How to Break Free from
Ep. 262 with Adrian Koehler
“People don’t give themselves a lot of permission to to step up and step out.”
Delve into the heart of leadership as Lesley and Brad interviews Adrian Koehler. Urging leaders to confront their resentments and complaints, Adrian offers a roadmap to a more empowered leadership style. Listen in to explore personal and professional growth with intention and clarity.
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In this episode you will learn about:
- Why Adrian Koehler passionately advocates for people.
- The importance of clear principles and values in guiding leadership.
- Understand being essential versus making a unique contribution.
- Dive into aligning with your dark side to confront internal challenges.
- Embrace the power of self-reflection and genuine introspection.
- Learn the value of seeking guidance and external support.
- Adrian Keohlers’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/adriankoehler
- Adrian Koehler’s Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/adrian.k/
- Take New Ground – https://takenewground.com/
- Intrepid Leadership Academy – https://leadership.takenewground.com/
- The Art of Negotiation Quiz – https://negotiation.takenewground.com/
- The Naked Leadership Podcast – https://nakedleadership.podbean.com/
- Modern Wisdom Podcast – https://chriswillx.com/podcast/
- The Revenant Process – https://wearerevenant.com/
Welcome to the Be It Till You See It podcast where we talk about taking messy action, knowing that perfect is boring. I’m Lesley Logan, Pilates instructor and fitness business coach. I’ve trained thousands of people around the world and the number one thing I see stopping people from achieving anything is self doubt. My friends, action brings clarity and it’s the antidote to fear. Each week, my guests will bring Bold, Executable, Intrinsic and Targeted steps that you can use to put yourself first and Be It Till You See It. It’s a practice, not a perfect. Let’s get started.
Lesley Logan 0:20
All right, Be It babes. We got some action for you today.
Brad Crowell 0:24
Yeah, mixing it up.
Lesley Logan 0:25
Well, there’s the action, 1/3 of it. So Brad and I are so freakin stoked to mention this next guest to you.
Brad Crowell 0:34
Yeah, my executive coach that I worked with for 18 months I think. His name is Adrian Koehler and just buckle up because he’s about to blow your mind. He goes, so deep, deep, so deep that you’re like, oh, my gosh, I can’t believe the conversation going. I think I need to make all these amazing adjustments in my life.
Lesley Logan 0:57
I know. I already feel like we have some good things that can make from what we heard today.
Brad Crowell 1:01
Yes, save this episode.
Brad Crowell 1:03
Save this episode. You’re gonna hear an amazing story about how Adrian got started. What he does, he’s incredibly observant. And then oh my gosh, first guest, first guest to go bold, executable, intrinsic and targeted in all the steps so he gave you all of them. Typically, people give us one, right? And he goes, here’s all of them. So just generous as fuck, and just a beautiful human being and really going to help you find that leadership within you and help you evaluate why you do what you do.
Lesley Logan 1:31
All right, Be It, babes. Welcome back to the Be It Till You See It Podcast. I am so excited. We’ve got an amazing guest for you. Which of course, we always have an amazing guest. But we truly have one that it has been part of our lives for a really long time. And we also have Brad here because this amazing guest has Brad going oh, wait, I want to be there for this. So that’s how amazing this guest is. Adrian Koehler, thank you so much for being here today. Can you tell everyone who you are and what you rock at?
Adrian Koehler 2:26
Well. For number one, just awesome. It’s so good to be with you guys love you both. And so Adrian Koehler and what I rock at. Wow, that’s fun. Already fun prompts for a conversation. Who the hell am I? Be It Till You See It what a great conversation. So who the hell am I? I’m a dad, I’m a husband. I live in Los Angeles, I’ve got a full life full of chaos and beauty and all things in between. I professionally have a coaching leadership coaching and training company called Take New Ground. We do all sorts of work, which I’m sure we’ll get into at some level. And I love it. I love fighting for people fighting for them, like fighting and sometimes I have to fight with them to fight for them. But like being a fierce advocate for people is my jam. I love it. I wake up in the morning for whatever reason. I’m wired to like, be in the foxhole. I just texted a guy I’ll be I’ll be in any foxhole with you, man. And that’s just true for me. Like, let’s go life’s about living. So and death is abundance. So let’s go You better get you know, anyway, that’s my vibe. And I think I’m great at that. That really supporting people and advocating for them. At least results say that night as I’m alive in that.
Brad Crowell 3:39
I can vouch for that. (Lesley: Yeah.) Yeah, man.
Lesley Logan 3:42
Yeah. Well, we met you because I heard you on a podcast. And you’re like.
Brad Crowell 3:47
And then she quoted you.
Lesley Logan 3:48
Yes, I did. And then you.
Brad Crowell 3:50
She told me. You just got to hug the cactus. (Lelsey: Yeah.) So I was like, what the fuck are you talking about? (Lesley: I know.)
Adrian Koehler 3:58
Outside. A lot of beautiful varieties.
Lesley Logan 4:01
And I was like, I signed up for his lead magnet. And I just kept forwarding the emails to him because I was like, why am I I’m not the CEO here. Why am I? And then I DM-ed you. (Adrian: Yes, that’s awesome.) Yeah. And you’re like, oh, I’ll talk to him. And I was like, that is the coolest dude. He’s just gonna talk to him. And so I was like, Babe, you got to talk to this guy. And he’s like, yeah, yeah, when I’m ready. And I was like, okay, so we’re on Brad time. So I just kept like, sending him more pics. And then he finally did. And so that’s how we can absolutely vouch for how amazing you are and that you’re in the foxhole.
Brad Crowell 4:35
Yeah. So for all everyone listening. Actually, Adrian worked with me for like a year and a half actually, as an executive coach. And we would have calls multiple times a month and, you know, texting and meeting up and all the things and really helped shape how I operate as a CEO transitioning into the actual role from the office. I never had experience with that before, where before I was doing all the operations, and I was still leading a team and stuff, but it wasn’t, I had no, I just didn’t have any experience. So working with you was really enlightening because you get the opportunity to work with people in leadership and the CEO role all the time.
Lesley Logan 5:17
So I have a question, though. How did you get started? It was like, how do you like, how do you get started in coaching leaders? Yeah.
Adrian Koehler 5:26
I’ll just share how I did. You know, there’s lots of ways I think other people did, and I didn’t ever remember, just remember, you know, when I got into this work, I was always like, scared that people are going to ask how I got into it, only because like, I have a very odd, eclectic background. And it took me a while to kind of hug that cactus, if you will, like befriend the oddity that I am, and the eclecticness that I am and all that, and then finally own it. So how did I get into this? Let me tell the shortest version of the story, then you can double-click on any stuff you’re interested. So I have always been a leader. And I think that’s a choice. I felt leadership, I was modeled leadership, my parents are leaders in the community, small town in southern Illinois. And a lot of opportunities to lead I ended up leading a lot I’m just thinking like as a kid. And part of that, you know, a lot of that choice, like stepping up, I got into leadership because the world felt really uncertain to me. And I felt really uncertain to me in the adolescent years, which I think we all do, one of the solutions to that was, oh, I can choose my own adventure. Okay, I’ll do that. And people seem to want somebody to lead might as well be me that kind of thing. So anyway, was a leader, early athlete, like lots of opportunities to lead in athletics and quarterback of the high school team and all that kind of stuff, played, played football in college involved in student student stuff. And I just liked it. I liked being involved in stuff. I’m like, not a good guy in the stands. I’m a good guy on the field. Like, I like myself in the action, like, you know, my own experience of myself, I actually feel like I can influence something I’m much more engaged, and not a great spectator, which most people will attest to, or make jokes about. So even just the assistant coach on my son’s baseball team, I’m an assistant coach. I’m an assistant coach on my son’s baseball team. One of the other coaches said, Hey, Adrian is going to run practice on Wednesday, which was last night, he was gonna run practice on on Wednesday, but he runs it anyway. So anyway, Adrian is actually going to run practice on Wednesday, I was like, is that feedback like there’s kids here. What are you trying to say? I tend to have an opinion about things tend to really want things to work and anyway I’II either jumps into if you decide to take it on, that’s leadership, like jumping into effect something with other people. So in college, you know, I was a pre-med guy didn’t want to do didn’t want to become a doctor after I got into it didn’t want to do the rigmarole and the whole thing. And I’m not that data driven. Just as a person, I’m like, human-driven, I started the ground and work my way up to meaning not start at the 30,000 foot level strategic and just like observational and make decisions down, I’m just better in the trenches kind of guy. So became a nursing major did that for a little bit, out of college, loved it, and was good at it worked intensive care. So mostly pediatric intensive care. So like being with families, when they were in the worst day of their entire life, most of them. (Brad: And advocating for people.) And advocating for people. And I’m like all the science part worked in my head really quick. I remember a bunch of stuff, and I’m quick on my feet. And but the relational dynamic was always most interesting to me. And actually, where I found myself making the biggest difference. So I’d like go to the leadership and say, hey, give me the hardest family, like who’s crazy, essentially, I’d say like, who’s the crazy mom on the floor? Because like moms would go, usually would feel big emotions, and express all those. Dads would usually go silent, and go internal, and get angry around some generals, and it’s not always that way. But anyway, I liked helping people find a way through, harness themselves in order to like focus on the kid, focus on the plan, focus on what’s needed, express all that in a way that works so that they don’t, you know, people don’t start, you know, avoiding them, because that’s what happens. (Lesley: Right.) So anyway, I loved all that. I very faith, life is a big deal for me come from a spiritual background. It’s spiritual, more than just any religious stuff’s boring to me and people that want to argue religion I just don’t have time for. But the idea of making the world a better place was always very captivating for me. And anyway, so I was involved in a spiritual community moved out to LA to join a church, essentially. And I was, I was an activist guy, so like, like befriending the poor, the marginalized, all that like world suffering, I’m into that and ended up being a part of once again, advocating for some solutions and helping everyday people that are out there have their jobs and their kids and the blah, blah, blah, inviting them into and a life-changing experience when they go serve. You know, so I dug that. And so I did that for like six or seven years, and got to speak a lot. And the church I worked at was very entrepreneurial, and very leadership driven. So it learned a lot about leadership got to teach leadership partner with Gallup Organization to teach the StrengthsFinder, like the pilot program for that. Then got to travel the world speaking on stages, it’s centered around entrepreneurial leadership in that world. It’s church planting, which is a lot harder than starting a business, where it’s like, you start nothing with nothing, and we have no people and how do you, you know, build a community of altruistic people in the community. That’s, that’s anyway, there’s five hours there, we can talk about that. But anyway, I’ve dug all that, through that I met a guy that had a lot of money because his dad had a lot of money. He was like a trust fund kid. And he, he had his own spiritual epiphany, wanted to start giving money away, which he’d never done before. And he came to me and I just happen to be the guy that meet him happen to be the guy that had all those spiritual conversations. And in that world, you baptize people and then make a big leap. And anyway, the significant I was just a friend of his mentor of his, and he said, would you help me do this? And sure, well, what do you want to do? Anyway, that meant leaving the church called Mosaic and starting a foundation with him and help taking him around the world to figure out what he cared about first, and then finding ways to build a structure to implement cash and resources and people to go make a difference whatever that looked like? They ended up looking like standing with people who had really blown it, like giving people a second chance. was started with Homeboy Industries in downtown LA, which is pretty well known I think to a lot of people, Father Greg Boyle. He’s kind of the Mother Teresa of East LA, and started as an incubator for companies and the companies are all run by ex-gang members. So long story short, moving forward, got connected to some followed some Catholics into prison Catholics love restorative justice stuff, met a couple nuns going into prison, I get connected with this group of lifers, you know, all the guys that had murdered somebody, most of them and murdered someone, you know, 20 years before. And simultaneously, I met a guy named Dan Dakini. Dan, do you guys have met Dan? Dan had been in the leadership consulting management consulting world for about 30 years at that time. And then it also been doing leadership transformation work and a lot in oddly a lot with juvenile in the juvenile justice system. So he was really great. Crossover, yeah, really great at helping kids. He’d worked with a group out of Boston, and helping kids change their mindset so they could change their life. And essentially jumping from a victim mindset to responsible mindset. And his work is impeccable. Like recidivism rate, that’s the word in that world like how likely are you to go back to prison? Average 86% of people leave prison and come back. If you go through dance program, it goes down, I think south of 12% I think it might even be eight. (Lesley: That’s amazing.) Crazy. They follow them throughout their lives. So if you do this work well and help people become new between their ears, they’ve helped people be it until they see it, if you know what I mean. If they, if they can make that shifts, then their whole world changes. And then they shift, the world changes, and they get out and they don’t want to go back. So anyway, did that work for a good while loved it, built a team, worked in prison. So my first kind of coaching clients as a without even any real training, besides all the leadership stuff I’ve done was in prison with murderers. And so we train the murderers to be trainers. So we did this apostolic kind of model, if you will, like train these guys to go out and be able to do the work themselves. So it’s not like we’re the white hope coming in from the outside. Because honestly, guys, we’re from different backgrounds, and whatever. It’s better if they because they’re, they’re all the leaders. They’re all the shock colors in the prison anyway. Yeah. So we did that work, which was impeccable and awesome. The vision for that foundation became very focused. And I’m a let’s make a huge flash kind of guy. So I said, I love you and adios. So through that I’ve been through all this training, I promise, I’m almost done, been through all this training, and this coaches Academy, and I thought, What do I want to do now? And I could easily do medical stuff, I could easily go back and do that. And I don’t wanna do that. I could go back to pastoral type stuff. That’s boring for a handful reasons. Philanthropic stuff is usually pretty stodgy and administrative and paperwork driven, which is not me. Or I could do this, which is kind of like, you know, all the leadership stuff, but full licence to kind of be exactly who I am. And it’s just the right environment that like I get to be fully expressed, and keep growing, keep changing, keep learning all that kind of stuff. Like it’s an it’s an endless game. So that’s how I got into the work.
Lesley Logan 14:32
Okay, so I hope everyone just heard how not linear any of that was like, no, no, and I love that so much. Because I think I know people listening to this right now are thinking, oh my gosh, who am I to do this? Because my resume is kind of like all over the place. But that’s actually what makes you the best at this because you have, you’ve led in so many different ways. You’ve experienced all the different sides of a coin. So then when you’re working with leaders now, you can actually help them find the path that works for them without having like, this is the formula that everyone does. And it just we rinse and repeat. This is so cool.
Brad Crowell 15:05
Yeah, I love that, like there’s, you know, a lot of unplanned shifts and changes that were actually big time changes, you know, like, meeting happened to happening to meet a wealthy philanthropic guy who didn’t know what to do with his money. What and then bumping into Dan, who was the cross over there. I love that, you know, my buddy, you know, told me one time when I was really because I’m also like, I struggle with control. And I also like to be the guy on the field. The guy on the field, calling the shots, and he told me one time he’s like, Dude, you just got to ride the wave. You don’t control the wave, you just ride it.
Adrian Koehler 15:50
Or get crashed, one of the two.
Brad Crowell 15:53
And I was like, oh, that’s crazy. How come I’ve never thought about before? And that’s cool to see like how it shifts and changes. And you know, you roll with it?
Adrian Koehler 16:03
Yeah, yeah, even just it hit me, you know, life, want to say that’s meaningful. The if I follow the script I just listened to this morning and the guy big podcasts are huge podcasts. I don’t know if you guys know Chris Williamson from Modern Wisdom. He was he’s on the rise. He’s probably the next Rogan. He’s what was the point, he was talking about how he’s just not a five-year plan guy. And he came out of the productivity world. And so there’s a lot of pressure to kind of have a plan have a very systematized blah, blah, blah, everything ratchets up to the – and I’m just like I’m not that guy. And in some ways, the same for me. Like, if I would have done a five-year plan, I wouldn’t be getting to do this. I wouldn’t, because I would have been like my own vision would have been my restriction. So because a lot of times when people talk about vision, they actually talk about an agenda. Meaning yes, here’s what it is. And it must be this. And if I’ve talked about it, now I gotta stick with the plan. And it’s supposed to suck, and they get out of they, they have all these signs and symptoms that what they thought was true a year ago is no longer true today. But it feels like failure, if they get off that and do something new, which I felt like, you know, it’s like what I was saying at the beginning, like, I don’t know, are people gonna respect me? If I show that I’ve had, like, I don’t know, four or five major transitions that don’t make any sense at all linearly? Are they gonna judge me for that? You know, it’s like, do I need to build something like, you know, and I’ve just never been this five-year plan guy, I want to show up fully, and see what happens. Not that I’m not clear, because you know, you’ve been around me, I’m, like, pretty clear about what I’m up to. And but I’m really open to what I don’t see. And all the possibility not all, but a lot of the possibilities in the periphery. And if I’m not looking left and right and checking things out, it’s not like threats are out there. I mean, sometimes there are, but opportunities are out there too. And so it’d be willing to try something on and seeing if it’s true for me, because I want to build a whole I get now I now I get it in hindsight led like the through line is fierce advocacy. That’s what I love doing. So however I do that, and whatever environment I’m doing that that’s great. And I might only do this for another year or two. I don’t know, I have a plan to be here. I think I’ll be doing this for a long time. I haven’t found yet another thing that gives me the freedom for impact, like I have now. But who knows what’s gonna happen.
Lesley Logan 18:28
I like that you actually call that like the most people’s visions and agenda. Because I think there’s a big difference between like, how you picture the life, you want to live around feelings, you know, and like, what is a priority to you and your life, and allowing the steps that you take to be filtered through almost like a value vision system. Versus like, this date because I went to a Christian college so y’all, it was on this date I’ll get married and on this date, I’ll have a child and there’ll be like this. It was like…
Brad Crowell 18:58
Me too. I just wanted to get engaged so we get to hold hands.
Lesley Logan 19:10
Well, you didn’t go to my Christian college there are some very creative people there. But like I remember seeing all of that going that is a really like restrictive like, there’s not a lot of room for surprise. Or like you’re just going to be super disappointed.
Adrian Koehler 19:25
When it doesn’t go by ironically it’s a Christian school. Ironically, that way of living has very little faith in it you know, like, who the hell’s God? Who cares? I got my plan, man. I don’t need serendipity. I don’t need orchestration. I don’t need providence. I don’t need that shit. I am Providence. Look, here’s the plan. Anyway.
Lesley Logan 19:49
I wish I was that smart back then. So I but I do I do like that. Like there’s a lot of freedom in this and I think some people the vision is like helpful for them because otherwise they like live in their stuckness. And for some people, no vision at all. It’s also like very difficult. So like, how, how are you using like your drive this like, like your goal of like helping as many people as possible as how you make decisions? Like how are you making decisions on what you say yes to?
Adrian Koehler 20:19
That’s a great question. Let me see what the real answer to that is. So first off, it’s not that I don’t have a vision, I don’t think you were saying that to me. You know, some people go out without a vision, not having a vision is a vision, like confusions of vision. There’s lots of reasons for that. The principles scale, that’d be more my point, like, I’m really clear about what I’m about as a person, and the gift that I am not arrogantly saying that I just own it, like, I own what I’m really good at. And even just yesterday, a buddy, close friend of mine texted me saying, Hey, can we talk and he wanted to talk through all of his business stuff. And I like being the guy that like, when, when things are sideways, I’m the call you make, and I dig it as my like, gift, you know? So, but to your question, like, how do I make decisions, I’ve got to, I know where I want to go currently in my business. And that’s, it’s not just me, it’s we like, we’ve got a team, and we’re declared about that we’re clear, we’ve got like, numbers we’re gonna hit and types of events we’re going to have and all that’s like, lined out a business plan. I just really want to be open to being surprised. So quite often, I will, quote unquote, waste time. If you look at it, maybe even on the back end, and it looks like a waste of time, but I’m exploring, I don’t know what’s possible, about like, this person or this opportunity, I don’t know. I mean, then if it doesn’t fit, I could discard it. And, you know, a lot of like, focus culture, like that would be like, good for you. Like, you know, let your you know, it’d be a strong No, and I understand all that. But I, I just get much more joy out of like testing and seeing and, and seeing, seeing if something is possible there. And I love connecting. I’m not like a connector by habit for sure. Like, I love connecting great people just did it twice already this morning, connecting great people so that they can talk and maybe something beautiful happen. So I’m typically really trying stuff on. So, but to your question, how do I do that? I’ve got my values really clear, I do have my long-term interests at heart, I do have the interest of my team at heart. You know, we’re talking about an idea right now, that’s got a lot of trepidation in it with for me and for us as a, as a team and my business partner. And, essentially, I want to let him loose to go express what he wants to express. And I’ve got lots of some trepidation around that around because we have some differences and how we see things and how we operate in the world, but I’m gonna go see it, and we’re going to talk about it a lot, and vet out the possibilities, and then run it and then go see if it works or not. And it’s probably going to polarize a lot of our clientele, you know, we’re just going to go deep, we’re gonna go, we’re gonna double down on the stand that we’re taking in culture. So I want to go look, you know, I’ve got explorer’s mindset, if I find bullet-pointed for your audience, my principles are really clear. My long term goals are really clear. And I’m as committed to be an explorer as I am to being an executive, which is really, especially in my context, my job because I’ve got kind of the most robust network of my team. And I’m in Hollywood, blah, blah, blah. And I’m really good at meeting people and generating possibility with them. (Lesley: Yeah.) relational possibility, business possibility. So my job is to go out there. And you know, my son’s name is Scout, for example, like, that’s what I’m up to like, let me go out, I’ll come back to camp later. Let me go see what’s over that mountain. Then I’ll come back and report like, I love that lifestyle.
Lesley Logan 23:47
I love that. Thank you for explaining that. Because I think I think that that’s so helpful. One, your strengths are all involved in what you’re doing. And then again, you’re clear on your principles and your values and what your long-term interests are. So that takes a lot of knowing yourself. You’re sure.
Brad Crowell 24:02
That’s what I was just gonna say. Yeah, but not only that, I think that you have intentionally built a business that allows you to enjoy the things that you enjoy.
Adrian Koehler 24:23
Right on. Yes. Yeah.
Brad Crowell 24:24
How about that? That’s an interesting idea. I feel like a lot of people are just trapped you know, and you know, like, I have often felt trapped and sometimes even in our own business where we call the shots, I still feel trapped. But the the flexibility of the lifestyle that you know, you want to live have it like building a business that allows you to do that. Yeah, going in scouting or being able to just pick up and go work at a coffee shop like for Lesley and I when we first started I’m conceptualizing what a life could look like, together, we asked what, what are the things that are important, and we love to travel. And so when we first started dating, it was like, well, how could we build a life where we could work from anywhere? And we didn’t have the answer? You know, and yeah, but it slowly started to happen over, took years, you know. But yeah, being able to build a build something or create a business in that way. That’s very free.
Adrian Koehler 25:33
It is freeing, you know, and freedom requires a whole bunch of risk. You know, I mean, it’s what you guys are doing, like, when you decide to bet on yourselves. There’s lots of upside to that. There’s lots of downside meaning, like, there’s like, yeah, so at some point, you’ll have to suffer. And like, you know, be confined. I mean, most of our work now is working with founders of companies, I like founder-driven organizations. And almost all of them build a company, they do not want to run.
Lesley Logan 26:05
How is that happening, though? Because of fear? Is it happening because they don’t have, they don’t have the, the, their values and vision and principles or the like, it just happened because they were kind of just following the money? Like, how do you have an idea what happened?
Adrian Koehler 26:18
Well, for most of them, for most of them, you know, they’re not CEOs. They’re entrepreneurs, they’re founders. And, you know, running something, maintaining something over time, and like managing people, like, that’s just not of their interest. I mean, they will resist the shit out of it, and complain about them all the time. Usually, when I meet them, they’re full of complaints about their team. And, you know, they like to be there in the startup. And then they, you know, naturally, they’re psychologically very attached to the thing, because it’s them. And it’s their brand, it’s their full expression, they’re known for that, let’s say for three, four years, five years, however long it takes to get into a successful place. And then they’re at this place, and nobody’s given them permission, really, to say, hey, it’s actually probably best for everybody, if we create a process in which you can step out, or step up, usually up and out, like, go to the board, run the thing, be or whatever, you know, and then hire somebody to do all the shit you don’t want to do. And so you could quit, like, you know, abusing people on a daily basis, like you don’t like it, you know, and you, you know, you’ve had so much turnover, and you don’t trust anybody, and because you don’t play that well in the sandbox, and you can, I can help them if they want to, like, become a leader in that way. But most of them really don’t when they’re honest. Like, if you could leave, and go start the next thing, and this thing would stay successful. Would you want that? That answer is 99% of the answer, yes. But they’re so trapped by it in their own mind, that they can’t leave. And they’ve created a whole world in which they’re very essential, most of them, and which is really natural for us, as people I think. And yeah, ego and, and, you know, they’re, they, for lots of reasons, I don’t want to go on too long. But like, for lots of reasons, they’ve set the whole world up to be really essential. Instead of being like, they are unique contribution. And but the, that’s very different than being essential. And so trusting other people, that’s not a small feat, like communicating what you really think and feel is not a small feat. Slowing down is not a small feat. Investing, taking a risk on somebody, like bringing in somebody that’s at their level, that would cost them more money. And that’s a you know, that’s a big deal. We’ve talked about that. They you know, and like, that’s not a small feat, you know, usually what’s needed, either you gotta want to train people, or like, you know, it takes somebody that’s full of raw talent, and really invested in them, which takes time, and they’re all very short, they don’t have time. So, don’t do that, or spend a lot of money. Those are kind of your two options. Or you could do what you’re doing now, which is hire cheaper people and not invest in them and then get the shitty returns of that is so, you know, that’s why I mean, I think people don’t give themselves a lot of permission to to step up and step out. Yeah. And I think they’re, they’re tied, right? They’re tied to, like, I gotta walk this thing all the way out until we raise a bunch of money or until we sell the thing, and it feels like failure. And so I give them a lot of room to hey, you might want to recalculate around this. Failure might be being miserable for the next five years and losing another whole senior leadership team. That might be failure. Success might be quitting now. It’s not quitting. It’s transitioning.
Brad Crowell 29:32
Yeah, I was gonna ask you about like, like, it’s like when you were describing the predicament that a lot of founders find themselves in or entrepreneurs find themselves in. The word bottleneck came into my head of like, they inadvertently become it. And they don’t even realize it. You know, because they need that because they’re, because it was their thing. They built the thing. I know I’m speaking from literal personal experience that because I had my hands involved in everything because I built it all, you know, then letting go of that. How how do you? How do you help someone realize that they are the problem?
Adrian Koehler 30:15
Yeah. So many things. Let’s see, how do I help somebody realize they’re the problem? Well, in my first conversation with them, I want to really hear all their complaints. Because that helps gets it builds vulnerability, builds rapport, like the say stuff to me, they haven’t said anybody else I really want to dig. So when they complain about something in a general way, I want to get them specific about it. Because there’s a lot there. And human beings are just resentment machines. So it’s good to like, get all that out now. And then I’ll ask how long has it been that way? And for most of those answers, it’s not like, oh, is it started yesterday? No, it wasn’t last week wasn’t last month, it’s been for a couple years. Okay. So let’s then entertain the idea. Why do you like the things you say you don’t want? Because that’s what I say is that, especially everybody, I’m talking to like you guys, like brilliant, hard-charging full of initiative. If there’s pretty much anything you don’t want in your life, you get rid of it. You can get rid of it. So if you keep it around, here’s that the counterintuitive question is like, if you’ve kept it around, or if it’s still been happening as a pattern for two years, there must be some hidden benefit to keeping it so. And they say, oh, no, it’s not I’m like I get it. Of course, it’s not, let’s entertain the idea as if it is, let’s just play a game. If it was a winning strategy to be this upset on a constant basis with your senior leadership team, what’s the winning strategy? Like if there’s benefit, and there’s lots of answers to that, right, superiority, control, look good in my own eyes, you know, manipulate people license, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, long list of payoffs to it. And then what are the prices to it? Because there’s a shit ton of prices, as many are probably more prices that they’re paying. But even when you look out from themselves, which they’re usually most concerned about, look out, what’s the impact on other people? What’s the impact on your future to keeping this thing going? Okay, good. Now, you, whatever you have, either you created it, or you allowed it, that’s the idea I’ve got and the thing I live with, for myself. Like if whatever’s going on in my life, I either created it, or I’ve allowed it, no other room. Not like it happened. Not like it happened to me. Not like it’s my wife, not like it’s my business partner. Not like it’s the market, not like it’s anything else I’ve either created or I’ve allowed it. So I’m weird in that way. But the purpose of that is to generate a bed of personal responsibility is if I own all the shit that I’ve got in my life that I typically complain about, I own it, like I want it to be here, then I’ve got up then I’ve got some, I’ve got choice, that if I didn’t choose this, I can’t choose something new. If it happened to me, and I gotta wait for it to change, which is like if they if the market if the blah, blah, blah, and I’m now subject to everything else, which feels powerless. And people react crazy. And they’re maniacs and very justified in their mania, if they are in that disempowered, victim-me stance, just like all the murderers in prison.
Brad Crowell 33:27
So basically on your ship.
Adrian Koehler 33:29
Yeah, yeah, well, you know, and show yourself a lot of grace, because most of them have been the top of class in everything they’ve done, right. And there’s a when you’re successful, there’s a lot of pressure to like, keep it up and live this persona like to look like you’ve got it all together. And we call that the imposter syndrome now, because we don’t want to deal with the fact that we’re all imposters, at least my view. We’re all imposters, if we’re venturing after something I’ve never done before I am deciding to be an imposter. I’m writing checks, I don’t know if I can cash and I’m gonna throw myself at it. And if I fail, I’m gonna get back up and go again. But of course, I feel insecure because I’m venturing I’m doing something it’s full of fear. Of course it is. And, you know, I need to go have a tough conversation with my senior leader, my VP of Marketing and have a tough conversation. I never took a class on how to have tough conversations. So this is gonna be rocky Yes, it is gonna be bad. It’s okay. This is like the thing. They’ve throw yourself at it with a vision and your commitment to the person and your own sense of honesty, and your sense of like, wanting oneness to be together. If you want to work with this person, then that’s great. That’s all you need. And you’re gonna figure out how to do it and I train people how to talk about stuff, but like, that’s my point, I guess final point is that own it and then let yourself be real like you’re a mixed bag like you’re both sinner and saint that’s all we got anyway, so if you can befriend welcome to hugging the cactus if we see the stuff in our lives, like the dark side of our lives, our own criminal illness our own like and I talk about it like this, like the sides of me that I want to hide. I want to chicken out, I want to be self-righteous, I want to be arrogant. I want to grandstand I want to go to, you know, I got a long list of things I do to deal with uncertainty. And that’s all my dark side. And if I can see that stuff and own it and befriend it and hug that puppy, then it doesn’t run my life. Now, it’s an ally of mine, because when those responses or defense mechanisms show up, they’re telling me, I’m off, not it. I, I’m off, so I can befriend that it’s a cue to me that hold on, let me slow myself down. Let me get connected. Let me get myself grounded. Let me you know, so if I can do that, with some grace, like, some I don’t know, forgiveness for myself, understanding that I’m not perfect. I don’t need to be perfect. It seems like ideal is a good deal. But it’s always a bad deal. Because it’s not, life’s not like that. So giving themself that space. Usually they don’t live in a gracious environment. They haven’t created it for themselves. So that’s why they end up being really rough on other people.
Lesley Logan 35:59
Yeah. Ah, so good. Adrian, I would keep going. But yeah, we’ll have to have you back. We’re going to take a brief break. And we’re gonna find out where we can find you, follow you, stalk you, work with you and then your Be It Action Items.
Lesley Logan 36:17
All right, Adrian, where do you hang out in the world? Where can people connect with you learn how to hug a cactus with you? What’s the next steps?
Adrian Koehler 36:26
Socially, Instagram is on there just like everybody else. It’s Adrian.K on Instagram. I post stuff all the time. Love to have a dialogue with anybody. Love to argue with anybody. You got, you know, contrarian views. That’s great. Bring it up. (Brad: He’s really good at getting out there.) Really? Watch out.
Adrian Koehler 36:48
Yeah, get my wife in there and she’s like, you are not fun. I’m like, I know. I don’t think I’m that funny either.
Adrian Koehler 36:57
But yeah, so I think on Instagram love to engage with folks there. We’ve got as far as like, ways to engage. That’s a great place to start. Takenewground.com is our thing, is our website, which is fairly simple. And just going to let you know our ethics and how we operate. The word bullshit is on there, I think it’s the most popular phrase or word on the on the website, just because we say most coaching is bullshit. Most training is bullshit assessments are measured, which I think is most people’s experience. Ours too. So we stand to stand out from that. And the way we do that is we get real, you know, let’s get really strategic, very effective. Let’s do all those best business practices in the context of honesty, like relational honesty, so people that love working with us are folks that are really ready to get to the heart of the matter, which is human beings are unendingly complex. I’m on anything like complex and I got to jump into a deep conversation about self-mastery before I go looking at anybody else’s backyard. So anyway, people can connect us that way, we’ve got a handful of kind of, if people want to dip their toe in the water, three things coming up, I’ll be quick about it. One is like we’ve got to we’ve generated a negotiation training. (Lesley: That’s cool.) It’s not Life’s not Fair. It’s what you negotiate. We’re gonna do it out in LA end of July. So if you go to takenewground.com/nlab or negotiation lab, nlab you’ll learn about that. And we love it. And it’s just really, it’s a it’s around a lot of things like a lot of like how to work with conflict, how to do some strategic negotiations, which is what some of us need to be doing that. But all of us need to be negotiating in life like and how we approach life, you know, even it’s like, what’s going on for dinner tonight? That’s a negotiation might sound extreme to say it that way. But like, you know, you know what I mean, it is. So how do you want? How do they help other people? Yeah, how do they help other people get what they want. So we have a like a negotiation quiz, if they’re interested in that. So that’s negotiation.takenewground.com you’re gonna take a quiz, we made it for you guys. So you have a view into we’ve got like five negotiation styles, it’s good to know your own. And the upsides to it in the blind spots in it. And if you want to up your game, come to the training. Which is great, which is great and fun. We do like a deep deep dive Leadership Academy. That’s, it’s called the Intrepid Leadership Academy. That’s going to start in August as well. It’s out here in LA as well. And it’s like three weekends over three months, and it’s a cohort of around 20 people, it’s already filling up as we speak, then it’s awesome if you definitely if you run a company, it would help you if you are a senior leader in a company, it would help you if you’re an aspiring future senior leader, it’s going to help you it’s really around the art and style of self leadership and then making a difference with other people. So it’s really sees leadership through the coaching paradigm like the conversational nature of reality and leadership. Everything happens in language. So that’s for folks that are really interested in a deep dive. That’s the Intrepid Leadership Academy. And then the last thing is like the easiest first step, probably. And it’s, it’s called The Revenant Process, which is a four day deep dive personal leadership academy. There’s a, we just had 41 people in the room and Boise two weeks ago, we’re going to be in Hawaii. Hello, in October. (Lesley: Sounds fun.) And it’s gonna be awesome. I mean, you guys are coming. So that’s great. I’m just kidding.
Lesley Logan 40:31
That’s maybe on the way home from Cambodia.
Adrian Koehler 40:33
I hear you love travel. (Lesley: We do.) Anyway, so the Revenant Process, and that’s wearerevenant.com for those that are looking for. For specific next steps, you go check that out. It is it is mind-bending, heartbreaking, reconstituting it’s awesome. (Lesley: I love it.) I went through that training, like 12 years ago, when I was running the foundation, and I thought, holy shit, I’ve never been in a room to talk like this. And it’s really about the stand that you take in the world. So it’s around your vision and make and living your commitment, living your word, and getting a ton of feedback around how that’s doing how, like how that’s working with other people. So it’s much about community. So that’s awesome. And if you just want to, like, explore if you got a team, and you want to like if you’re having issues, now you want to scale your team, you want to clean some stuff up, you can just reach out to me and I can connect you, I’ll either talk to you or there’s there’s a perfect person on my team to connect you with. We have a growing team of consultants that are amazing that we’ve all trained. So we’ve got somebody that can help you for sure.
Lesley Logan 41:31
Love it. Well, you’ve given us so many amazing things. And by the way, guys, all those will be in the shownotes. All those links are just easy. Click the button. Bold, executable, intrinsic targeted steps that people can take to be it till you see it? What do you have for us?
Adrian Koehler 41:45
Yeah. Well, bold. That’s actually one of our core values of our company.
Adrian Koehler 41:55
To be bold, I know for me to be bold is to and I’m a pretty strong personality. So I can, I can look bold, often. The boldness for me is to give myself the space to get real about what I really want. Now, it might sound weird, but I’m a really service-oriented guy. And I’m guessing most of the leaders that listen to this are really service-oriented, you guys are all about helping other people. The challenge with that is you can spend your life serving other people and you become really dry, which I’ve got lots of stories about how that doesn’t work out in your life for me. So I think the boldest thing is to slow down, get clear about any kind of complaints I’ve got get clear about any kind of resentments I’ve got any kind of muck that I know that I’ve been carrying around for a while. And the bold action is to get that shit on paper and ask myself the question, do I want to live with this? Or is there some kind of new future that I’m, I least want to, you know, go create, then you’re probably you’re probably need to go. The next one is executable. The next thing you probably need to do is to find somebody to go talk to about that. Now you might not be around people that you trust, or the people that you quote unquote trust. Maybe can’t handle that seem to go find somebody. Some people go hire a coach for this kind of stuff.
Brad Crowell 43:22
Get some bullshit coaching.
Adrian Koehler 43:24
Yes, yes. Get some bullshit coaching. They’ll pat you on the back if you want some no-bullshit coaching. Yeah, that is, right. But the next spot is to like, take action on that, like, the life is short. Life is really short. We we don’t know. Right? How long we got on this planet. So I just get after it. So I think the next thing is like go, I mean, I’d say the word confess, which might sound weird. Go speak that out loud. Like let it be so that your any like the figure, I’ve got this quote that’s always impactful to me. Like people find a level of despair that’s tolerable and call that happiness. Like, if you don’t have hope that something could get better. It makes the heart sick, says the old rabbi. And if you if you’ve got that, then I wouldn’t settle for that anymore. And part of this solution especially for hard driving type A get shit done, perfectionistic people is we feel that nobody can handle me. Most people I think, at least I know that’s part of my shtick that I’ll run on myself is like if I was really honest, they’d run for the hills. Or if I was really honest, I’d be too much for them. That’s one of my lies I tell myself and for them that might be true. I just gotta find a new them you know, like, is that all Paul Simon line I will not be convicted by a jury of my peers. I just gotta get some new peers man that’s that’s what hit me is like just you’ll be convicted by some people that don’t can’t handle it. Go find somebody to talk to, you know, whether that’s somebody close to you, or some kind of coach go find somebody to go be yourself with be messy. Stop being the icon of a leader and go be the mixed up messy leader that you were actually are like get out of the persona and get into who you are.
Lesley Logan 45:08
Oh my gosh, you’re phenomenal. These are so amazing. Adrian.
Adrian Koehler 45:13
What’s the third one?
Lesley Logan 45:14
Oh, you can well I feel like you got intrinsic in there right because, like you got to like confess and then the targeted was like a real like get real specific with these things. So you nailed it.
Brad Crowell 45:26
I love the part about the good at finding people who you could be messy with because I think that’s that’s as much a part of the trap as anything else. Yeah. Is that is the people that we surround ourselves with. And so man, just wisdom, wisdom, man, dude, I miss you. (Lesley: Yeah.)
Adrian Koehler 45:49
I know. We may find myself in such a journey so much fun here.
Lesley Logan 45:53
Well, we are gonna do this again. We’re also going to get ourselves to LA, Hawaii or something and then hug you and see your beautiful family and y’all how are you gonna use these tips in your life? Let us know tag Adrian, tag Be It in the pod. Share this with a friend who needs to learn how to hug the cactus. And Adrian, thank you for being your awesome self. Until next time everyone, Be It Till You See It.
That’s all I’ve got for this episode of the Be It Till You See It podcast. One thing that would help both myself and future listeners is for you to rate this show and leave a review. And, follow or subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to introduce yourself over on IG at the @be_it_pod on Instagram. I would love to know more about you. Share this episode with whoever you think needs to hear it. Help us help others to BE IT TILL YOU SEE IT. Have an awesome day!
‘Be It Till You See It’ is a production of the ‘Bloom Podcast Network’.
It’s written, filmed and recorded by your host, Lesley Logan and me, Brad Crowell.
It is produced and edited by the epic team at Disenyo.
Our theme music is by Ali at APEX Production Music. And our branding by designer and artist, Gianfranco Cioffi.
Special thanks to Melissa Solomon for creating our visuals and Ximena Velasquez for our transcriptions.
Also to Angelina Herico for adding all the content to our website. And finally to Meridith Crowell for keeping us all on point and on time.
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