Becoming Your Best | The Principles of Highly Successful Leaders


Episode 338 - Colonel John Spencer. Life, Leadership, and Social Connections in Modern War

Ep. 338

During a battle, the side with more chances of getting out of it victorious isn't always the best equipped, experienced, or brave; generally, it is the one with the most cohesive team. Our guest, Colonel John Spencer, divides cohesion into two groups, social and task cohesion. In his over 25 years of experience in the military, he learned that leadership is critical to guaranteeing a team's cohesion, success, and survival.

Colonel John Spencer, Chair of Urban Warfare Studies at the Modern War Institute, is a veteran, a widely published author, considered one of the leading experts in military operations in cities, a teacher, and a leader with a Master of Policy Management from Georgetown University. In his over 25 years in the military, John has held ranks from Private to Sergeant First Class and Second Lieutenant to Major.

As an Army officer, he was deployed twice in Iraq as an Infantry Platoon Leader and Company Commander. Colonel John Spencer is also the Co-Founder, Strategic Planner, and Deputy Director of the Modern War Institute at West Point.

In this episode, we delve into Colonel John's journey in the military and how serving his country and traveling the world changed his perspective on life, purpose, and vision. He describes his realization of how writing can change lives, his passion for studying, researching, and teaching about war and its intimate connection with leadership.

We also have a closer look at his family life and the experience of staying home with his children while his wife, whom he met in Iraq, was deployed for combat.  

Tune in to Episode 338 to discover a world where leadership and survival go hand in hand.

Some Questions I Ask: 

How did you end up in the military? (4:44) 

If there's a young person that ranges 16 or 17, what advice do you have for them as they consider joining the military? (9:23) 

If you look back and think about the things that bring you satisfaction, what would those things be? (19:43)

In This Episode, You Will Learn: 

Colonel John’s dream job and the opportunities he got thanks to his military career (6:13) 

Colonel John describes the experience of staying at home with his children while his wife was deployed for combat (11:10) 

The importance of forming cohesive teams (12:13) 

The differences between the two forms of cohesion (18:43) 

Colonel John talks about the search for identity and purpose (22:01) 

The two ways in which people form strong bonds (27:29)


Colonel John Spencer's website 

Colonel John Spencer's books

Connect with Colonel John Spencer: 






Becoming Your Best Resources: 

Becoming Your Best Website


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