Episode 24: Amy Jen Su On Owning The Room [The Amiel Show]

Leadership presence. In some organizations, you hear the phrase all the time. Sounds impressive, but does anyone know what it actually means?

Do you?

Now, you’re a smart person, so let’s assume you have a definition ready at hand. Leadership presence is about how other people perceive you. And power.

Through this lens, the greater your presence, the more powerfully you show up in others’ assessments. Most of us want to be perceived as powerful. So leadership presence is a good thing, right?


Yes, but only if it means showing up powerfully as ourselves. Not imitating someone else, but expressing the highest and most authentic version of who we are.

When you do this, you’re not renting someone else’s space or personality.

You own the room.

Episode 23: David Rome On The Wisdom Of A Leader’s Body [The Amiel Show]

In the past decade, an increasing number of leaders have had an astonishing insight: they have bodies.

This sounds silly to point out. Of course we all have bodies. We are human beings. Why is this a big deal?

Here is why: For decades, we’ve left the body out of the equation. Look at any book on leadership or management published between 1950 and 2005. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything about leaders’ bodies. Consider my own experience. When I started developing leaders in the mid 1990s, we talked about leadership competencies, how people change, and a dozen models of excellence. Cool stuff, but it was purely cognitive. One hundred percent was about how to shift minds. The body was nowhere to be found.

Fortunately, this has begun to shift.


Neuroscience teaches us that changing ourselves involves rewiring the brain’s neural pathways. The study of emotional intelligence suggests that reading our emotions and others’ is a distinctly physical act. And studies of high performance reveal that sleep, nutrition, regular breaks, and sustained periods of “flow” are must-haves for leadership excellence.

The secret is out: The body isn’t a peripheral concern. It is central to leadership.

So if you’re facing a big decision, navigating an interpersonal conflict, or building a team, keep this in mind: your body knows the answer.

Your Body Knows The Answer. That’s not just a clever phrase. It’s also the title of a new book by David Rome. David is a mindfulness teacher and seasoned executive. He began practicing Buddhism in 1971 and served for many years as the private secretary to the great Tibetan Buddhist master, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

This week on the podcast, David and I talk about how to use mindful focusing and the body’s “felt sense” to rise to many challenges of leadership.


  • 9:00 What are “felt senses” and why do they rarely break into your consciousness?
  • 16:00 Negotiating a complex deal between two organizations–and how the felt sense saved the day
  • 24:30 How the felt sense can help you in a crisis
  • 31:00 Using mindful focusing when you have to fire someone or make another tough decision
  • 40:00 A simple focusing practice you can do right now
  • 51:00 When and how to practice mindful focusing
  • 53:00 What it was like being private secretary to the great Tibetan Buddhist master, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
  • 57:00 What David is deliberately practicing to grow as a person

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Episode 22: Michael Dolan On Becoming Relaxed And Present By Improving Your Workflow [The Amiel Show]

Everyone wants to know your plans for the Fourth of July.

Michael Dolan has a different question: Will your mind be clear and relaxed enough to enjoy the long weekend? Or is it cluttered with unfinished actions and other “stuff?”

If it’s cluttered, there’s a reason: your mind is not meant to store all the agreements you have with yourself.

That’s why we all need a trusted system for identifying, tracking, and taking action on all this “stuff.”

This, Michael says, is the purpose of workflow coaching–and GTD.


In Episode 22, I welcome Michael back to the podcast to talk through how this works and the practical steps you can take to clear your mind and be present. Michael is just my second return guest (after Jennifer Garvey Berger). When you listen to this interview (and Episode 2), you’ll know why.

Apart from being respected and liked by everyone he meets, Michael brings a rare gift. Of the thousands of productivity experts around the world, Michael is one of the few who takes a truly integral approach. His work is about getting more of the right things done with less stress, but that’s not all. He also helps you bring your whole self to the table so that others feel an invitation to do the same.

That’s why, yet again, I have set aside my envy of his hair–which is much better than I had even in my prime–and decided to share his practical wisdom with you again.


  • 9:30 How you can be complete about being unfinished
  • 13:50 The five phases of workflow
  • 19:00 How to decide what to do in the 22 minutes before your next meeting
  • 22:30 Why the old methods of defining priorities often fall short
  • 27:00 GTD gives meditation a run for the money in producing presence
  • 33:00 The Weekly Review is the uber practice of GTD
  • 37:00 It’s up to us to define our agreements with ourselves
  • 39:00 A story of when processing the inbox reminds someone of what matters most in life

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The Four Things People May Mean When They Say “I Trust You” [new post]

When someone says that they “trust you,” it feels great to hear, but what do they mean?

If it’s not entirely clear, rest assured that you’re not alone. The person speaking to you probably doesn’t know exactly what they mean.

That’s because trust isn’t one thing. It’s four. This is true whether the topic is others’ trust in you, or your trust in others.

When you ask yourself, “Do I trust this person?” you can break it down into four questions:

  1. Do I trust that they are competent in the thing I want them to do?
  2. Do I trust that they are sincere when they make a commitment to doing it?
  3. Do I trust that they are reliable?
  4. Do I trust that they care for me and my interests?


A few examples:

  • Know anyone who is great at keeping promises, but you’re never sure if they’re being up front with you? You can trust their reliability but not their sincerity.
  • How about someone who takes care of your interests–you always know that they’re doing their best to help you be successful–but half the work they do with you is mediocre? You can trust their care but not their competence (in at least some areas of work).
  • How about a person who knows their job cold, cares about your success, and is 100% serious when he makes promises, yet is lousy at follow through? You can trust their competence, care, and sincerity, but not their reliability.
The next time someone tell you that they trust you, ask them what they mean. And the next time you are sizing up someone else, consider all four dimensions of trust.

Episode 21: Ba Luvmour On Parenting 8-12 Year-Olds [The Amiel Show]

When you’re with 8-12 year-olds, ask yourself, ‘Am I building trust in this moment?’

–Ba Luvmour, headmaster of Summa Academy in Portland, OR   Tweet this quote

Leadership is about your life as a human being. It encompasses all of you. That’s why I’ve chosen this week to focus the podcast on parenting.

In particular, parenting 8-12 year-olds.

This is a crucial stage in children’s lives, yet almost nobody talks about it with wisdom and rigor.

That’s why I reached out to Ba Luvmour. A pioneering educator and author, Ba is a man of big ideas and enormous practical experience. He talks a big game–and delivers. I know this because our older son is a student at Summa Academy, an independent school in Portland, Oregon for kids ages 4-14 where Ba serves as headmaster.



One big reason we chose Summa Academy is that it knows children’s interpersonal lives inside and out. To give a simple example, what do you do when your child refuses to do something you ask? According to Ba, it’s not helpful to answer that question in a vacuum. First, you ask: what stage of development is this child in the midst of–and what are the nourishments and toxins of this stage?In two years, our older son will turn 8.

So I asked Ba to give me a sneak preview of what to expect at this stage, which Ba calls FeelingBeing. What’s specific challenges do kids this age face socially and emotionally? What kind of relationship do they need with you to thrive? What mistakes do many parents make–and how can you avoid them?

Ba bring enormous enthusiasm, wisdom, and love to this interview. He offers specific tips for handling common situations–what I call conversational practices.

I promise that you will learn something new from this conversation. And I hope you’ll share it with friends.


  • 4:15 What a camping trip can do for an 8-12 year old’s social bonds and feelings of adventure
  • 14:00 How to help an 8-12 year old identify what they think is unfair and understand why
  • 20:00 What to say–and not say–about divorce to children at this age
  • 23:00 Why losing friendships at this age can produce grief and loneliness–and how to work with this
  • 27:00 Why it’s not helpful to tell a child, “Hey, it’s OK. You’ll make new friends.”
  • 33:00 The long term cost of using rewards and punishments
  • 42:00 Stop talking about winning and losing. Start asking kids to describe their experiences in detail
  • 46:45 How watching Star Wars can subvert a 5-year-old’s imagination

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Episode 20: Robert Augustus Masters On True Masculine Power [The Amiel Show]

Men, listen up. This one’s for you.

In Episode 20 of the podcast, I speak with Robert Augustus Masters, author of the new book To Be A Man: A Guide to True Masculine Power.

Robert models the kind of manhood he aims to foster in the world: big heart, sharp mind, and firm backbone. Compassion without the B.S.

This is one interview you won’t want to miss. Whether you are a man or a woman.



  • 6:00 Shame: what it is and why men need to face it head on
  • 16:30 How to make an authentic apology
  • 20:30 Why the movie Fight Club is popular with so many men
  • 25:00 The difference between empathy and putting up with bullshit
  • 26:30 Why men love giving and receiving healthy challenges
  • 31:00 Bringing together your heart and guts at home and work
  • 36:30 The challenge of dealing a with a difficult boss
  • 46:00 What’s possible for men in the later stages of life
  • 48:00 How Robert practices gratitude

Listen to the Podcast