I’m excited about this episode of High Reliability because it centers on a book and miniseries that I consider to be at the top of the book and miniseries chart: Band of Brothers. 

Band of Brothers is a 2001 American war drama miniseries based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose’s 1992 non-fiction book of the same name. It was created by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who also served as executive producers. The series won Emmy and Golden Globe awards in 2001 for best miniseries. If you have not watched Band of Brothers, put it on your list.

The series is a dramatized account of  E-Company, part of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, assigned to the United States Army’s 101st Airborne Division during World War II. Over ten episodes the series details the company’s World War II journey. 

Starting with jump training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, in 1942, Band of Brothers follows the unit through the American airborne landings in Normandy and Operation Market Garden, then on to the Siege of Bastogne and The Battle of the Bulge, and through war’s end in 1945, including taking Eagle’s Nest, which was a Third Reich–era building erected atop a mountain summit and used by Hitler.

Band of Brothers chronicles Easy Companies triumphs and tragedies. It shows the men in their humanity. You don’t need to have seen Band of Brothers to enjoy this podcast. But if you have seen it, we will apply leadership lessons from WW II to healthcare facilities management in 2021. These leadership lessons are timeless: They are universal.

I would like to thank my three guests for their time and research. Like me, they appreciate American history, warts and all, and the lessons that can be learned from history. My guests are:  

  • Thomas Elliott: Director of Facilities, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, CA
  • Geoff Schuller: Owner, GH Schuller Consulting, Mission Viejo, CA.  
  • Steve Spaanbroek: CEO, MSL Healthcare Partners

It is a great listen, download and subscribe here:


In addition to the miniseries and the many books chronicling  Easy Company and Major Dick Winters, this YouTube series, Reel History,

Reel History with Professor Jared Frederick is a great companion piece

provides excellent historical context, and when needed, a more accurate picture of the events depicted in Band of Brothers.  As Tom Hanks said, “history had to fit into our television screens,” meaning a 10-episode series could not completely capture all of the events from 1941-1945. 

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