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A middle-aged man with short hair and glasses, wearing a blue blazer over a white shirt, is shown on the cover art for a podcast titled "Executive Decisions: A Podcast for Business Leaders." The text includes "Todd Davis, PeekMed, Ind Board Member." The logo of SYM Financial Advisors is at the bottom.

From Airplanes to Orthopedics: Leadership Lessons Learned Along the Journey with Todd Davis


In today’s episode of Executive Decisions, host Sarah Delahanty sits down with Todd Davis who shares his rich career history from building airplanes to his executive career in the orthopedic industry. Todd reflects on his journey from managing older union workers while still in his 20’s to his transition into executive leadership roles. He emphasizes the importance of work ethic, persistence, and building relationships, sharing valuable insights from his experiences. Todd also discusses his post-executive life, engaging in mentorship, fundraising efforts for his community, and continuous personal development through reading diverse materials. Through his story, listeners gain valuable lessons in leadership, adaptability, and the importance of work-life integration.


About our guest, Todd Davis:

Todd is a seasoned leader with over three decades of experience in the orthopedic industry, particularly in driving the success of major knee franchises for some of the world’s largest companies. From Sales and Marketing to Product Development, Strategy, and M&A, Todd has demonstrated his visionary leadership skills by accelerating growth opportunities and fostering world-class teams and cultures. After retiring from his role as President and General Manager of the Global Knee Business at Zimmer Biomet in July 2019, Todd has redirected his focus towards the startup landscape within the Medtech sector. He currently serves as an Independent Board Director for PeekMed Health, a Board Observer for Enhanced Medical Nutrition, and a Board Director for JointVue, while also providing consulting expertise for companies like Smith+Nephew, Canary Medical, Maxx Ortho, Kinamed, Kneevoice, and various other OEMs.


Summary and highlights from the show:

Todd Davis had a formative experience working full-time at Rockwell International while still going to school. He was promoted into a managerial role in his mid to late 20’s, leading teams of older aircraft mechanics.

Davis learned to lead by example and develop a strong work ethic during this time, working 70 hours a week while pursuing his education at night.

His transition to orthopedics involved leading a team of older individuals in the customer service group at Zimmer Biomet, where he applied his leadership skills and learned to be persistent in pursuing his goals.

Todd emphasizes the importance of not chasing money but rather finding something you enjoy and working hard at it, as advised by his father.

He shares his experience of persistence in pursuing opportunities, such as transitioning into marketing at Zimmer Biomet despite initial rejection from the vice president of marketing.

Building relationships is crucial in the orthopedic industry, and Todd highlights the impact of handwritten thank-you notes in making lasting connections.

Todd reflects on the importance of work-life balance, which he prioritized by scheduling family events and delegating responsibilities as he advanced in his career.

Transitioning to board roles and mentoring startups has been rewarding for Todd, allowing him to leverage his experience and make a meaningful impact.

He discusses his involvement in community initiatives, such as leading a capital campaign for a school expansion, and his interest in personal development through reading.

Todd finds inspiration and leadership insights from various sources, including spiritual books, business literature, and perspectives from different industries like the restaurant business.

Connect with Todd Davis:

About SYM Financial and the Executive Decisions Podcast:

Executive Decisions is a podcast designed for current and aspiring business leaders, offering an in-depth look at the evolving nature of executive roles. Hosted by SYM Financial Advisors Principal and Senior Financial Advisor Sarah Delahanty, the show delves into the personal and professional journeys of its guests, exploring the challenges they’ve overcome and the learning experiences that have shaped their paths to success. The podcast provides insights into how executives manage the increasing complexity of both their professional and personal lives. Featuring a range of guests from diverse industries, each episode aims to enlighten listeners on the continuous state of learning and adaptation necessary for effective leadership. Whether discussing career progression, leadership strategies, or personal growth, Executive Decisions is a valuable resource for anyone interested in the multifaceted world of executive leadership.

Disclosure: Certain links above are to third-party sites and are not affiliated with SYM Financial Corporation (“SYM”). SYM is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about SYM including our investment strategies, fees and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request.


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