60 episodes

Taking the Leap Podcast hosted by Robert Dickie III discusses changes in our global economy impacting the way we work and live. For young professionals starting their careers, mid-career professionals navigating changes and late-career professionals thinking about starting an encore career, Robert and his guests discuss the global economy, technology, workplace developments, and all the latest changes impacting our professional lives.

Taking the Leap Robert Dickie III

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 57 Ratings

Taking the Leap Podcast hosted by Robert Dickie III discusses changes in our global economy impacting the way we work and live. For young professionals starting their careers, mid-career professionals navigating changes and late-career professionals thinking about starting an encore career, Robert and his guests discuss the global economy, technology, workplace developments, and all the latest changes impacting our professional lives.

    From Battlefield to Boardroom: The Transition from the CIA to CEO

    From Battlefield to Boardroom: The Transition from the CIA to CEO

    Todd Wilcox has a fascinating career journey, truly living the American rags-to-riches story. Born in a low-income neighborhood in South Tampa with a single mother Todd grew up helping raise his siblings when a mentor changed his life. Convinced that education was his path out he earned an Army ROTC scholarship to the University of Tampa. Upon graduating, he went on to serve as a rifle platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Desert Storm. Upon promotion to Captain, Todd volunteered to transfer to the US Army Special Forces branch, and after earning his Green Beret, he commanded a Special Forces A-team in counter-terrorism in East Asia. After 8 years of military service, he resigned to accept a position with the CIA to join the global war on terrorism.
    Todd left the CIA in 2006 to create Patriot Defense Group (PDG), a defense contracting company dedicated to serving those who defend America. Since then, Todd has started multiple other related businesses and has been recognized by the Wall Street Journal and through awards such as the Orlando Business Journal “Veterans of Influence” and the Ernst and Young "Entrepreneur of the Year."  Todd serves on the board of the National Defense University Foundation, the Rand Corporation Center for Middle East Public Policy and the Orlando Economic Partnership. He has a degree in Finance from the University of Tampa and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Presidents Program. Todd is also an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). 
    Show Notes:
    3:00 – Todd shares how to prepare as an entrepreneur for future threats and the importance of instilling resilience in yourself. 
    5:00 – Todd gives insight into the events that are happening in the Middle East and Ukraine.
    9:00 – Bob asks Todd to share what he has learned throughout his career as he has accomplished a myriad of different disciplines. Todd shares his upbringing, beginning in Tampa. He opens up about the key learnings that he believes contributed to his future success. 
    15:00 – Todd touches on the culture shock that came with joining the army. He then talks about the biggest inflection point that he noticed moving from a young army officer to special forces and the challenges that accompanied these transitions.
    23:00 – Hollywood vs. Reality– Todd touches on the differences he sees in his career in the agency as opposed to the way it is depicted in media that we consume.
    “It would be a really boring show if they showed you everything that actually went on.”
    28:00—Todd discusses how much of Patriot Defense is working with the US government versus commercial services. Todd defines “open source intelligence” and “big data analytics.”
    “The amount of data that is publicly available is kind of scary.”
    35:00 – Todd gives his advice as an intelligence officer to traveling business executives and young people looking to limit digital exhaust, those wanting to be more mindful of their data. 
    41:00 – The popular topic of TikTok is brought up as Todd discusses his thoughts on whether or not the app is tracking and collecting your data as you use the app. He shares that he doesn’t know what the firewall is and doesn’t trust it. 
    48:00 – Bob asks Todd to delve into his unique experiences. He shares how he took the leap to pursue hybrid training with multiple organizations. 
    53:00 – Entrepreneurship is growing rapidly. Todd shares his advice on where he believes young people who are wanting to pursure entrepreneurship should focus their time and energy on this journey. He believes that you should pursue a business in what you know best and are passionate about.
    “Do what you know best. Build your business around what you know.”
    58:00 – Todd talks about what originally motivated him to pursue making a difference in politics in Washington DC.
    1:03:00 – From his pursuit in politics, Todd shares the

    • 1 hr 11 min
    The Green Credit Wave: Carbon X Solutions' Mission to Monetize Solar

    The Green Credit Wave: Carbon X Solutions' Mission to Monetize Solar

    Our guests today are Cody Newton and Dr. Doug Cleveland. Cody Newton is a serial entrepreneur, having started or been involved in over 20 companies, including professional sports, franchising, direct sales, and the energy markets. He is dedicated to democratizing renewables, carbon credits, and recycling for home and business owners in his latest project with Carbon X Solutions. Dr. Douglas Cleveland is a trained Anesthesiologist from the University of Chicago with a Medical Economics Certificate from the Harvard Business School. Doug is also an entrepreneur with expertise in process and operational efficiencies and shares Cody’s passion for the energy and renewables space and the impact it can have on the environment. I found this story fascinating, as two entrepreneurs with vastly different backgrounds saw the same problem and figured out a way to complement each other with their diverse approaches to business. They built a team and tackled a problem many experts said was impossible. This conversation will highlight the complexities and challenges of starting a new venture when everyone around you says it can’t be done. If there is one thing I have learned from all these interviews, it is that entrepreneurs almost always have to defy the odds and many naysayers along the way to launch a product or service that is new, innovative, and world-changing.
    Learn more at www.CarbonXSolutions.com
    Show Notes:
    3:00 - Doug begins by sharing how he entered his entrepreneurial journey. He shares how he started out in med school to become an anesthesiologist and started practicing anesthesiology but became restless to do more and learn more.

    6:00 - Doug shares his background, where he got his various degrees, and where he completed his professional training.

    7:00 - Cody shares his background of growing up in a small farm town, embarking on getting a degree from Kansas State and pivoting to become an entrepreneur. 

    13:00 - Doug discusses breadth vs. depth in the medical field and how that translates to his entrepreneurial journey.

    Quote: “Riches are in niches.” 

    16:00 - Doug and Cody share some “key lessons” they learned early in their careers that would be valuable to young people starting out in their careers to help speed up their entrepreneurial journey. They share the 

    26:00 - Cody and Doug share how they discovered carbon credits and why they were led to participate in this “green movement” to help the environment, as well as businesses and homeowners participating in this movement.

    31:00 - Cody discusses the posture of his heart toward smaller and medium-sized businesses when involving them in this industry. He shares his goal to make this attainable for small and medium-sized companies to utilize this business opportunity. 

    Quote: “We can expand this green revolution faster as we make it more accessible.”

    40:00 - Cody shares the story of how he found himself in the right spot at the right time to make a partnership and how this reflects the entrepreneurial experience of living intentionally in everyday life. 

    Quote: “If you always plant seeds, the harvest will come over time.”
    “If you’re passionate about something, the worst thing you can do is keep it inside.”

    42:00 - Doug chimes in and shares his story when meeting Cody and beginning their partnership.

    48:00 - Cody and Doug discuss the struggles and obstacles they have faced and had to overcome throughout their journey. They share what they have learned from that process.

    54:00 - Bob asks how they balanced seeking counsel and guidance while pursuing their goals when they may have been advised not to.
    Quote: “The experts don’t always have the same vision that you do… take what they say with a grain of salt.”

    59:00 - Doug and Cody share what they foresee the next 3-5 years to look like for this industry and talk about what they hope to accomplish in these future opportunities. 

    1:07:00 - Bob asks Doug and Cody to share t

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Curtain Call: The Story Behind A Hollywood Journey - Danny Fehsenfeld

    Curtain Call: The Story Behind A Hollywood Journey - Danny Fehsenfeld

    Danny Fehsenfeld is a multifaceted talent in the entertainment industry, known for his versatile contributions as an actor, singer/songwriter, public speaker, and writer. With a rich career that spans across various mediums, Danny has left his mark on audiences worldwide. He is recognized for his role as "Gil" on "The Young & The Restless" and his compelling presence on YouTube with over 250 million views. As the face of national campaigns for brands like Jeep, Chrysler, and 5 Hour Energy, Danny's influence in advertising is undeniable, with award-winning Super Bowl commercials and notably setting trends with his viral campaign for Nordnet.
    His voice acting prowess is showcased in the Oscar-winning "Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse," and he stars in several major animation features, including "Chickenhare & The Hamster Of Darkness" and "Latte & The Magic Waterstone," both acclaimed on Netflix. Danny is also the voice behind "Bogota" in the globally celebrated series "Money Heist" (La Casa De Papel).
    On-screen, Danny's notable roles include Nelson Stone in the TV series "Scarlett" and appearances in "The Upshaws" and "The Day You Found Me." His vocal talents extend to the music industry, backing icons like Celine Dion and John Legend, and leading the praise band at the Crystal Cathedral.
    Growing up on the road with a public speaker father, Danny's early life was filled with travel and homeschooling experiences that shaped his passion for art and communication. Today, he continues to inspire through his performances and as a speaker at various events, embodying the transformative power of creativity and imagination.
    Show Notes:
    4:00 – Danny shares his story, his “La La Land” journey, as he falls in love with singing and acting and begins to follow his dream. He talks about the tenacity and faith it takes to follow a dream to Hollywood.12:00 – The entertainment industry is built on selling perception. The entertainment industry is not so much interested in what is best but what is being bought. He shares how to become and remain relevant in the industry.“Art itself is always a reflection of the culture from which it is derived… anytime you try to regulate art, it ceases to exist; art in its purest form is freedom.” 20:00 – Danny shares his first “big break” and how that altered his perception of his finances. He then talks about experiencing an empty feeling after starring in a #1 film as he immediately started to think about what came next. “Who I am as a man always takes precedence over my accolades.” 26:00 –  “How soon can I buy my freedom?” Danny shares what things were most important to him– not being bound to a day job, freedom to travel, etc– and what he did to achieve those goals financially.32:00 – How to be an entrepreneur in the entertainment industry, the mindset and habits needed to have success!“All that fear and anxiety is excitement with a negative outlook.” 48:00 – Danny shares his background and how he began his journey of self-discovery. He talks about how he reprogrammed his mind to restructure his life. He talks about the power that the words you speak and the thoughts you possess have over your reality.1:05:00 – Major career “breakthroughs” followed a changed mindset and lifestyle. He discusses the differences in the genres he has worked within– musicals, animations, comedies, and more– and what he enjoys about each process.1:10:00– Danny discusses the industry logistics of how the studio works when recording animation films and the creative methods that he can implement when acting.“The four deepest fears of humanity are the fear of death, rejection, failure, and public speaking. I think the fear of public speaking is connected to some of those other fears.” 1:15:00 – Danny talks about the different segments of voiceovers and the commercial industry segments. He then talks about the process of casting within commercials.1:24:00 – Danny gi

    • 2 hr 15 min
    Decrypting Crypto: Navigating the Blockchain Revolution - Hervé Larren

    Decrypting Crypto: Navigating the Blockchain Revolution - Hervé Larren

    Today's distinguished guest is Hervé Larren, the entrepreneurial force behind Airvey.io, a company dedicated to building, supporting, and providing expert advice to Web 3.0 ventures.
    Hervé emerged as a pioneer in the cryptocurrency realm, adopting Bitcoin and blockchain technology early in 2013 and becoming one of the early initial crypto miners in the United States. His strategic foresight led to capitalizing on his mining endeavors through public vehicles with Grayscale, and he has recently been elected to be a special council member for the ApeCoin DAO.
    Throughout his illustrious career, Hervé has imparted his knowledge to over a dozen prestigious projects, such as Horizen Labs and the innovative Yuga Labs’ ApeCoin. His vision was instrumental in the early work in Decentraland and helping create one of the largest commercial zones in the the Metaverse. He also played a key role in developing the Horizen ZEN token.
    Hervé's expertise has not gone unnoticed; his profile has been elevated through features in leading publications, including CoinTelegraph, Forbes, Bloomberg Magazine, and The Huffington Post, as part of the American Express Spotlight Series. His insights have graced television screens on Bloomberg, KTLA, and E! News. As a guest speaker, Hervé has shared his knowledge of the crypto and blockchain economic revolution at over 30 international conferences across 10 countries.
    Before venturing into the entrepreneurial landscape, Hervé honed his skills with prestigious tenures at luxury conglomerates LVMH and Pernod Ricard.
    An alumnus of the Harvard Business School Presidents' Program, Hervé also holds an MBA from Columbia Business School. His leadership qualities and keen insights have earned him membership in the elite Young Presidents' Organization (YPO).
    Show Notes:
    "Nothing discussed in this podcast should be considered investment advice. This conversation is for informational and, hopefully, entertainment purposes only. Enjoy!"
    03:47 - Hervé discovers "Plan B" = Bitcoin08:30 - "If you mistrust your country, you will mistrust a digital currency they create."12:30 - How did Hervé manage psychologically living at the cutting edge of a new technology movement when most of his peers did not understand it and thought it was crazy? 18:00 - What are the problems crypto was solving? This is what entrepreneurs do...find a problem and solve it.20:00 - What are Hervé's predictions for the future and things he is excited about?Value investing and linear growth vs. network effects and metcalfe's law.30:00 - Real-world problems and use cases for blockchain technology.35:00 - These projects provide new governance opportunities to protect the community.38:00 - The power of community and the network.52:00 - "The swings are very big in Web 3.0...because of this, it is quite easy to see who is committed to the space." Commitment is everything, especially when things are down. Your best relationships will be built during bear markets. Book RecommendationsOutlive - Dr. Peter AttiaCurtis Jackson - Hustle HarderAtomic Habits 1:00:00 - Personal longevity hacks as a global traveler"You are the CEO of your health! Know your numbers."1:03:00 - Where is a good place to start your journey in this space? Everyone's journey is different. "Everyone will get Bitcoin at the price they deserve!"What would Hervé say if he were asked to give a State of the World address? Follow Hervé on LinkedIn at Hervé Larren and on X @hervelarren_ (Airvey), and Instagram at Hervelarren.

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Bet It All & Live Fearless - Ryan Niles

    Bet It All & Live Fearless - Ryan Niles

    Ryan is the Founder, President, and CEO of Niles Industrial Coatings in Fenton, Michigan which he has led for close to 21 years. NIC is a best-in-class safety, coatings, and technology company focused on commercial and industrial painting across North America. As a serial entrepreneur, Ryan has founded and led multiple companies in the home building, commercial scaffolding, commercial services, and investing areas. Ryan is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Medical Technology and is currently in the Harvard Business School President’s Program. Ryan is also a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO). Fun fact, Ryan and I both graduated from Grand Blanc High School, where I was a year ahead of him, so this was fun for me to connect with an old friend. I respect Ryan’s business intellect and how he leads by example, with humility and authenticity, and putting his people first. He has created a unique learning culture within his company and is having a noticeable impact on his community. He is an incredible husband and father who leads with character and integrity and knows how to live life to the fullest.  You will enjoy this conversation, so let's jump in! 
    Show Notes:
    4:00 – Ryan begins by sharing his origin story. He shares his experience growing up in a family business and why he wanted to leave to chart his own path, leading into why he “took the leap.” He says that his father encouraged him to get out of the family business and pursue something more “stable.”
    9:00 – Ryan talks about his experience being laid off from his job in 2002 and the emotions and lessons that came with that. He then begins to start his own business but struggles to get his family to get on board. With the support of his dad, he gets his new business started.
    Quote: “I see consistently that at your lowest point at your darkest hour in life, generally, that's when the seeds of your greatest successes are being planted and people just have to have faith through those dark seasons.” – Bob
    12:00 – Ryan states that he wants to raise his kids to be fearless because he feels that fearlessness is what built him.
    13:00 – Ryan shares how his wife supported him in the “unstable” parts of his career and how his dad’s partnership impacted his life and career. 
    15:00 – Rod breaks down the biggest pivots that he made and how fearlessness played into those, one of the decisions being joining YPO. How important is it to him to protect the fearless trait within him to grow and manage his business? 
    Quote: “It amazed me. When you really want something, how much you can get done.” – Ryan
    19:00 – Ryan delves into his business endeavors with his dad, where he experiences extreme risk-taking. He emphasizes the importance of having high trust with your partner, the power of negotiation, and the efficiency that comes with valuing people and caring about the customer.
    Quote: “I think it [the margin] improved more from the culture and what we did once we started investing in the people and our equipment and that's what drove the margin not the pricing, and I think people miss that so often.” – Ryan
    26:00 – Ryan shares how he views risk and why he leans into it. Ryan says that recognizing his gift of connecting the dots and being aware of things around him helps him to take risks. He shares that he takes risks when he has fully thought them through and trusts that he understands the risk that he is taking.
    31:00 – Ryan shares that his secret power is his ability to pick up the phone to ask questions and be open to opinions and viewpoints. How important are different points of view and perspectives when it comes to decision-making?
    34:00 – Ryan talks about his upbringing and struggles with not feeling naturally smart. He talks about the importance of finding your gifts and leveraging them. He says that having humility is vital when realizing your gifts a

    • 1 hr 28 min
    The Longevity Code: Exploring Health and Wellness with Dr. Darshan Shah

    The Longevity Code: Exploring Health and Wellness with Dr. Darshan Shah

    Dr. Darshan Shah is a health and wellness specialist, well-known surgeon, published author, tech entrepreneur, and founder and CEO of Beautologie and Next|Health. As an expert on all body systems, he has performed over 10,000 surgical procedures, including trauma surgery, general surgery and plastic/reconstructive procedures. As a health and wellness specialist, he has advised thousands of patients on how to optimize their well-being and extend their lifespan, culminating in the creation of Next|Health, the "Apple Store" of Health and Wellness offering healthspan and lifespan-extending technology and treatments in a beautiful, welcoming environment.  Dr. Darshan Shah started his training at an accelerated MD program at the age of 15 at the University of Missouri and earned his medical degree at the age of 21, becoming one of the youngest doctors in the United States. After surgical training in central California, Dr. Shah then continued his training at the Mayo Clinic, one of the most prestigious medical institutes in the county. After earning his board certification, he went on to open medical/surgical centers throughout California, as well as starting innovative tech companies, creating patented medical devices, and advising dozens of startups in medicine, finance, and tech. Dr. Shah's belief in continual education and self-improvement has earned him alumni status at Harvard Business School, Singularity University, and is a member of YPO (Young President’s Organization.) Dr. Darshan Shah is the oldest of three children. He is very close to his family and attributes his success to the values of hard work, passion for everything you do, and relentless tenacity taught to him by his parents. He lives in Malibu, California with his wife, and two children and loves to travel, exercise, and has a passion to continuously educate himself and others.
    2:20 – Bob asks Dr. Shah to share his origin story and how he was one of the youngest doctors in America to earn his medical degree. Dr. Shah shares what inspired him to pursue this career. Quote: “Going into surgery saved my medical career.” – Dr. Shah
    5:30 – Dr. Shah shares how he found himself being 15 years old going into medical school.
    6:50 – Dr. Shah discusses what inspired him to pursue medicine, even when discouraged.
    11:20 – Bob asks Dr. Shah how he decided to operate his own business as well as practice medicine.
    Quote: “You quickly realize that [running a business] is a completely different skill set from being a doctor, and it is an additional skill set to be a leader.” – Dr. Shah
    15:00 – Dr. Shah gives insight into how he started learning how to run a business when he was already an expert in surgery.
    17:20 – Bob asks Dr. Shah what the 3 most important lessons are that he learned as a doctor starting his business.
    22:00 – Dr. Shah begins to tell the story of how he took some time off of work to prioritize his health and the impact of that decision on his career. Quote: “I want to get people healthy, not just treat people with surgery and pills.” – Dr. Shah
    28:20 – Bob asks Dr. Shah what he is learning as he shifts his lifestyle and decides to go to the root cause of his patients’ health.
    33:20 – Bob asks Dr. Shah’s insight on the multitude of health issues that the US is facing and what demographics are getting access to something like “Next Health.” 
    38:00 – Bob brings up common medical controversies where one doctor says something is “bad” while another says that it is “good.” Dr. Shah gives advice on who to trust and who to listen to, especially in the media. Quote: “Whenever you see some sort of controversy, you can assume that there is some sort of truth somewhere in the middle.” – Dr. Shah
    41:40 – Bob and Dr. Shah discuss the importance of sleep.
    45:00 – Dr. Shah shares how to become the “CEO of your own health.”
    51:00 – Bob asks Dr. Shah for

    • 1 hr 26 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
57 Ratings

57 Ratings

Pokalakachoouakaout ,


Love the opportunity to talk and listen to other’s experience to help support future leaders. Thank you Bob for being a leader and doing this as it is our job to all have impact on future communities and leaders, so thank you for doing such a huge part!

Kennedy#2001 ,

Long format interviews🔥

I love the long format interviews allowing for a rich discussion on topics. Provides millennial “life hacks” for success.

matthewhiteeee ,

Aspiring Professional

This is a wonderful conversation between two industry professionals with a plethora of experience. Great insights and important reminders for business and everyday life!

Top Podcasts In Business

Money Rehab with Nicole Lapin
Money News Network
REAL AF with Andy Frisella
Andy Frisella #100to0
Money Stuff: The Podcast
The Ramsey Show
Ramsey Network
Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques
Stanford GSB
Habits and Hustle
Jen Cohen and Habit Nest