Dec 20, 2017
Matthew “Griff” Griffin, CEO of
Combat Flip Flops, shares his vision to use business... to end war.
They make cool stuff in dangerous places. Griff believes lives are
rarely lost to error, but opportunities are often lost. He says
leaders need to refine their skills to keep their ‘voluntary’ team
showing up; and performing... every day.
[3:28] Griff lives by a quote from his Pararescue
friend Christopher Robertson: “Anything worth doing is worth
overdoing.” Master every aspect of anything you plan to do. When
his advertising was misfiring and the company was failing, Griff
researched intensively, tested and iterated, and hit the
[11:14] Griff shares the vision of Combat Flip Flops
— use business to end war. They make cool stuff in dangerous
[15:11] Griff knew Special Operations would be their
core customer from the start and their products would trickle down
[17:40] Paint a good picture of what success looks
like and your team will get themselves there.
[20:32] In business, lives are rarely lost to error,
but opportunities are often lost. Business leaders need to refine
their skills to keep their ‘voluntary’ team showing up and
performing every day.
[24:50] Combat Flip Flops designed a Texas Flip Flop
for Hurricane Harvey survivors. 100% of the profits from it will be
donated to buy food, mattresses and clean bedding for Hurricane
Harvey survivors. With help from Mark Cuban they’ve raised
thousands of dollars on Indiegogo.
[28:50] Griff talks about scaling from shipping daily
from his garage to running a hugely successful company. A portion
of every sale goes to support school girls in Afghanistan.
[31:46] Adventure Not War documented climbing Mount
Halgurd in Iraq, which was very healing for Griff after his war
[36:04] Griff hopes politicians look at Combat Flip
Flops and see a better way than war to achieve goals.
LinkedIn: Matt Griffin
Floperator Winter Summit of Iraq's Tallest Peak
With The North Face
Google Named Combat Flip Flops in their 2017
Economic Impact Report
TEDx Tacoma: The
power of persistence, creativity, and respect, Matthew Griffin,
“Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” —
Overdo it in the research on one end and on the
spending on the other end.
“We really want our friends, and our family, and our
fellow service members to stop deploying ... to endless wars.”
“We don’t look at this as a one- or a two-year game.
We look at this in … decades. We’re going to be at this for a
If you don’t understand something your team is doing,
admit you don’t understand it and ask for an explanation.
Your goal is to have your team succeed.
The three tenets of leadership are purpose,
direction, and motivation.
Show your team what success looks like and they will
get themselves there.
“Cash is king. … I look at money like I look at
bullets. … The more I have, the more effective I can be at my
“We scaled 450% last year, and we did it on
“We can mathematically show you why we have to
diversify our products, and we can show you down to the penny.”
“Drop by drop a river is made.”
Matthew “Griff” Griffin is a 2001
USMA graduate, Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran with 2d Ranger
Battalion, and CEO of Combat Flip Flops. Mr. Griffin co-founded
Combat Flip Flops in Kabul, Afghanistan. Griff specialized in
developing solutions for companies growing business in “difficult”
A Graduate of the United States Military Academy at
West Point with a degree in Engineering Management, Griff served in
the 75th Ranger Regiment as a Rifle Company Fire Support Officer
with three tours to Afghanistan and one tour to Iraq. Post
military, Mr. Griffin moved to the private sector as the Director
of Military Sales for Remote Medical International and the director
of Special Operations for Protect the Force. Griff currently serves
as a logistics officer for Team 5 Foundation.
In the off time, you can find Griff slaying powder on
skis, dirt on bikes, or big game with carbon fiber arrows.
Books mentioned in this episode
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others
Don't, by Simon Sinek