I’ll never forget, it was mid-2019. I was listening to the Tim Ferriss Show podcast, episode #361, titled: Jim Collins – A Rare Interview with a Reclusive Polymath. 


For context, it’s important to note that Jim is a sort of “childhood hero” of mine. Not a childhood hero like Michael Jordan, Ken Griffey Jr., Troy Aikman may be for many of us. But someone I’ve followed obsessively due to his speaking ability and deep passion for learning and teaching since first viewing his Drucker Day keynote almost 10 years ago. Thus, I was hanging on every word of the 2+ hour conversation between these two brilliant thinkers. 


At one point (around 1:26:00) Jim referenced a “personal board of directors”, an idea he came up with in the late 1980’s and still to this day references as one of the most impactful decisions he’s made.


I stored the concept in the back of my mind until months later when I read a LinkedIn post from Minneapolis-based keynote speaker, Ryan Estis. In the post and accompanying article, Ryan acknowledges his personal board of directors and their essentialness to his personal and professional success. I didn’t know Ryan personally at the time but I certainty knew of him as one of the top keynote speakers + sales and marketing minds in the country.


I immediately went to work, following Jim's advice and built my personal board of directors (PBOD). It’s what you see below – a group of carefully vetted advisers whose guidance I trust and respect. They provide invaluable expertise in their particular field and help me make informed, strategic decisions. They’re selected based on their character more than their accomplishments and continue to shape me each day. I customized Jim's PBOD concept by specifying a "Chair" for each board member to sit so we stay on track during our sessions. Next to placing my faith as a priority and marrying my beautiful wife, Malia, this is, as Jim Collins referenced, one of the most valuable decisions I’ve made.

Personal Board of Directors PBOD Page Tw

Faith Chair:  Drew Shepp  |  Campus Pastor, Substance Church

Faith Vice Chair: Terry Lijewski  |  Vice President, Scott Equipment Company

Marriage: Nate & Mollie Fears  |  Owners / Entrepreneurs, Uptown Hub

Grace & Vulnerability: Malia Kunz  |  Wife  |  Marketing Strategist  |  Relationship Expert, Boston Scientific + aftryou

Finance & Investing: Dan Krueger  |  Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Invictus Capital

Business Leadership: Jacob Richmann  |  President, WOODCHUCK USA

Beast Mode Leadership: Benjamin Vandenwymelenberg  |  Author  |  Conservationist  |  Speaker  |  Founder + CEO, WOODCHUCK USA + WOODCHUCK MEDICAL

Community Chair: Brogan Graham  |  Co-Founder, November Project

Diversity & Inclusion: Ericka Jones | Global Inclusion & Diversity Business Leader, Cargill

Speaking: Ryan Estis  |  CEO, Ryan Estis & Associates

Human Performance: Tyler Lorenzen | CEO, PURIS

Holistic Health/Wellness: Kristin Rowell  |  CEO, Energetically Efficient