A former Big 10 football player, former Marine and Founder of the impactful non-profit Team Rubicon and now the modern philanthropy start-up Groundswell provides the rich background for Jake to delver energizing talks on leadership.

Jake Wood is the Executive Chairman of Team Rubicon and Founder and CEO of Groundswell.

An award-winning entrepreneur, two-time author, and recognized expert on topics of leadership, organizational culture, and crisis management. Wood recently founded Groundswell, a revolutionary venture-backed financial technology company that is looking to disrupt philanthropy and employee compensation by making personal charitable foundations as common as 401(k)s.  Groundswell believes that everyone should be able to give like Gates, get taxed like Buffett, and get recognized like Rockefeller.

Wood is also the founder and Executive Chairman of Team Rubicon - the fastest growing and most innovative disaster response organization in the world.  Since 2010, Team Rubicon has grown to over 150,000 volunteers and responded to nearly 1,000 crises around the world and the United States.  Under Wood's leadership, Team Rubicon developed a reputation for its corporate culture, and was named one of the top nonprofits to work for in America five times. 

Prior to Team Rubicon, Wood served as a Marine Corps scout-sniper with combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and was a varsity football player for the Wisconsin Badgers. He is the author of Once A Warrior, a memoir detailing his time in war and disaster zones around the world that legendary journalist Tom Brokaw said was "the book America needs right now." 

Subscribe to Jake's newsletter on LinkedIn: Jake's Takes.

Speech Topics

The One and The Nine: Building Teams & Organizations That Win

For every 100 people in a typical organization or on your team, there are 10 people who shouldn't even be there, 80 who at their best have a neutral impact, 9 who perform exceptionally, and one who is a true leader capable of taking command and creating a winning team or culture. This reality is forcing organizations to rethink what they know about leadership, change management and risk. Those that can adapt will thrive, while those that refuse change will flounder and fail. Jake gives organizations the framework for becoming a better leader and building more agile organizations. Using his own remarkable journey as an Athlete, Marine Scout Sniper, and co-founder of Team Rubicon, Jake shows how you can find and build the team needed to win life's battles and become the "one" others look to.

Crossing the Rubicon

Jake Wood will take listeners on his journey from college football's largest stadiums, to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, to the founding and development of America's fastest growing disaster response organization, the highly acclaimed Team Rubicon. Audiences will be captivated by rich storytelling and compelling visuals, and will feel as if they are alongside Jake in disaster zones around the world. Each participant will be left inspired to cross their own Rubicon, irrevocably committed to tackling what's most important in their life.

Conquering Chaos

The world is fast moving and full of uncertainty. No situation demonstrates this like the battlefield, which is why the US military developed VUCA, a framework for understanding - and defeating - chaos. VUCA, representing Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, helps leaders define the challenges they confront and how best to conquer them. Listeners will learn how Vision, Understanding, Clarity, and Agility interact to help teams thrive in chaos, whether in the boardroom or the marketplace. Wood's experiences as a Marine Sniper in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as an entrepreneur who has built the fastest growing disaster response organization in America, provide him with compelling real-life stories to draw upon that help listeners understand the key lessons of Conquering Chaos.

More Video


Take Command: Lessons in Leadership: How to Be a First Responder in Business

In this groundbreaking book on high-stakes leadership, Co-founder and CEO of Team Rubicon and former Marine Sniper Jake Wood, shows how to apply hard-learned lessons in leadership and teamwork from the battlefield and disaster zone to your professional life.

Once a Warrior: How One Veteran Found a New Mission Closer to Home

The powerful story of one Marine who found healing and renewed purpose after returning from combat, for himself and tens of thousands of fellow veterans.

About Team Rubicon

Team Rubicon is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that utilizes the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Founded in 2010, Team Rubicon has deployed across the United States and around the world to provide immediate relief to those impacted by disasters and humanitarian crises. 

Learn more about what they do and what they have accomplished at teamrubiconusa.org.

Request booking info