Aug 17, 2016
Todd is the CEO and Founder of
Bunker Labs, a national entrepreneurship organization dedicated to
helping military veterans start and grow businesses. Announced in June 2014 at
1871, Chicago’s Tech Entrepreneurship Hub, Bunker Labs has grown to
locations in several other cities through a chapter affiliate
model, with further expansion plans underway.
Todd Connor is a former management
consultant, U.S. Navy veteran, and has held many leadership roles
in the public and private sector. He is a two-time entrepreneur
and the founder of Flank 5 Academy. Todd holds a BA from
Northwestern University, an MBA from the University of Chicago,
previously served as a Senior Administrator at Chicago Public
Schools, and is the author of two books on leadership and personal
strategy. He is a
Commissioner of the Cook County Commission on Human Rights, was
honored as a 2015 Crain Chicago Business 40 Under 40, winner of the
Chicago Inno 50 on Fire award, and is a 2016 Presidential
Web - www.BunkerLabs.org &
Twitter - @ToddConnor &
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/thebunkerlabs/
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddconnor
Summary & Ideas for
Todd Connor of Bunker Labs joins Jan
and Jim in a lighthearted and educational conversation about the
leadership qualities that turn veterans into entrepreneurs.
Military men and women are required to perform at the highest level
in demanding dynamic, complex, and uncertain environments. They are
often given ambiguous missions and must rely on their training and
foresight to know what must be done today, as well as tomorrow.
This is the same for small business owners. When starting a small
business there is no framework for guaranteed success a leader must
execute and then adapt to the outcome. Todd also shares which great
leaders he has learned from and what attributes he feels make them
[4:47] Todd always wanted to connect
with people who were different from him and to give back to the
veteran community so he created Bunker Labs.
[10:51] Becoming an entrepreneur is
about executing, team building and knowing what to do today while
looking towards the future.
[12:41] Bunker Labs gives veterans
leadership challenges and helps develop an adaptive
[14:52] Todd shares his thoughts on
leaders with big personalities.
[19:32] What are the common
attributes of entrepreneurs at Bunker Labs who find
[23:14] What does Todd know now that
he wished he had known when he started Bunker Labs?
[28:31] Giving people opportunities
to demonstrate success in small ways because that becomes a
predictor of the outcome of bigger successes.
- “Veterans are ambitious people.
They join the military when they are 18 because they want to be
- “The basic fundamentals of working
hard are focus, adaptability and finding the right solution for the
- “If you want to get noticed start
doing something people can not afford to ignore.”
Books Mentioned on the
Mindset by Carol Dweck