SA 012: Eric Kapitulik on How to Do “One More” and Why


In this episode, I talk to Eric Kapitulik, the founder of The Program, a development company focused on building better leaders and more cohesive teams. He talks about a pivotal moment in his life, about the concept of doing one more, and shared adversity.

Guest Bio:

Born and raised in Thompson, CT, Eric Kapitulik attended Pomfret Preparatory School, where he excelled as a three-sport varsity athlete. Upon graduation, Eric matriculated at the United States Naval Academy, where he was a four-year varsity letter player on the Division I Lacrosse team.

After graduation in 1995, Eric went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps as both an Infantry Officer and Special Operations Officer with 1st Force Reconnaissance Company, 1st Marine Division. As a Platoon Commander within his company, Eric led a team of 20 covert operations specialists on numerous Special Forces-related missions.

In 1999, during a routine training mission to prepare for an upcoming deployment to the Persian Gulf, Eric and his platoon were in a helicopter crash that resulted in the death of seven Marines. In response to this tragedy, Eric created the Force Reconnaissance Scholarship Fund to benefit the children of his fallen men.

Eric left active duty after eight years of service and received his MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 2005. He founded The Program in 2008.

Eric holds himself to high standards and always strives to do ONE MORETM. He has participated in eight Ironman Triathlons, The Canadian Death Race Ultra Marathon, The Eco Challenge, and The American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon. He is also an avid mountaineer and has summitted five of the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each of the seven continents): Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Elbrus, and, most recently, Mt. Everest.


Some Questions we Ask:

What is it from his training or upbringing or the things that he learned that has allowed him to use that as fuel for what he does and the productivity that he’s had?

You do not rise to the occasion when adversity strikes. You fall back on your habits.

What are those habits that need to be developed for people to fall back on, the good habits needed when adversity strikes?

Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax

You cannot take out all the roots, the bumps, the challenges of the path; nor should you.

Prepare your child for the path, not the path for the child.

Who is a mentor or a leader that he really looks up to as a model, or somebody that he respects in the field, whether in the military, business or athletics?

What book or series of books has most influenced him and why?

When he thinks of the word “successful” what is the first thing that comes to mind and why?

If he could have dinner with one person he admires, past or present, who would it be and why?

grandfather and Doug Zembiec

What You’ll Learn In This Episode:

Why it’s important to go out of one’s comfort zone

What he suggests for somebody who wants to start developing good habits

What the most successful individuals and teams focus on and develop

The Essential Wooden: A Lifetime of Lessons on Leaders and Leadership by John Wooden

The concept of Shared Adversity and why it’s so important to team culture and team building.

Shared experiences, the more of them that we can have, the tighter we become as a unit.

We only grow as individuals and as a team when we’re outside of our physical and mental comfort zones.

What separates teams that win and compete for championships compared to those that just win games

The two things that we control in our lives every morning when we wake up are our attitude and our effort.

Do not mistake activity for achievement.


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