029: The Greater Good: An interview with Sam Donnelly

 The Greater Good: An interview with Sam Donnelly

Sam Donnelly is a LifePlan and StratOp Guide at Paterson who has spent the last twenty years serving in the U.S. military, including serving as a member of Delta Force, the world’s most elite counter-terrorism unit. Sam teaches us that even as a group of very individually competitive people come together, the emphasis in the military is always on the success of the whole team.

“I think what makes that place [West Point] special is that is breaks you down as an individual… it doesn’t break you, but it certainly strips you of your individuality and ultimately your self absorption.” says Sam.

“You are taught that you are a part of something bigger than yourself from day one…I mean everyone looks the same at the end of day one when you report there; everyone’s wearing this kinda goofy outfit with this bald head. At the time I didn’t get it but now I see… it was all about helping us understand: there’s a place for individuality in society but here it’s all about team work.”

Sam’s thoughts on leadership, teamwork, vulnerability and the process of mastery are a deep wealth of wisdom enriched by his unique life experiences. In an era where our culture places so much emphasis on the value of the individual, it is refreshing and different to hear the perspective of someone who deeply values the importance of teamwork.

To listen to the episode, click one of the links below.


When Hell Was in Session  by Jeremiah Denton

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