Dr. Patrick Leddin is a Professor at Vanderbilt University’s Managerial Studies Program, where he teaches both Corporate Strategy and Principles of Marketing. He started out in the Army, where he served for over six years with the 82nd Airborne Division as a Platoon Leader, Staff Officer, and Company Commander. After transitioning from the Army, he worked as a Senior Consultant at KPMG. He then started his own consulting firm, the Wedgewood Consulting Group, and served as Managing Director. In 2011 Inc Magazine named Wedgwood one of the fastest growing private companies in America, and they were acquired in 2012. Patrick holds a PhD in Communication from the University of Kentucky, and has also worked as a Director & Senior Consultant at Franklin Covey for nearly 16 years.
“When I left Bain I reached out to a variety of folks… to explore what was out there. I kept in touch with those folks, and made a point to regularly get back in touch with people and see what they’re up to. It was after a meeting like that - we grabbed coffee and didn’t think much of it at the time, but he called me a few weeks later to let me know that Lyft was starting up in Atlanta. It was basically a lightening bolt that made me aware. It appeared and it appeared because I made contacts and maintained them." – Sam Bond
Sam Bond is a General Manager at Lyft - a company most listeners have probably used for their app which makes it simple for you to find a ride whenever you need one. Although only four years old, Lyft has raised $2B in funding, and has nearly 6k employees listed on LinkedIn. Sam started out at Princeton University and then served as an officer in the Marine Corps for 4 years. After his service, he attended the University of Virginia - Darden Graduate School of Business. He worked in consulting at Bain & Company as a Consultant and then Case Team Leader. He also worked at the Coca-Cola Company - first as a Director Supply Chain Strategy and then as a Group Director of Strategy and Portfolio Management.
In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:
- An overview of the General Manager position at Lyft
- Indications that a veteran may enjoy the role of General Manager, and indications that it might not be a good fit for them
- What it's like to work at an explosively growing startup (and the pros and cons of joining a company on an exponential growth path)
- An overview of entry level positions at Coca-Cola for a newly transitioned veteran
- How Sam looks back on his journey to a role of General Manager
- And much, much more…
QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
- The ride sharing service, Lyft
- 2:23 - Sam's background
- 3:27 - An overview of the General Manager position at Lyft
- 7:27 - Sam's day-to-day life at Lyft
- 11:58 - Indications that a veteran may enjoy the role of General Manager, and indications that it might not be a good fit for them
- 15:00 - What it's like to work at an explosively growing startup (and the pros and cons of joining a company on an exponential growth path)
- 19:20 - Sam's decision to leave the Marine Corps
- 22:05 - Sam's view on an MBA and how essential it is to a veteran aspiring to a General Manager role
- 24:04 - How Sam decided to enter Management Consulting at Bain & Company
- 26:25 - Some of the skills that Sam learned at Bain that have helped him in his role as General Manager
- 29:45 - How Sam's lifestyle changed between a Consultant to a Case Team Leader
- 31:50 - After three years, how Sam transitioned from Bain & Company to Coca-Cola
- 34:50 - An overview of Sam's roles at Coca-Cola
- 38:20 - An overview of entry level positions at Coca-Cola for a newly transitioned veteran
- 41:10 - How Sam transitioned from Coca-Cola to Lyft
- 47:32 - How Sam looks back on his journey to a role of General Manager
- 50:00 - How leadership outside of the military differs from leadership within the military
- 52:20 - Final words of wisdom from Sam
Eric Hulbert is a Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in their Atlanta Office. He started out at the Naval Academy, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in History. After that he served for over 11 years as a pilot, Wing Asst Training Officer, Maritime Watch Officer, and ROTC instructor. After his transition from the military, Eric worked in the Finance Industry at Bank of America - as a Vice Principal of Strategy Analyst. Eric holds an MBA and a Masters of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering from the University of Florida
Tom Spahn has spent time in his civilian career as both a Corporate Lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell, as well as a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Co. He has a collection of degrees - he received his JD from Stanford Law School while also obtaining MS in Management Science & Engineering at Stanford at the same time. He also holds a Masters in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University. Tom graduated from the Naval Academy, served on submarines with the crew of the USS Chicago (SSN 721).
Timothy Avery faced his transition to civilian life much earlier than anticipated, and found himself - far ahead of his peer set - having to decide what to do. Initially, he found his way to Management Consulting, where he worked with both BearingPoint and Booz Allen Hamilton. However, after further consideration, he navigated his way to a doctoral program in clinical psychology (i.e., Doctorate of Psychology, or PsyD).
Blake Lindsay grew up all over the United States, and knew from an early age that he wanted to go to a service academy. At the Naval Academy, he was the Captain of the Men's Rugby Team while majoring in Ocean Engineering. After graduating from USNA in 2005, Blake joined the Surface Warfare Community and then went through the Nuclear Power pipeline. After Nuclear Power School and Prototype, Blake was stationed in Seattle with the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). While on Active Duty, Blake went through Old Dominion University's graduate school, receiving his Master's in Engineering Management shortly after separating from the Navy. Blake's first job out of the military was with McKinsey & Co. in the industry of Management Consulting.