Gen. Bernard Banks: ‘Fortune Favors The Prepared’

In this edition of the Corporate Competitor Podcast, Retired Brigadier General Bernard Banks sat down with longtime Sports Illustrated Associate Editor Don Yaeger to discuss how sports shaped the legendary leader’s values.

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, Bernie asks YOU: Do you deserve fortune?


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  How to create shared accountability and mutual interdependence.

Check out the full Corporate Competitor Podcast interview archive.

Over the last 30 years, longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated and 11-time New York Times Best-Selling Author Don Yaeger has been blessed to interview the greatest winners of our generation. He has made a second career as a keynote speaker and executive coach, discerning habits of high performance to teach teams how to reach their full potential.