Dave's Journal-logo

Dave's Journal

Business & Economics Podcasts >

This is the audio journal of Dave Stachowiak, host of Coaching for Leaders, a top leadership podcast downloaded over 9 million times.

This is the audio journal of Dave Stachowiak, host of Coaching for Leaders, a top leadership podcast downloaded over 9 million times.
More Information


United States


This is the audio journal of Dave Stachowiak, host of Coaching for Leaders, a top leadership podcast downloaded over 9 million times.




Less Cessna, More 747

The airspace above our home is at least partially designated for pilots in training on small, single-engine planes. About once a week, I hear a small plane above us, that suddenly cuts its engine…only to restart it, shortly after. The pilots and their instructors are practicing engine failure procedures so that, should an engine actually fail in flight, a pilot is more likely to be able to land the plane. Recently, someone asked me: How do I keep things from bothering me so much at work? I...


Keep Going

A decade ago, I was instructing a communication and human relations course for Dale Carnegie. We were about halfway through the multi-week program when a participant asked a question of me in front of the class: What do you do when your wife claims that you’re just being nice to her because you’re taking this course? When the laugher stopped, I offered this: If you stop being nice to her when this course is over, then she was right. I appreciated the bravery of what that individual asked all...


3 Better Ways to Start a Presentation

For years, I’ve heard countless people give this well-intended advice on structuring a briefing or presentation: Tell 'em what you're going to tell them. Tell 'em. Tell 'em what you've told them. I bet you’ve heard that too. It might be advice for someone who’s giving a presentation for the first time. That’s because it’s a simple outline that most people can follow successfully. But most professionals should move beyond this fairly quickly. That’s because, it’s awfully boring to listen to...


How to Drive Visibility of Your Work

Our house is just old enough to start having a few things go wrong. A few of our faucets were giving us trouble recently, so we hired a plumber to come in and replace some of the hardware. When he completed the work, he took the old hardware that he pulled out of the wall and placed it into the packaging that had come with the new hardware. He then left it near the faucets where the work was completed. I asked him about this practice, wondering if there was some reason I needed to keep the...


When Nothing Seems to Work Except Micro-Managing

Awhile back, a client was expressing his frustration with one of his managers. He said: I’ve delegated the work. I’ve made expectations clear on time, budget, and quality. I’ve set deadlines. But, this person isn’t on track. I see a train wreck coming. He knew that he could swoop in and take over but, being a good student of leadership, he was fearful of micro-managing. “What to do?” was his question. I recently stumbled across an article in the Wall Street Journal about an event featuring...


Do This to Surface Great Ideas

In 1962, McDonald’s franchisee Lou Groen had a problem. His restaurant, in a predominately Roman Catholic neighborhood, wasn’t attracting customers on Fridays in Lent. Recognizing an opportunity, the Catholic businessman proposed a new sandwich for McDonald’s menu, called the Filet-O-Fish. Instead of meat, the sandwich featured a fried fish patty with half a slice of cheese and tatar sauce. McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc was not happy. Fearful that fish sandwiches would smell up all of his...


Are You Showing Up to Serve, Or to Be Served?

Over a decade ago, I arrived for a client presentation on a Friday afternoon. I’d contracted with the client for an hour in front of his team and had prepared an extensive series of exercises to teach several communication skills. I was a bit skeptical we could achieve the stated objectives in a single hour, but had agreed to the abridged timing to help him out. There were a number of logistical constraints that made other options impractical. The meeting kicked off and my client got in...


The Best, Two-Word Question

In the part of the world I live in, it’s a common greeting to ask: Hi. How are you? And then to reply: Great. How about you? Usually that’s returned with some version of “doing well” or other generic, positive-sounding statement. This exchange regularly happens as two people run into each other in passing. Often, it’s used as a form of acknowledgement with someone we have a casual relationship with. What it’s not, is a conversation. Rarely does anybody listen to the actual responses. If you...


Keep Your Ideas From Being Stolen

When someone is working on a new idea they’ve shared with my in confidence, I often find myself suggesting that they also get input from their peers, executive team, or customer. Sometimes that generates a comment like this: If I start socializing this idea, somebody else will take credit for it. Often, but not always, a response like this comes from someone who has learned from past attempts that it’s best not to share ideas publicly, simply to watch another person take credit later. Yes, I...


Fly the Plane

On December 29, 1972, Eastern Airlines flight 401 crashed in the Florida Everglades just outside of Miami, killing 101 people. It was the first ever crash of a wide-body aircraft and is still one of the deadliest events in aviation history. This crash is often referenced when pilots learn a phrase that’s especially useful in emergency situations: aviate, navigate, communicate. Aviate means, first and foremost, keep the airplane flying. Navigate means to know where you are in relation to the...


Stop Wasting Time on Confidence

A friend of mine who’s leading a small business sent me a message today. He wrote: I have a very hard time marketing, selling, etc. I need to just grit my teeth and be confident. When I read those words, I immediately messaged him back and suggested that he spend exactly zero time trying to grit his teeth and be more confident. Like him, at almost every stage of my career, I’ve wanted more confidence. The problem is that virtually none of us seem to be able to wish or will our way to...