Today’s guest helps organizations and individuals get from where they are to where they want to go. She engages employees, develops leaders, and helps people find meaning on a daily basis—a concept she calls “breadcrumb legacy.”

She is a speaker, teacher, and coach. After a 30-year career as a college professor of business management and leadership, she built her own business to share what she’s learned.

She is the host of the podcast “Becoming a Sage,” which interviews thought leaders about life and work wisdom, and writes a column for Training Magazine called “Leading Edge.” She is the author of six books, her latest book is “Breadcrumb Legacy: How Great Leaders Live a Life Worth Remembering.”

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Jann Freed.

Would you leave an honest rating and review on Apple Podcast? Or Stitcher? They are extremely helpful and I read each and every one of them. Thanks for the inspiration!

In this episode we discuss:

  • Her thoughts on leadership: “A leader is someone in the position to influence the lives of others, positive or negative – this includes parents, teachers, pastors.”
  • Jann’s small-town roots while growing up in a tiny town in northern Iowa.
  • Growing up with a heavy influence on her education from her parents, along with the friendly “threat” from her dad to prioritize finishing college before getting married.
  • Her rebel streak and love for social justice. She was married in 1982 and kept her maiden name, surprising no one that knew her.
  • Jann found her path by getting her degree, “falling into” banking, and realizing it wasn’t the right fit for her.
  • “I enjoy teaching because I’m passionate about learning.”
  • Why she decided to go back to school and get her doctorate.
  • Trying to understand promotions that didn’t pay more money but provided tenure – another moment where her justice streak was at the forefront of her career.
  • When she started thinking about leaving the role or moving on to bigger things, her sons were almost at university age, but she had an itch to create a different path.
  • Her struggles with marketing and figuring out where she should be spending her time.
  • Landing her TEDx talk through Marie Incontrera.
  • The impact of meeting Dorie Clark.
  • How she networks and stays connected with the different layers of her network, including 30 years of past students.


Books mentioned in this episode:

Other Resources

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Who is Robbie Samuels?

🟧 I'm an event design consultant and executive Zoom producer, with a passion for creating engaging and unforgettable experiences. With two decades of experience in the meetings and events industry, I have honed my skills in designing and executing events that leave a lasting impression.

🟧 I have published three books to share my expertise. Collectively they have received over 600 Amazon reviews and reached #1 Best Seller in 29 paid categories in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia.

“Break Out of Boredom: Low-Tech Solutions for Highly Engaging Zoom Events” has received widespread acclaim. I am thrilled to help presenters and facilitators bring energy and excitement to their virtual events, and I am constantly seeking new ways to innovate and improve.

The book and bonus content are at Launch Price – $2.99 ebook (reg. $9.99) thru 3/31. The paperback is also available.

🟧 I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others, and I regularly speak at industry events and offer consulting services to help organizations and speakers achieve success in their own virtual or in-person events. If you're looking for creative solutions and expert guidance for your next event, I would be honored to work with you. Let's make your event one to remember!

► Do you have a podcast or host live interviews? I am looking for opportunities to share my business success story and strategies.

I've been featured in NPR, Forbes, Fast Company, HBR, Lifehacker, and Inc. as a networking expert and expert in virtual event design.

► In 2020, I reinvented my business from zero to a thriving six figures in eight months. My second book, “Small List, Big Results: Launch a Successful Offer No Matter the Size of Your Email List,” answers the question, “Robbie, how did you do that?”

More importantly, this international bestseller shows how YOU can do it too. Get your copy and The Big Results Toolkit bonus content at

► My first book, “Croissants vs. Bagels: Strategic, Effective, and Inclusive Networking at Conferences,” bonus content:

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Affiliate Links: Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links above are “affiliate links”. This means that if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products and services I use personally and believe will add value to my listeners. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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