Starting the conversation…

What kind of example are you setting for your team?

Host: Jessica Dewell
Panelists: Carl Dierschow, Debbi Sluys

What You Will Hear:

Integrity, authenticity, and consistency are part of leading by example.

It’s always about the collective – It’s better to include others.

Getting out of our own way.

We are human, let’s use our focus.

Not knowing is NOT a weakness.

It is a responsibility to give others the space to make decisions.

Ways we keep learning.

Active participation is required to build our own confidence and results.

Technology and the interactions between people impact relationships.

We learn through play; play adds dimension.

#ActToPLAN through experimentation and building confidence in what we do know.

There are two types of action.

The infection point of healthy ego and vulnerability.

It is BOLD to accept you lead by example.

Notable and Quotable:


Carl Dierschow 3:05
It’s really about the consistency between your actions and your intentions, and your
words. Because when people pick up differences between those, it can be absolutely
demoralizing. It can break trust in an instant.

Carl Dierschow 3:24
If you’re going to say it’s important to be on time, then be on time, and to have ways
to deal with when you’re not.

Carl Dierschow 3:34
If it’s important to always operate from a position of trust and honesty, well then,
that means that you’re going to have to admit your failures in front of other people.
It’s a messy kind of thing.

Carl Dierschow 4:00
Authenticity and integrity. That’s what builds relationships. That’s what builds trust.
That’s what builds people’s desire to follow you as leader.

Jess Dewell 6:04
Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know, and it gets in our way.

Carl Dierschow 6:44
When you’re leading a team, be developing something that’s larger than any individual
on the team and yourself as leader.

Carl Dierschow 6:57
The larger mission or purpose, whatever it is, that’s what really helps people to pull
together, and to realize something larger. I find that it makes people more tolerant to
change … because there’s a sense of a bigger “why.” Why we’re together doing this. Why it’s us. Why it’s important.

Debbi Sluys 7:39
I put up a ceiling for myself, how far I can go in terms of my leadership and my goal
setting. That has to do with confidence. Has to do with the fact that I lose
confidence. But that’s my own thoughts, and I can change those.

Debbi Sluys 8:01
Getting out of my own way would be a growing leader, to focus on those that are around
me, that I see their amazing potential and skills, and giving them the platform. Giving
them the resources.  Giving them the time necessary to grow them as leaders. I see that
as an amazing opportunity as a leader to grow leaders.


Jess Dewell 9:30
There’s this element of discipline of being able to pause. To be able to pause and go,
you know, I am leading by example. And whatever I’m allowing — meaning what’s actually
happening around me in the team — is going to become part of the culture. And I think
that’s a slippery slope when we don’t know what we don’t know.

Carl Dierschow 10:17
The not knowing is a real challenge because in our culture that’s interpreted as being
weakness. What I’ve liked to do is to reframe things as learning. It can come across
kind of faky sometimes. That is saying, “Well, you know, everything’s a learning
opportunity and there is no such thing as failure” … but there’s a lot of truth to
that. The fact is that we will go through life and through our roles as leaders making
all kinds of failures.

Carl Dierschow 12:19
So our challenges as leaders is to say, “I will constantly work on how do I become more
comfortable with not knowing.”

Carl Dierschow 13:06
I’ve got a certain set of people around me that I have a high level of trust with. And
it’s not that I trust that they’ll never make a mistake, because we all do. But the
fact that together as a team, we can figure it out and do a reasonably correct thing
for any decision we have to make.

Carl Dierschow 14:05
Trust is much more resilient and much easier to maintain when you don’t focus too much
on hierarchical relationships and say, “Well, I’m the boss. So therefore, I must be the
smartest person in the room.” That’s actually very disrespectful to fall into that

Carl Dierschow 23:44
People are starting to rediscover that the true learning opportunities come from having
relationships with actual people. It’s all about the people. The people connections.

Debbi Sluys 24:21
The art of relationships and building relationships really is done best in person,
because then you have body language, the voice tone, the eye contact and you can break
bread, so to speak.

Carl Dierschow 28:54
Humans are hard wired to learn through playing because that’s the universal childhood
experience. We’ve removed a lot of the play opportunity from our schooling. It turns
schools into a factory for producing worker drones. The problem is that we aren’t in
the industrial revolution anymore. And we don’t need a lot of worker drones. That’s not
the model of what it means to succeed in life and to succeed as a society.

Carl Dierschow 30:01
Play is a large component of looking for the unexpected. Of being outside the box,
outside the lines, and relaxing the rules.

Jess Dewell 32:29
I’m a proponent of “fake it till you make it,” to find more details until you don’t
have to fake it anymore. So there’s that caveat piece.

Carl Dierschow 32:57
Hey, welcome to being human. None of us are as confident on the inside is where display
on the outside.

Carl Dierschow 33:25
Let’s run experiments. The reason why I use that word is because, the word “experiment”
means that failure is allowed as long as you learn from it. It shifts the focus from,
“Did you achieve exactly the result that you had expected or wanted?” to “Well, did we
learn from it?”

Carl Dierschow 34:03
As leaders, how can we set up for our people so that when they are in experimental
phase, when they’re playing around, when they’re trying without a high level of
confidence, how can we make it so that the immediate failure is not going to have a
huge negative impact on them? Because that makes people resistant, and we don’t
necessarily want to do that.

Debbi Sluys 36:30
Fake it till you make it is that intuitive action, where it just feels right where it’s
like, “You know what I need to do this.”


Carl Dierschow 38:42
Some people think of it as the American ideal of courageous, is to go out there and do
something that’s so unbelievable and crazy that people are going to sit up and take
notice. Well, most of us are in much more modest kinds of situations, fortunately. The
idea is that, yeah you can go out there and take a little bit of a challenge and give
it a try. What’s the worst that could happen? It’s really not that bad.

Debbi Sluys 40:16
I’ve been thinking and grappling a lot with purpose. What is your purpose? What’s my
purpose? It’s bigger than me. It’s bigger than us. When I can focus on my purpose and
understand that it’s bigger than me, that makes me humble. But it also gives me the
drive to drive for excellence, to be the very best, and to live my best life, and to
give it my all. But knowing that it’s not about me. That negates the ego piece and I
don’t have to worry about that.

Carl Dierschow 41:03
We’d like to think that we’re in control, but we actually aren’t. So you have to develop this
sense of humility. And then the ego starts being built upon the true value that you can bring
to your team, to your organization, two groups that you’re involved in based upon
what you can actually do.

Carl Dierschow 42:05
How do we have confidence that’s based upon real ability to deliver and real ability
impact the world? The more that we can do that for our teams, by the way, helping to
build up their true confidence, as opposed to just saying, rah rah rah. You’re great
people. This is fantastic. I love you to death. And that’s all good. But it can also be
very fleeting. It can disappear in a moment of challenge and unconfidence. It’s like, oh
man, I thought I was super great, and then I messed up. That to me is the balance that
we’re trying to hit. As leaders. We try to bring that to more people than just

Carl Dierschow 44:33
When you are operating from a position of authenticity, to say, ‘I own my strengths as
much as I own my weaknesses, what I have yet to learn what I currently don’t know how
to contribute, but I think I can learn. I want to learn because I think it’s a part of
the larger mission that I’m on, my larger purpose in life.” These things are all tied
together. This is part of the self management. It becomes the example we are setting
for our teams.

Carl Dierschow 46:14
The heroes of the world are not the people who go out and do courageous things. It’s
the people that do courageous things in spite of the challenges. That’s what makes you
a hero. That’s what makes you truly courageous rather than just going out and doing
something magnificent that people applaud you for.


observe, intention, consistent, relationship, change, collaboration, responsibility

What kind of example are you setting for your team?

The people in our daily lives first see how we act, and then make decisions about how to interact with us based on those observations. When not seeing the desired results in your teams’ actions, the first step is to reflect on your own behavior. Jess Dewell hosts panelists Debbi Sluys, Child Care Director, and Carl Dierschow, a business coach, about exactly how you are leading by example.

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