It is with a great deal of anticipation, excitement and a little trepidation that we started our chat with Kit. After all, he is an American hero, a lieutenant colonel in US Army, a rock-star scientist, and an audacious personality. But the moment we started rolling, all of the tensions melted away as we embarked on this remarkable journey that started
with Kit greeting Arun's daughter, Ameya, (having met her once earlier via Zoom) to just throwing a tsunami of insights. It surely felt like drinking from a fire hose.
But what we have revealed is quite an accomplishment that other interviews may not have succeeded. To start with, it was the personal connection that Arun shared with Kit and the cackle that Kit emits when we mentioned that Arun holds him in both high regard and contempt. Beyond that, we spoke of some amazing leadership lessons:
Using unconventional tools to enable creative and critical thinking
Powering through challenges by never taking NO for an answer
spotting talent in never before scouted areas
encouraging/coaching/mentoring and developing talent
being flexible as a leader and figuring out ways to influence others as a leader
Respect for elders in the field and out of respect comes humility (that can easily be missed in his bravado).
His foray from engineering cardiac tissue and disease biology to BBQ (Check out desora.co)
Cuttlefish to fashion
How a heartbreaking experience in Afghanistan made him develop nano-mesh as wound dressings.
Being a student all his life and inculcating that thinking as a lifestyle
Drawing parallels from Afghanistan battlefields and counter-insurgency methods to learning and planning and after-action review
Above all, his love for science and being a dad who his 12-year-old daughter, Caroline, has wrapped around her pinkie like a Play-doh ring!
Kit, we absolutely loved having you on the show and it was a privilege to host a true American hero, soldier, and scientist on the show.