Ryan Berman and Ryan Thompson talk to thought leaders from around the globe in business, sports and entertainment to uncover what it means to be courageous in today's world.

The Courageous Podcast—Episode #1

Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides – Space travel, facing fear, and how to manage your thoughts.

Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides is a founding Astronaut at Virgin Galactic, the author of The New Right Stuff: Using Space to Bring Out the Best in You (, Co-founder of global Space party Yuri’s Night (, and the creator of SpaceKind leadership training (

In this episode we cover how Loretta became interested in space and space travel that led to her journey to become an astronaut. Her definition of courage and how she has approached fear in her life. The tools she utilizes to manage stress, daily life, and the internal conversations we all have. How to set a vision for yourself and execute it. Mother earth and the perspective we should all have when evaluating our own life, and life as a community on this special planet.

Enjoy getting a bit more insight on Loretta's journey, her book, and the space party - Yuri's Night.

Episode Notes:

7:00 - How Loretta became interested in space and becoming an astronaut

9:47 - Loretta's definition of courage

15:48 - Managing your thoughts

17:16 - Setting a vision and mission for yourself

21:41 - Earth as a living system and how we can all work together as a superorganism

23:26 - Emotional sobriety - journaling, meditation and getting outside

25:44 - Using prompts for stream of consciousness journaling

30:57 - Lessons to be learned from the pandemic

33:55 - How the space community thinks about time scale and geographical boundaries

36:00 - Covering Loretta's book - The New Right Stuff

40:38 - Yuri's Night - World space holiday

47:48 - Loretta's closing message (enriching life by marinating in uplifting, inspiring and motivating content)


The Courageous Podcast—Episode #2

Bracken Darrell (Logitech, CEO) – Staying hungry, Constant Experimentation, Business Haikus, Leading Courageously and The Inner rebel.

From wireless bluetooth earbuds to state-of-the-art webcams, powerhouse Logitech hosts 7000 employees and generates 2.8 billion in global revenue annually. Since 2013, at the helm of it all, has been the deep thinking Logitech Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bracken Darrell.

Bracken has ventured on quite the journey to Logitech’s top seat. Prior to his time in his current position, Bracken experienced an amalgamation of experiences steering many household brands at Procter & Gamble, Whirlpool and General Electric. His leadership style has inspired teams and rejuvenated iconic brands such as Old Spice, Gillette, Braun and KitchenAid.

Prior to starting his career with Arthur Anderson and PepsiCo, Bracken earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. degree in English from Hendrix College in Arkansas.

In this lively episode we run the gamut in our conversation. If you’re passionate about leadership, inspiration, maintaining a new comers mentality and the importance of communication, then you’re in for a treat.

Bracken also “let’s us in” while sharing a few stories of his childhood. We learn how that gave him a desire and drive to succeed in business along his path to the role of CEO.

Learn why “success" and “failure" need to get shown the door from your vocabulary. Gain insight on the importance of constant experimentation. Enjoy a definition on how time can be on your side especially when it comes to taking on life's novelties. Hear Bracken’s take on a few served up Business Haikus. And, finally, learn the importance of courageously embracing your inner rebel.

Episode Notes:

3:26 - Background of Bracken and growing up in Kentucky

5:00 - Where Bracken’s drive came from

6:30 - Transition from sports to leadership

7:14 - How consuming content can help with analogies in business

8:30 - Setting goals early to achieve success

10:00 - Why reporting doesn’t matter if you use influence

11:40 - Communicating is the key to developing trust

14:08 - How and why Bracken decided to fire himself

17:13 - Staying hungry

19:15 - Negative blessing

19:55 - Business Haiku’s

23:28 - Bracken’s definition of time

28:00 - How to get inspired

30:56 - OGSMT - Objectives, Goals, Strategy, Measures and Tactics

35:46 - On being yourself and embracing your inner rebel

38:16 - Bracken’s definition of courage


The Courageous Podcast—Episode #3

Landon Donovan: US Men’s National Team Soccer Legend, Manager of USL’s San Diego Loyal, Husband, Father of 3.

Donovan is a USA soccer legend, a Dad to three kids, and a coach to 26 athletes for the SD Loyal ( He has won six (6) MLS cups, is the all time leader in assists for the national team and MLS, and is tied with Clint Dempsey as the all-time leader in scoring for the U.S. national team. He is regarded as one of the greatest U.S. soccer players of all time.

We get a chance to relive the Algeria goal in 2010, the impact it had on soccer here in the states, the pressure of the moment, and the strategy to get to that goal.

He talks with us about creating an identity through soccer and how that filled his need for acceptance. What this did to him post professional soccer and how he came to grips with who he is as a human being. Landon shares how he found his next passion and the importance of trying new things to get to your “why” and define your personal purpose.

Learn how he got to the top level, the preparation needed to excel, and how training, travel and media affected his motivation. How he addresses fear and lives in the present. And what compassion can do for yourself and your relationships, especially when you coach, parent or lead a team.

Episode Notes:

1:27 - Landon’s tale of the tape

2:53 Landon’s life on Quarantine Standard Time

3:45 Landon’s “Selfless Phase”

6:26 Landon growing up

8:41 How Landon ranks in other sports

9:56 Landon’s rise from nowhere

12:24 U.S. scouting: bleak back in the day

12:59 Getting deep

13:59 Identity tied up in soccer

15:15 The hardships of Germany

16:15 Landon copes with the 2006 World Cup

18:25 How Landon stayed motivated

19:37 Landon’s key to coaching

21:12 What leaders can do better

22:46 Landon shares his purpose

25:02 Landon relives the “Algeria goal”

29:23 “In Search of Greatness” - documentary

30:42 Corner flag celebration

32:23 Landon’s take on fear

36:28 Landon’s new identity in life-after-soccer

37:32 Landon’s new challenge

40:32 Why are YOU here


The Courageous Podcast—Episode #4

Dhani Jones—Entertainer, NFL Player, philanthropist, businessman.

Dhani Jones is an American Entrepreneur and former NFL linebacker and Michigan Wolverine’s where he earned Big Ten honors in three straight seasons. He then spent eleven seasons in the NFL playing for the Giants, Bengals and Eagles after being drafted in the sixth round, the same year as Tom Brady. Dhani started a philanthropic endeavor, BowTie Cause (, where organizations come to raise awareness and support for specific causes. He also has jumped into the entertainment realm as the host of Travel Channel’s original series, Dhani Tackles the Globe and appears on CNBC’s Adventure Capitalists. Come hear about Dhani’s path to pro football and how his mom helped get him a chance at a scholarship at Michigan. The support he received from his community, and what it means to show up and do the work. We cover his “aha” moments from the NFL, advice he got from Michael Strahan, and what he learned when he got kicked out of practice. We also get into the current state of our community, America, and the fact that we’ve been forced to take a pause. Dhani speaks about our “moment to make a movement…”, how we face change, and the chance to recognize, regroup, and refocus. Finally, we close with Dhani’s definition of Opti-realism and living courageously through a life of intellect.

Episode Notes:

3:10 How many Dhani’s do you know?

6:48 Dhani & Berman meeting in the mean streets of Potomac, MD

8:26 Did Dhani’s dad really do that in high-school?

11:12 Dhani talks about the 3 influence football had on him

13:49 Dhani’s gifted genes - his mom + his dad

14:47 Dhani convinces Michigan to give him a scholarship

18:43 Dhani loves THE University of Michigan

19:52 Showing up + doing the work

21:27 Having people in your corner

23:34 Drafted in the sixth round with Tom Brady

23:57 Aha moments from the NFL

24:42 Michael Strahan’s advice

26:33 Getting kicked out of Bengals practice

27:25 None of us have been in a pressure situation

29:03 The forced “pause” in America

31:34 Is this is moment or a movement?

37:44 On facing change

40:00 Recognize. Regroup. Refocus.

41:41 What type of world does Dhani want for his son?

43:18 Dhani on Opti-realism

44:25 Live a courageous life of intellect


The Courageous Podcast—Episode #5

Emily Wolfe (Rockstar)—Finding courage on the path to sobriety, a live performance, getting emotion out of your instrument, inspiration, and finding creativity.

If Emily Wolfe 2.0 could time machine back to provide Emily Wolfe 1.0 with advice, what would she tell herself? We spent 45 minutes with Emily to discuss what life is like now as an Austin rocker where you can’t give live performances thanks to COVID. She takes us back to her fearful fight with alcoholism, the battle to overcome it and her original worries on if she would have creative flow coming out of it. We were also tickled with a live performance of “Atta Blues” — a soulful, sentimental sound that also happened to be the first song Emily wrote coming out of rehab. If her life was a movie, what would it be called and who would play her? What was the most courageous thing Emily has ever taken on in her life? What age did Emily start jamming and who on earth is “Big H”? We cover all that as well as what she would be doing if she couldn’t do music here on The Courageous Podcast.

Episode Notes:

2:34 - Emily Wolfe: "a frickin" rock star signed by Gibson

3:46 - When Did Emily Start Playing?

4:07 - Emily Define's Her Sound As A Threesome Between...

5:39 - Her 1st time playing Live: "Drummer's For Jesus"

8:50 - The Pain of Not Playing Live During A Pandemic

11:07 - Teenage Angst" Inspired Her To Write Her Own Music

13:17 - Emily Talks About The Twists of Her "Journeys"

15:07 - "Every Day is a Stepping Stone"

16:00 - There's No Easy Path

17:00 - "It's pretty mind blowing that I'm still here"

17:28 - Emily Opens Up About Her Battle with Alcohol

17:42 - The most courageous thing Emily has done: getting sober

20:15 - Spinning Your Brain: From Fight to a Different Light

21:55 - Playing is Her Remedy

22:45 - Emily's Conflict: Writing Sober

24:24 - “Atta Blues”: Emily's 1st song written sober

25:52 - If Emily today could give advice to Emily 1.0...

29:58 - Connecting is a Conflict: Quarantine

31:56 - LIVE PEFORMANCE: “Atta Blues”

35:56 - If she couldn't be in music for a living, she would...

38:03 - Who plays Emily in her movie...

40:05 - The importance of having good people around you

42:34 - Parting words


The Courageous Podcast—Episode #6

Tony Hsieh.

Courageous Podcast w/ Tony Hsieh
The intentional Tony Hsieh is the CEO of Zappos, a serial entrepreneur and the author of NY Times Best-Selling book Delivering Happiness. He also continues to push the envelope on creating intentional environments that inspire his teams while maximizing the potential of the Zappos workforce. In this episode of the Courageous Podcast, we time machine back to a time before Covid for an “in person” podcast recorded live at one of Tony’s latest new projects: Ferguson’s Downtown. Think Burning Man but for entrepreneurs as airstreams, motivated tenants, a Black Alpaca named Marley and Tony Hsieh himself all live together in a revitalization project just off the Las Vegas strip. We sat down with Tony, Tyler Williams (A Zappos Fungineer) and Jen Taler to discuss the future of work, the importance of curiosity in business and the “what’s next” at Zappos.


The Courageous Podcast—Episode #7

Michael Stahl (Servpro, CMO).

Michael Stahl is the freshly minted CMO of “disaster clean-up” company Servpro. On the job for a mere 3 weeks, a pandemic ensues. Unable to move to his soon-to-be-new Nashville home, Stahl had the courage on a Zoom leadership call to suggest Servpro devote focus and resources to develop a robust cleaning program for the purposes of mitigating the Covid crisis spreading across America. 18 days later, the “Certified Servpro Clean” program rolled out nationwide. We discuss what it was like for Michael to suggest this pivot, the reality that Michael had to win over a team he still hasn’t met in person and the necessary speed at which the company moved at to provide customers with a product they so desperately needed. If you ever wondered “why not you, why not now”, this is a must listen episode about jumping on a corporate opportunity and taking courageous action.

Episode Notes

Show Notes:

4:39 - ServPro's Time to shine (during Quarantine)

5:32 On the front line cleaning up the crisis

7:19Getting  Calls To Clean Up Covid

8:07 The Courage to Suggest a Pivot (6 weeks into his new job)

8:35 We Serve Up A Different Title For ServPro's CMO

9:27 Launching "Certified ServPro Clean"

10:29 With Covid, it isn't about what you can see; it's what you can't see

11:34 Attacking Covid with The 3Cs

12:30 The difference betwen 1) the emergency clean, 2) the proactive "reduce the spread of Covid" clean

14:05 Never Stop Listening

16:42 The Courageous Cleaning Teams In The Field

17:59 "This is a Villain You Can't See"

19:29 The importance of the C-Suite having opens lines of communication

19:47 This is Our Time

21:54  Did Michael Make Believers or Fake Believers?

24:07 The #1 Priority for  CEO's: Keeping physical premises safe

25:46 Building Internal Trust

33:19 Navigating United Healthcare

38:03 Why Not You. Why Not Now.

39:12 Putting what he calls "the trifecta" in play

40:07 Trifecta: Do Good Work. Get Compensated for doing so. Expand the brand (all at the same time).

42:57 Making the world a bit better -- especially when that means spending time away from your family.

44:54 Courage Breeds Courage


The Courageous Podcast—Episode #8

Brain Sherpa Dr. Nicholas Alp.

Dr. Nicholas Alp is the Brain Sherpa! With more than 65 peer-reviewed publications and books, and more than 25 years of clinical research experience, Nicholas has a keen understanding of what makes each of us tick. Nicholas — trained in medicine at London and Oxford Universities with a PhD in Immunology at Cambridge University — joined us from the UK and, in laymen terms, provided color on where our anxiety comes from. In these stressful Covid times, Nicholas thoughtfully shares why we often freeze (or flight) when we desperately wish we could muster up the means and courage to fight. If you ever wanted to know the inner workings of your wirings, this episode is for you.

Episode Notes

2:31 - Initial conversations about courage and evolution

4:30 - What's going on upstairs

5:06 - Nick's background

7:15 - Interest in mental health, human interaction, along with verbal and non-verbal communication

7:53 - Common human needs and desires that drive us

8:59 - To understand yourself you have to understand your mind

8:46 - apply a skill set to the goal set, but what about the mind set?

9:50 - Brains only do two things - receive and process information and then they make judgement's

10:57 - Is it good for me, is it going to harm me, do I like it?

12:03- within our brains is a history of life on earth

15:03 - Deep within our brains, we are nothing more than lizards

15:18 - We are survivors because we are able to recognize and respond to things that are dangerous to us

15:37 - recognize the creatures we are, what fear is for, and how valuable it's been...

15:57 - a lot of those innate fear responses are not always appropriate ...acute fear...turns into chronic anxiety

16:46 - short circuit reactions to get to a better place in our brains

18:08- we are not compelled or destine to respond to every internal stimulus we experience have ... create space between the sensation/ emotion...and our physical and mental response

18:48 - practice expanding "that" space

20:42 - bring your attention to something immediate and infinite your breath

21:39 - Cognitive biases - proximity, intensity, negativity, and confirmation

27:02 - we always have a choice...we must give ourselves space to make a mindful choice

28:09 - daily active practice

29:00 - states of mind and ways you can take action

29:07 - push our fear - understand it, name it, and face it head on

29:41 - find a way to love what you are doing

30:03 - To be grateful and to serve and give

33:17 - Need to belong and connect with other human beings

34:50 - who's on your team and who isn't

37:21 - neurogene's evolving

38:57 - freeze or flight

41:47 - standard operating procedure is nervousness

44:21 - Effective action = focus on the right thing to do, practice, and then persist

45:32 - Be kind to yourself

46:49 - Move your body and get your mind out of that static place

48:20 - Central courage system hack

50:13 - Kind, compassionate and curious

52:26 - Building brain fitness


The Courageous Podcast—Episode #9

Katie Babineau (Global Head of Marketing at Snap Inc).

Katie Babineau is the versatile Global Head of Marketing at Snap Inc where she currently helps Snap Labs think through innovation with a keen focus on the future of Augmented Reality. Katie shares her path from Sony to GoPro to Apple before giving us an inside peak on what life has been like — now celebrating her one year anniversary — at Snap. She shares the differences between here-and-now AR vs what AR may look like in the future, discusses the importance of staying curious, and gives us her take on Tik Tok. Finally, we discuss the not-so-augmented-reality of navigating work in a Covid world which grants her the opportunity of doing what she loves from a city that she loves: San Diego.

Episode Notes

2:35 - Getting The Band Back Together For One Podcast

5:00 - Describing her versatile roles to today

5:22 - Driven by curiosity and challenge

7:20 - Katie's Objective: Work on Global brands from San Diego

8:17 - Relationships matter

9:32 - Katie explains her time at GoPro

11:06 -Katie's "up and down" relationship with San Diego

13:57- Making the jump to Snap

15:20 - Snap: a leader in vertical content

17:06 - Gen Z  on Snap -- especially during Covid

18:29- Katie shares that Snap is driven by their values

19:10 - Snap values: Smart. Kind. Creative.

22:47 - Katie discusses Snap's current growth mode

24:15 - The perks of starting on the same day as your boss: Kenneth Mitchell

26:06 - What to do when you don't know...

27:09 - Having A Curious Mindset

28:15 - Good results are contagious

28:32 - It becomes a winning game

29:06 - What advice would Katie 3.0 give Katie 1.0?

30:51 - A mind shift: having a plan to staying present

31:43 - Working on a brand she believes is everything...

33:48 - Consumer's don't have time for marketing BS

34:50 - Katie discusses Tik Tok

37:26 - The business value of AR

39:03 - Leading with transparency


The Courageous Podcast—Episode #10

Scott Harrison (CEO of charity: water).

At the ripe age of 29, now CEO of charity: water Scott Harrison had been navigating the NYC nightlife (and all that came with it) as a prominent Nightclub promoter. Where many evenings included debauchery, notoriety and heavy drinking, Scott recalls himself feeling “spiritually and morally bankrupt”. A radical change was needed and a radical choice was made as Scott walked away from a life full of vice. Scott chose to enter an upside down world of what he knew — on the opposite side of the world — taking on a two year humanitarian medical operation in post war Liberia. While Scott was there, he saw many debilitating problems we take for granted in America. Scott shares how we grew more curious by a single daunting fact: 1.2 Billion people, at the time, who didn’t have access to clean drinking water. We cover a lot of ground in this episode including his trips to 69 countries, how Scott came face-to-face with a global water crisis and how he has now embarked on a relentless 14 year sojourn for the purposes of providing clean water to populations in need all around the globe. Enjoy.

Episode Notes

3:01 - A Pandemic Pivot: Moving to PA

6:24 - Radical Life Change On the Horizon

9:40 - Scott shares the upside down (life-changing) world of Liberia

12:20 - Walking Away From a Life Full of Vice

14:04 - Scott shares what he saw in Liberia

15:32 - A Challenge Was Posed to Scott

16:59 - "In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing..."

18:20 - Scott shares how he threw a party to jumpstart his first Uganda wells

18:40 - Showing people where their money had gone

20:12 - "There was no business plan. We just tried stuff"

23:18 - We are inviting people to bring the best part of themselves to a party and we’re celebrating the ons together.

23:44 - Scott shares their monthly givers: The Spring

24:38 - "It's just a different party. It's a party that matters."

27:56 - Fundraising in a pandemic

28:00 - "Clean water is literally the first line of defense against Covid."

30:09 - The importance of clean water

33:33 - Scott discusses the cost of drilling a well...

35:32 - Working with partners to preserve, protect and maintain the wells.

37:15 - Scott shares the future of their tech: proactively servicing a well -- well before it breaks.

37:52 - Thirst: Scott Harrison's Book

40:13 - "Your past doesn't need to define your future"

42:34 - Advice to making change: this is the time

44:12 - Scott shares staggering remote work statistics...

46:16 - Scott shares what he is NOT motivated by: money

47:26 - "I'm not a very good manager"

50:09 - Get involved:


The Courageous Podcast—Episode #11

Jeff Boss (Navy SEAL).

Jeff Boss always knew he was called to do more. In fact, he not only wanted to jump out of planes and blow stuff up (his words), he sheerly wanted to be the very best. So when he graduated from college, he chose to take the path less traveled fully committing to the mettle of becoming an elite Navy SEAL. The BUD/S experience and elite training was anything but a smooth ride.  Jeff,  who now homes four Bronze Stars with valor and two Purple Hearts from his 13 year experience as a Navy SEAL, shared what he learned from serving with his trusted teammates in the treacherous field.  He shares many guiding leadership principals that listeners can apply today including the importance of putting the team first, facing the thing that scares you most and addressing the hardest conversations head on. Enjoy.

Episode Notes

3:22 - A battle that everyone fights within

5:08 - Wanted to jump out of planes and blow stuff up

5:22 - If I'm going to do it I wanted to be the best at it, and the SEALS are the best

6:17 - Had a laser focus 5-6 days a week for three years

7:30 - On BUDS...incredibly difficult physically, mentally, emotional.. but also the best time...

10:03 - Soul crushing and devastated to get rolled back...didn't know what I was going to do

11:04 - How much I learned about myself in that state of anguish, state of despair

11:14 - When I came back my pain threshold was through the roof...I came back more confident

13:28 - The priority start to think about yourself last

19:54 - Addressing issues head on

20:25 - We all heard each other, vented frustrations and were candid

21:30 - Feedback regardless of rank

22:05 - Becoming one unit

23:31 - How to get to trust in a group

25:35 - Difference between a group and a team

27:15 - Trust and respect in a team

29:48 - First thing you are scared of...tackle it
32:17 - Strategies for building trust

35:25- Separate emotion from the mission or task at hand
35:39 - Purpose is everything

37:39 - Courage is the bi-product of the purpose I am pursuing

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