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United States Army, asks: Fortune favors the
prepared, do you deserve fortune?

Gen. Bernard Banks, United States Army, asks: Fortune favors the prepared, do you deserve fortune?

Episode 28

Retired Brigadier General Bernard Banks knew as a child that he wanted to go to West Point because of his desire to develop himself as a leader. He was so successful in that journey that years later, West Point asked him to chair its leadership department. Several of his core principles stem from his upbringing as an athlete, “You will play how you practice,” Bernie said, “Do you practice well?”

In his 29 years as a US Army Officer, he led military units ranging in size from 10 to 3,000 people with the motto: Fortune favors the prepared. In the early 2000s, he was brought in to improve an Apache Helicopter unit ranking in the bottom third globally. In just two years, under Bernie’s leadership, the same group was designated number ONE! Why? Practice. Lots of practice.

The private sector has tapped Bernie’s fundamentals, as well. He has worked extensively with organizations across all sectors concerning their leader development efforts, including Procter and Gamble, Mercedes Benz, General Electric, IBM, 7-Eleven, The US Forest Service, and the International Chiefs of Police.

Today, as an Associate Dean at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and a faculty member at Thayer Leadership, Bernie asks YOU: Do you deserve fortune?

You will learn:

  •  3:00   How to inspire teamwork that promotes individual accomplishment.
  •  8:00   How to prepare with precision.
  • 28:00  How to support and motivate your team simultaneously.
  • 30:00  The importance of shared accountability and mutual interdependence.


  • Connect with Bernie on LinkedIn
  • Everybody needs to understand how their piece of the puzzle contributes to the larger picture and why that piece is important. Try this to help someone understand the role they play:
    You do _________ so that we can do __________, which matters because __________.

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Special thanks to Andrew Wikse and the Florida State University Internship Program
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About Don Yaeger

Don Yaeger

Don Yaeger is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated, 11-time New York Times best-selling author, leadership expert and executive coach.

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