The Iron Project is a forge for organizational leadership development.

We provide all the services of a traditional leadership consultant: speaking, training, events, one-on-one coaching. Our overriding mission is to help you build a self-sustaining leadership machine inside your organization. Iron Project clients receive all of our insights and experience targeted at the singular goal of giving you a process for developing, testing, and empowering leaders.

We are the founders and leaders of F3 and FiA. Since 2011, these two volunteer-led organizations have spread free workouts for men and women to 20 states and hundreds of municipalities from coast to coast, transforming tens of thousands of lives in the process. They may look like “just another boot camp,” but F3 and FiA groups are actually leadership machines, catalyzing and reinvigorating their communities with a growth formula that emphasizes shared leadership, accountability and adaptability.  

At The Iron Project, our passion is helping you build that same kind of leadership machine inside your organization. Other leadership consultants let you lease their framework or way of thinking. Only The Iron Project leaves you with a process that you and your organization own.


The Iron Project Founders

Tim Whitmire


Tim Whitmire is a former journalist, primarily with the Associated Press, where he reported from Rhode Island, New York City, Kentucky and North Carolina. He also served in business development and executive roles for several financial services firms. He, his wife, and his three children live in Charlotte.

Dave Redding


Dave Redding practices law in Charlotte, North Carolina. From 1985 to 1994, he was an active-duty Army infantry and Special Forces Officer. He is a graduate of the Army Airborne School, Ranger School, Special Forces Qualification Course, and SERE. He is also a graduate of French Commando School. He has a wonderful wife and three lovely daughters to keep his testosterone in check.

Rob Cannon

"Gnarly Goat"

Rob Cannon is an officer for a major metropolitan fire department. He has served for more than twenty years as a leader on high performance teams in fast-moving, high-stakes environments. Prior to joining the fire service, Rob graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy and served as a naval officer in operations that ranged from counter-narcotic operations to disaster response during Hurricane Katrina. Rob has earned graduate degrees from the U. S. Naval War College and UNC-Charlotte.  He lives in Cornelius, NC with his wife and their 4 children. 

At The Iron Project, our overriding mission is to help you build a leadership development process that works for your organization. Because each organization is unique, we tailor our offerings and content to every group we work with.

That said, our offerings fall into six primary buckets:


Spark School

This is a 2- to 3-hour team session held in a classroom setting. We work dynamically with your team to teach meaningful, life-relevant leadership lessons that they can take away with them into the workplace, their homes and their lives in the community. Our faculty never teaches from slides and we always look for ways to get the audience out of their seats, moving around the room and actively engaged.

Case Study: Dave and Tim engaged the Eastern sales force for a major hardware retailer in a two-hour discussion of four key leadership skills (VAPE: Vision, Articulation, Persuasion, Exhortation) and how they differ from the “Five C” characteristics of a great leader (Competence, Consistency, Candor, Courage and Contentment). 

Reaction: “Even the most cynical of the group felt it brought up some great discussion points and thoughts to personally unbox.”

The Furnace

This is a half-day session that includes a 1-hour group physical activity (combining elements of a light workout with some physical teaching) and a 2-hour classroom teaching session that calls back to elements introduced in the physical activity. The physical segment is extremely accessible and is led in a manner that keeps the participants together and gives everyone the option to do as much or little as they feel comfortable doing.

Case Study: Rob, Rachel, Tim and Dave led the headquarters staff of a fast-growing retailer in the health and wellness space through a workout and classroom session on the four pillars of team leadership (Preparation; Command & Control; Accountability; Adaptability).

Reaction: “These guys are really passionate about helping to develop others as leaders, and I think that’s something we really need.”


The Anvil

This is an intensive, one-on-one or small group whiteboard session with an executive or a small leadership team aimed at defining organizational challenges and agreeing upon a road map to a solution.

Case Study: When an organization that supports entrepreneurs struggled in planning a broad-based event for members, Dave and Tim worked with leadership to revise their strategy.

Reaction: "We met with Dave and Tim to better understand our shortcomings.  Through the process it became abundantly clear that we had not defined our purpose and focus as it related to our organization's core philosophy and mission. Once we determined our shortcomings we changed our course and ended up with a successful event. Their unique objective perspective was just what we needed and we are forever grateful."


The Whetstone

One-on-one coaching for executives and other leaders, using a system developed by The Iron Project’s, Dave Redding.

Case Study: Dave met regularly with an entrepreneur preparing to launch his own construction business, leading him through the proprietary Whetstone leadership development process.

Reaction: "When I started my company four years ago I had already been meeting with Dave Redding and working through his Whetstone process for a year. That time together helped me build a framework for good decision-making and allowed me to develop and hone the leadership qualities that are serving me, and my employees, today."


Ironclad Leadership Experience: Historic Learning Adventures

Join TIP leaders on a visit to a location where history was made. Teams bond during our Ironclad Experiences as they explore and analyze historic leadership challenges while creating models and metaphors for their own challenges. Our faculty helps guide the team through the history of a site and connect the decisions made there to your primary training objective. While our team is expert at using military history and key battle sites to teach lessons, we can develop custom Ironclad Leadership Experiences around other historic events and locations.  



The ultimate team experience for your organization.  We partner with GORUCK, a leading provider of team challenges and a longtime partner of F3, to build a customized, daylong experience that includes leadership teaching and a 4- to 6-hour team challenge led by one of GORUCK’s Special Forces cadres. (Up to 30 people work together on a single GORUCK team; we can coordinate multi-team events for large organizations.)  The lessons that the TIP faculty teaches in the classroom are echoed and reinforced in the course of the GORUCK Challenge, with team members getting a chance to lead and receive immediate “AAR” (After-Action Review) feedback from the rest of the group. The GrowRuck patch that participants earn by completing the Challenge is something they will cherish forever.

Case Study: Dave, Tim and Sean pioneered the GrowRuck format within F3 and they and the TIP faculty have led many GrowRuck events for F3 and FiA groups.

Reaction: “The knowledge bombs dropped during the classroom session and again during the (GORUCK) Challenge were the best I’ve ever heard in my professional career.”