Jeremy Webb | Surviving a Plane Crash, Cancer, and the Nation’s Fastest Growing Company
Smart Business Revolution

Jeremy Webb is the Founder and CEO of Organizational Engineering, a company that helps other businesses increase their team’s productivity, engagement, and profitability by teaching them how to self-organize around their company’s goals and purpose. Jeremy is a cancer survivor, international coach, speaker, YouTuber, and pilot. He also volunteers with cancer-related camps and charity events. Jeremy started his career at the fastest-growing company in the US. 

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran interviews Jeremy Webb, the Founder and CEO of Organizational Engineering, about how he helps companies develop more productive teams. Jeremy also shares his experience surviving a plane crash, getting diagnosed with cancer, and being a part of the nation’s fastest-growing company.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Jeremy Webb talks about surviving a plane crash on his first solo flying experience at 15 years old
  • How getting a cancer diagnosis at 19 years old impacted Jeremy’s life
  • The treatment Jeremy received and the life changes he made after that
  • How Jeremy landed his first job after college — and how he came across Agile
  • Jeremy explains what Agile and Scrum involve
  • How much Video Gaming Technologies (VGT) had grown by the time Jeremy left the company
  • How Jeremy uses his past experience in the work he currently does and the biggest objections he gets when introducing his approach to companies
  • The peers Jeremy respects and where to learn more about him

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Sponsor: Rise25

At Rise25, we’re committed to helping you connect with your Dream 100 referral partners, clients, and strategic partners through our done-for-you podcast solution. 

We’re a professional podcast production agency that makes creating a podcast effortless. Since 2009, our proven system has helped thousands of B2B businesses build strong relationships with referral partners, clients, and audiences without doing the hard work.

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We’ll distribute each episode across more than 11 unique channels, including iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. We’ll also create copy for each episode and promote your show across social media.

Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90xAtariEinstein BagelsMattelRx BarsYPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk,  and many more.  

The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.

Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.

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Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:14

Welcome to the revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.

John Corcoran 0:40

All right. Welcome, everyone. John Corcoran here, I’m the host of this show. And I feel so privileged every week to talk to smart CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs. Take a look at some of our archives because we’ve got some great episodes. You know, we released an interview a few weeks ago, an interview with the former co-founder of Netflix, YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, LendingTree, OpenTable, Ace Software, and so many other interesting archived episodes. Go check them out. I’m also the Co-founder of Rise25, where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. And this week, we are talking to Jeremy Webb. He’s the Founder and CEO of Organizational Engineering. He’s got a really interesting background. He is a cancer survivor, international coach, speaker, and YouTuber pilot. He volunteers with cancer-related camps and charity events. And he started his career at the fastest-growing company in the US. So we’re going to talk a little bit about some of the lessons that he took from that experience that he brings to the work that he does today. 

And before we get into that, this episode is brought to you by Rise25 Media where we help b2b businesses to get clients, referrals and strategic partnerships with done for you podcasts and content marketing. If you’ve ever been curious about starting a podcast, I’ve told everyone since I started doing it 11 years ago that they should do it. So if you’re thinking about it, you should do it. Go to And you can check out some of our resources there and learn about how to do it. All right, Jeremy. So I’m excited to have you here. And you have got this crazy story. You take us back, you are 15-16 years old. You’ve been taking flying lessons. And you are about to go out on your first solo ever, which is a milestone in anyone’s lifetime. And you nearly killed yourself. So I’m glad that you did. But what happened?

Jeremy Webb 2:21

It’s definitely a memory there. And yeah, like he says, the first solo flight where I left the airport, I’d done one, I just did a few landings. But you know, this one, I was, I was, I was up, I was flying over my hometown, getting a little brave and a little bit lower and lower. You know, it’s your first solo flight. So you’re, you know, you start off a little high, and you start to get braver as you go. And I was actually flying over my best friend’s house. And all of a sudden, I hear this coconut. The plane is like, Oh, you know, excuse my language there. But some bad words came out of my mouth. It’s my first solo flight. And I’m thinking, Oh, my gosh, I just broke the airplane. What’s happening like this, it felt like they keep you in the movies when you’re shooting like a 50 caliber machine gun, you know, Mount humby, or something. It was absolutely crazy. And so luckily, there are lots of fields around things like this. So I wasn’t too worried. I mean, I was a pretty good pilot at the time. And so I wasn’t so worried about you know, dying or living. I just like, Oh my gosh, I’m never gonna fly again. I broke the airplane. Anyway, so I started heading back towards the airport. And one of the pilots locally said, Oh, you know, hey, there’s this little private airstrip and I was starting to run out of fields to land in and so he said, it was this little private airstrip. It’s 15 feet. Why a radio? You’re telling them on the radio? Yeah. So I was, yeah, I was talking to the airport at this time. And I was there was another plane flying around, and they ended up, you know, zeroing in on me. Apparently, Richmond airport was actually listening in on me as well. They ended up calling in and checking to make sure I was okay.

John Corcoran 4:02

After I landed in Virginia, a much bigger airport.

Jeremy Webb 4:05

Yeah, yeah. So normally there’s there is it’s Yeah, Richmond International. So it’s a regional airport. But they were apparently zoomed in on you there. Wow. That’s Yeah, so this little 15 foot wide runway in you know, your wingspan is you know, 20 some feet or whatever on the airplane. So it’s, it’s narrower than the wings of your, of your plane at 1500 feet long. And just to give you context, I mean, a normal runway is probably 3500 feet plus and, you know, the big ones are miles plus long, you know, at the major international airport. So this is tiny. And I came in and so I didn’t have enough power. I had just enough power to maintain altitude, and you have no idea what’s wrong with the plane. No idea. All I know is that like I’m below the green arc, right? You’re not in the green and society online. Right, I can basically just maintain altitude. That’s all I’ve got. There’s no going up. Yeah, and, and we’re just vibrating and shaking violently the whole time. And so this, I said, you’re running out of fields, right? I’m running out of safe places to land. So this is basically the option, right? I’ve got to put down at this airport, which is restricted to student pilots, except, you know, in emergencies, kind of anything goes. So instead of coming in from, you know, the normal 1000 feet, I came, I was at 2000 feet. And I just, you know, pointed it down, did my emergency descent, you know, boom. And I mean, I’ve smack that thing down on the numbers. I actually bounced the nose wheel just a tiny bit and kicked it up. But perfect landing. The I got compliments from the other plane that was flat around watching me but then there’s the hard part because I had to sit there for like three and a half hours while somebody came to pick me up from the airport that I take off.

John Corcoran 5:57

I know when there is no one in the air. No, this is

Jeremy Webb 5:59

completely unmanned. This is not like your, you know, typical airports. It’s just a little strip out by lay Ghana is actually bumpus Airport. And I was flying out of Louisa airport as my home base. Wow. So did you maintain your cool when this happened? Do you think in retrospect? Yeah, I mean, you know, for me, that kind of stuff isn’t it never really has bothered me that much. I’ve had several incidents throughout life. I think that you know, when a stressful situation happens, I just always maintain my cool. Actually, I had a guy like one day he came into my house and pointed a gun at my face. And I said, Well, you know, chill out, buy stuff. I was about to stand up and punch him in the face to be honest with one of our neighbors, and he’s Oh, no, it’s not a real gun, man, you know. But for me, you know, that sort of stuff is not really what shakes me.

John Corcoran 6:50

So yeah, so flash forward from that, four or 543 or four years later, you’re 19 years old. I assume you’re in college at the time. And you get a cancer diagnosis. Tell us take us through that.

Jeremy Webb 7:04

Yeah, that was another interesting life experience. And that one actually shaped my life, I would say for the better. But there was a decision in the beginning that really shaped how I was going to deal with everything. And excuse me, you know, I was in a pretty stressful place in college, a lot of stuff that I was enjoying, I wasn’t enjoying anymore. I went to school for flight operations. And I wasn’t enjoying the flight because this New Hampshire and you know, had to get up at 530 in the morning and pull planes across frozen, you know, asphalt and then get my flight canceled, etc, etc. and

John Corcoran 7:43

take some of the fun out of it.

Jeremy Webb 7:44

Yeah, you know, it did. And I was playing hockey, and I wasn’t really a big fan of our coach. And I just didn’t really fit at the school, I think and I realize I’m not that much of a winter person either. and going to school in New Hampshire anyway, the long and short of it is some other life experiences, I got stressed out. And I’m pretty sure that that’s what caused cancer. But you know, I was having some pain in my leg. And every couple of weeks, I was getting sick. And I was limping. I mean going down the stairs, I’d have to hold on to the railings and kind of lower myself down one step at a time. It hurts so bad. And I went home for Thanksgiving break and I was at the movie theater, put my hand on my leg and I felt this lump in my leg. And, you know, long story short, a few tests later, I went to the doctor’s office, and this was before HIPAA and everything. My parents didn’t tell me why I was going to this doctor’s appointment, and they went with me, which was a little different. You know, but I’m 19. I’m in the doctor’s office. And he puts my X ray up on the wall. And I say I don’t see a problem. I said, there’s my, you know, thigh, there’s my knee. And there’s my shin. He said, That’s not your knee. And I said, Wow, okay. He said, Well, we need to do a biopsy to see what this is we think we know. But you know, we need to get to specifics on it. And we need to get you in pretty soon. I think it was like Wednesday. And I said, we have to wait till Monday. And he looked at me, he said, Why? And I said, Well, I’ve got a hockey game this weekend, and I’m not going to miss it. And, you know, that sounds like a simple statement. But in my mind was what I had decided right then and there was that I was going to enjoy my life. Right? I was going to do whatever I needed to do to enjoy my life. And if I did that, no matter the outcome with cancer, I won. And if I didn’t do that, if I got down, if I got depressed, if I didn’t live my life, and I, you know, succumbed to that disease, then I lost. And it was that clear in my mind. And that evolved over time into this idea that, you know, our life is about maximizing our happiness and that really includes more. You know everything, there’s no such thing as work-life balance, it’s all life. And so I think personally the point is, I don’t think there is necessarily a point to life, so we get to make our own. But I think biologically, we are driven to maximize our happiness and wellbeing.