Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Decorated Pilot Shares Military Lessons at UC B-School

Monday, December 19, 2016 6:25 PM
Strategy outlines a top gun approach for students in real world decision-making.
Jeff Lay

Jeff Lay

Lt. Commander Jeffery Lay, a 24-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Ohio National Guard, says the business community can learn a lot the from the military in managing a successful venture.

Lay, a motivational speaker in aviation, business and finance, shared a military formula of success with undergraduate students in the Carl H. Lindner College of Business. 

Using a TOPGUN approach to leadership and problem solving, Lay presented students with a four-phase model to follow as a prescription for sound project management skills. The model calls for four steps—Plan, Brief, Execute and Debrief—that students and corporations can apply in the classroom or the boardroom.

“I think this model is powerful in teaching our students a disciplined approach to managing projects,” says Marianne Lewis, associate dean for Undergraduate Programs, Kolodzik Business Scholars director and professor of management.

That same formula is the subject of his soon-to-be published book by Vanguard Press titled “TOPGUN on Wall Street: Why The United States Military Should Run Corporate America.” The book, written with Patrick Robinson, will be available May 2012.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), Lay is a highly decorated military pilot of the F-14 Tomcat and F-16 Fighting Falcon. He has flown in more than 50 combat missions, made more than 400 carrier landings and accumulated more than 3,500 flight hours during three combat deployments to Southwest Asia, the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf. 

At the height of his military career, he was diagnosed with cancer, but overcame the disease and returned to the cockpit to fly on Veteran’s Day 1998.

Lay, a highly sought-after speaker, has been a featured speaker for the Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research, as well as in Business Fast Track classes for freshmen in the Lindner College of Business. As a tribute to his life lessons in the classroom, the Center for Entrepreneurship Education & Research bestowed Lay with UC’s Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence.

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