Todd Becker has done everything from successful basketball coach, sales representative, and nonprofit warrior. Currently the Managing Director of Clubfoot Solutions- a nonprofit to free the world of untreated clubfoot deformity. Before that, he was in charge of Zimmers- one of the world’s leading orthopedic device services where he successfully managed sales, marketing, distribution, and warehousing. He served as a regional manager for Johnson & Johnson and coached college athletics at the College of St. Ambrose and St. Francis. Todd has had the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the athletics and business worlds.
Forming a Coaching Style (5:41)
Todd has had the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business world as well as the athletics world. One of his most important lessons: organizing everything from on-the-field coaching to off-the-field details like uniforms and scheduling. Leaving St. Ambrose for St. Francis opened up a whole different world. He also learned how to set and exceed exceptional standards from his Dad.
It’s not lost on Todd that his first bosses in both fields took chances on him. The medical device field was tough to break into, and Todd entered with no sales or medical background. But, looking back, one of the reasons Todd landed the position was because of the work ethic he established during his coaching career. There’s a lot involved in the medical sales industry, such as terminology and hospital protocol. That dedication to putting in the work to learn gave Todd an edge over others with more experience.
The Need for Good Coaching (16:20)
Throughout his career, mentorship and consistent coaching have proved to be invaluable for Todd. Dennis Worth, whose son Jason Worth won a World Series with the Phillies. His hands-on coaching techniques were pivotal to teaching a young Todd how to engage with highly educated individuals like orthopedic surgeons. If you ask the right questions, those doctors will teach you more than you’ll ever understand. So let them engage with you and teach you their business.
From his days at J & J, he didn’t feel like he had that mentorship he wanted, which led him to Zimmer. His mentor, Paul Daniel, taught him the importance of wearing different hats in management positions and how valuable transformational relationships are. If someone is willing to help you, it’s essential to follow up and send a thank you. We can all do a better job at it, and it’s critical to forming and maintaining both personal and professional relationships.
The Ability to Have Fierce Dialogue (25:35)
Frustration is part of the process, both in athletics and business. But the problem is when you express that frustration and scold them for messing up, it’s easy to forget to bring them back up—but lifting them back up after is so important. Again, becoming a parent drove this concept home for both Todd and Ed because it’s not just what you say but getting them to understand why you’re saying it.
However, if something isn’t clicking with a player or an employee, it’s tough, but you have to know when to let them go. As coaches, we naturally want to help, but Todd learned the importance of getting the right people on the bus and the wrong people off.
VICTORY and Clubfoot Solutions (35:12)
Right now, 7.5 million people are walking around with uncorrected clubfoot, and it impacts their ability to do things like function all day on their feet or even hold steady jobs. One contributing factor is that there aren’t enough corrective braces available to support them through the 4-5 years of healing after surgery.
Through his work, Todd’s mission provides support braces to children in need to help them heal and perform the day-to-day tasks they need to succeed. Clubfoot Solution has distributed over 11K Iowa Braces around the world. The best part about working with nonprofits is that Todd can serve others over himself.
Thanks, Tracee! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and am so glad you enjoyed the conversation. Todd is the best.