Gillette Law - November 2018

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Each holiday season, millions of Americans hit the road to visit family and friends. I relish the opportunity for a long drive even in the holiday traffic, as it gives me time to listen to audiobooks and podcasts. So much of being a lawyer involves reading, but with four active kids, I rarely have time to sit down with a good book these days. Listening to an audiobook or a compelling podcast is a great substitute and makes my time in the car something I actually look forward to. I particularly like audiobooks on business leadership. Several books I have enjoyed include: “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by SimonSinek, “The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea” by Bob Burg, “The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary” by Mark Sanborn, and “Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin are both former Navy SEAL officers from the most decorated unit in the Iraq War. Together, they wrote a book on leadership, applying the rigorous sense of personal responsibility they used in combat operations to the world of business. Naturally, I was hooked, and when I reached the end of “Extreme Ownership,” I began listening to Jocko’s podcast. In the aptly titled “Jocko Podcast” (, the former SEAL delves into stories of service and sacrifice from military history. Sometimes the stories link back to leadership practices, much like in his book. But more often, the explorations of past battles and acts of heroism pave the way to deeply important discussions on self-care and personal improvement.

and later in Korea. Listening to these acts of heroism by a brave Virginian while I drove through the town where he was born, up the highway that bears his name, and past the churchyard where he is buried was certainly a powerful experience.

In the second episode in the series, Jocko talks about Puller’s son, Lieutenant Lewis Puller Jr. (commonly referred to as Lewis Puller). Lieutenant Puller Junior’s story is far more tragic than his father’s. Following his dad’s example, he joined the Marines and shipped off to Vietnam. While engaging the North Vietnamese army, Puller lost both legs and the fingers of his right hand to a land mine. While he eventually became a lawyer — he also attended William & Mary Law School and was my graduation speaker in 1992 — and wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography entitled “Fortunate Son,” some wounds are just too difficult to overcome. Puller died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1994. Thus, the third and final installment in the Puller series centers on a serious discussion about dealing with wounds and PTSD after coming home. Episode 123 of “Jocko Podcast,” fittingly titled “A Fight Through Darkness,” features an interview with Marine Corporeal Jake Schick, who is also a wounded veteran. If you or a loved one struggle with war wounds or PTSD, I strongly recommend giving this episode a listen. In fact, this month, we’re giving away an Echo Dot to one lucky reader. These little smart speakers are great for listening to podcasts, audiobooks, music, and so much more. Personally, I recommend “Jocko Podcast”; it offers great lessons in perseverance for civilians and veterans alike. For more details on how to win the Dot, check inside!

“Listening to these acts of heroism by a brave Virginian while I drove through the town where he was born, up the highway that bears his name, and past the churchyard where he is buried was certainly a powerful experience.”

N e x t D o o r Bu

This past Memorial Day weekend, as I drove along General Puller Highway to my parents’ cottage in Lancaster County, I gained a greater appreciation for the Puller Highway’s namesake from a particularly powerful three-episode run (episodes 121–123) of Jocko’s podcasts. These three episodes explore the story of the Puller family. Lieutenant General Lewis “Chesty” Puller became the most decorated Marine in U.S. military history thanks to his quick, decisive actions in the Pacific theater of WWII

–Brian Gillette

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