240 episodes

Leading with excellence is not something that happens overnight. Join Brad Formsma, best-selling author and a Forbes top-rated leadership speaker, as he dives in to uncover the extraordinary stories of failures and triumphs of other successful leaders in business and beyond. The Wow Factor strives to empower the journey of business leaders through raw conversations and uncovered stories of today’s thought leaders. This podcast will also help you discover the words of wisdom to inspire a team of any size, spark a culture of generosity and innovation, and lead with excellence. For extended insights and podcast show notes, go to https://www.thewowfactorpodcast.com

The Wow Factor Brad Formsma

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 164 Ratings

Leading with excellence is not something that happens overnight. Join Brad Formsma, best-selling author and a Forbes top-rated leadership speaker, as he dives in to uncover the extraordinary stories of failures and triumphs of other successful leaders in business and beyond. The Wow Factor strives to empower the journey of business leaders through raw conversations and uncovered stories of today’s thought leaders. This podcast will also help you discover the words of wisdom to inspire a team of any size, spark a culture of generosity and innovation, and lead with excellence. For extended insights and podcast show notes, go to https://www.thewowfactorpodcast.com

    Brad Martin | Chairman of RBM Ventures, Vice Chairman of FedEx Corporation, and Retired Chairman and CEO of Saks Incorporated

    Brad Martin | Chairman of RBM Ventures, Vice Chairman of FedEx Corporation, and Retired Chairman and CEO of Saks Incorporated

    Brad Martin has significant experience in leadership, corporate strategy, public company governance, and entrepreneurial ventures. He served nearly 20 years as Chairman and CEO of Saks Incorporated.  During his tenure, the enterprise grew from a $70 million annual revenue 10-store chain into one of the largest department store businesses in the United States. He has previously served on the Boards of Caesars Entertainment, Dillard’s, Chesapeake Energy, First Horizon, Gaylord Entertainment, Lululemon Athletica, and Ruby Tuesday. Brad served five terms as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives and was Interim President of the University of Memphis from 2013 – 2014 and he also chairs the Board of the Martin Family Foundation.
    Brad is with me on the show this week to share his personal journeys in leadership, service, and business growth. He emphasizes the importance of mentorship, humility, and continuous learning, as well as how taking calculated risks and visualizing success has helped him move forward professionally and personally. We also dig into the value of service and the need for perseverance, resilience, and mindfulness in the face of challenges. 
    “The question is, are you willing to risk embarrassment?” - Brad Martin
    “The best leaders I have ever met are continuously trying to learn and to get better.” - Brad Martin  
    “Business can play a huge role in service, growth, and the betterment of a community” -  Brad Martin
    This Week on The Wow Factor:
    Why Brad ran for Tennessee House of Representatives at 20 years old, despite being up against a seasoned politician How tenacity and belief in your vision can lead to success How Brad uses visualization techniques to help him stay focused and motivated Why sometimes you need to take risks and face potential embarrassment for personal growth How to develop a clear vision and action plan for achieving your goals Brad discusses storytelling in leadership and decision-making and why it moves you forward How Brad unexpectedly found purpose in business when he realized business could make a positive impact The impact of seeking mentors on your success and the importance of being humble and teachable Reflections on Brad’s 20-year career at companies like Saks, Lululemon, and FedEx Understanding and being aware of the potential consequences of our actions, whether positive or negative, and why it’s important to be more forgiving of people who make mistakes Brad Martin’s Words of Wisdom:
    As a leader, it is absolutely critical to be a continuous learner and model that for your team. It doesn't matter how old you are, what job you have, or what you've accomplished—there's always more you can learn.
    Connect with Brad Martin: 
    R. Brad Martin's Website  Connect with The WOW Factor:
    The WOW Factor Website Connect with Brad Formsma via email Brad Formsma on LinkedIn Brad Formsma on Instagram Brad Formsma on Facebook Brad Formsma on Twitter

    • 46 min
    Lt Col Dan Rooney: Air Force Fighter Pilot and Founder of The Folds of Honor Foundation | The Power of Synchronicity: Lt Col Dan's Journey of Faith, Leadership, and Purpose

    Lt Col Dan Rooney: Air Force Fighter Pilot and Founder of The Folds of Honor Foundation | The Power of Synchronicity: Lt Col Dan's Journey of Faith, Leadership, and Purpose

    Lt Col Dan Rooney, an Air Force fighter pilot and a force for good. From humble beginnings above his garage, he founded The Folds of Honor Foundation to provide educational scholarships to the families of disabled or fallen military members, and, beginning in 2022, the mission was expanded to include first responders. In his new book, FLY INTO THE WIND: How to Harness Faith and Fearlessness on Your Ascent to Greatness, Lt Col Rooney demonstrates how we are all connected by God, and the path to fulfillment begins with changing ourselves to better one another. 
    Lt Col Dan shares his faith in the concept of synchronicity and how chance and purpose allow God to bring people into our lives that shape us. He shares the incident that planted the seed of Folds of Honor in Lt Col Dan’s mind and the moment he felt the hand of God on his shoulder calling him to do something more significant with his life. He also explains why he believes that all great leaders need to take that big step and have the courage to take action before they are ready, and surrender to a higher force. 
    “Great leaders have got vision, and they've got humility.” - Lt Col Dan Rooney
    “Resistance isn't placed in our lives to keep us down. It's actually in our lives to raise us up.” - Lt Col Dan Rooney
    “You are the sky; everything else is the weather.” -  Lt Col Dan Rooney
    This Week on The Wow Factor:
    Dan’s early life and the lessons about hard work that his very first job at the Stillwater Country Club, Oklahoma, taught him The chance encounter that made him realize what he wanted to do with his life How Lt Col Dan came to be compared to Tiger Woods Some of the challenges that Lt Col Dan has encountered in his life, including recognizing that his  ego was getting in his way Lt Col Dan’s code of living based on CAVU (Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited) and how he used it to get through some tough times Lt Col Dan shares the two most significant barriers to achieving your goals The power of forgiveness and how getting rid of that parasitic drag can transform your life The importance of having a routine in staying motivated Why Lt Col Dan firmly believes that if you write your plans down, they are more likely to happen in your life Why Lt Col Dan appealed to Jack Nicklaus to support American Dunes and how it helped them raise $1.1 million for Folds of Honor Lt Col Dan Rooney’s Word of Wisdom:
    Go before you're ready. The single strand of DNA that ties every great leader together is the understanding that you'll never have all the answers, but if you have the courage and faith to go before you're ready, people will follow you.
    Connect with Lt Col Dan Rooney: 
    Lt Col. Dan Rooney's Website Lt Col Dan Rooney on LinkedIn Lt Col Dan Rooney on Instagram Lt Col Dan Rooney on Facebook Lt Col Dan Rooney on Twitter Fly Into the Wind: How to Harness Faith and Fearlessness on your Ascent to Greatness by Lt Col Dan Rooney A Patriot’s Calling: My Life As An F-16 Fighter Pilot, by Lt Col Dan Rooney Connect with Folds of Honor:
    Folds of Honor Website Folds of Honor on LinkedIn Folds of Honor on Instagram Folds of Honor on Facebook Folds of Honor on Twitter Connect with The WOW Factor:
    The WOW Factor Website Connect with Brad Formsma via email Brad Formsma on LinkedIn Brad Formsma on Instagram Brad Formsma on Facebook Brad Formsma on Twitter

    • 41 min
    Tim Goeglein | Vice President of External and Government Relations for Focus on the Family | The Best Days are Yet to Come

    Tim Goeglein | Vice President of External and Government Relations for Focus on the Family | The Best Days are Yet to Come

    Tim Goeglein is Vice President of External and Government Relations for Focus on the Family. Formerly, he served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush and as a deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison. He was the President’s principal outreach contact for conservative and faith-based groups. Tim’s extensive resumé includes serving as a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation and as a communications director for U.S. Senator Dan Coats of Indiana and Gary Bauer at the Campaign for Working Families. Tim has authored a memoir, “The Man in the Middle: Faith and Politics in the George W. Bush Era,” and his latest book is titled “American Restoration.” 
    Tim joins me on The Wow Factor podcast to discuss the intersection of faith and politics, sharing his personal experiences and perspectives. Tim shares how his faith informs his political views, the significance of remembering and understanding American history and religion, and the importance of literacy and critical thinking in maintaining a constitutional republic. Tim also talks more about why he feels so positive about the future of the USA and explains a little about why the least likely heroes can play a significant role in restoration and renewal. 
    “History is ultimately fact-based. It's not it's not opinionated narrative.” - Tim Goeglein
    “Millions of Americans want something better.” - Tim Goeglein  
    “The absolute best days for the United States of America are ahead of us, not behind us.” -  Tim Goeglein
    This Week on The Wow Factor:
    Tim shares his unexpected journey from intern to press secretary in the U.S. Senate for ten years How Thomas Jefferson and James Madison became key figures in the country's founding and the influence of God in the Constitutional Convention The importance of civic literacy and involvement in maintaining a truly constitutional republic The importance of teaching American history and God's word to our young people, and why Tim thinks there is currently a lack of knowledge among students about biblical figures and historical documents Why the Founding Fathers emphasized virtue, integrity, and character as the key to building a constitutional republic Why Tim is an optimist who sees seedlings of restoration and regeneration in homeschooling's booming popularity Why we should prioritize teaching children generosity and the impact it will have on their lives More about Tim’s new book "Stumbling Toward Utopia" and how it explores 1960s ideas and their impact on current society, offering solutions for progress Tim Goeglein’s Words of Wisdom:
    The least likely men and women, the ones that you think are the least likely ones to be at the forefront of restoration, renewal, and regeneration, are very often the ones God himself uses to move forward. 
    Connect with Tim Goeglein: 
    Focus on the Family Website Toward a More Perfect Union: The Moral and Cultural Case for Teaching the Great American Story by Tim Goeglein  Connect with The WOW Factor:
    The WOW Factor Website Connect with Brad Formsma via email Brad Formsma on LinkedIn Brad Formsma on Instagram Brad Formsma on Facebook Brad Formsma on Twitter

    • 32 min
    Paul Saber | President & CEO Manna Development Group, LLC | Being a True Servant Leader

    Paul Saber | President & CEO Manna Development Group, LLC | Being a True Servant Leader

    Paul Saber has been a restaurant owner since 1980. He was the Owner/Operator of McDonald’s restaurants from 1985-2001. In 2003, Paul became President and CEO of Manna Development Group, LLC, and currently holds the Area Development Agreement for Panera Bread. In 2022, Paul was the recipient of the Fierce Brand Love Award. Paul served on the Board of Directors of several Christian ministries and served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association from 2007 to 2009.
    I’m excited to have Paul Saber on the podcast this week to share his experiences and insights on balancing business and faith. Paul shares his entrepreneurial journey and discusses his time working with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. We dive deep into the significance of prayer in business decision-making, with Paul sharing a personal anecdote about his time working with Billy Graham. Paul also shares his thoughts on the intersection of leadership and faith, emphasizing the importance of value, inspiring employees, and giving back to the community. 
    “We laid the foundation of wanting to truly be here to serve others.” - Paul Saber
    “Everything is about prayer and the commitment to Christ.” - Paul Saber  
    “Have we asked the Lord if this is right for us?” -  Paul Saber 
    This Week on The Wow Factor:
    Paul shares more about his introduction to the world of work and how his father taught him the value of buying things by having him count customers and calculate profits at a young age The tragedy of Paul’s brother's death and how Mark influenced Paul over the years, including introducing him to Jesus  Why Paul was committed to starting a business with a focus on people, not location or restaurant concept How Paul built a team at Panera Bread with a strong focus on loving God and caring for people, which led to the company's success Paul shares a personal story of demonstrating servanthood by washing the feet of employees Paul and his wife launched Share the Dough to give back to communities and employees in need How Share the Dough provides scholarships, gives back to employees, and supports women and children in need across 14 states Paul’s experience of working for Billy Graham and Franklin Graham and highlights the impact it had on his personal and professional life The importance of prayer in leadership with Billy Graham's legacy Paul Saber’s Words of Wisdom:
    The most important thing we do isn’t the performance or figuring out the details of what’s needed. It is prayer and whether we have asked the Lord if something is right for us. 
    Connect with Paul Saber: 
    Manna Development Website  Connect with The WOW Factor:
    The WOW Factor Website Connect with Brad Formsma via email Brad Formsma on LinkedIn Brad Formsma on Instagram Brad Formsma on Facebook Brad Formsma on Twitter

    • 44 min
    Kevin Lavelle | Co-Founder and CEO of Harbor | A New Way to Monitor Your Kids

    Kevin Lavelle | Co-Founder and CEO of Harbor | A New Way to Monitor Your Kids

    Kevin Lavelle is the Co-Founder and CEO of Harbor. Kevin brings a wealth of experience from his role as the Founder and Chairman of Mizzen+ Main, having invented the world's first performance fabric dress shirt. With a successful growth round raised from L Catterton, partnerships with world-renowned athletes like Phil Mickelson and JJ Watt, and a background in omnichannel retail, Kevin is not only a dedicated entrepreneur but also a loving husband and father of two.
    Kevin joins me on the show to discuss his brand-new venture, Harbor.  Kevin shares his frustration with current baby monitoring technology and why he wanted to design a dedicated device without an internet connection that was completely failsafe in helping parents keep an eye on their baby. He talks about how the Harbor smart baby monitor allows parents to check on their children without disturbing their sleep and shares details of the personalized, supportive advice from experienced pediatric nurses that Harbor offers to help the whole family get more rest. 
    "We are democratizing access to sleep expertise”  - Kevin Lavelle
    “Keep showing up.” - Kevin Lavelle
    “We need to live our lives, and kids need to be able to learn and thrive.” - Kevin Lavelle
    This week on The Wow Factor:
    The lightbulb moment when a baby monitor app crashed, causing concern for Kevin’s son's safety. Why Kevin wanted to create a baby monitor with a direct connection to a tablet for reliable and secure monitoring. How Harbor allows people to directly connect with their baby, eliminating internet dependence and providing a dedicated device for monitoring. How the camera and tablet communicate directly without Wi-Fi or the internet, using a direct communication protocol. The importance of having a reliable monitoring system and why it makes parents' lives easier How Kevin and the Harbor co-founders and parents tested the device. How Harbor has helped change lives with its sleep expertise and coaching for parents. Kevin Lavelle’s Words of Wisdom:
    Just keep showing up and know that if it wasn’t the day you wanted, you get another day tomorrow. But at the same time, not every day is guaranteed, so value everything as you go through life.
    Connect with Kevin Lavelle:
    Harbor Baby Monitor Website  Kevin Lavelle on LinkedIn  Connect with The WOW Factor:
    The WOW Factor Website Connect with Brad Formsma via email Brad Formsma on LinkedIn Brad Formsma on Instagram Brad Formsma on Facebook Brad Formsma on Twitter

    • 23 min
    Dallen Peterson | Founder of Merry Maids and Author | Honoring God Through Business

    Dallen Peterson | Founder of Merry Maids and Author | Honoring God Through Business

    Dallen Peterson is the Founder of Merry Maids and author of an amazing business book, titled “Rags, Riches & Real Success.” In his book, he shares his remarkable true story and success principles based on personal faith. He shares the story of the founding of Merry Maids, its phenomenal growth, and how it eventually became part of the ServiceMaster family. Dallen’s book also shares the seven principles for real success, all life truths that come from serving God.
    Dallen joins me on The Wow Factor podcast to share his thoughts on the importance of hard work, perseverance, and humility in achieving success. He highlights how his upbringing instilled a strong work ethic and a commitment to serving others, including providing shelter to those in need. Dallen discusses his professional milestones, including his experience of founding and growing Merry Maids on the principles of honoring God and pursuing excellence.
    “Our first corporate objective was to honor God in all we do” - Dallen Peterson
    “It was my dream to be in business” - Dallen Peterson 
    “It was God's timing and God's plan, and for that, I am forever grateful.” -  Dallen Peterson 
    This Week on The Wow Factor:
    Dallen reflects on his experience starting KAPS Foods, including the challenges they faced during that time, including high-interest rates and commodity prices, and how they overcame those challenges through prayer and perseverance How Dallen and his family grew Merry Maids by emphasizing faith and excellence. The importance of honoring God in the company's operations and pursuing excellence, and why that attracted franchisees How Dallen and Chuck Colson joined forces in prison ministry after meeting at a mayor's prayer breakfast in 1976 Dallen shares stories of some of the 100 prisons worldwide he has visited, including prisons in Bulgaria and Uganda, with poor living conditions The $25 million sale of Merry Maids and its impact on Dallen and his family’s lives The challenges of growing a business and the importance of connecting with franchisees How Dallen became involved in various ministry boards and corporate boards after "retiring" at 51 years old Stories of Dallen’s generosity and family ministry, including opening their home to homeless people  Dallen Peterson’s Words of Wisdom:
    I thank God every day. The first thing I do every morning is say, “Thank you, Jesus.”
    Connect with Dallen Peterson: 
    Rags, Riches, and Real Success by Dallen Peterson  Connect with The WOW Factor:
    The WOW Factor Website Connect with Brad Formsma via email Brad Formsma on LinkedIn Brad Formsma on Instagram Brad Formsma on Facebook Brad Formsma on Twitter  

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
164 Ratings

164 Ratings

giveextravagantly ,

Wow is all I can say.

This podcast has been enormously inspiring to me. I've already enjoyed over 50 episodes and I intend to keep going. It's been influential in imparting lessons on leadership, spirituality, and the virtue of generosity.

It's such an enlightening platform that I often find myself suggesting it to my friends. Hearing about individuals who live exemplary lives for my family is absolutely thrilling. A big thank you to Brad, not only for your insightful podcast but also for your books. I'm eager for the day I can meet you in person.

Chris

ASobering ,

Entertaining, insightful, and actionable! 🔥

This podcast is so insightful and I’ve enjoyed every episode I’ve listened to so far! Brad is a very skilled interviewer - he does such a great job of sharing his wisdom, and I love how he leads meaningful conversations with truly engaging individuals that have been where you are and want to see you succeed. Easily one of the most genuine and value-packed podcast for business leaders of any stage!

Joel Fast ,

worth it

It is inspiring to hear the stories of all the guests and how they accomplished their goals not only through hard work but by having faith in what they did. Great podcast and great interviews!

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