Carrie Rengers

Fortune recommends Wichita leadership podcast

Fortune has published a list of “9 great business podcasts you should know,” and a Wichita podcast is among them.

Bombardier pilot Richard Rierson’s 2-year-old “Dose of Leadership” made the cut.

Rierson is a former Marine Corps pilot and officer who left the military in June 2001 and trained to fly for American Airlines. He finished his training in September, had three days off and then started work on Sept. 11.

By Oct. 1, he was furloughed. His short time in the corporate world had an impact, though.

“That’s when it kind of hit me how much the Marine Corps taught me about leadership,” Rierson says. “You just get surrounded in this culture that is dedicated to leadership.”

This led him to start talking about what he calls “common sense leadership.” A couple of years ago, he looked at his bookshelf and says he thought, “Well, what if I just had a conversation with everybody on my bookshelf?”

He didn’t have equipment or, as he puts it, “know how to podcast.”

Rierson simply started cold-calling leaders – from business, the military and elsewhere – and inviting them to chat.

Two years later, he says the show has been downloaded in 185 countries.

“The power of the podcast has just kind of blown me away,” Rierson says.

He used to do as many as five a week, but now he does more like five or six a month.

“That’s almost a full-time job in itself to constantly find interviews.”

Rierson has had guests such as FedEx chairman and CEO Fred Smith and SAP CEO Bill McDermott.

“My favorites are CEOs,” he says.

Rierson also is a leadership coach and speaker.

“The podcast helps support my passion for helping others understand that leadership is for all of us.”

He says he appreciates the shout-out from Fortune.

“I was shocked because you never know who’s listening. It was kind of nice to be validated for the hard work.”

Rierson won’t be quitting his Bombardier job for full-time podcasting, though.

“It doesn’t pay the electric bill, but it fills kind of an emotional fuel tank that keeps you going.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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