Episode 6: James Flaherty on How People Change and Where Excellence Lives

James Flaherty taught me how to coach, created the organization where I met my wife, and challenged me to grow myself as a person.

That’s quite an influence for one person, don’t you think?

In Episode 6 of The Amiel Show, I had the privilege to talk with James about some big stuff I’ve learned from him. We discussed:

Master difficult conversations

Learn my best tips for staying cool under pressure and elevating your leadership in complex times.


  • 3:00 So much of our experience is an interpretation versus a fact “out there”
  • 8:20 Why self-observation is as important as 360 feedback
  • 13:30 Truly changing involves our bodies, social worlds, and language
  • 24:00 Excellence is evoked in relationship rather than something we create alone
  • 30:30 Aristotle’s notion of excellence, including all parts of ourselves
  • 35:45 What’s up with emotions in our culture
  • 43:00 Executive presence happens in the body
  • 51:50 What James is deliberately practicing to develop himself

Listen to the Podcast

Tweet a Quote

“It’s not necessary for me to cut off my own virtue, my own goodness, in order to be excellent.” —James Flaherty    Tweet this quote

Explore Additional Resources

New Ventures West—coaching training and leadership development

Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others by James Flaherty

The Feeling of What Happens by Antonio Damasio

Focusing by Eugene Gendlin


Trauma Release Exercises (TRE)

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5 thoughts on “Episode 6: James Flaherty on How People Change and Where Excellence Lives

    • Hi Ellen, thanks for your note. I’m not sure I understand your question,
      but I’d love to hear your thoughts about this interview or respond to
      any question you have.

      • I am NVW also. In fact I’m taking the self-leadership class now with James and Steve March. I love your podcasts and have shared with other NVW alums in Denver. I liked the interview with James, great re grounding in our philosophy and methodology. I was wondering if there is a transcript? In the beginning of the cast, you mention that “notes can be found on your website.” so, I was wondering the extent of the notes, and if it was what I found in the podcast section.

      • Hi Ellen, very nice to meet you, and I’m thrilled you are enjoying the podcasts. Thanks for spreading the word in Denver. I was just in Crestone for a week over the holidays for a meditation retreat…Good catch. I included transcripts for the first few interviews and then stopped since it’s time-intensive for my assistant. So I apologize I don’t have it now, but I’ll give some thought to having a transcript done…good idea. And I’ll change my standard intro to the podcast which I didn’t realize promised notes.

        I’m about to record a podcast where I (Knockman the Magnificent) answers questions about any podcasts or topics. Do you have one?


      • Hi again, Just realized that the “notes” I refer to are not transcript but the “show notes”: the interview summary plus the resources listed

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