HPS Insights

Insights: A Conversation with Mike Hayes on "Never Enough"

May 10, 2021
3 min read
Bryan DeAngelis
Stacy Kerr

Over the past two years, a lot of wonderful guests have come on the HPS Insights podcast, but it is safe to say few have the military, government, and business experience of Mike Hayes. The former Commander of SEAL Team TWO stopped by the virtual HPS Insights studio to discuss his new book, “Never Enough: A Navy SEAL Commander on Living a Life of Excellence, Agility, and Meaning.” 

In the book, and throughout the conversation, Mike shared the lessons learned through his experience as a U.S. Navy SEAL, including his time leading a two thousand–person Special Operations Task Force in Southeastern Afghanistan. He talked through how he has applied those lessons to his time working in the Bush and Obama White Houses and in the private sector at Bridgewater Associates, Cognizant Technology, and now as the Chief Digital Transformation Officer at VMWare. 

Many of the lessons Mike shares with readers are familiar to those practiced at HPS, including:

– Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone to increase your knowledge and abilities

– Prioritizing agility in the roles each of us plays on the team, knowing when to lead and when to follow

– Learning how to think, not what to think

In response to questions about his advice to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, Mike shared, “Leaning into the hard things is where the growth comes from. In the SEALs, we certainly move to the problem. It’s what I’ve also seen done sometimes really well in Washington, and sometimes less than well. Failure is only failure if you fail and don’t learn.”

Mike wrote this book not only to share these lessons but to raise awareness and funding for The 1162 Foundation—named after the date President Kennedy commissioned the SEALs—which supports families in the special operations community who have lost loved ones. 

To learn more about Mike’s experiences and the advice he offers readers, listen to the full episode and subscribe to HPS Insights on your favorite podcast service. 

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