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Leading with Your Life on the Line (Len Forkas)

  • Episode #36

Through a fascinating mix of business, nonprofit, athletics, and expeditions, Len Forkas has led numerous teams to achieve extraordinary accomplishments. Often, he literally puts his life in their hands, demonstrating the ultimate in leadership.

Welcome to To Lead Is Human. Envision how you  can uplevel your  leadership and shape cultures of accountability, respect, and candor.

Len Forkas is a dynamic figure known for his roles as an entrepreneur, endurance athlete, international explorer, and dedicated philanthropist.

“When people’s work has meaning, and they have the trust to be autonomous in doing what they do, and they belong to something that’s bigger than them… that’s a high-performing team.”

— Len Forkas

Len Forkas is a dynamic figure known for his roles as an entrepreneur, endurance athlete, explorer, and dedicated philanthropist. He founded Milestone Towers and currently serves as its President. Based in Reston, Virginia, Milestone Towers is a prominent developer of digital infrastructure across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States. Since its inception in 2001, the company has successfully developed and managed numerous wireless tower sites, fostering significant job growth in construction, engineering, and manufacturing.

As an author, Len Forkas has shared his insights and experiences from his endurance events and adventures in two books — What Spins the Wheel: Life and Leadership Lessons from the Race for Hope (2014) and Cold Hard Truth (2022), with all profits supporting HopeCam. This charity, which he established in 2003, aims to alleviate the social isolation experienced by children undergoing cancer treatment by leveraging technology. HopeCam has had a profound impact, connecting more than 5,000 children battling cancer to their peers across 50 states, in collaboration with more than 150 hospitals. Notably, 70% of the children assisted by Hopecam attend Title One schools, with half receiving treatment at St. Jude’s Hospital.

As a sought-after leadership speaker, Len has been featured on major media platforms including CNN’s Anderson CooperFox and Friends, Wharton Sirius XM Radio, and the local affiliates of NBC, ABC, FOX, and CBS in the Baltimore/Washington DC area.

His athletic achievements are equally impressive, encompassing multiple Ironman races, marathons in all 50 states, 100-mile ultra-marathons, and the grueling Race Across America — a 3,000-mile solo bike race completed in just 11 days. Len’s adventurous spirit has also led him to summit the tallest mountains on five continents. His current endeavor (January 2024) is an ambitious expedition to ski to the South Pole.

For more than 30 years, Sharon Richmond has partnered with C-level executives from mid-size and small, fast-growing companies who want to up-level their leadership and build companies they are proud of. Clients accelerate their leadership by embracing mindset and behavior changes, building self-awareness and self-management skills, and focusing on the three things all leaders must ensure: focus, energy and delivery.

Sharon’s purpose as an executive coach is to help leaders 10X their impact by leveraging the power afforded by their roles to build organizations that are forces for good, both economically and socially. She also advises CEOs on shaping organization culture and leading change.

Sharon has taught leadership at Stanford GSB, where she now helps leaders increase influence, manage conflict, and prepare to build high-performing teams.

To see a list of Sharon’s clients, please visit

Resources or websites mentioned in this episode:
Sharon’s website:
Len’s LinkedIn:
Len’s book, What Spins the Wheel
Len’s book, Cold Hard Truth
Milestone Towers:

Host: Sharon Richmond
Producer: Cynthia Lamb
Assembled by: Melissa Deal
Audio Editor: Marvin del Rosario
Executive Producer: Danny Iny
Music Soundscape: Chad Michael Snavely
Making our hosts sound great: Home Brew Audio

Music credits:
Track Title: Escaping Light
Artist: Aaron Sprinkle
Writer: Aaron Sprinkle

Track Title: Bright Future
Artist: Be Still The Earth
Writer: Marshall Usinger

Special effects credits:

24990513_birds-chirping_by_promission used with permission of the author and under license by AudioJungle/Envato Market.

To catch the great episodes coming up on To Lead Is Human, please follow us on Mirasee FM’s YouTube channelor your favorite podcast player. And if you enjoyed the show, please leave us a comment or a starred review. It’s the best way to help us get these ideas to more people.


To Lead Is Human

Every business leader has a huge impact on their organization. In this podcast, Sharon Richmond interviews successful leaders who have turned personal growth into tangible business outcomes. They discuss overcoming challenges, lessons learned and what helps them make a positive impact in their organization. Sharon offers insight and advice to help listeners envision how they can supercharge their own leadership by blending the art and science of leading with intention.