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

Laura’s entrepreneurial edge has been well-honed over a 25-year career that started as a Presidential Appointee in Bill Clinton’s White House, where she helped shape AmeriCorps. She left a leadership role at the respected nonprofit search firm, Isaacson, Miller, to expand the startup ExecSearches.com.  In 2015,  she held an audacious dream of electing our nation’s first female president. Along the way, while serving on Hillary Clinton’s National Finance Committee, she was asked to do a TEDx talk which became so popular that it launched a speaking career.

Laura has spoken across the United States and internationally to universities, companies, conferences, accelerators, TEDx, and the US Military. She is the author of Mission-Driven: Moving from Profit to Purpose (2015) and her most recent book: Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life.

Check out my new speaker video:

Subscribe on iTunes  or Stitcher Radio

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

“Our stories are our connections.”

Social Media:

More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode 200: Keith Hawk & AJ Hawk — Showing Up, Doing The Work, Earning Trust, Helping Others, Winning The Super Bowl, Celebrating #200

Episode 234: Jocko Willink — Why Discipline Equals Freedom