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TOPGUN on Wall Street: Why the United States Military Should Run Corporate America [Kindle Edition]

Lieutenant Commander Jeffery Lay , Patrick Robinson

Kindle-Preis: EUR 8,64 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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"This is a wonderful book-capturing an insider's look at the elite and mysterious world of TOPGUN, that coliseum for the daredevils of the US Naval Aviation. It's written by a fabulous F-14 fighter-wing Commander. Too modest, but real heavy on our unbreakable codes of Honesty, Integrity, Courage, and Honor. What a read!" -Marcus Luttrell, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Lone Survivor


TOPGUN on Wall Street chronicles one man’s extraordinary journey from the cornfields of Ohio, to the cockpit of an F-14, to the boardrooms on Wall Street. Lieutenant Commander Jeffery Lay and #1 New York Times bestselling author Patrick Robinson bring a provocative, ground-breaking voice to the business landscape with a revolutionary answer for stabilizing corporate America: business—the military way.

As a TOPGUN fighter pilot, Lieutenant Commander Lay perfected a tried-and-true military technique:


However, when he retired from active duty in 2006 and went to work for a subsidiary of the ill-fated Lehman Brothers, he noticed that everything about the business world was different: less efficient, awash with excuses for failure, allowance of men with tricky morals to rise to the top, self-gain overshadowing teamwork, and a devastating lack of accountability.

With such deeply rooted flaws, is corporate America doomed for perpetual failure?

Answer: Not if we put admirals in charge and adopt the military’s tight chain of command.

This game-changing thesis is interwoven with Lieutenant Commander Lay’s dramatic story, including his high-intensity strike fighter aircraft landings, never-before-written details of the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), and his heart-breaking, humbling, and inspirational battle with cancer at the peak of his military career.

TOPGUN on Wall Street is written by a leader determined to show the business world that excellence is a choice and perfection is attainable.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 596 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 340 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1593157177
  • Verlag: Vanguard Press; Auflage: First Trade Paper Edition (1. Mai 2012)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B007TV3PE6
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #764.429 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

  •  Ist der Verkauf dieses Produkts für Sie nicht akzeptabel?

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.7 von 5 Sternen  18 Rezensionen
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Top Gun on Wall Street 20. Mai 2012
Von Eric Shuler - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Topgun on Wall Street Why the United States Military Should run Corporate America This title definitely catches your attention. I was intrigued and did not know what to expect. The book is only 311 pages and reads very fast. I read the book in little over two days. The author in 260 pages tells you about his military career and how he became a Top Gun pilot while flying F-14 Tomcats. The F-14 at the time was one of the most advanced fighter planes in the world and one of the heaviest. I am always amazed at seeing pictures of it being catapulted from a aircraft carrier and then landing on the deck

One of the lessons Jeffrey Lay presents is how he was trained and then re trained to recognize risks and how to survive in hostile situations. As you read the book you will realize how special a Top Gun pilots is. He presents the numbers that for every Topgun pilot there are about a 100,000 that are not selected.

Another lesson is to learn everything about a situation and to overcome a difficulty with training and knowledge. He was diagnosed with cancer which he over came . He later fought his permanent grounding and retiring to flying status and was able to fly the F-14. He talks about his decision to leave the Navy and then go into the finance world. He also switched to the Air National Guard and started flying F-16 fighters where and he was later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

The rest of the book deals with his working in the finance world and how his military training prepared him. He believes that had others his training the mortgage crash of 2008 would not have happened.

The last 50 pages shows how the military training in analyzing a mission, planning for it, executing it and then debriefing it could have prevented or at the least made the recovery a lot quicker.

I was amazed at all the similarities, the Army and Navy have in their decision making . I guess we in the military figured it out years ago due to the nature of the business going in harms way.

Jeffrey Lay suggests that greed is probably the main motive why the mortgage industry fell apart. You can not give someone a mortgage for a $500,000 home if he is a dishwasher. When you read about how the finance industry works it makes you wonder how the government allowed it to happen.

My personal view is everyone wants to make unbelievable returns on their money without regard to risk. If you doubt it look at the people that still fall for Ponzi schemes and do not believe advisers that tell them these returns on their money can't be sustained Such is the power of greed.

The author was trained to recognize risk and learned to deal with it while accomplishing the mission. This training has served him well in his new career in advising on wealth management. I hope someday to meet Author Lay and tell him what a great job he is doing.

Eric Shuler
MAJ (ret) USAR
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Life lessons from Top Gun on Wall Street 14. Mai 2012
Von JC - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Just finished Jeff's book - great read. As an ex. aviator (very minor accomplishments in comparison - (I flew ASK 21 gliders in the UK Air Cadets and did a fair amount of powered aerobatics in Dehavilland Chipmunks), I really enjoyed the insight into the US Navy's training of its "sharp-end" officers. I think Jeff does a great job weaving the two subject matters together in a way that clearly makes a very salient point. I also am grateful that while reading Jeff's book the subject of honesty came up at our dining table; I have an 11 year old son. Jeff gave me a good reference to talk about - and hopefully hammer home some very important life lessons.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Great Read A Little Bombastic At Times 28. November 2012
Von Steve Dietrich - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I liked this book. It focuses on a number of the problems which plague our political and business world and which they are attempting to contaminate the military. Some of the word selection was a little over the top but I'll blame that on the co author.

Lay identifies the reasons why the military is so good at leadership and problem solving while Wall Street and government do so poorly. My background includes 30 years of flying light aircraft, a lot of offshore sailing and some years teaching young MBA's as adjunct faculty at a major university.

The author presents a convincing case as to why our military culture is so much stronger than our political and business culture. The discipline of our military academies (both in action and in thinking) is something that needs to be brought back into politics and business. Imagine a business meeting with 30 participants where a junior exec stands up and explains that the boss did something really stupid, but in an environment that is seeking to eliminate stupidity. Chances are that the junior needs to polish his resume

A few years before Lay's tour over Iraq I was fortunate to do the Tiger Cruise on the Stennis as it sailed from the middle east to San Diego via Hawaii. I met the ship expecting to be blown away by the airplanes and the ship itself. My nephew was ops officer of one of the F-14 squadrons. The airplanes and ship were fantastic, however what was most impressive was the quality of leadership from the skipper down to the 18 year olds on the flight deck. There was no look of listlessness so often seen in the eyes of idle youth, the young people, who often looked like they were not old enough to drive worked as a team and teams of teams to operate the flight deck. They moved with pride and purpose.

Their jobs had been made more difficult after Clinton decided to put women on warships. A substantial portion of the female crew could not sail with the boat as they were pregnant and would not be able to perform their duties under normal conditions, much less deal with emergencies. In order to cover the losses, dod kept the women on the ships roster but did not replace the bodies. As a result others got less sleep, worked harder and were subject to increased danger.

For those that were on the boat their bunking assignments were dictated by policies that required them to bunk with others of similar rank. Pilots, all officers, normally bunk in tiny "staterooms" that would not pass ACLU scrutiny as jail cells. Department heads who had not only flying roles but also substantial administrative responsibilities are assigned single quarters due to their workload, responsibilities and occasional need for a private place to talk. However, they found themselves evicted to make way for a low ranking supply officer because she did not have someone else of appropriate rank to bunk with. Beyond that throughout the ship sailors could no longer dash from the shower to their staterooms or bunk areas with only a towel. As a final indignity, a year or two later in a move designed to remove penile envy, urinals were to be removed from the ships.

The commercial jet landing at LA normally aims to land at or beyond the touchdown stripes, 1,000 feet past the threshold; Beyond that there is a mile or two of runway. The carrier deck is also perched on a rolling/pitching steel plateau that's moving , at an angle, away from the airplane.

On the carrier there's blue water less than 1,000 feet ahead of the stern. It's not only a whole new game but one played for keeps. Before jets depart a small semicircle forms off the nose. Some are grizzled chiefs and others are young sailors, their jersey colors designate their role - ordinance, safety, aircraft, cat, etc. Before the launch each is polled with hand signals - is the aircraft ready to fly - it is all filmed , every departure. A thumbs down from from an 18 year old recruit carries the same weight as one from a senior chief. It's a game played for keeps, in two seconds the airplane will fly or it will crash. The organization is structured to train young people to grow into these responsibilities while their highschool classmates are working their first job at McDonalds.

Sadly the fate of the F-14 had been sealed , partially by the House Armed Services Committee who issued a highly flawed report indicating that the F-14 Block D and X upgrade were inferior choices. Our political system entrusted the committee chairmanship to former Black Panther leader Ron Dellums who hated the military.

Lay discusses the mortgage meltdown and the number of people in denial. I was fortunate for UCLA 's prof Steve Cauley pointed out to a large group of financial types assembled for a conference on campus that the income of the borrowers could only support home prices at about 70% of their then levels and that a correction was inevitable. The information challenged the profitable model under which the financial types prospered and was therefore rejected as flawed, not due to the results but rather because they did not want to consider the results. Former grad student Andrew Lahde also figured out the problem and coupled that with an insiders knowledge of the gambling addiction of the major institutions to start a hedge fund that went from zero to best performing in the world in less than a year.

During the Johnson administration the Navy faced a similar problem. Secy of Defense McNamara and his band of HBS number crunchers decided that the USAF and Navy could share a strike fighter. Overruling the near unanimous recommendations of the services McNamara went with the General Dynamics TFX which became the F-111. Just as in the latest Benghazi attack, the Secy Def and President's office talked with the senior military officers about what they WOULD tell Congress. The message was that the F-1111B will be fine for the Navy. However, the politicians and lobbyists did not understand the culture of the Navy and when asked by a Senator Admiral Tom Connoly replied , Senator, there's not enough power in all of Christdom to get the F-111 off the deck of a carrier.It saved the Navy but cost the admiral his career. The Navy had ben quietly working on a replacement for the pudgy F-111, it became the F-14 Tomcat, a worldwide symbol of power for 40 years.

Later we would see the Secy of Defense agreeing that our forces in Somali needed to leave their tanks and AC-130 behind because they were too strong a symbol of American might . Our troops paid the price as most of the casualties came not from the loss of the two helos but from attempts to protect and extract the crews and soldiers. Worse yet, bin Laden was given another victory to tout in his declaration of war

In addition to the mortgage and wall street meltdowns, BP's consistent problems from the North Slope to the Gulf of Mexico can be traced to leadership failures and a culture of both incompetence and corruption. The gulf disaster was the direct result of BP attempting to force a budget decision on an well established drilling program at its most critical phase. The shortcuts ordered by BP execs were make without soliciting the best information and then asking what are acceptable risks. The common threads in business and politics include the lack of integrity, situational awareness, responsibility , long term view and willingness to accept responsibility.

With the current crisis there's plenty of blame to go around. Wall Street had rigged the game so that they won regardless of what happened , However , not being satisfied with the guaranteed profits from that the ventured out to create investments designed to fail because their insider customers wanted a sure deal and the interests of others were expendable. We allowed the creation of systems which rewarded failure. Our Congress blocked attempts to clean up the corruption at the GSE's accusing the regulators of discrimination. In the meantime they created liar loans which rewarded those who lied on their applications or failed to pay taxes. As a nation we still continue to suffer.

As noted above I was bothered by some of the writing and felt that it came across as arrogant at times. I have known a number of fighter pilots and service academy graduates well and not experienced this. I also think there are some factual errors which seem to fly in the face of the author's professed obsession with accuracy.
While it needs a good edit it is still a worthwhile read.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting yet irrelevant 15. September 2012
Von Jimmy Verona - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
As someone serving in the military who isn't fond of Wall Street, this title appealed to me instantly. But the book itself seems to have one main point; in order to be a TOPGUN pilot, one has to be disciplined. There are no such requirements for working on Wall Street.
That seems to be the point when the author stays on topic, at least. The rest of the time, the book seems to be about how awesome TOPGUN pilots are. Several chapters are devoted to the rigorous training pilots must go through, or accounts of specific military actions (or inaction). As a military aviator myself, I did find this interesting. I just didn't think it had anything to do with the main topic of the novel.
I absolutely think Lieutenant Commander Jefferey Lay knows what he is talking about. Butg he also comes across as extremely arrogant and biased. If you want to read a book about how awesome it is to be a TOPGUN pilot and how everyone else is sub-par, this is for you. If you want to read a book with actual suggestions about how to fix the economy, or what the military could do to help ... you might want to look elsewhere.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent book on Excellence 12. August 2012
Von Julie Dahlquist, PhD, CMT - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
If you are interested in learning what it takes to become a TOPGUN, this book is for you. If you are interested in developing the necessary mindset to become a Wall Street professional, this book is for you. If you are interested in acquiring skills for success and excellence in any area of life this book is for you. I especially recommend this book for young people who are making education and career choices; Lay highlights the determination, resolve, self-discipline and moral fiber required for success.
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