Episode 2: Steve Snyder

Today’s guest Steve Snyder has been a leader in many domains, first in the Military as a Naval aviator and Commanding Officer, then in Business and now in Academia. We get into how the different contexts in each domain makes a difference in how you lead – and in the contrast between Leadership and Management. Steve is also an athlete and entrepreneur. He has truly learned to flex his skills by being a lifelong learner. There are so many layers in this conversation. Steve shares his secrets of serving in all of these capacities, and especially in a management capacity, which he believes is an essential element to success that is all too often overlooked.


  • Today’s guest is a man of many talents and a lifelong learner much like yours truly – Steve Snyder
  • If we had any theme for this podcast – it was context. You will hear a couple of our context stories and how changing the context – with words or with the setting – we changed the experience of the people involved.
  • Steve Snyder is currently a defense contractor with the US Navy and NATO AND he’s the COO of a nutrition education company founded by his wife
  • As if that’s not enough, he’s also a professor for Regent University.
  • He has served our country, both in active duty and in the reserves. He is a 30 year NAVY veteran, who flew combat missions in Desert Storm, was the commanding officer for five different Navy commands and spent a year in Afghanistan, just to name a few of accomplishments.
  • He’s also a many – sported athlete like me. He does triathlons, golf, bowling, skiing, racquetball, SCUBA diving, fly fishing, kayaking and sailing
  • He and I met while doing change management at Bank of America – and in many ways, at least for me, that felt like active duty.
  • In this conversation we get into some fun stuff, as I said at the beginning of this introduction on the value of context. You will also hear about our shared love for the Big Bang Theory, his explanation of the autotrophs began to drool, how he’s now fulfilling some of his lifelong dreams, including teaching, and what it looks like to have balance.
  • The real meat in this conversation is around the different places in which he’s been a leader = and how different that role can look when it’s in the military vs corporate vs the academic world
  • He is also a huge defender of the role of management, and he dives into the ways management matters and why it’s just as important as leadership
  • On this podcast, I tried a different recording technique and there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that he sounds great. The bad news is that I sound like I’m in a cave. Hopefully that won’t be too distracting.
  • So please enjoy this super informative conversation with Steve Snyder


Bio: Steve Snyder was born in Baltimore, MD, but now considers Virginia Beach, VA to be his hometown. He and his wife are blessed with four children ranging in age from 17 to 24. He is currently a defense contractor (with the US Navy and NATO), the COO (and co-founder with his wife) of a nutrition education corporation, and an adjunct professor for Regent University. He has held a variety of corporate roles ranging from a Bank of America Senior Vice President for change management, to corporate consulting for several international clients, to several roles in the corporate outsourcing (HR, Legal, Financial) industry.

The outsourcing industry roles included leadership of a 45-person team distributed across nine operations centers spanning four continents and the onsite leadership of a 75-person operations center in Gurgaon India. He is also a 30-year Navy veteran with a mix of active and reserve service that provided many unique experiences, ranging from flying combat missions in Desert Storm, to serving as the Commanding Officer for five different Navy commands, to spending a year (2011-2012) in northern Afghanistan, leading local humanitarian and government development missions, while providing logistics and engineering support to troops from 17 nations engaged in the NATO OEF operation.

He has a BS in Engineering Physics from the University of Colorado, an MS in Management from Troy State University, and an MS in Planning and Strategy from the National Defense University. His lifelong passion for teaching and learning (his Dad was an educator… and his 2nd-grade teacher), and his Christian faith led him to enter Indiana Wesleyan University’s Ph.D. program in organizational leadership. In his spare time, he is a recreational athlete (triathlons, golf, bowling, skiing, racquetball) and waterman (kayaking, sailing, fly fishing, SCUBA diving). He has been a volunteer for several charitable organizations and now serves as the vice-chair for Mt. Trashmore YMCA board in Virginia Beach.