:00) - Hello, all you beautiful people. All you gorgeous book lovers out there. It is your boy Maccabee Griffin. Again, I appreciate you being here and welcome again to be on the pen where we dive into the minds of inspiring authors. Today we are thrilled to have retired rear Admiral Gary Hall, a true leader, both on and off the page. Born in Buffalo, New York, Gary has dedicated his life to service spending 35 years in US Navy and even advising the president on national security. His book, navigating Leadership, draws on his vast experience from commanding squadrons to fostering global relationships. But Gary's not just decorated officer, he's a devoted husband, he's a father, a podcast host, and he's using his wit and wisdom to inspire leaders from all walks of life. So, buckle up cuz we have the next maverick of leadership here with us, Mr. Gary Hall. Gary, welcome to the show.

**Garry Hall** (00:01:13) - Thank you very much for having me on this show. I look forward to it. It's exciting. Morning. I appreciate that, uh, introduction. A little long, a little bit over the top, but exactly as I wrote it. Thank you,

**Maccabee** (00:01:25) - <laugh>. I try to stay as close to your wording as possible, you know, just to make sure that you know, I'm saying exactly what you want me to say.

**Garry Hall** (00:01:35) - Absolutely. To summarize, I'm rear Admiral Gary Hall, world famous helicopter pilot, adventure sportsman, world traveler. I'm perhaps the finest helicopter pilot I know. Call, sign Viper and I'll be your commanding officer during your tour here at Top Gun. This is the Top Gun podcast, isn't it?

**Maccabee** (00:01:53) - Uh, yeah, we'll go with that today.

**Garry Hall** (00:01:55) - There we go.

**Maccabee** (00:01:57) - See, this is why I wanted to have Gary on here. There's another reason why I have Gary on here, because I had the chance, the opportunity to be a part of the project of navigating leadership and helping to proofread slash edit as slash you know, just giving my 2 cents. Um, and it was fun. I loved it. Uh, it was really fun to work on it and to, to learn his story. So just to give it off the spot. Gary, why don't you introduce yourself to my, uh, my beautiful book lovers here, and tell us something that people don't know about you.

**Garry Hall** (00:02:37) - Well, gosh, I'm, I'm an open book is my, uh, seventh grade or eighth. He was my seventh grade and eighth grade, uh, um, social studies instructor when I was in, uh, junior high. Back then, middle school was called Junior High. Uh, Mr. Hahn said, hall, you're a book. You're all covering no pages. So there's, uh, not much that people, people don't, uh, know about me. Um, I would say that, uh, you know, the book kind of wrote itself in many ways. Um, so what people don't know is that it takes a team to bring a book alive and you're part of that, uh, team McAbee, um, you know, my wife for years going, all right, your friends have written a book. Where's your book? And I would always hold up a pen and say, it's, it's in this pen, I just gotta squeeze it out. And so there's so many people out there with the ability to self-publish, just put something together, turn it into a P D F, put it up on, uh, K D P, and it's a book, but really, uh, you need, uh, people to help you to, um, guide you a little bit. So I think what people don't realize is that it takes a, a team to write a, a quality book, and I believe we have a quality book, and you were a major part of, uh, bringing that to, to life.

**Maccabee** (00:03:54) - Well, I do appreciate that because again, it was fun to work with. It was, uh, interesting to read some of the, the little stories that you had in there. Uh, I wanna start out by, you know, talking about when you grew up in New York and you, you stated that you always wanted to interact with such a diverse range of people, uh, around your neighborhood, around the city in general, uh, from the drugstore attendants to the misfits on the streets. How have these experiences influenced your ability to connect with people from different backgrounds and foster relationships throughout your career?

**Garry Hall** (00:04:36) - Well, I grew up in what I call, um, a family. That was my mother put the fun and dysfunction, and my father put the funk in dysfunction. So therefore, I sought, um, uh, outside of the home, I sought, uh, I was an attention-seeking son of a gun. And so the more diverse people you meet, the more experiences you gain. You know, I used to hang out at Gene Gordon's Magic Shop on Franklin Street right across from the Buffalo Coffin Company, uh, in Buffalo, New York. And at the same time, uh, celebrities like Dick Cavitt hung out there, uh, as well, we were both young men, uh, learning how to do magic and entertain people. Of course, he went on to a little bit greater, um, greater fame. But I think, uh, the interaction, you know, uh, it just, it's fun. You know, I was seek, I was seeking attention.

**Garry Hall** (00:05:30) - I was seeking fun. I was seeking activity. And, uh, good thing I didn't wind up robbing the, uh, the drugstore or the local, uh, shops or running with gangs. But it was all, all good people. And it wasn't until later I went back to Buffalo and realized, uh, once, if you've survived the winter, you're really helpful, friendly, patriotic, uh, community. It's more than Buffalo Bills. Um, well, no it isn't. It's bowling buffalo bills and, uh, good ethnic food. So I grew up in a, in a, in a northern ethnicity diversity, which is different than maybe a south Texas, uh, diversity. But anyway, it, it shaped me in, I never want to shovel snow again.

**Maccabee** (00:06:18) - I know that feeling. I definitely know that feeling. But thankfully I don't get as much snow as, you know, Buffalo. Um, speaking of some, you know, I don't wanna call him a misfit, but, uh, I would say more of your, your, your ride ride or die, or in this case, crash and burn. Um, let's talk about the ground school engineering exam story, because I think you and SW code name swings, uh, had a very interesting experience in learning what risky leadership is. Can you explain the most valuable lesson you've learned from this experience, uh, and how it has shaped your approach to risk taking in leadership while still explaining, uh, what that experience was for those who haven't had a chance to, uh, read it?

**Garry Hall** (00:07:13) - Well, uh, Sweeney, uh, or sws was my roommate. Uh, for the last two years of our, our time at the Naval Academy, we were four years in the same, uh, company, is how the, uh, Naval Academy was structured back then. And we became, uh, roommates and we were always getting into trouble at the Naval Academy. And in fact, our company officer had to rank us as professionally. And, uh, we were ranked, uh, he was ranked 17. I was ranked number 19 of 19, and we wondered how the one guy got between the two of us. You know, we were doing stuff like rebuilding Porsche carburetors in our, uh, dorm room, which, uh, was forbidden. I remember the maintenance staff came into our room one time and said, uh, Hey boys, where's that stick that goes with this room? And we said, what, what stick? And he goes, the stick to stir up all this crap in here.

**Garry Hall** (00:08:08) - So anyway, we were a little, we were living on the fringe, but when you go to a service academy, even if you have an English degree, you get a bachelor of science. I mean, you are focused on mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, physics, chemistry. Um, so it is a rigorous course. I mean, not, there were semesters that we took 21 or 22 hours. So basically, even if you graduate with a 2.0, you have a solid engineering background. So anyway, the two of us decide we're gonna go down to flight school. At the same time, we became roommates in flight school, and we were two academy graduates with 28 other, um, pilot wannabes, student aviators from all sorts of backgrounds, from officer candidate school and from R O T C. None of them having this, even though we were bottom dwellers, we were bottom dwellers at an extremely difficult academic environment.

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Garry E HallProfile Photo

Garry E Hall

Rear Admiral / Author

Rear Admiral Garry Hall, following service as Executive Director of the Association of the US Navy, he received a political appointment to serve as a Senior Director on the NSC and Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. On the NSC he was responsible for Human Rights, Humanitarian Assistance, Immigration and Migration, Atrocity Prevention, United Nations Operations, Democracies, and Fragile States. In support of these portfolios, he led a team of career professionals dedicated to each of these functional areas.

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy he served 35 years on active duty. A naval aviator, he flew anti-submarine warfare helicopters and commanded two squadrons. Additionally, he commanded the capitol ship USS Tarawa LHA 1, which had a compliment of 1000 Sailors, 2000 Marines, 32 aircraft and 3 landing craft. As a Flag Officer he served as General Tommy Franks Information Operations Officer at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, served with NATO in the United Kingdom, commanded an Expeditionary Strike Group deployed to the Middle East, and led a Senior Service college at National Defense University.

Admiral Hall holds a B.S. in Marine Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, an MBA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and is a graduate of National Defense University’s Capstone Course. The Admiral is the host of the popular podcast, The Admiral’s Almanac, and is the author of his recently published book, Navigating Leadership, Making a PACT with Excellence.