Former U.S. Navy Commander Guy Snodgrass Shares Leadership Advice for Americans Struggling During Coronavirus Pandemic in New Book “Topgun’s Top 10”

Topgun’s Top 10 by Commander Guy M. Snodgrass book cover, 2020 | 130 Agency

Former U.S. Navy Commander Guy Snodgrass shares leadership advice for Americans struggling with the ails of 2020 in his new book where he shares lessons he learned as a fighter pilot and Topgun instructor.

Snodgrass completed his book, Topgun’s Top 10: Leadership Lessons From The Cockpit, during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, he told The Christian Post he felt compelled to share “lessons that could offer help and support to millions of Americans searching for insight during this challenging time.”

The commander, whose faith plays a “strong role” in his leadership style, is no stranger to pressure. He’s been celebrated as one of the most skilled fighter pilots in the U.S. Navy, where he directed combat jets over some of the most dangerous war zones in the world and has trained the top 1% of U.S. fighter pilots.

Snodgrass also served as director of communications and chief speechwriter to former Secretary of Defense James Mattis as a part of the Trump administration. During his tenure at the White House, he authored the 2018 National Defense Strategy for the Department of Defense.

Now, he’s sharing all of the lessons he learned at the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School, Topgun, in his new book, which is now available everywhere books are sold. In his writing, the Forbes contributor, who has been critical of the Trump administration (seen here in this BBC interview), sought out to offer wise, honest and practical analysis on current events and foreign policy.

The following is an edited transcript of Snodgrass’ interview with The Christian Post. Now CEO of Defense Analytics, he says challenging times are when people should reinvest in themselves and the world around them.

Former U.S. Navy Commander Guy Snodgrass | 130 Agency

CP: Can you share what inspired you to write this book? 

Snodgrass: 2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenges for Americans as we respond to a global pandemic. Mandated shutdowns and school closures forced millions of children to learn from home. Millions more lost their jobs. High school and college graduates not only lost their graduation ceremony — a traditional rite of passage — but have also entered a workforce facing significant pressures.

It’s exactly during challenging times like these that we can reinvest in ourselves, our families and communities, and our careers. I finished writing Topgun’s Top 10 just as the pandemic was picking up, so I kept an eye toward sharing lessons that could offer help and support to millions of Americans searching for insight during this challenging time.

CP: We have a faith-based audience, can you share how faith plays a role in your life and writing?

Snodgrass: I begin the book with a description of the important role my church family played in my development as a young man growing up in North Texas. Readers will also recognize the strong role faith plays in my views on leadership and public service, to include references to scripture within the book (such as “Iron sharpening iron” from Proverbs 27:17).

I was very lucky to be raised in a family and with a community that shared Christian values. These resonated throughout my career, whether highlighting the importance of “doing the right thing even when no one is looking” or treating the military members I served with like they were a part of our family.

Most importantly, Christian values enable me to put service before self … to consider the needs of those I lead before my own. Christian teachings emphasize the value of ‘servant leadership,’ a reality that made all the difference in my career and which has helped to guide my writings.

I also used the Bible’s proven use of parables to guide my own hand while writing. Jesus knew that storytelling was a powerful way to teach. I sought to follow this wisdom in my own book — combining stories with powerful lessons that can apply to all of us in our daily lives.

CP: Were there restrictions on the things you were able to share in your book?

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law

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