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Episode 006 – Coaching for Leaders Host Dave Stachowiak

Posted on Sep 22, 2016 by in Podcast Episode | 1 comment


The state of leadership, mastermind groups and leadership v. management with Coaching for Leaders Podcast host Dave Stachowiak.


Dave Stachowiak serves as the Executive Vice President for Talent Development for Dale Carnegie of Southern Los Angeles, and is also the host of the highly rated Coaching for Leaders Podcast.

Through his work at Dale Carnegie, Dave has served such clients as Boeing, ExxonMobil, The United States Air Force and American Honda, and was named by his clients as a top 20 Dale Carnegie instructor in the world.

Dave launched the Coaching for Leaders Podcast in 2011, filling a void he noticed where most business and leadership podcasts were aimed exclusively at online entrepreneurs and not everyday people looking to grow in their leadership skills.

Dave has a PhD in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University.


  1. For those of us who aren’t familiar with you or your work, can you fill us in a bit on your journey and how you found yourself drawn to this field of training leaders?
    1. Not a confident person through high school, but made a pact to put himself out there when he reached college
      1. Nominated for homecoming court at the end of senior year
      2. Hired personal coaches; worked on himself
  2. You have the rare combination of academic AND experiential credentials on the topic of leadership; how have those two worked together to form how you look at leadership?
    1. Leverage the best of both
    2. At Dale Carnegie, has the opportunity to hear what leaders are dealing with on day to day basis
    3. Always be learning; act as the student along with the rest of us and bring experts to the show
  3. What do we know about leadership in 2016 that we didn’t know 10, 20 or 50 years ago?
    1. Fundamentals haven’t changed
    2. But, in practice some things are different
      1. Command and Control doesn’t work
      2. Access to information; glassdoor, etc. means people will know how your organization treat others
    3. Broader sense of what life is about
      1. Less about money and titles
      2. More about work/life balance and quality of life
      3. (Resource: Daniel Pink – Human Motivation)
    4. Starting to move away from traditional ways to do performance reviews, raises (but still a struggle)
    5. Important for job candidates to raise work/life balance issues during the hiring process if they are important to them
      1. You’re not going to change the culture of the employer as a new employee
      2. (Resource: Scott Barlow – Happen To Your Career Podcast)
        1. Career = Carriage/Journey
  4. We have a lot of folks listening who, by title or job description, do not have leadership authority. They are early in their careers or the newest volunteer in a charity, etc. Can we lead and influence people and organizations from those roles, and if so, how?
    1. Retired Admiral Verne Clark, U.S. Navy – After a point in time in his leadership, he ceased giving orders – his leadership was via influence
    2. True leadership doesn’t come from formal authority, but rather whether people are willing to follow you
    3. Favorite definition of leadership – people follow you!
      1. If they don’t have a choice (i.e. in a boss/employee relationship) are they really following you?
      2. Political leaders great case study because we don’t have to follow them
    4. Chris Voss (Resource: Never Split The Difference)
    5. If you can lead and influence in a volunteer capacity, imagine what you can do if you actually have some of the position and/or management authority
    6. Resource: Eight Ways To Influence Without Authority
    7. Resource: Coaching for Leaders Episode with John Kotter – Leadership v. Management
      1. Leadership is about direction; management is about execution
      2. One is not good and the other bad; they are distinct, complimentary and important skills
  5. I mentioned in the intro one reason you started Coaching for Leaders was a lack of content for those of us who weren’t online entrepreneurs; why is that distinction important? What do we who aren’t online entrepreneurs need to learn about leadership that is different?
    1. Leadership usually not top of mind for an online entrepreneur, especially one in startup phase when there may not even be a team yet
    2. Nobody really doing this!
    3. Senior people in small/medium size organizations are typical listeners, and there isn’t much in the way of formal leadership training they offer
    4. Leadership can be very lonely; helpful to have resources
  6. What is a mastermind group and what does it look like?
    1. Peers get together with a facilitator
    2. Great relationships not bound by political issues within an organization
    3. Twice monthly online meeting where they talk though leadership challenges
    4. Used to just be for the wealthy, but now have become more mainstream and accessible with technology
    5. Need to be consistent, committed
  7. In a more recent episode, you discussed the topic of how to go about managing your former peers after being promoted. I think many in our audience are experience that or will very soon. What can you tell us about that difficult leadership task?
    1. First need to acknowledge it is a big transition!
    2. Sit down and have a conversation with your former peers who you now lead; ask how they feel about it and then LISTEN!
    3. Resource: The Look and Sound of Leadership (podcast; Tom Henschel)
    4. 20/60/20: 20% are excited for you; 60% not sure/don’t care; 20% frustrated/animus (just assume this will be the case)
    5. Airplane analogy for the importance of diversifying your relationships – have a lot of engines on your plane, so when one goes down, the whole plane doesn’t go down. If all your relationships are at work, and there is a big transition there, it’s a lot to handle because ALL of your relationships were impacted.
  8. You are in the process of updating your tagline to Coaching for Leaders; the current one is Leaders Aren’t Born, They’re Made.
    1. Can you expand on that line how you came to believe that?
    2. Why did you decide to update the tag line and where is that headed?
      1. One of my mastermind members mentioned that the tag line was fine, but didn’t connect to what the show delivered. So it will likely be more along the lines of actionable, expertise, access.
  9. You have created a wonderful bank of resources at your website, including a list of your Top Ten Leadership books. Can you tell us about that list and maybe one or two specific books that we should start with if we are wanting to build a foundation of leadership knowledge?
    1. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Steven Covey
      1. The best way to be a great leader is to start leading yourself well
    2. How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
      1. How to have great relationships, which results in leading well
      2. Focus on seeing things from the other person’s perspective
  10. You have studied leadership, talked about it with other experts, trained others in it. If you were to write a book about leadership, what would its title be?
    1. The Listener’s Guide to Coaching For Leaders – so people could go right to a particular episode/guest to learn about the topic or issue they are interested in or going through.
  11. Where can people go to learn more about you and how can they discover Coaching for Leaders?
  12. Thank Yous/Acknowledgements:
    1. Antioch Live/Clear Day Media Group – music
      1. More here.
    2. Jonathan Davis – production
    3. Clint Musslewhite – voice over

1 Comment

  1. It was a privilege to speak with you Dave! You do a great job with Coaching for Leaders, and I strongly encourage anyone listening to my show to listen to yours as well!


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