Let's Talk Business, Podcast

Operation Pineapple Express: Saving the Heroes of Afghanistan from the Taliban

By , September 5, 2022

Creating deep human connections and building a high-trust culture is crucial to truly thrive as a leader.

Creating deep human connections and building a high-trust culture is crucial to truly thrive as a leader. In this episode, our guest is Scott Mann; he spent 23 years in the United States Army, 18 of them as a Green Beret, where he specialized in unconventional, high-impact missions in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Colombia. He is a storyteller and the founder of Rooftop Leadership, where he helps leaders make better human connections in high-stakes, low-trust environments. He also empowers people – both in warfare and in business – to stand up for themselves and develop a strong voice. He is the author of Operation Pineapple Express: The Incredible Story of a Group of Americans Who Undertook One Last Mission and Honored a Promise in Afghanistan.

In our conversation, Scott shares some of his experiences from his time in Afghanistan and how he was able to use his relationships to help save people and build deep relationships with them. He digs into the importance of leadership, social capital, and accountability and how polarization can be dangerous and counterproductive. Scott remarks on why relationships are essential for building successful organizations. Listen and enjoy!

Listen and enjoy!

Listen to the podcast here:

Download the audio file here.

Operation Pineapple Express: Saving the Heroes of Afghanistan from the Taliban

Key Highlights:

[00:01 – 07:32] Opening Segment

• Leadership lessons learned from a war zone

• How to build relationships of trust with the local population to rescue people in high-risk situations

• Check out his book Operation Pineapple Express

  • A story of this rescue mission and the inspirational lessons that can be learned from it

[07:33 – 22:15] The Problems with the US Withdrawal from Afghanistan

• The problems with the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan

  • No public hearings on what happened and no accountability

• Look at the situations that as a leader you face and ask yourself what’s your pineapple express

• Afghan special operations forces and the veteran volunteers who stood on their shoulders and honored a promise

• Why it’s key to focus on local solutions, such as helping tribal leaders stand up to terrorists and training select special operations units

[22:16 – 36:36] If America Abandoned Its Allies, What Would Happen?

• What has led to increased conflict and instability in Afghanistan

  • A political decision made without input from military leaders

• Why the division between left and right in America is a major obstacle to effective policymaking on issues like Afghanistan

• The importance of opening public hearings by Congress to allow for a more informed discussion of policy options for Afghanistan

  • There is still potential for the United States to support its allies, but it needs to do so in a more transparent and effective way

[36:37 – 40:38] Closing Segment

• How to make decisions as a leader

• Q&A: What will help you with your decision-making process?

Key Quotes:

“It is our social connection ability that really enables us to thrive.” – Scott Mann

“The time to build social capital is when nobody is looking ” – Scott Mann

Connect with Scott

Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Head to Roof Top Leadership, and discover how to create deep human connection!

LEAVE A REVIEW + and SHARE this episode with someone who wants to achieve in business. Listen to previous episodes on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts!  

About Scott Mann

Lieutenant Colonel Scott Mann spent 23 years in the United States Army, 18 of them as a Green Beret, where he specialized in unconventional, high-impact missions in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Colombia. He is a storyteller and the founder of Rooftop Leadership, where he helps leaders make better human connections in high-stakes, low-trust environments. He also empowers people – both in warfare and in business – to stand up for themselves and develop a strong voice. He is the author of Operation Pineapple Express: The Incredible Story of a Group of Americans Who Undertook One Last Mission and Honored a Promise in Afghanistan.

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman is the Chief Executive Officer of Ptex Group, an Inc. 500/5000-ranked marketing and business services firm headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.

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