The Learning Leader Show With Ryan Hawk

Episode #304: Laura Gassner Otting – How To Carve Your Own Path

Full show notes can be found at

The Learning Leader Show

“It starts young.  We have a world where we are given an identity. We need to think, ‘is that really what I want?”

Show Notes:

  • Sustaining excellence:
    • Live on the edge of your incompetence — “The more you talk, the less you listen.”  Need to be asking questions and listening.
    • Tenacity, grit
    • Put yourself in uncomfortable situations
  • Be in a position to learn something new from your failures… “That is delightful.”
  • “Looking into someone and seeing their greatness.”
  • Running coach — “Calm, confident, reflect back to the dream  Compete.
  • Issues with execution… Why? “We get stuck chasing someone else’s dream.”
  • How do we know? “It starts young.  We have a world where we are given an identity. We need to think, ‘is that really what I want?”
  • The four parts of consonace:
    • Calling — It’s bigger than you
    • Connection – The work actually matters
    • Contribution – It contributes to the life you actually want
    • Control – How much do I have?
  • “My mother told me I needed to be a lawyer.” — “I wanted to run for office.”
  • How did Laura end up in the Clinton Whitehouse?
  • “I learned how to show up for others… And be dedicated to excellence”
  • “I was a great leader, but a terrible manager.”  You need to be self-aware
  • Advice to new managers:
    • “People want feedback.  Ask them if that project reflected their understanding of the assignment or their ability?”
  • Laura’s TEDx Talk:
    • Stop asking, ‘how can I help?’
    • Think, ‘what needs to happen?’
  • Her fight with Ann Coulter
  • Must be willing to change your mind as a leader — “Our stories are our connections.”
  • Becoming an athlete — Laura ran the first mile of her life nine years ago.  Now, she’s a competitive rower.  And she ran in the Boston marathon.
  • Confidence is built through doing.  Continue to push the boundaries of our own competence.
  • Tel Aviv:
    • Hunger
    • Weight
    • Tenacity
    • Speed
    • Grit/Heart
  • Don’t get in the comparison trap with other people’s highlight reels on social media
  • Advice she received that’s been helpful — “You’re just not that important”
  • Study — Team of Rivals — About Lincoln
  • Use the “Get To Know You Document
  • Why joining The Learning Leader Circle is a good idea

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