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About the Podcast
Today I invite Brian Strobel, VP of Corporate Quality at Sierra Nevada Corporation (the aerospace company, not the beer guys) and author of the upcoming book, “Pursuing Excellence: A Values-Based, Systems Approach to Help Companies Become More Resilient” (2021), in addition to his previous book, “Leading Change from Within: A Road Map to Help Middle Managers Affect Lasting Change” (2015).
We start off the conversation with the notion of “truth”, what is it and who holds it. In this regard, Brian and I agree that neither he or I are the holders of the truth when it comes to people, leadership, and followership – and that we both are skeptical of people who claim to be the holders of the truth when it comes to topics which are nuanced and contextual.
After obtaining an AAS in Metrology and then a BA in Physics, and having considered signing up for the nuclear Navy, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps where he served for fifteen years as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer, primarily with F/A-18 Aircraft. Highlights of his career include three carrier deployments, a two-year exchange tour with the Royal Australian Air Force, Quality Assurance Officer for the US Atlantic Fleet, and Aircraft Maintenance Officer for the largest squadron in the Marine Corps.
The conversation continues to his transition out of the Marine Corps, to civilian life and the various companies he worked at the roles he held; and with each incarnation having increased responsibility and authority and his leadership skills matured and where honed. The experiences, stories, and insights gained that Brian shares through his civilian career hold a lot of wisdom and is a particularly good listen.
And he shares details of his books; why he wrote them, who he wrote them for, what he hopes people gain from their reading them, and experiences of the writing process itself. So if anyone is thinking about becoming an author, there is some good guidance here.
About Brian Strobel
Brian has been leading people in operational environments for nearly thirty years. His initial academic pursuits trained him to be a physicist, but life had other plans. He’s served in roles from leading large-scale military operations to leading change across large companies and is certified as a trainer for Situational Leadership, a Professional Coach, a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and a Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence.
Brian’s professional career started as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps where he served for 15 years as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer, primarily with F/A-18 Aircraft. Following the Marines, he worked at various companies serving the Department of Defense including; Harris Corporation, Northrup Grumman, and L3 Technologies before landing his current role at Sierra Nevada Corporation. Within each company, and in changing companies, the roles Brian held increasingly had more responsibility.
He is the author of “Leading Change from Within: A Road Map to Help Middle Managers Affect Lasting Change” (available on Amazon) published in 2015. And his latest book is “Pursuing Excellence: A Values-Based, Systems Approach to Help Companies Become More Resilient” whose website is here and is due to be released in February of 2021 and available on Amazon.
Brian earned his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Physics from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, his Master of Arts (MA) degree in Management from Webster University, and his Master of Science (MSc) degree in Executive Leadership at the University of San Diego School of Business where he studied under Ken Blanchard.
Although Brian’s path has been different than most, he has always focused on pursuing excellence. This path ultimately revealed how his life’s plan was coming together where he is now fully dedicated to its pursuit, living in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada with his wife and his new dog. When not serving as the Vice President of Quality helping a special company pursue excellence, you can probably find him with his wife and that dog enjoying the mountains.
Company; Sierra Nevada Corporation
Headquarters; Sparks, Nevada
Year Founded; 1963
Company Type; Privately held
Company Size; 4,000+ Employees in over 40 locations
Specialties; Sierra Nevada Corporation provides electronic aerospace and defense system The Company offers communication, navigation, and air traffic management systems, as well as provides intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, command, and control products.