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The Talent Magnet Institute Podcast

Episode 20: Remarkable Leadership in Family Business with Jonathan Theders

Jonathan Theders is the CEO of RiskSource Clark-Theders, a prominent family business that focuses on providing comprehensive insurance solutions and risk management services to protect clients from the unexpected.

As the next generation CEO, Jonathan has gone to great lengths to transform the family business into a remarkable organization, but there’s more to running a family business than meets the eye. Find out what makes this company unique and how Jonathan’s approach can improve yours.

  • Some people are blessed with knowing what their calling is at an early age. Jonathan Theders is one such individual - his dream was to work with his father. As a child, he would eagerly seize every opportunity to join his father at work: carry his briefcase, file papers, or mow the grass; it didn’t matter to him what he was doing, just that he really wanted to be there, too.
  • Despite wanting to work at the family business immediately, Jonathan figured that he should get experience outside the company first and gain the perspective necessary to fulfill his role in the business.
  • He got an internship while in college, and later went full-time as a Certified Underwriter for Business Insurance in Iowa, where he stayed for almost 3 years before finally joining the family business.
  • As you might imagine, family businesses are different from “outside” companies. When running the family business, there’s always something that feels personal beyond normal business - you do more for family than anyone else, after all. But that doesn't mean you like it.
  • Jonathan has been Mike’s long-time client and friend, they’ve been on an executive roundtable and other various initiatives together. He is undeniably a high-level leader, but what sets him apart is his intentional way of communicating - something that he learned from his father.
  • Jonathan’s father set their breakfast meetings every Wednesday, to mold him into the kind of leader his organization would look up to - they have spent more than 850 Wednesday mornings together this way.
  • The Goering Center for Family and Private Business has also been instrumental by teaching him to runs through questions like, “Have you thought about this? Have you planned for this? Have you considered this?”
  • Jonathan has met a lot of people who have played a significant role in his career development, which made him realize that business is about building deliberate relationships and practicing effective communication to go beyond the WHAT, understanding the WHY, and HOW everything else would fit into that.
  • Join Mike and Jonathan as they expound on the value and power of deliberate communication, how the Seth Godin’s Purple Cow concept has transformed Jonathan’s family business, the ReSOURCE process, and why RiskSOURCE has pivoted into the more sustainable B Corp business model.

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Jonathan Theders

RiskSOURCE Clark-Theders


Beyond Insurance


Goering Center for Family & Private Business

B Corporation Certification

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

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