Jake Wood, co-founder of Team Rubicon, will deliver the Allan P. Kirby Lecture in Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University on Nov. 15. Wood, a former Marine scout sniper and University of Wisconsin football player, will speak about The One and the Nine: Building Teams and Organizations That Win at 7 p.m. at The Kirby Center for Creative Arts at Wyoming Seminary, 260 N. Sprague Ave., Wilkes-Barre. There will be a book signing of Wood’s 2014 book Take Command: Lessons in Leadership following the lecture.
Earlier in the day, Wood will meet with students from the Wilkes University honors program from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. and with members of the University Air Force ROTC program from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. Both student meetings will be in the Miller Room in the Henry Student Center, 84 W. South St., Wilkes-Barre.
Wood’s lecture will focus on how one can find and build the team needed to win life’s battles and become one that inspires others. He has found that for every 100 people in an organization, 10 should be there, 80 have a neutral impact, nine perform exceptionally and one is a true leader. Due to this reality, Wood helps organizations rethink what they know about leadership. He gives them the framework for becoming a better leader and building more agile organizations.
Wood has applied these lessons in the formation of Team Rubicon. As an active advocate for veterans, he and fellow Marine William McNulty organized a group of veterans, first responders and medical workers to respond to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which eventually eventually turned into Team Rubicon, a nonprofit organization that uses the skills of veterans to rapidly deploy as emergency responders to disasters. The veteran-led disaster response organization has responded to more than 250 disasters and has more than 80,000 volunteers.
Wood received the Pat Tillman Award for Service at this year’s ESPYS Awards. The award pays tribute to Pat Tillman’s perseverance and determination as both a sportsman and a soldier. It honors an individual with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes Tillman’s legacy. Like Wood, Tillman was a professional football player who enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 and was unfortunately killed in 2004.
Wood was a freshman offensive lineman with the Wisconsin Badgers when the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001. Inspired by the first responders who risked their lives while trying to help others, and by former Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman’s selfless sacrifice, Wood joined the United States Marine Corps. Wood served four years in Iraq and Afghanistan as a sergeant and a scout sniper. He also earned the Navy-Marine Commendation Medal. He was honorably discharged from the Marines in 2009.
Wood has briefed President Obama on veterans’ issues, met with former Presidents Bush and Clinton on veteran transition and disaster response and testified before a Senate committee to improve mental health care services for returning veterans. He has also appeared in the major media, including MSNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, Al Jazeera, US News & World Report, Forbes, Fox News and penned an op-ed for The New York Times.