Retired General Jefferson Howell talks about when Tom Cruise came over for dinner, lunch with the King of Jordan, and other stories.

Show Notes

In this mini episode, retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General Jefferson “Beak” Howell shares a few fun stories from his life and relates some lessons on leadership. If you missed his earlier episodes, check out our 3-part series on Crisis Management, episodes 4-6.


[00:50] General Howell shares a story about Tom Cruise coming over for dinner during a visit to the Johnson Space Center.

[06:59] General Howell talks about his surprise promotion to General.

[11:43] General Howell shares a story from his time as an infantryman.

[22:27] General Howell shares an important leadership lesson.

[25:34] General Howell discusses balancing big-picture thinking with individualized attention to members of a very large team.

[27:24] General Howell talks about having lunch with the king of Jordan. 

Episode Quotes

“You gotta take care of the organization. You gotta get the job done. The mission always has to be completed. And that’s paramount. At the same time, look after your people. Take care of them. Try to help them do wonderful things.” -General Howell

About Lieutenant General (retired) Jefferson Howell:

Lieutenant General Jefferson Howell had a 37-year career in the Marine Corps, serving at all officer levels, and then was Commander of the Johnson Space Center. Following his retirement from NASA, he served on the faculty at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

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