Hi and welcome!
I’m Todd Gongwer and I write, speak and teach on topics usually (at least in some way) related to leadership, culture and life purpose. I love my crazy family more than anything else on this earth. However, not too far behind is my love for the amazing opportunities I get traveling from coast to coast encouraging leaders from all walks of life. In 2010, my life changed significantly after I wrote and released my first book, LEAD…for God’s Sake. More on that later; but first, a little background on my life.
I grew up in a small Midwestern town pretty much in the middle of nowhere and worked for the family business as a kid. Although I don’t recall hating the work, I do recall preferring to play (like most normal kids) so sports, motorcycles, dogs, water, an occasional fire and of course, my three brothers all contributed to some pretty cool memories from my childhood.
Eventually, I had to grow up, so as an aspiring entrepreneur, I began trying to carve out my identity in the world of business. Of course, I still had a passion for sports, so I simultaneously took on a role as an assistant basketball coach for a small college (Bethel Hoops) near my home town. As I locked in on the pursuit of success, sports and business became the primary driving forces in my life. However, as I began to experience challenges related to team dynamics in both of these worlds, I soon became passionate about yet another subject: leadership.
Despite frequent eighty-hour work weeks, finishing up my degree, and my poor attempts to be a good husband, I decided to embark upon a journey to read 500 hundred books on leadership. Yeah, crazy as it sounded, I was determined to become a leadership expert – whatever that is. Eventually, blinded by my obsessive pursuits, my life became a whirlwind of misguided passions, misplaced priorities and misunderstood purpose. Struggling emotionally, physically and relationally, I’d lost sight of my true WHY – and was paying a dear price as a result.
I’ll spare you the details of the spiral; however, I will share that eventually my eyes were opened to some important truths about pursuits, passions, priorities and true purpose in life. And, although I prefer to not repeat my past, I’m thankful for the lessons learned along the way because these lessons played a huge role in preparing me for the next chapters of my life. Chapters that would include being a husband and dad, coaching hundreds of youth sports games, owning a business, leading a cultural transformation of a large private company, serving as a senior executive in a public company, and of course, writing a book.
Over time that book, my first, would gain national attention after some of the most successful coaches and business leaders in America began publicly praising its’ impact on their lives. Mentions in ESPN Magazine, Bleacher Report, ESPN.com, and on EPSN. soon propelled the book to bestseller status. Eventually, I founded Kardia Transformation Group as invitations to speak to major sports and business teams across the country began to pour in, along with opportunities to work closely with many high-profile coaches and business leaders impacted by the book.
Well, there you have it, a summary of the chapters from the past five decades of my life. And although I’m not sure what my next chapters in life will look like, I do know that I want to encourage you as you head into the next chapters of your life. Which brings me to the purpose of this blog; to encourage and challenge the heart of your leadership. To do this, I share thoughts and ideas on some of the most important things I’ve learned while on my own leadership journey. Of course, you can respond directly to me with your own thoughts or questions on the subject at hand and we’ll grow together!
So, if you’re up for it, I’d love for you to connect with me (yes – I really do respond to my emails personally) by signing up below or, if you prefer, send me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will sign you up so that my posts are sent to your inbox.
Wishing all the BEST!
PS – Please share this with any friends who are serious about growing in their own leadership!