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    David Achata: Embrace What You Don't Know

     David Achata is the author of Embrace What You Don’t Know, as well as a coach, trainer, facilitator, and speaker. Living in the mountains of Tennessee with his wife and two children, he brings over 20 years of leadership experience. Marcel and David dive into his book and the idea of asking the right questions instead of having the right answers. David gets real about toxic shame, how to combat it, and the impact of leadership orientation.


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    Show Notes


    Robb Holman and Marcel break the ice with today’s co-host segment on stewardship. Being a good steward of your organization is important to leaders but too often personal stewardship is neglected. A good caring heart can cause leaders to become stretched too thin. Robb and Marcel discuss setting boundaries, getting focused, and embracing your unique identity to not only impact personal stewardship but stewardship across all of your leadership. “When we understand and embrace being the best version of ourselves, this has everything to do with stewardship.” [4:00]

    Embracing What You Don’t know

    Marcel quotes guest David Achata, “What sets leaders apart is not having the right answers, it’s learning to ask all the right questions.”[21:55] David explains that embracing what you don’t know is all about understanding these categorical blindspots, first personally, secondly in our leadership, and thirdly in our organizations. If you can learn to ask questions in these facets of your life, leadership, and organization you can gain a lot of clarity.

    The Shame Leaders Carry

    “Shame is whenever we feel inadequate, the feeling that we’re not enough.” [39:00] David jokes that we need just enough shame to not go to the store naked, shame helps us understand our boundaries and our limits. However, toxic shame can make us feel like failures, and we compensate by puffing out our chests and bringing out our egos. David says that when leaders show this toxic shame, they are trying to overcome inadequacy by posturing themselves as something that they’re not. To combat this shame it is critical to address the blindspots David mentions, get to the root of shame, and be vulnerable. 

    Leadership Orientation

    It’s important to understand and ask, ‘What kind of leader am I?’ David says that it’s not better or worse but about understanding your influence, and what you’re influencing your people toward. Influence is about your power and voice in the world and how it expresses yourself in the world, and your orientation. “Understanding these pieces about orientation help make up the matrix of who a leader is.” [53:06]

    The Book

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    About Marcel Schwantes

    Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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